Healthy Finances During COVID-19

Healthy finances during COVID-19

During this stressful time of COVID-19, some people have households where a family member or loved one has been stood down or lost their income.  

Making financial decisions during such a stressful time can be overwhelming.  With so much uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic over the short and long term it’s natural to have some financial concerns. There’s support and services available to help you and your family put your finances in order.

    Opportunities during COVID-19 to maintain healthy finances

    • Connect

      • Reach out for assistance if COVID-19 has affected you income.  Should you or your family be experiencing worries about your financial situation, it is important to care for yourself and your family and there is help available. 
      • Subscribe for tips and resources from the Money Smart newsletter to find out information on how best to manage your finances .
      • Check what government payments, assistance and information is available through Services Australia and Centrelink.
    • Organise

      • Determine if you are eligible for any government assistance via Services Australia.
      • It is possible to request mortgage or rent relief during financial hardship (to assist you in applying for rent relief a template letter provided by the Department of Fair Trading NSW is available for you to utilise).
      • Look at ways that you may be able to reduce your spending and this may include:
        • Planning meals in advance and only purchase ingredients that are required or utilise what is in your pantry.
        • Buying generic or home brands when you can.
        • Sourcing fruits and vegetables that are in season or on sale.
        • Request financial hardship for bills. Contact your supplier and explain your situation and tell them you would like to apply for financial hardship.
      • Ask for payment deferrals or plans. Many organisations are willing to assist you. The National Debt Helpline explains how to negotiate payment terms.
      • Further information from the South Australian Government is available in regard to financial support for individuals.
    • Venture

      • Trial a new budget online or on a spreadsheet.
      • For general information on making financial decisions look at the Money Smart web page which has information how to deal with cancellations and refunds, how to protect yourself from scams, how to access your super and other topics.
    • Improve

      • Look for ways in which you can improve your finances.
      • Should you need the help of a Financial Counsellor, Money Smart has information on how to access their assistance
      • To know how best to move forward with financial planning first create or update your budget. Money Smart free has templates to help you plan your budget.
      • Once you have your budget you may find that there are items that are not essential during this time such as subscriptions or memberships. You may like to defer these for a while.
    • Do

      • Watch out for scammers. During this time there are scammers trying to exploit Australian’s financially impacted by COVID-19.
      • You may find that you have previously made plans for a holiday or a large purchase which now is no longer suitable during these unusual times. To check your rights in regard to cancellations in relation to COVID-19, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has information.
      • If you are feeling overwhelmed by money issues call the free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 Monday to Friday 9.30 to 16.30 
      • Reach out to charities for assistance such as Salvation Army 13 72 58 or St Vincent de Paul Society 13 18 12 or other local community or church organisations. For a list of available emergency relief services see the Department of Social Services Grants Service Directory.

    Healthy finances resources

    Further information

    Please contact the University’s Workplace Wellbeing Specialist (HR Branch), Ronda Bain