Covid-19 fallout for small businesses and young job seekers
THE economic fallout of Covid-19 proves why students should study finances at school, according to new research.
The pandemic has also impacted the mental wellbeing of small business owners, who are more stressed and finding it hard to work from home.
The two separate studies have highlighted the importance of understanding finances and taking time out to stay sane.
It comes as many Australians have been forced into financial hardship or are relying on the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments.
The federal government is considering slashing or rejigging the $1500 a fortnight JobKeeper payment over concerns it is propping up "zombie companies".
The JobKeeper payment has been a lifeline for millions of Australians, who would otherwise have been stood down.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) academic Ryan Menner said it was vital that young people were taught about earning, spending, saving and investing.
"Young people under 25 often lack financial experience, education and income, which can make them particularly vulnerable to financial hardship," Mr Menner said.
"Financial literacy is covered in parts of the Australian curriculum but it's optional and usually included as part of economics or business classes. It needs to be a stand-alone subject."
The QUT report was commissioned by the Financial Basics Foundation, which has launched a free online resource kit with Suncorp to help parents talk to their children about money.
Foundation chair Brigid Leishman said hundreds of thousands of young people had lost their jobs.
"As communities feel the shocking effects of Covid-19...families are being forced to prioritise their spending on essentials - it's a very tough lesson," Ms Leishman said.
Meanwhile separate research has found small business owners who were already doing it tough before the pandemic are mentally stressed.
The MYOB survey reveals two-thirds (66 per cent) of small businesses feel Covid-19 has impacted their mental wellbeing.
MYOB, an accounting software company, has partnered with Australian not-for-profit Smiling Mind offering free modules to help small business owners manage their mental health.
"Australian businesses are under immense pressure right now, and the confronting reality is that these Covid-19 related burdens are likely to remain for months, and potentially years, to come," said Smiling Mind co-founder Jane Martino.
"This partnership with MYOB has enabled us to deliver free, easily implementable tools to help those feeling the strain."
To access Suncorp's Financial Rules of Thumb click here.