Stuck at home? You’re not alone, because millions of other Australians and people around the world are doing their part to lessen the effects of COVID-19 by sticking to home as much as possible.
It doesn’t have to be a bore though! In fact, it could be a great time to treat yourself, to relax, or to keep up your connections with friends, family and partners however you can.
But if you’re in the mood to learn something new, or build up your existing money know-how, we’ve got a few ideas for you.
So given that finances are (understandably) on a lot of people’s minds right now, we’ve pulled together a list of financial areas you might be interested in improving and a few free tools and resources to help you on your way.
1. Set up a budget
Where to start: ASIC’s MoneySmart
What’s included: Free guides and tips
If budgeting is an area you’ve neglected or put off in the past, there’s no time like the present to add some structure to your finances by setting up a budget, especially if your financial situation has recently changed.
Setting up a budget is not as daunting (or sleep-inducing) as it sounds, and it really can give you that peace of mind that comes with a better overview of your financial position.
So where’s a great place to learn all about budgeting? MoneySmart - the website created by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) to educate Australians about all things finance.
MoneySmart has an excellent guide on how to do a budget which outlines the steps you should take to set one up, the expenses you need to include and tips to help you stay within your budget limits. There are also budget planning and spend tracking tools to make use of.
Speaking of tools, if you’ve just set up a new budget and you’re looking for a handy way to keep yourself on track, check out our article on the seven budget and savings apps every Aussie needs.
2. Start a serious savings plan
Where to start: Mozo
What’s included: Free guides, tips and the latest rates
What goes hand in hand with a budget? A serious savings plan. Don’t worry if you need a bit more know-how before starting your own savings plan though, because we’ve got a couple of guides to get you started.
Before we dive in, you might be wondering why you’d want to set one up in the first place. When you’re largely confined to home as most of us are at the present, it can be easy to lose sight of your longer term goals - especially in a time of uncertainty.
But whether it’s a short holiday when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, or building towards a deposit towards a home, there are plenty of goals worth continuing to work towards… which is where a savings plan to achieve them comes in.
Mozo’s guide on Setting up a Savings Plan is a great resource to get the ball rolling, and if financial security is on your mind then our essential guide to building an emergency savings fund should also be up there on your to-read list.
Once you’ve identified your goals and set up a plan to achieve them, you’ll probably also be interested in a place to grow your savings.
“But is a savings account or term deposit better?” It’s a common question, and while there’s no single ‘best’ solution, our guide on term deposits vs savings accounts can help you weigh up the benefits and drawbacks to each.
For more information on both, check out our respective term deposit and savings account comparison hubs for the latest interest rates, news and a range of other useful guides.