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Life has changed…

4th February, 2022

When Covid-19 hit two years ago, most of us thought it would take a couple of months to be brought under control and life would return to normal. We never thought it would turn into a global pandemic that would permanently change the way we live.

It’s a dog’s life

It seems one clear winner out of the pandemic has been dogs! Whether out of boredom, loneliness, or lockdown just seemed like a good time to get a puppy, there’s been a big increase in dog ownership over the last couple of years.…. this does add costs to your budget. 

If you’ve welcomed a new fury family member recently, consider not only budgeting for food and ongoing care and protection, but either taking out pet insurance to cover unforeseen vet bills or creating your own emergency pet fund so your new best mate doesn’t become a financial burden down the track.

Car sales

Where did the plate clearances go? This year, due to a global shortage of vehicles, it’s a lot harder to get a big discount on ‘last year’s model’, and the resale value is unlikely to increase just because you paid full price. Stiff competition means you may also have to compromise on the vehicle if you really want a new car now. 

If you are in the market for a new car, consider whether it’s worth waiting a bit longer until supply catches up with demand and there’s more room for negotiating on price and extras. On the flip side, if you are selling a car, the value of second hand cars are at record highs, so it could be a good time to cash in.

Scams

Since the start of the pandemic, Scamwatch has received 6,415 reports of COVID-19 related scams, with losses totalling more than $9,800,000. Scammers have been busy phishing for personal information, offering you fake online shopping experiences, and trying to get their hands on your superannuation. We are spending a lot more time online and scammers are hoping to catch you with your guard down.

There’s been a significant increase in covid-related phishing activity where people have received emails and text messages claiming to be Government departments, urging the recipient to get tested or find out about new restrictions. The messages contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal your personal and financial information. Similar emails and texts have surfaced that claim to be from a bank or insurer, containing covid-related messaging trying to get you to click on a link.

Be suspicious of all communications. Don’t click on links in emails and texts unless you are 100% sure of who the sender is. If you need to visit a website, navigate there yourself. If you have been scammed or have seen a scam, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website, and find more information about where to get help.

Adjust our thinking

These are just a few examples of how the pandemic has shaken up many aspects of our lives and status quos we took for granted may no longer apply. So before you make any major financial decisions, ask yourself “How has the pandemic changed this?”, “Will it change back?”, “Do I need to adjust my assumptions and expectations?”, and consider talking to an expert.


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