Monday, December 5 2022

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The cash crunch on Australian families has prompted more people to turn to second jobs to recoup the money they are paying in higher mortgage repayments.

The current high number of vacancies – 470,900 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics – gives borrowers the opportunity to save by taking up casual employment in addition to their existing full- or part-time positions.

Many have landed casual Christmas jobs over the past month, while others have taken on permanent jobs.

Seven consecutive interest rate hikes this year, combined with price hikes throughout the year in everything from gasoline to food, have put mounting pressure on household budgets.

Moonlighting or a side hustle is a great way to supplement an income and there are dozens of employers clamoring for staff, said Paul Zahra, chief executive of the Australian Retailers Association.

“We currently have over 46,000 retail vacancies, that’s a 14% increase in the three months to August,” he said.

“Anyone who wants and wants to work right now finds work because there are so many vacancies. Right about now you can choose your hours because there is so much work available.

Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association.

Zahra’s advice for those looking for a casual job in retail is to pick a store that they shop at regularly. He said the benefits were two-fold.

“It’s very simple – pick a brand you like and shop, then it doesn’t feel like work,” he said.

“Obviously all the retailers give generous discounts to their staff, so it’s a bit of a double whammy. You want it to be local so you don’t travel too far.

“By doing this, you can do something you love to do.”

But there are also caveats about second jobs. Financial broker Chris Foster-Ramsay said burnout was most evident.

“Where lenders will have concerns is around the second job in addition to a full-time role because the risk of burnout and any meltdown is much higher,” he said.

Extra income is a great way to save. However, borrowers who want to use it as leverage for a loan must show lenders proof they’ve been in the job for six months or more, Foster-Ramsay said.

Chris Foster-Ramsay, financing broker.

“With secondary income, they want to see it’s not just a short spurt, they want to see it’s sustainable if they’re going to factor that into determining borrowing capacity,” he said. .

Interest rates are at a nine-year high of 2.85% and the Reserve Bank of Australia has signaled further increases in 2023.

Australians will be looking for innovative ways to save. Foster-Ramsay advises starting with a review of the budget.

“The first thing will be discretionary items like restaurants, coffee, vacations, and more often than not, multiple TV subscription discounts,” he said.

“The other way to look to raise some money is to sell stuff. Things that have built up over time and can be sold in local markets or online can still make money.

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