Many Australian families are suffering from financial stress in the aftermath of the Coronavirus crisis.
According to News.com.au, more than one million Australians are currently unemployed or looking for work.
Perhaps someone in your household has recently become unemployed or is enduring a drastically reduced workload; if so, the following ideas may be helpful to your family as you all cope with the resulting loss of income:
1. Redo Your Household Budget to Reduce Your Expenses
Renegotiate Your Rent, or Consider Moving House to a More Affordable Location
Australia’s borders have been closed to international visitors, which means that tourist traffic has mostly halted. As a result, many properties that were previously being rented via AirBNB have come back onto the long-term rental market. This has created pressure on landlords to offer lower monthly rents as they scramble to fill vacant properties and recover their lost income.
If you’re a renter, these circumstances could potentially work in your favour. It is possible that your landlord may be agreeable to lowering your monthly rent.
It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Even if the answer is no, you may be able to find a more affordable rental unit elsewhere if you shop around. Of course, this is a viable option if your current lease is a month-to-month agreement; if you’re locked into a long-term lease, you must obviously fulfil it before you can move house.
Reevaluate Monthly Subscriptions and Payments
Some monthly payments are well worth maintaining, but others drain your income unnecessarily. If your family has suffered an unexpected loss of income, it’s worth reviewing your monthly subscriptions and payments to see if any of them could be eliminated or reduced.
For example, you may be able to find a more affordable plan for mobile data.
If you’re enrolled in a private health fund, there might be a better value plan than the one you’re currently paying for; you could use the services available from the Compare Health Insurance website to discover a more affordable plan.
Plant a Vegetable Garden
If you have space on your property to plant vegetables, your family could grow some of your edibles to cut your grocery expenses.
2. Avoid Using Credit
It’s a mistake to think of credit cards as being a source of free money. The resulting interest payments turn out to be quite expensive if you don’t pay off the debt immediately. If you can’t afford to pay cash for something you want to buy, it’s probably better to avoid buying it.
3. Talk to Your Creditors
If you can’t afford to fully pay all of your bills, initiate an honest discussion with your creditors about the situation. Some of them may be willing to negotiate payment plans or make other arrangements to help you through this challenging time.
For example, The Canberra Times has reported that some energy providers are arranging payment plans for their customers who are experiencing financial hardships in the aftermath of the Coronavirus crisis.
4. Consider Looking for Work
If you’ve been a stay-at-home mum, no doubt you have excellent reasons for having made that decision. Only you can decide whether it’s the right time to return to work.
If you do decide to seek work, don’t let yourself get dispirited if you can’t find a job quickly.
With so many other experienced and talented Australians also being simultaneously unemployed, it’s a daunting time to job hunt.
5. Bring in Additional Income
Work isn’t your family’s only option for bringing in much-needed income. You can sell all kinds of things you own but no longer need – anything from a second car to outgrown clothing, your romance novel collection, your kids’ abandoned toys or other things your family no longer needs.
Here’s hoping these tips can help your family to make a financial comeback in the wake of COVID-19.
If you’ve already considered these suggestions and they aren’t helping, it might be beneficial to contact a financial advisor for additional advice tailored to your family’s unique situation.