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Coronavirus: One In Five Unprepared With Their Finances

There has been a recent surge in diagnosed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) around the world and while New Zealand managed to avoid the virus for some time there are currently 8 confirmed cases. As a result, measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus but are New Zealanders financially prepared for this disruption?

Research by Finder reveals that 69% of Kiwis are already stressed about their financial situation. One in five (20%) could only last one week or less on their savings if they lost their job tomorrow.

Please see below for more stats and tips on how Kiwis can prepare their finances during this time.

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  • A recent survey by Finder of 2,250 New Zealanders found 20% of Kiwis could only last one week or less on their savings if they lost their job tomorrow, while only 5% could last for six to 12 months
  • 58% of Kiwis would have to look outside of their savings if they needed to borrow $500
  • Bill stress is already prevalent among New Zealanders, with rent (27%) and groceries (26%) some of the leading causes of financial strain.
  • Only a third (35%) of Kiwis are earning income from a side hustle. This means that two thirds are relying solely on their regular income.
  • The spread of COVID-19 means many people who work casually or in people-focused industries (e.g. events, travel) may lose money and work as a result of the virus.
  • Since the introduction of the new travel restrictions, arrivals to Auckland airport has seen arrivals have decreased from a usual 2,400 on Monday morning to around 1,000.

Kevin McHugh, Finder’s publisher in New Zealand shares his tips on how to prepare your finances.

  • “Building an emergency fund and making sure you have enough money to fall back on should be a priority in times of economic uncertainty.”
  • “Start cutting back on non-essential spend. Go through your bank statement and highlight any regular subscription payments. If you find you’re paying for stuff you don’t even use it’s time to unsubscribe.”
  • “Savings rates are low so it’s more important than ever to shop around for a better deal.”
  • “If you have debt, it’s time to get on top of it. Consider consolidating it into one payment such as a balance transfer card or personal loan.”
  • “If you’ve got unmanageable debt a balance transfer card can help you get on top of it as long as you pay it off in full during the zero interest period.”
  • “Refinancing is a surefire way to give yourself extra cash – the average mortgage holder can save hundreds of dollars every month.”

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