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29th April, 2020

7 money saving ideas during COVID-19 lockdown and beyond

The way we’re spending our money in lockdown has changed, and business owners need to be particularly aware of their spending habits at a time like this. Here are seven ways you could look to save some coin in lockdown.

More people have either elected to work from home or had to make arrangements to do so.

On the other hand, you have the opportunity to save considerable amounts of money. Staying home instead of eating out, catching transport into work, sporting events and attending conferences.

Unfortunately, the cost of living does not decrease. Why not use some of that spare time you’ve accumulated from not having to commute to work?

  • Review your auto-renewal bills and subscriptions
  • Revisit your utility, internet & mobile plans
  • Ring round and get quotes for all your insurances
  • Review or start a budget
  • Contact your bank to take advantage of interest holiday options
  • Shop around to reduce financial obligations ie loans, credit cards
  • Enrol for COVID-19 stimulus on offer to September 2020

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1. Review bills and subscriptions

Post COVID-19 and beyond, money is going to be tight. Take the time now to login and review all your subscriptions.

Do you really need Google Play Music, iTunes and Spotify? Click into your iCloud and Google settings, and review anything you no longer need. Then turn off the option to auto-renew.

You might be surprised at the hundreds of dollars per year you will save from this one exercise.

2. Revisit utilities like electricity and internet usage

It takes time and effort to wait on the phone and ring up different suppliers. But, you’re working from home and sitting at your desk anyway, if you’re put on hold, who cares?

Ring around and compare what’s available. You might be surprised how much this activity will save you a year.

3. Ring around for quotes on insurance

If you are like me with trauma, life, health, car, business, home, investment properties and more than this is going to mean thousands of dollars in savings for you and your business.

It’s a no brainer; get on that phone and put more money in your bank account today.

4. Review or start a budget

With all the changes to our lives, never has there been a more important time to review or begin a household and a business budget.

Your household spending mindset will flow into how you spend money in your business. That’s why you need to set up two distinct budgets as a holistic approach to your spending habits.

If sitting down with Excel or using a piece of paper is not going to happen, there are a range of excellent phone apps that can help you.

For personal household budgets, try the free downloadable smartphone app from the Australian Taxation Office ATO app.

You should already be using an accounting product and of course MYOB has that covered with their AccountRight or Essentials. If you’re not using their budget forecasts, now’s the time to do so.

5. Interest holidays

We’re hearing the words “interest holidays”relating to mortgage repayments in the news.

While the big four banks do have options for you to take to “pause” your interest repayments while cash flow is tight, it’s not a holiday from paying your interest.

Make certain you fully understand what the terms and conditions are, before you press the “pause” button.

6. Bank shopping

Now’s the perfect time to investigate what you are being charged in interest, bank account fees and annual fees. Once you compile what you are currently being charged, start ringing around.

Once you’ve educated yourself, call your bank to have a discussion requesting they match or better what their competitors are offering.

7. Government stimulus

JobSeeker, JobKeeper and Coronavirus lump sum payments federally and state-by-state are available. It’s important that you research which ones apply to you personally and your business to assist your cash flow at this time.

Now you have some direction, it’s time to start putting your own cost-saving plans in place, as this will help ease the pain of any business or economic headwinds you’ll face throughout the year. It will also put you in a better position to have frank discussions with your accountant and any other business advisors in the lead up to end of financial year.

 

This advice is general in nature and is not intended as personal financial advice. MYOB advises seeking an accredited accountant or other relevant advisor before making significant business decisions.