There’s no denying it: we are going through very tough times. Not just here in Australia, but around the globe.
The pandemic of COVID19 has done more than just have us worry for our health – which is scary. It has also totally turned upside down our financial system, and earnings capabilities for millions of people.
Like everyone else, I feel worried too. It’s very hard when you see everything shifting very quickly – day by day almost, and there is no time to find certainty.
But what we can all do in times like this, is take action where we can – quickly. The faster people move on making positive decisions around money, the better off they will be. So here are five things you can do right now to take action on your money situation.
1. Look at every expense you have.
I mean all of them. Gym memberships, Netflix, insurances, fuel – all the things that come out of your account every day. Be realistic about what you can live without, and what you can’t. By no means am I suggesting cancel insurance. Rather, look if you have the best deal for it. We are usually too busy to shop round, so take the time to make sure you are getting the best deal on electricity, gas and every other cost.
2. Forecast your regular expenses on a calendar and minus your account balance on those dates.
For example if you have $5000 in your everyday account, and you have a $400 car payment coming out April 1st, put the payment and the $4600 balance on the calendar date. Knowledge gives you power to make decisions. This is a very easy way to build a cashflow. It will also help you see in what time period money is running low, and find other ways to plug that gap in advance.
3. Check what government relief you may be eligible for.
The Australian government has issued one of the largest stimulus packages of any nation, to help us ride through this crisis, and come out the other side. There are details on dss.gov.au but you can also ask your accountant financial planner, who should be proactively reaching out to you.
4. Have the hard conversations now.
If you have a big bill coming up that you know you can’t pay, get on the front foot. Ask for a phone call and talk it out. Talking is better than emailing and most companies will be more than reasonable at this time. Don’t let the payment date pass and then do it. Be proactive. You will get a better result, and it will take a ton of mental pressure off.
5. Take the time to look at what you can sell.
People will be at home looking for bargains, and you have the time now to make it happen. Sell that extra fridge, golf clubs you don’t use; or kids bike that nobody rides. Getting cash in the door ASAP gives you breathing room, so take action now and make it your job.
Sitting around worrying is not going to help any of us. The only way to alleviate worry is action. While these 5 tips may not be your whole answer, it’s a start. And getting started helps to come up with other ways to make it through.
We will come through this. Australians are resilient to say the least.
In the meantime, keep moving forward, wash your hands and stay safe!
Until next time,