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:
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 at the Affordable SA website.
For more information about how pay day lenders are targeting vulnerable Australians, see the attached article from ABC news.
Today, Wednesday 8th of July, is Math 2.0 Day.
Math 2.0 Day is a celebration of the blending of mathematics and technology. Think of calculators, cars, computer programs, airplanes, the self-serve check out at the supermarket …the list goes on.
As a financial counsellor, I use math every day - I have 2 calculators on my desk!
I use math when I complete a budget and when I analyze a person’s income and expenses. I use math when I go through statements, utility bills and when I work out affordable payment arrangements and hardship options. Math pops up everywhere during my day.
On this day, Math 2.0 Day, consider combining math and technology to help your financial situation.
On the Moneysmart website is an interactive Budget Planner where you can enter your income and expenses to create your own budget. By combining math and technology, the Budget Planner allows you to view your expenses annually, quarterly, monthly, fortnightly or weekly, to help you take the first steps towards getting on top of your finances.
To access the Moneysmart Budget Planner follow the attached link to the Moneysmart website.
At the end of April 2020, approximately 6.8 million Australians received the first COVID-19 Economic Support Payment of $750. On the 10 July 2020, approximately 5 million eligible Australians will receive the second COVID-19 Economic Support Payment of $750.
If you are one of the eligible Australians who is going to receive the $750 payment in July, have you decided how you are going to spend the money?
One way to think about it - what expenses do you have that have consequences if you do not pay?
- Credit commitments (e.g. mortgage, car loan, personal loan, credit card, etc.)
- Council rates
- Car registration
- Driver’s license
- Car repairs
- School fees, etc.
Everyone has different priorities about how they choose to spend their money.
If you are going to receive the $750 in July, it is important to have a good think about how you are going to spend these funds.
If you have outstanding debts for any of the above expenses and you feel overwhelmed just reading the above list, consider speaking to a financial counsellor to discuss your options.
Financial counsellors provide a free and confidential service. To find a financial counsellor near you, see the attached link to Financial Counselling Services on the Affordable SA website.
Foodbank, South Australia’s largest distributor of donated produce is hitting the road and heading to the North of the state. The new mobile food hub service will be available in Clare, Kadina, Riverland and Port Lincoln, as part of a new pilot program.
This service is due to roll out from the 1st July and service the community every two weeks within these regions.
[Foodbank](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/foodbank) SA is a not for profit Food Rescue organisation, assisting the community with affordable, low cost groceries as well as reduce food waste. They have warehouses where welfare agencies can purchase low cost groceries to feed their communities and clients in [Whyalla](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/whyalla-foodbank), [Riverland](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/riverland-berri-foodbank), [Mt Gambier](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/mount-gambier-foodbank) and [Edwardstown](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/edwardstown-foodbank).
There are also Food Hubs that are smaller stores across the state in Mt Gambier, [Elizabeth](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/elizabeth-foodbank), [Bowden](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/bowden-foodbank), Edwardstown, [Christies Beach](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/contact-us/christies-beach-foodbank) and Whyalla. People in need can access these stores via referral from agencies such as [The Salvation Army and those funded by the SA Government for Emergency Relief](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/news-articles/sa-funded-emergency-relief). Importantly these Hubs offer a dignified shopping experience and clients can have up to 15kg of free fruit and veg, 1-2 loaves of bread for free and then all other items have a small price. These items include dairy, frozen, meat, sanitary and hygiene items, non-perishable food, every day essentials and animal food. Ready made meals are also available for those unable to cook.
Port Lincoln and surrounding regions don’t have access to [Foodbank](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/foodbank) Food Hubs and those in need had to travel long distances to obtain food assistance, often spending more on petrol than they could afford. Local regional agencies such as [The Red Cross](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/news-articles/the-australian-red-cross-in-regional-sa) would help to bring packages to charities in smaller towns in these regions but this new program will provide a better, more direct solution.
This low cost food assists people to save money on their shopping bills. Money they can then put towards other expenses. These savings combined with other services such as [Financial Counselling](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/financial-counselling-services) and personal support programs can make a real and lasting difference for the future of someone struggling to make ends meet. Having these mobile hubs visiting regional SA areas will help charities provide the same level of food assistance that is available in Adelaide.
Foodbank is currently identifying other key areas of which the Mobile Food Hub can visit in the future.
For more information about how to contact the services that can help you with cost of living issues ring the [Affordable SA Helpline](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/affordable-sa-helpline) on 1800 025 539 or browse the [Affordable SA website](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/). You can also download the free Affordable SA App to help you access this information from the palm of your hand. Affordable SA has been developed by South Australians and proudly staffed by South Australians, for our communities.