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15 June, 2020

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The Coronavirus Supplement will be paid automatically up until the 24 September 2020.

Is the extra $550 per fortnight from the Coronavirus Supplement giving you a little bit of extra wiggle room in your budget?

If it is, it might be a great time to get ahead on your essential living expenses.

Essential living expenses don’t go away. As long as you keep lighting your gas stove, switching on your kettle and turning on your shower, these costs will continue to incur.

Electricity, gas and water have usage costs. Each time you receive a water, electricity or gas bill, the bill will tell you how much you have used in the last 3 months. Keep in mind that we are heading into winter, so your usage costs may increase.

If you contact your utility provider, they may be able to provide you with your fortnightly usage cost ($) (e.g. the amount of electricity, gas or water you use within a fortnight).

From a budgeting point of view, many people set up fortnightly payment arrangements to cover the ongoing cost of their utility bills. By setting up fortnightly payment arrangements, this can help to reduce the effect of what we call “bill shock” – the large unpleasant bill you receive every 3 months that leaves you scrambling for money.

If you know the average fortnightly cost of your electricity, gas and water and you have a bit of extra wiggle room in your budget, it might be worthwhile putting a few extra dollars per fortnight on top of your usage costs, towards these expenses. The extra contribution per fortnight may help to offset the effect that September may have on your financial situation.

For more information about the energy market, energy efficiency, contracts, bills and prices see the attached link to Energy Made Easy.

By Sam

More From 'News Articles'

Pay Day Loans during a Pandemic

Unscrupulous Pay Day Lenders have been caught out using the current global pandemic to market their products.

With many Australian’s facing ongoing financial uncertainty, some day pay day lenders have come to the party offering quick, short term loans to ease the financial stress brought on by COVID-19.

As a financial counsellor, this makes my skin crawl.

Along with paying back the original amount, pay day lenders also charge high interest rates, lender’s fees, defer payment fees, default fees, etc.

Within my role, I have seen pay day loans snowball into more than triple the amount originally borrowed.

If you are struggling financially and you need funds to pay for an expense, there are alternative options available.

Other options include:

- [NILS (No Interest Loan)](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/no-interest-loans-scheme-nils)

- [Speckle Loan](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/speckle-loans)

- [Step Up Loan](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/stepup-loan)

- [Household Relief Loan](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/household-relief)

If you are struggling to afford essential living expenses, it may also be worthwhile booking an appointment with a financial counselor to discuss your options. To book a free appointment, call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 359 or search for [Financial Counselling](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/financial-counselling-services) at the Affordable SA website.

For more information about how pay day lenders are targeting vulnerable Australians, see the attached article from ABC news.

By [Sam](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/team/sam)

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