Aussies have shared some tough times during COVID-19 but the silver lining is that we’re talking more about money matters – and looking for ways to give our financial skills a lift.
New research from industry super fund owned bank – ME, shows that one in two of us are having more conversations about money than we used to.
In the survey conducted in June 2020, seven out of ten Australians put their increased money talk down to the economic impact of COVID-19. Around a quarter (26%) also said they feel the need to improve their financial knowledge, suggesting the pandemic has motivated us to become more aware of our personal finances.
All this talk about money is a good thing.
Money has traditionally been a taboo topic for many people. But the more we open up and talk about money, the easier it can be to work out a way forward to regain control of our finances. So even those really difficult conversations about money are worth having.
Savings tops the list of money topics
According to ME’s survey, ‘savings’ is the number one theme, accounting for a massive 68% of our money conversations. That’s followed closely by discussions about household spending (53%) and paying bills (51%).
Issues around welfare assistance such as JobKeeper or JobSeeker are also getting plenty of air time, accounting for around one in four money chats.
While we’re still reluctant to talk about money with just anyone, ME’s survey did reveal who Australians are opening up to on money matters. The top three include partners or significant others (62%), family members, such as parents or siblings (48%), and friends (35%).
Turning talk into action
The banter we’re sharing over money is great news. Even better, we’re turning talk into action.
More than half (52%) the Australians surveyed by ME said they have taken steps to improve their financial situation during COVID-19 by reducing household spending. One in three have set up a budget.
That matters because having control of your cash, and being able to access emergency savings, can make it a lot easier to handle a crisis. It may even be that we can come out of this pandemic with stronger personal finance skills, helping us bounce back sooner when things get back to normal.
Free resources to manage money
We could all use a little extra help when it comes to making the most of our money. Not surprisingly, 40% of Australians are heading online for ideas on how to manage their personal finances.
With more people on the lookout for simple but effective money tips, ME recently launched a special COVID-19 online learning module as part of its free Ed School of Money.
It’s designed especially for those who’ve had their finances negatively impacted by COVID-19, and it covers useful topics like budgeting and managing expenses. It only takes 15 minutes to complete, and it could be the best quarter-hour you can spend to get back on top of money matters. To get started, head to mebank.com.au/financialwellness.
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229500. 9500.