Money tips from Community First Credit Union

1. Draft an emergency budget

Take charge of your money by drawing up a budget. It will show how much cash is coming in, and where it’s going out. Better still, your emergency budget can highlight areas to cut back, and how much you can save by focusing on needs rather than wants.  

Make budgeting easy by heading to Community First’s online Budget Planner, and regain control of your cash.

2. Reach out before you fall behind

If you’re struggling to meet regular bills and loan commitments, take action early. Put your pride aside, and speak with creditors before you miss a repayment. Simply skipping bills and repayments could impact your personal credit rating.

Utility providers such as phone and power companies, will often work with you to agree on a manageable payment plan. This is where your budget comes in handy as it lets you take the lead and suggest payments you can realistically handle.

3.  Understand your home loan options

If keeping up your home loan repayments is proving to be a challenge, it’s important to talk to your lender.

If you’re ahead with your loan, you may be able to take a break from repayments. Where that’s not the case, you may be able to switch to interest only payments for a period (if you’re currently making principle and interest repayments). You may also be able to defer repayments for a time.  1 The main point is that you don’t have to stress in silence. Talk to your lender to understand your options.

4.  Emergency super withdrawals

If you’re strapped for cash, money sitting in super can look very tempting. The Federal Government is letting Australians experiencing financial stress dip into their super early.

Strict conditions apply. You need to be unemployed, or have been made redundant or experienced a 20% fall in income (or turnover if you’re self-employed) since 1 January 2020. 2 If that sounds like you, it’s possible to withdraw up to $10,000 from your super before 30 June, and if necessary, withdraw another $10,000 between 1 July and 30 September 2020.

The drawdowns aren’t taxed, and the cash won’t count towards Centrelink benefits. 2 But it is important to consider the impact on your retirement nest egg.

According to Industry Super Australia, drawing $20,000 out of your super today could mean having up to $120,000  less in super by the time you retire. 3

5.  Save on credit card interest

Interest rates may be at record lows but some credit cards are still charging close to 20% interest. 4 During uncertain times, you may be less likely to pay off the balance in full each month too, which means you’re paying interest. No matter what rate you’re paying, switching to a 0% balance transfer deal can see you pocket savings in card interest at a time when every dollar counts. Just be aware that any purchases you make on the credit card that you balance transfer to will attract a higher interest rate.

Talk to Community First about its latest balance transfer offer the Pink Visa, which helps fund McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses, or the Blue Visa, which supports the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. 

Above all, taking care of your health matters right now. But your financial wellbeing is important too.

 

The information contained in this article is only correct at the point of time of publication. It is general information and has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances, objectives or needs. Please consider if this information is right for you before making a decision to acquire any product.

Community First Credit Union Limited ABN 80 087 649 938 AFSL/Australian credit licence 231204.

[1] https://www.communityfirst.com.au/news/were-here-for-you

[2] https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Withdrawing-and-using-your-super/COVID-19-early-release-of-super/

[3] https://www.industrysuper.com/assets/FileDownloadCTA/200323-Accessing-super-should-be-a-last-resort.pdf

[4] https://www.ratecity.com.au/credit-cards/reward-programs

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