Coronavirus prompts households to rethink money matters

Almost six out of 10 Australians are taking action on their personal finances as the coronavirus causes a rethink.

From checking superannuation to reviewing insurance or refinancing mortgages, millions of households are making money moves they had previously put off, research commissioned by News Corp Australia has found.

The exclusive data of almost 800 people from the Pulse of Australia/News Corp survey shows 31 per cent of households have lost income from employment, 23 per cent have lost income from investments and 35 per cent have been impacted by a higher cost of living.

If their financial situation worsens, 61 per cent would dip into savings, 44 per cent would seek government assistance, almost 20 per cent would sell household assets or investments, while 23 per cent would withdraw superannuation or seek a second job, the research found.

Checking personal finances is something many Australians ignore, but the coronavirus had prompted 59 per cent to act. Checking superannuation was the most common move (36 per cent), followed by reviewing mortgages and insurance and looking to refinance loans.

JBS Financial Strategists CEO Jenny Brown said many Australians now had extra time and had received a “huge wake-up call” from the pandemic.

“It’s a great opportunity to say ‘what do I have to do to make sure my finances are in order?’,” she said.

“It’s a bit like a New Year’s resolution, except it’s been forced on us.”

Ms Brown said a majority of people didn’t give their personal finances much thought until something prompted them into action – often a health or financial crisis among family or friends.

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