Time to reassess your financial priorities?
Written on the 6 May 2020 by Arrow
At a time of uncertainty about the economy, not to mention unexpected social isolation, people are rethinking their personal and financial priorities.
Whether you are spending less by necessity or because you are living more simply at home, this could be a good time to reassess your spending and review your household budget.
Our spending habits have changed
What's more, many of us are discovering we can happily do without many of the treats we used to think were essential. So, if we can avoid slipping back into our old spending habits, we could be in a much better financial position when the pandemic has passed.
By doing some legwork to find the best deals on offer, it may be possible to reduce your outgoings on essentials such as utilities, groceries, petrol, general insurance and housing. However, the big savings usually come from eliminating or at least limiting non-essential goods and services.
Eating and drinking
Once we are able to go back to eating out and visiting pubs and bars we can fatten our wallets by reducing the number of times we eat out, inviting friends over for a coffee, beer or meal rather than meeting them at a café, pub or restaurant.
When it comes to cooking at home, where you purchase your food can have a big impact on your grocery bill. CHOICE found shopping at Aldi can be up to 50 per cent cheaper than other supermarkets.iii
We are also tending to do a larger shop less frequently. Meal planning and doing a shopping list is one way of avoiding the spontaneous purchases that lead to food wastage. Given that the average Australian household throws away $3,500 worth of food each year these are worthwhile changes that will help our hip pockets on an ongoing basis. iv
So maybe it's worth rethinking the expensive gym membership and keeping up our Corona exercise plans - particularly if you're one of the 1.5 million Australians who have a gym membership but rarely use it.v
Not only is holidaying locally likely to be less expensive, but it could also mean your dollars flow into one of the tourism-dependent regions which have been so badly hit by last summer's bushfires and now the Coronavirus shutdown.
Thinking to the future
Depending on your financial situation you may even wish to go against the trend and look for ways to get your money working for you. This could include making personal contributions to your superannuation after the recent market falls, or investing outside super, to capture the upswing when the market bounces back, as it always does.
If you would like to set some new financial priorities and discuss your situation, give us a call.