How mum saved $10,000 when pandemic hit
Stashing cash has become easier for many Australians during the pandemic as the ability to spend has been diminished.
Despite millions of Australians being hit hard there's been a large cohort of people who have a stable income coming in and have been able to tuck away more money during the crisis.
Latest Australia Bureau of Statistics data showed Australians are saving about $20 of every $100 earned - this is more than triple at the start of the year when they were saving just $6.
This is the highest savings rate since June 1974.
But new analysis from financial services firm Canstar has crunched the numbers for Australians working from home five days a week and found they could be saving up to $425 or $5100 a year.
This includes cutting expenses such as daily coffees at $4 each, buying lunch at $15 daily, average daily transport costs at $8.20.
Instead they are being substituted with electricity charges at $0.37 a day and making coffees and lunches at home at about $5.80 a day.
The site's spokeswoman Effie Zahos says a lot of people have experienced "a little pay rise" while working from home and says any excess cash should be put to good use.
"If you have got high interest debt that's the best place to start knocking this down," she says.
"Credit cards, personal loans and car loans are not at rock-bottom rates.
"Then work out if you have a goal you're saving for.
"Do you have an emergency fund stashed away, but remember putting your money in your bank account will be lucky to get you an interest rate of two per cent."
Single mother Natalie Troup, 34, who works as a casual nurse was just coming off maternity leave in March when COVID-19 hit.
She said she had no savings but since returning to work she has managed to bunker down and build up a financial buffer.
"I really freaked out in March but I've managed to turn things around and save $10,000," Troup says.
"Childcare was free for three months so I saved about $1000 a month there and I just kept putting money away."
Troup had a car loan of $4000 which she initially deferred before paying it off and she was also receiving the $550 fortnightly coronavirus supplement which she saved.
Cooking at home more, using her car less and her ability to make homemade masks and sell them was a good little money spinner on the side.
New data from creditsmart.org.au shows about 72 per cent of Australians have made changes to their financial habits during the pandemic.
The site's spokeswoman Geri Cremin says of those who suffered an income reduction "49 per cent were likely to make the biggest changes".
"The economic impact of COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for everyone and we've really seen Australians make positive changes that will set them up not just now, but in the future," she says.
"Many say they will continue to budget more closely and avoid overspending on non-essential items."
GOOD MONEY HABITS TO ADOPT
• Cutting back on incidentals such as coffees, lunches and dinners out.
• Reducing transport costs including catching public transport or driving.
• Paying off debts including credit cards and personal loans.
• Setting up a separate savings account.
• Tucking away cash each week and not touching it.
• Building up an emergency fund.
Originally published as How mum saved $10,000 when pandemic hit