Financial security and pandemic. The two don’t really go hand-in-hand, do they? As if facing a global health crisis wasn’t terrifying enough, the world’s economic nosedive is hitting Australian families and individuals hard. Really hard. But as with most things in life, rest assured there will be light at the end of the tunnel. As cheesy as it sounds, we really are all in this together. Out of this strange and unwelcome period will come a brighter future for Australia and the rest of the world. So while we work on our self-isolation best practices, what are the steps we can take to achieve a sense of financial security in a pandemic?
Find out what government support applies to you
The Australian Government is currently providing financial assistance to Australians during this uncertain time. The assistance includes income support, household support and temporary early releases of superannuation. All the important details can be found here.
Be sure to also look at your state government and find out what packages and recovery efforts apply to you.
South Australia: The SA government has unveiled a $1 billion jobs stimulus package. Keep an eye on media releases and updates here.
Tasmania: The Tasmanian Liberal Government has prepared a $420 million stimulus package to support Tasmania. Keep an eye on media releases and updates here.
ACT: The ACT Government has prepared an economic support package of $137 million. Keep an eye on media releases and updates here.
Northern Territory: The Territory Labor Government’s $65 million Jobs Rescue & Recovery Plan has been introduced to keep shops open, cash flowing and Territorians working. Keep an eye on media releases and updates here.
Western Australia: The WA State Government announced a $607 million stimulus package to support WA households, pensioners and small businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Keep an eye on updates here.
Queensland: The Queensland Government has announced a $4 billion COVID-19 package to support Queenslanders’ health, jobs and businesses. Keep an eye on updates here.
Victoria: The Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package to support small and medium sized businesses in Victoria. Keep an eye on updates here.
Write up a budget plan
If ever there were a time to start being conservative with your funds, now would be it. You’ll feel an alleviating sense of financial security in a pandemic if you can stick to a well-curated budget. Remember, the ever-changing economic climate brings all kinds of financial stress, so you’ll want to keep updated on what’s happening and budget around that.
Accept the current state of affairs and do what you can to work around it. Try to avoid spending as if everything is normal in the world. Evolve and adapt your spending to suit the current climate. That being said, please don’t panic buy.
Panic buying goes against the idea of budgeting for a pandemic. You might find yourself buying excess of what is necessary, being left with little funds to support other areas in need. Excessive stockpiling can also lead to price gouging, which is when the prices of certain supermarket items double or triple in price. None of us want to pay $20 for toilet roll.
Pay attention to budgetary changes
Now that you are in self-isolation, you will notice certain expenses disappearing and others rising. As you won’t be leaving the house, you will no longer be paying for petrol or for drinks or a night out. You will, however, be using electricity and water at home a lot more. Consider these variables and tailor your spending habits around them. You will need to pay close attention to what money goes where as it will be different to your routine money management system.
Carefully consider a loan
Australian Lending Centre is a leading provider of bad credit loans and consolidation loans Australia-wide. We strive to assist people who have multiple credit cards and personal loans. With the introduction of the coronavirus, we understand finances are tighter than ever. ALC can lend a helping hand. We offer a wide range of financial services and can provide a product to match your individual needs. From debt consolidation and debt management, to credit repair and low doc loans, ALC can help. Get started on your loan application here.
Look after your mental health and well-being
It may be the last on our list, but it is indisputably the most important. A healthy mental state is vital to feeling a sense of financial security in a pandemic. If you feel mentally on top of things, the finances will follow.
Avoid Fake News and Sensationalised Media
One of our top tips would be to avoid fear-inducing media if you find yourself inclined to anxiety. Although we have addressed keeping up to date with the latest pandemic news, this doesn’t mean delving deep into conspiracy theories and reading about all the tragedies. Have an understanding and be aware. Just don’t spend all your time consumed by COVID-19 news.
Stay Busy and Engaged
Try to keep yourself occupied with hobbies. Read a book. Go for a jog. Clean the house or learn a new recipe. Being homebound doesn’t have to mean being bored out of your brain. It certainly doesn’t mean sink into the couch and rotate through Netflix series’ all day.
Finally, seek support if you’re feeling helpless. Beyond Blue has a dedicated page on its forums to help those who are experiencing mental health depreciation due to the current global crisis. You can contact the Australian Government Department of Health on their national helpline (1800 020 080) for information on the pandemic. There will always be people you can speak to and people who can help.