Be bold, be quick be strong...we will all get through this...
If you have lost your job, your business or even your sense of hope, you are not alone. This is one of the toughest times that our world will ever face. But it is so important right now that we stay calm, be proactive and learn to adapt to these temporary changes.
Here are 7 things you can do right now to help minimise your financial damage, build resilience and works towards a more prosperous future.
1. Use A Budget Template
If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to do one. Effective budget templates can help slash your expenses. If you subscribe to our newsletter, The Sugar Hit (check your junk mail), you will automatically get sent 3 different budget templates (each template tailored for specific financial circumstances) and a free eBook to help kick start your journey to financial freedom.
Set aside time to fill out these templates. This is where you should start adding up all your living expenses and then decide which areas to cut back on – leaving only the essentials.
2. Sell, Hustle, Swap/Exchange
Look around you and see what items you can sell. This includes everything from cars to mobile phones and fashion accessories to furniture. Get onto this as soon as possible as we will see an oversupply of things being sold in the second hand economy, which will make it slower and harder to sell your items. Start listing now.
For items that you can’t or are not ready to part with, consider renting/hiring them out.
Here are some places you can start listing items on:
Turn every stone over looking at how you can bring money in.
Did you know you can teach English virtually?
Also check the Government’s Smart Money website for unclaimed money, when I last did this, I discovered $800 in missing old refunds dating back 10 years ago.
And lastly, think; What items can you return that you recently purchased? Does anyone owe you any money? How much annual leave are you owed?
4. Pick up the phone
If you are worried about your upcoming mortgage repayments or rent, now is the time to get on the phone. Explain your situation, ask for more time, ask for a discount. Do this now before people’s resources start wearing thin. Also, if you have a small to medium size business, call your accountant and find out what government entitlements you will get from the special stimulus packages that have been released. I called my accountant and went through my business numbers and was surprised at how much will be refunded tax free to ensure I can keep employing staff.
5. Register for government help online
If you have lost your job due to the Coronavirus, you may be entitled to the Jobseeker or Youth Allowance payment. You will need to register online through your MyGov account. (Please do not visit your local Centrelink office in person). If the website crashes or is slow, you can actually select “intent to claim” and your payment will be backdated.
If your application is approved, you may be eligible to receive a supplement of $550 per fortnight on top of any other entitlements. This will be paid for up to 6 months from April the 27th. You may also qualify for a single $740 support payment which will be made this coming Tuesday.
6. Rethink – Reflourish
Use this time to think about your career path and what you want to do with your life. Sometimes these situations force us to finally make the decisions that we have been too scared to make. So perhaps you want to take a new course, go back to uni part time, change industries, move cities or even countries. Use this time to re-evaluate your life and plan for the future (when everything has settled).
If you happy with your existing job or chosen career, think about how you can make yourself even more valuable. What additional training or experience can you gain? Or what skills could you share and market to make them more scalable? For example, say you are a chef and you have lost your job, maybe you could teach people online how to make budget friendly healthy family meals? So often new businesses are born out of sudden adjustments.
7. Allow yourself to grow
We need to stop and listen to what we need to gain from this, so that we all come out of this stronger and wiser. Perhaps we need to choose to spend more wisely, perhaps we need to learn to show greater gratitude for our jobs and the time we have with our families and friends? Perhaps we are realising we need to take better care of our health? And of course our planet.
Challenges provide incredible growth and transformation if we allow it. So keep your ears, head and heart open.
We will come out the other side and we will come out so much more resilient than ever before. Trust me.
In the meantime, stay safe, stay well and stay at home.
Canna Campbell is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm. She is a Channel 9 Financial Commentator, founder of financial media platform SugarMamma.TV and best selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money.