5 money saving tips to help you survive a COVID-19 second wave

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warns that a second wave of coronavirus in Australia would come at a $25 billion cost to the economy.

Federal Finance Minister Matthias Cormann has worse news, saying a second wave of COVID-19 could cost the Australian economy $80 billion over the next two years.

The revelation came amidst a global share market sell down at the end of the week, dampening recent optimism for a quick economic recovery.
The sell down came due to fears of a second wave, with cases and deaths rising in the US and an anti-racism protestor testing positive in Melbourne.
The OECD noted that the high level of debt carried by Australians, could create “debt-servicing problems” if a second wave of COVID-19 occurs.

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The OECD has suggested policies such as JobKeeper and interest rate cuts be extended beyond the September end date to help limit the financial damage.

The problem is the government looks unlikely to announce any extensions to stimulus packages, so what can you do to help yourself?

Here are five tips to surviving a second wave.

1. Draw down you debt … if you can

The best way to survive a pandemic, is to come out of it with less debt than you went in.

If you have been able to secure payment holidays from any of your credit or loan providers, then it is time to capitalise. Use the extra money to pay down any existing debt. And, with extra money in your pocket, you should be able to stop creating debt.

2. Create a budget

By creating a budget, you’ll be able to monitor your incomings versus your outgoings and understand what your essential expenditure is compared to what you want to spend your money on.

Use the InfoChoice Budget Planner to work out your monthly income and what that income is spent on including transport, loans, mortgage, insurances and taxes.

Write down all of your expenses. They may include necessary expenses such as food and bills, as well as lifestyle expenses such as takeaway and streaming services.
Once you understand your expenses, it’s easier to save for your next holiday, car or even a new home because you should have money left over at the end of your budgeting period.

If you don’t have any money left, or find you are in debt, rethink your budget – you are overspending.

3. Ditch what isn’t necessary

Do you really need three streaming accounts and both Apple Music or Spotify?

The answer is no.

Pick your favourite one. The one that has your favourite TV shows and movies or documentaries. Once you’ve dismissed a streaming service, have a look at how many times you’ve eaten takeaway during COVID-19. Is it three times a week, four or just once? If it’s just once a week, you are doing pretty well, but you may want to make it once a month instead. If it’s three or four times a week, cut it out. Not only is it bad for your wallet, it’s probably bad for your health.

4. Find a money saving app to guide you

There are several free apps available to help you budget and save.

  • MoneyBrilliant can connect bank accounts, credit cards, loans, superannuation and more. You are able to use Insurance Tracking and Bill Watch for things like electricity and gas bills. For a fee it can also track your tax deductible expenses.
  • Frollo also connects your bank, investment and even overseas accounts and allows you to set up daily, weekly and monthly challenges to achieve your financial goals.
  • Pocketbook is one of the best of the budgeting apps and again allows you to sync your bank accounts to immediately track your expenses. It will also automatically categorise them. Set up spend limits and reminders for upcoming bills to make sure you always stay on top of your finances.

Other apps to consider include:

  • Spendee
  • MoneyTree
  • ATO

Pay your bills on time and never miss a payment

One of the best things you can do for yourself is set up direct debits for all your bills. By paying your bills on time, not only will you avoid late fees, but you will also improve your credit score which could set you up to get the best loan at the best interest rate. And that will save you a huge amount of money.

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This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information.

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