Money Bite-Size Read:
- The majority of Australia is in lockdown due to COVID-19.
- While we can’t control the lockdown situation, we can own how we use our money.
- Some positive ways to use your money in lockdown include reassessing your spending habits and supporting local businesses.
The MoneyBites Take:
Lockdown can feel out of your control but what remains in your control is actively making decisions with your money, using it as a tool to shape what your life out of lockdown looks like.
Like many countries, Australia has been in lockdown for a while now.
More than half of Australia’s population is in lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreaks. This pandemic has impacted our finances in different ways, and it can feel overwhelming. We’re stuck indoors for most of the day, which can be challenging when you’re in a small apartment without the luxury of space.
It’s important to recognise what is and isn’t within your control right now.
Outside of following the rules, we aren’t able to control whether we go into lockdown and for long that happens for. We can however, take ownership of our finances and how we choose to spend and manage our money. And we’re choosing to focus on some positive things you can do right now with your funds.
Here’s 7 positive ways to use your money in lockdown:
1. Support local businesses
When we go into lockdown, businesses you might go to each day suddenly lose foot traffic. While some businesses are lucky to have online services set up, many will find lockdown difficult and may not financially recover. Take the time to try different restaurants so that these businesses still exist when the lockdown is over.
2. Reassess your spending habits
Lockdown has changed our lifestyles. Whereas you may have previously picked up a coffee on the way to work or caught up with colleagues for lunch, spending is now confined to what you can eat and drink at home. Look at your spending habits and where you can reapportion money to different areas of your budget.
3. Sort out your super
Super is one of those things we love to put off until later. It’s essential to take the time now to sort out your super and ensure it’s working for you. Look at where your super is and how it’s working for you. Consider whether you could look at managing your super differently, including consolidating your super and checking whether you’re eligible for the super co-contribution scheme.
4. Do your tax return
Just like super, many of us put off our tax return until later. Tax is a reality of working life, and you’ll need to do a tax return each year. Take the time to ensure all your receipts are in order and prepare your tax return now so that you don’t leave it until the last minute and risk making a mistake.
5. Consider what space you want to live in
Lockdown has meant we are confined to our homes. If you live in a small apartment, this means you have very little living space. You might want to start saving for a house deposit as a financial goal to ensure you are comfortable in the space you live in, particularly if you’re working from home.
6. Compare providers for your regular bills
Most of us tend to set and forget our regular bills like our phone bill or power bills. It could be worth looking at different providers to see whether you might get a better deal from another provider. A comparison website can help you get started by showing you which other providers are out there.
7. Be kind to yourself when spending money
The changing routines that lockdown brings are stressful. You may find yourself spending more or less money than you usually do. Don’t beat yourself up if you end up splurging on purchases you didn’t budget for. Instead, be kind to yourself and reset your budget to work from where you are right now.
Money is a tool you can use to improve the world around you.
The lockdown situation caused by COVID-19 has been difficult for many people. By focusing on the decisions you can make with your money right now, you can take steps to be in a better financial position when lockdown is over.