Brisbane based financial adviser, Cara Williams, and Rebecca Maher, Managing Director and Co-Founder of MoneyHappy, offer budgeting tips that can help prevent financial stress.

Create a monthly budget

Rebecca: During a downturn you need to be 100 per cent across your finances and have a monthly budget. You need total clarity on your cost of living. There are two good reasons to get across your finances now:

  1. You've got time, which makes it easier.
  2. Extra motivation. You want to alleviate as much stress as possible from your current situation.

Review your expenses

Cara: This downturn is a great time for everyone to review their budget: cash flow, income, expenses going out.

Look at everything and see what you can change or cut back on.

Many people are staying home, and while streaming services are great, is there something else you can do that doesn't cost anything and save you some money?

Childcare relief

Rebecca: For many families, childcare is another big household expense. 

Check what you could get - Services Australia 

Try to boost your savings

Cara: One of the benefits of working from home is that you spend less on petrol, commuting, clothes, coffee and food.

What you’re not spending at the moment will add up and can be put into savings.

Reduce your bills

Cara: Call all your utility providers and insurers and see if they’re offering payment relief. Find out what you can put on hold or defer.

Swap luxe for less

Switch to generic brand groceries and pharmacy items. Try brands you don’t usually buy to save money wherever you can.

Don’t put your head in the sand

Rebecca: Avoiding making decisions and letting things pile up is the worst thing you can do. Put an emergency plan together and get advice.

Seek expert advice

Cara: If you don’t feel well, you see a doctor. If something needs fixing, you call a tradesperson. Having a financial adviser is important when everything's going well – but especially during a downturn. We’re like a doctor for your finances. We can help you through this.

Find an Adviser to help you manage your money during a downturn