Keen to make more of your money right now? Here are our top tips for making your dollars go further in tougher times.
And don’t forget: our advice team is always here to help you work through ways to ease the squeeze.
Take a closer look at your expenses
This doesn’t mean stop enjoying the things that make life fun. It might mean finding cheaper alternatives. Are you paying more than you need to for energy, internet, or gym memberships you barely use?
The first step is to work out what your current expenses are, and decide which ones are fixed or flexible.
This handy budget calculator can help you start crunching numbers.
Reduce your bills
Finding new ways to reduce any flexible expenses can help you manage your cashflow in the short term.
Banks are often more flexible than you might think in helping customers facing a tough time.
Utilities providers, including energy and water, could also offer flexible payment plans or ‘bill smoothing’ (where you can pay in smaller instalments).
Schools may also offer to suspend or even waive fee payments on request.
Dip into cash savings
An excellent saver when your budget permits? Congrats on thinking ahead. You might be facing one of those rainy days you’ve planned for, when your savings really need to be used.
Keep track of how much you’re withdrawing so you can repay your savings when the cash starts flowing more freely.
Pick up extra/part time work
Semi or fully retired, but ready and able to use your skills again? Or working part time but have capacity to pick up a few more hours or set up a side hustle?
Sell unwanted items
Has your great aunt’s dining room setting been sitting in your garage for years?
Your trash could be someone else’s treasure. You can sell items at little or no cost to you on Ebay, Gumtree or social sites like Facebook.
Buy recycled or preloved – or buy later
Equally, someone else’s preloved goods could be just what you’re looking for – and often at a fraction of the cost of buying new.
Plus there’s the environmental good karma of contributing to a greener planet.
You could also think about holding off on a big purchase if you can get a little more life out of what you already have.
Access super early
Exhausted every other option for freeing up cash?
You may be able to access your super early if you’ve been financially impacted by coronavirus.
The government has introduced temporary changes to the conditions for accessing super, including how much you could withdraw. The Australian Tax Office decides who is eligible and manages the application process. Find out more here.
It’s really important to understand the short and long-term pros and cons of this option. Super is a long-term investment, so taking some out early will affect your balance now and potentially later.