We’re just a few months into 2020 and, well, it most definitely feels like a lot longer. There’s a long list of uncertainties in the air around the world, and it’s safe to say finances are close to the top.
In this economic climate full of question marks, we thought it would be useful to put some financial tips together that may help you wade through the dense tar pit that 2020 is shaping up to be.
And as a precursor to the tips, should you or someone you know have lost employment as a result of Coronavirus, it may be useful to know there are quite a few companies who really need staff at the moment such as Coles and Woolworths, Serco, Telstra and more.
1. Track your spending, then create a budget
Now, more than ever, living frugally is important, and budgeting is the key element to being frugal.
And while it’s a bit difficult to just write down what you expect to spend on certain things, due to fluctuating costs (expenses), you can look at the last three to six months of what you spent your money on and calculate the monthly average for each expense.
Plus, when reviewing your spend history, break each item into ‘necessary’ and ‘unnecessary’ categories. When you lay out all of the unnecessary purchases you make in black and white, you might be surprised just how much you’re spending on things you don’t need. Having this in the back of your mind might help you reconsider unnecessary purchases moving forward.
2. Put as much money away as you can
Chances are you’ve had activities and events cancelled - your kids’ extracurricular activities, AFL/NRL games, concerts… the list goes on. Instead of looking at these as just ‘missed events’, put the money that you would have spent on them into a term deposit that delivers a good interest rate. That way, while it’s a bummer the Hanson reunion tour you’d been waiting a decade for has been postponed indefinitely, you can profit a bit from the money you were going to spend on the ticket!
3. Don’t go overboard with food deliveries
We’re ALL for supporting local restaurants to help them keep their doors open through all this. But for finances’ sake, make it a once- or twice-a-week thing. Preparing and cooking food yourself is much more cost-effective, and you can make an extra portion and have it for lunch the next day.
When heading out to the local shops to buy ingredients/groceries, always remember to keep your distance and wash your hands and face thoroughly when you get home.
4. Minimise bills where possible
If you can, lower your mobile/internet plan and consider cancelling one or more of your TV subscriptions (being stuck at home means you pretty much have to keep one, at least!). And because you’re spending a bit more time at home, you’ll probably see a spike in electricity, gas and water usage - you can help combat this by being mindful of things like turning off lights when you leave a room, reducing non-essential screen time to a minimum, and wrapping up in a blanket instead of pumping a heater all day.
5. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help
Mostly everyone’s in the same boat right now so if you find yourself in a bit of a pinch financially, reach out to your landlord/mortgage lender/credit card company/utilities provider/phone company. While it may take a little while to get through to someone, when you do they may well be able to work with you and work something out.
Speak with us if you need assistance
Our lending partners are working with existing customers to get through these difficult times - please find a list of lenders here which also includes contact information and support information where provided.
We are of course also here to provide you with any information you might need - get in touch with Stratton Finance now on 1300 787 288. Our friendly team is available for existing and new customers alike, and will work with you to get the best car finance deal to suit you.