Not many people can say they’ve been unaffected by COVID-19. Whether you’ve lost work, had hours reduced or been fortunate to maintain employment, COVID has been a wake-up call for how we manage our money and set financial goals.
How are we managing?
Many of us are doing smart things such as:
- 29% are cancelling non-essential services
- 25% are reducing spending/expenses
- 42% are putting money aside for unforeseen events
But worryingly there’s been an increase in people relying on credit cards to pay for everyday expenses and taking out personal loans. And 23% of 18-35yr olds surveyed had also accessed some of their superannuation early.
How has it changed our goals?
For starters, more of us are actually setting goals than before COVID. It’s made us more determined to gain control of our money and be better prepared for whatever life throws our way. And the goals we’re aiming for now are all about paying down debt and saving.
Goals we’re mostly on track for:
- 73% have reduced spending/expenses
- 65% have paid off the mortgage
- 61% have paid off personal loan/credit card
- 60% have put extra money aside for retirement
However, the COVID curveball has meant we’ve had to do a bit of fine-tuning. We’re extending the timeframe it’ll take for us to reach our goal, or we’re abandoning it altogether if it no longer suits our situation.
- 43% have stopped saving for an investment property
- 40% are no longer saving for a big-ticket item like a holiday
- 35% postponed investing in the stock market
- 31% decided to put on hold saving for a house deposit
Goodbye holiday, hello rainy day
Pre-COVID, saving for a holiday was a priority goal for almost half of us. Whether it was an annual trip overseas or regular cheeky getaways, Aussies were big travellers. But with the world shut down and travel greatly restricted, we’re realigning that goal to something that makes us feel more secure – saving for a rainy day.
Because we’re more focused on saving, we’re watching our spending more closely too. Things we used to think we needed have been recategorised as nice-to-haves. And it’s not just the overhanging threat of job losses that have made us feel this way. Stay at home orders and have allowed us space to take stock and start appreciating the simple things in life once again. We’re valuing time with our family, a slower pace, and being debt free over buying things for the sake of it, or that we might not be able to afford.
Whatever your situation, now could be an ideal time to revisit your financial goals and decide if they’re still right for you. Contact the team at Sunlife to discuss your financial goals.