By Mim Jenkinson - @lovefrommim

For many Aussie families, the testing times we’re currently facing have rocked us to the core. When we’re confronted with a situation that affects our family’s financial stability, taking the time now to pause and think, before jumping into quick action, is what will keep us steady now and set ourselves up for a quicker recovery.

Rather than dive headfirst down the endless rabbit hole of “what if?” questions, instead, I recommend taking small, practical steps forward that will help us feel calm and proactive at the same time. When it comes to the financial decision we’re now faced with, here are my top tips for managing your budget in times of crisis:

  1. DON’T PANIC BUY! While most of us may be desperate to keep our pantry full and toilet paper stash stocked, by panic buying we are spending above our usual means and therefore, if unexpected bills/expenses come up it’s likely we won’t be prepared.
  2. Switch to home brand. Let’s be real, if you normally buy the premium shampoo, it’s time to switch to the basics. If we can’t leave the house there’s no point stressing about our looks! Same goes for perfume and makeup, your family see you at your worst so try to limit the products you’re using on a day to day basis and embrace the isolation.
  3. For essential items, utilise brands that are having sales (to support small business) or value retailers like Best&Less (my recommendation for both affordability and quality). Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean our kids stop growing! And more importantly, #winteriscoming.
  4. If possible, look for additional sources of income, whether that means taking on extra work or selling unwanted household items or clothing. Personally, I work as a freelance writer and blogger at @lovefrommin I also make additional money from my Instagram, but most recently I have written a book called “Less Wine, More Time”, available as a hard copy and e-book. In times like this, I’m hoping women will be inspired to take better care of themselves, and reading might be the outlet for them.
  5. Limit the use of cars and/or public transport if possible, walk to the grocery store, walk to your local pizza place for a pickup instead of paying for delivery, and walk your kids to school if that’s still your choice – every trip saved adds up in your bank account.