11 ways to make money during the COVID-19 recession


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Even during a recession, it's possible to make money. While some methods are obvious, others can be hidden in plain sight or not even be on your radar at all.

Surviving a recession - which often means losing your job or having hours slashed - requires some adaptability and creative thinking. The recession will eventually pass - they all do. But the aim is to keep the cash flowing and ride things out until normality resumes.

Here are 11 tips to keep money coming in during the current recession.

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1. Pivot

In all recessions, some businesses thrive while others struggle. During COVID-19, we've seen supermarkets, delivery companies, cleaners and manufacturers (such as those making sanitiser) busier than ever, just as shops and restaurants closed their doors. So, look at how your skills might pivot you into another industry where there are more opportunities.

2. Study/Centrelink

If a pivot or career change requires some retraining, now could be the perfect time. There are financial incentives including JobTrainer during COVID, and some vocational courses have been heavily discounted or even made free! Additionally, you may qualify for Centrelink support while you study and potentially be eligible for other benefits too that you weren't eligible for while earning your full income (e.g. family tax benefits and rental assistance).

3. Downsize

A big house and a big mortgage can be slimmed down, especially if your adult kids have flown the nest. Depending on the amount of equity you have, with the sale of your home you could purchase a smaller property outright, live debt-free and use the remainder as a buffer to see you through.

4. Pension phase

Consider whether you're old enough to start a pension with your superannuation. You can rollover your super to a pension at preservation age and start to draw down up to 10% per year.

5. Super withdrawal

Under special COVID-19 rules, you may be eligible for a one-off early access to your super of up to $10,000.  Don't forget, though, to use the catch-up legislation to put it back and get a further tax deduction once your earnings return to normal.

6. Rent out your home

Consider moving back in with your parents and renting out your property. Or simply rent your spare room! You'll get extra cash coming in, plus your mortgage (or a portion of it) will become tax deductible.

7. Sell unwanted stuff

Sell those items you no longer need. Someone's trash is someone else's treasure, and it could be lining your pockets instead of your cupboards!

8. Get kids involved

Recessions may require the whole family to earn money for your household to stay afloat. Can your older children work part-time? Do your adult children pay board? Kids can contribute to household finances (at least until you get through this) while learning valuable financial management skills at the same time.

9. Work on keeping your job

The most desirable outcome is to not to lose your job in the first place, if possible. So be flexible, be willing to work harder and longer, take on tasks beyond your job description Helping your boss in a time of need may work in your favour longer term!

10. Long service leave

If you're eligible for long service leave, now be the time to use it. You're better off accessing this entitlement than risk losing it if the business goes bust. Perhaps arrange to reduce your working hours and use long service leave to top up your wage - which may help your employer avoid making your position redundant.

11. Think survival

If you do lose your job, you may need to take a job - any job - that you can do.

Mowing lawns, tutoring, stocking shelves, Uber driving - just keep moving. It's not forever, it's just about getting the cash register ticking over.

Regardless of which options you pursue, be sure to do so wisely and based on sound advice and homework. Mistakes and rushed attempts to earn a dollar now could cost you two (or more) dollars down the track!

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Helen Baker is an Australian financial adviser, founder of On Your Own Two Feet, and author of On Your Own Two Feet Divorce: Your Survive and Thrive Financial Guide.

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