State and federal governments and health authorities around Australia are ramping up their responses to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. With increasing limits on the size of gatherings, challenges with travel and many people implementing social-distancing practices, small and medium-sized businesses around the country are beginning to feel the pinch – and many of these businesses employ a large proportion of part-time and casual workers – precisely those that are most vulnerable to changes in economic activity over which they have no control.
And that comes on the back of extended drought conditions and the recent devastating bushfire season, which already has many Australians struggling to make ends meet, particularly in rural and regional locations.
In the meantime, wages have continued to stagnate while the cost of living pressures has continued to increase.
The Federal Government has announced a stimulus package, which includes one-off payments and access to some benefits for people in this situation, but is it enough to cover the full range of family financial requirements for casual and part-time employees at risk of fewer hours or losing their employment altogether, or for the small business owners that employ them?
A recent report in the Herald Sun identified that, as panic hits the Australian and international economies, many Australians have very little, if any, headroom when it comes to cash savings. It quotes a survey undertaken by St George Bank which shows that one-fifth of Australians have less than $500 cash savings – barely enough to cover a fortnight’s groceries for a normal family – and that about half of all Australians have less than $3,000 in cash savings.
With the evolving situation seeing many Australians engage in panic buying of essential items, a large number of Australians are now dipping into whatever meagre savings they have in order to prepare for all eventualities.
In principle, financial experts will advise that, however meagre your income, putting a bit aside, no matter how little, in case of emergency, is a practice that everyone should engage in, regardless of their personal financial circumstances.
Of course, for many people, even if they have had a little bit of savings stashed away, if they have lost regular work and spent a bit more than they would normally in order to prepare for potential isolation because of the coronavirus, those savings have probably dwindled to nothing.
Having access to a small amount, short term loans which can be accessed quickly with minimal paperwork is important for many of the most financially vulnerable Australians. While everyone wants a bit of cash put away for an emergency and no one really wants to rely on debt to get them through tough times, the reality is that bills keep coming in, families have to be fed and clothed and the basics have to be covered.
The Federal Government’s financial stimulus, including $750 payments for those on benefits, is likely to provide a good buffer for many. However, it won’t go far. If you’re in a tight spot and need a quick cash injection to help you to weather the immediate impacts of the current economic environment, it may well be worth considering a short term cash loan from a reputable provider such as Spondooli.