Budgeting and saving money may not be a top-of-mind concern of people today as the coronavirus cases have continued to rise worldwide, including all over Australia. This scenario has made the fact of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic having the capacity to affect people’s physical and financial wellness much lucid. Moreover, the international healthcare threat has triggered a wave of panic in the society. Consumers have demonstrated the tendency to overspend as they panic-buy. The COVID-19 crisis has initiated volatility in the financial markets. The concepts of “flattening the curve” and “social distancing” have affected the daily habits of the people as well.
In terms of the people’s work lives, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted employment in an unprecedented manner. This dismal condition has made the value of budgeting and saving one’s hard-earned money difficult. It is because some people, unfortunately, lost their means of livelihood. Furthermore, some people had their employer left without a choice but to force their workers to take unpaid leave for an indefinite period. On the other hand, some workers are lucky enough to be working remotely from home, and some have kept their jobs in essential businesses. Consumers may find themselves living in unpredictable times, considering these various situations exhibiting the severe impacts of the global healthcare crisis.
Nevertheless, consumers can view the coronavirus crisis as having a silver lining. Moments in isolation during the quarantine period and remaining at home for several weeks may be challenging. But people can maximise these moments by looking at them as an opportunity to improve their financial situations. Expert advice on consumer finance abounds, and people can utilise their free time away from work to learn some effective budgeting and saving tips. This activity can help people discover how they can become financially savvy and capable of making smart decisions with their hard-earned money.
COVID-19 & Personal Financial Positions: Sources of Consumer Stress
Consumer intelligence and data analytics firm J.D. Power recently conducted a survey, discovering how Australians feel amid the coronavirus crisis. The researchers from the American think tank conducted the poll between April 28 and May 13, 2020. Moreover, over 1,400 Australian nationals served as their survey participants. The J.D. Power researchers found out in their Banking Industry Insight study that the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in great alarm among the Australian consumers. The people have reportedly felt the massive financial pressure, as indicated by 77 per cent of the poll respondents.
The results of the J.D. Power survey also indicated that 72 per cent of the participants confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their finances adversely. The Australian consumers have manifested sleeplessness and feeling anxious or worried most of the time as well. Almost a quarter, or 24 per cent of the survey participants, affirmed feeling extremely pressured about their finances. Researchers from J.D. Power concluded that the short and long-term repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on individual finances had become a top concern among plenty of Australian consumers.
6 Tips Aiding Consumers’ Financial Wellness amid COVID-19 Crisis
The coronavirus healthcare crisis has, indeed, delivered a full impact on people’s physical and financial wellness. Plenty of families are left wondering how they are going to manage financially post-COVID-19. However, consumers do not have to worry because, when it comes to their finances, there are numerous ways on how they can make their lives a little bit easier. The following six insightful ideas can assist today’s consumers. These pieces of advice about budgeting and saving money during the pandemic can aid the people in putting themselves on the avenue towards a better financial position. It is because discovering and studying these tips enable the achievement of less stressful tomorrow:
1. Automate one’s monthly banking and financial activities.
Budgeting and saving a consumer’s hard-earned money is more workable if he gets his monthly banking activities automated. This advantageous solution allows him to perform all his bills payment duties at home. Plus, it simplifies his life. Some of the bills that a consumer can enrol on auto-pay are rent or home mortgage; utilities, including gas, electricity, and water; Internet and cable TV; cellphone; and insurance. Also, he can automate his credit card statements, sinking funds, charitable donations, and recurring monthly subscriptions like streaming applications and gym membership. With automated payments, a consumer does not have to worry about paying late charges and missing the due dates of his bills. In this way, he can achieve his financial plans and save more of his precious time.
2. Purchase the items that are the most important for one’s home.
Self-isolation may leave a consumer and his family dreading the experience of being stuck at home for two weeks. Nevertheless, making a list of the essential products one needs and availing of them only can aid a consumer and his family in feeling at ease amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They can keep financial worries at bay because buying only the necessary items facilitates budgeting and saving money. Plus, it eliminates food wastage.
3. Re-evaluate the family budget and eliminate unnecessary payables.
As a consumer spends his time with his family quarantining in their residential property for an extended period, he can utilise this isolation time to re-assess his family’s budget. The consumer should make sure that his family possesses sufficient money accessible during emergency times. This funding should be able to cover three to six months of the family’s essential outlays. Furthermore, a consumer can use the quarantine period to slash unnecessary spending. These measures enable families to remain solvent and capable of moving forward without the burdens of inconvenient debts.
4. Search for employment opportunities that can augment one’s salary.
People who are in isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic can use their free time searching for side jobs. Getting part-time employment, including those that permit working online from home, can improve a person’s financial stability. Furthermore, this means of livelihood facilitate budgeting and saving money, supplementing the people’s income.
5. Cancel one’s monthly subscription to unnecessary services.
As a consumer undergoes self-quarantine, he can review his monthly spending and identify the irrelevant subscription services. Families nowadays have gone digital. Instead of the typical cable TV services, they spend their time entertaining themselves via music and digital video streaming applications. Thus, by availing of relevant services only, the ideal activities of budgeting and saving money can be within a consumer’s reach.
6. Invest in oneself via self-studying finance, investing, and economics.
The quarantine period can be the perfect time for a consumer to learn about the fundamentals of finance, economics, and investing. If he is a professional, he can further augment his knowledge, considering that the Internet offers an astonishing world of blogs, vlogs, e-books, and other financially educational resources. A consumer can utilise this wealth of online references, aside from the printed ones, while awaiting the coronavirus restrictions to get lifted. He will not only learn more about the elementary concepts of budgeting and saving money, but also discover more about how to secure himself and his family financially for the long haul.
The coronavirus pandemic may have, indeed, caused a lot of trepidation to the people. Also, uncertain times can be difficult for the majority because unemployment and underemployment naturally lead to people’s financial instability. Nevertheless, learning about budgeting and saving money is an auspicious beginning towards surviving crisis like COVID-19. People will be able to comprehend their financial positions better. Above all, by receiving these educational insights, they will realise the significance of being smart financially. After all, money is, indeed, an essential element that people can never write off in their lives, whether the circumstances are positive or negative.