The ACCC launches investigation into Telstra sales people signing up people to contracts that they cannot afford. Financial counsellors say the mis-selling of phone contracts is "rife" and want telcos to to run a similar credit check as banks.
Listen to Karyn Hicks, Financial Counsellor and Team leader for the National Debt Helpline, on 891 ABC Radio with Sonya Feldhof.
The first half of this year has undoubtedly knocked us all for six.
In one way or another, our lives have changed.
4 months ago, more people were employed, more small businesses were open, people had holidays booked, athletes were getting ready for the Olympics, couples were planning their weddings, a lot less people worked from home, there were more airplanes in the sky and you didn’t have to worry about whether or not you could buy toilet paper.
We have all seen great change in our day to day lives and that takes a fair bit of resilience.
With COVID-19 having a significant impact on people’s [mental health](https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-04-30/coronavirus-mental-health-second-wave-impacts-of-pandemic/12197930), it is important now more than ever that we look out for one another.
Today, June 1st is ‘Say Something Nice Day’.
So take a moment to say something nice, not just to others but also to yourself.
Be kind to yourself and those around you.
Check up on your friends, neighbours and family members to see how they are doing.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, see the attached link to the COVID-19 Virtual Support Network
As the days pass with no new cases and with restrictions starting to ease, we find ourselves slowly emerging from the surreal fog that was COVID-19.
But what happens when the fog clears and things return to 'normal'?
What is going to happen to the [40,000 South Australians](https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-14/coronavirus-claims-sa-jobs-as-unemployment-rate-jumps/12247474) that have lost their jobs due to COVID-19?
Many South Australians are coming face to face with the harsh reality of financial hardship - something that they may have never experienced before. Ultimately, things that were affordable 3 months ago may no longer be affordable.
As the restrictions are lifted, the opportunity to spend money increases. Therefore if your financial situation has changed due to COVID-19, it is important to stay on top of your finances during this time.
- What are your 'essential' living expenses and 'non-essential' living expenses?
- Are you able to afford your 'essential' living expenses? If not, have you discussed hardship options with your credit and utility providers?
- Are there any 'non-essential' living expenses that you may need to think about, due to the financial changes brought on by COVID-19?
If you feel like you are being engulfed by the fog of financial hardship and you can't see a way out, don't stress... there are people out there who you can talk to.
A Financial Counsellor can look at your overall financial situation and provide you with your options and can advocate and negotiate on your behalf if need.
Call the [Affordable SA Helpline](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/affordable-sa-helpline) on 1800 025 539 to book an appointment to speak to a free Financial Counsellor or search for [Financial Counselling Services](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/financial-counselling-services)on the Affordable SA App.
For more information and services, visit the attached link to the Money & Finances section of Affordable SA.
ConnectEd provides information and advice to vulnerable members of the community on how to better understand and manage their household energy, water and telecommunications services. This is extended in the current context to particularly vulnerable cohorts such as international students and temporary visa holders.
The ConnectEd program at UCWB is able to offer assistance via Zoom, delivering information sessions or small workshops to the community. Topics such as:
- Understanding bills and reading meters.
- Saving energy and water.
- Calculating running costs.
- Concessions, hardship and assistance available.
- Plans, discounts and getting a better deal.
- Solar, batteries and new technologies
To book an online information session email ConnectEd@ucwb.org.au stating your preferred date/time and we will contact you with a link and instructions how to access Zoom. Duration: approx. 1 hour with the possibility of follow-up sessions as required.
Check out [ConnectED](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/utilities/connected-utilities-literacy) for other great ways to save on your Utilities bills and around the home.