Australians rush to bolster savings accounts as a third of all workers lose income
Households around the nation are tightening their purse strings as expected falls in the economy prompt many families to save for a rainy day.
A third of all Australians have been negatively impacted from COVID-19, with almost half expecting the virus to wreak havoc on family budgets in the months to come.
ME Bank's COVID-19 Financial Sentiment Snapshot, commissioned this week, found 33 per cent of Australians surveyed said their income had decreased as a result of COVID-19.
Of the remaining responders 56 per cent said their income had remained the same while 11 per cent said their income had actually increased.
Worryingly, many Australians said it was the future of their finances that urged them to take caution with spending as 44 per cent surveyed expected the crisis to have a negative effect on their household's finances in the long term.
ME Money Expert Matthew Read told 9News.com.au the one financial upside of the crisis is that now is the perfect time to hone your family budget.
"Many households tend to put money aside as soon as they feel financially uncertain," said Mr Read.
"Having a financial buffer is a good idea as it provides peace of mind when it comes to paying bills, essentials, rent or a home loan.
"One saving grace of staying at home is that we're spending less on activities such as going out to dinner or taking holidays. For some, the lockdown is forcing us to save."
Interestingly, 45 per cent of responders who identified as baby boomers (born 1944 to 1964) said they were worried about the long term impacts the coronavirus would have on their superannuation.
Of the Aussies who experienced a decrease in income as a result of the virus, 72 per cent said they were cutting out unnecessary expenses to get by, while 29 per cent were seeking government assistance.
Mr Read told 9News that a thorough sharpening of the family budget will set up many Australians to establish a new "baseline" of their living costs.
"If you have a little extra time on your hands at home, take advantage of it and review your finances and personal budget," said Mr Read.
"It pays to focus on what you can control and taking stock of where your money is going now, may really help your financial wellbeing in the future."
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