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Media Release

COVID couch surfing: Almost one million Australians turn to co-living

        • 63% of Australians have changed their financial habits since COVID-19
        • Young Australians are more likely to move in with friends or family
        • How to strengthen your finances

20 August 2020, Sydney, Australia – Millions of Australians looked for ways to make or save money during the pandemic, new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site reveals.

The new Finder survey of 1,000 respondents found that 63% – equivalent to 12 million Australians – have made changes to improve their financial position.

The change most Australians made was cutting down their expenses, with 52% of respondents spending less money than they usually would.

The research shows that 1 in 10 (10%) sold some of their belongings, while 9% took up a side hustle.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder says spending less and saving more should be a priority for Aussies in the coming months.

"With such an unpredictable future ahead, you should be doing all you can to shore up your finances now to avoid running into trouble later on.

"Whether it's freelancing on the side or micro-investing, every extra dollar counts during a recession."

A further 5% of people have moved in or had others move in with them to save on expenses.

That's equivalent to almost one million Australians (971,185) changing up their household to save money during the pandemic.

"Your housing costs should be less than 30% of your total income. If you have the opportunity to move in with someone and reduce that spend, it's something you should consider."

More younger Australians are moving in with friends or family in comparison to older generations, with 13% of generation Z and 7% of generation Y stating they moved in with others to save on costs in comparison to only 1% of generation X.

"The younger generation are more likely to be working in industries that have been severely impacted by the pandemic," Cooke says.

"On the plus side, they're also more likely to be in a position to change up their living situation and save money."

Cooke urges property owners to consider ways to save on their housing costs.

"Property owners with a spare room or a studio out the back should consider renting it out to make some extra money to put towards their mortgage.

"For shorter-term rentals, you could consider putting your place up on Airbnb. While travel between states is off the cards for the foreseeable future, there are a number of Aussies itching to travel within their own state."

Overall, Queenslanders were least likely to recession-proof their finances with only 56% trying to make or save more money, in comparison to 66% of those in New South Wales and 69% of Victorians.

"Now is the time to tighten the belt. Look for ways to cut down on your expenses and reduce your discretionary spending to maximise savings."


Have you done any of the following to make/save money during the pandemic?
Yes, I spent less money52%
Yes, I sold some of my belongings10%
Yes, I purchased shares9%
Yes, I picked up a side hustle8%
Yes, I moved in with friends/family (or they moved in with me)5%
Yes, I invested in property2%
None of the above37%
Other1%



How to strengthen your finances

  • Stop paying the lazy tax. Stop paying the lazy tax on bills and home utilities like your electricity. Shop around for a cheaper deal and switch. The savings might not seem like much at first, but they do add up over time.
  • Freelance on the side. Whether it's picking up a writing gig or doing the odd bit of gardening, you can make some extra money from selling your skills or labour.
  • Consider investing. Micro-investing allows you to invest small amounts of money to help build up a profitable fund. By using an app like Raiz or Stake, you can turn your spare change into big bucks.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

Every month 2.2 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and the United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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