Managing your money
Managing money can be hard for everyone, but there are things you can do to make it easier.
Direct debit is when you organise for money to automatically come out of your bank account to pay for something at a certain time. Using direct debit can make it easier to keep on top of your bills. You can use direct debit to pay regular bills so that you are never behind. You can talk to your bank get help setting up direct debit.
Calculating your expenses is a great way to work out how much you need to pay for your house, bills and food.
If you minus your expenses off the amount you get paid then you can work out how much money you have left over to spend on other things.
The Australian Government has a website called Money Smart that can help you to gain control of your money and achieve your goals.
Money Smart has resources about lots of things to do with money, including banking and using bank accounts, calculators to help you budget living costs, advice for managing debts and tips for identifying scams.
Learn more on the Money Smart website (external link).
If you are having trouble managing your money, or you are going through a rough time, it may be helpful to talk to a financial counsellor.
Local welfare organisations such as neighbourhood and community centres often have free financial counselling services that can help you.
You can find a free Financial Counsellor on the National Debt Helpline website (external link).
If someone tries to control how you spend your money or stop you making your own decisions about your money, then you may be experiencing financial abuse. Financial abuse is when someone uses money in ways that hurt you, or when someone controls your money in ways that are not good for you.
Financial abuse can include someone:
- not letting you choose how to spend your money
- stopping you from getting a job
- forcing you to get a loan you do not want
- making you buy things for them.
Watch the 1800RESPECT video (external website) about financial abuse:
Tip: Click the subtitles button in the bottom right hand corner of the video to turn closed captions on and off.
Remember! Financial abuse is never OK.
If you think you are experiencing financial abuse, you can ask for help.
Call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or chat to someone online (external link).
If you are going through a difficult time or have a chronic disability, you may be able to get support with money through Centrelink. You may also be able to get government support based on things like your age, disability and living situation. The main government support payments are listed below.
Disability Support Pension
Did you know?
Women with disability spend more than double on their health costs compared to women without a disability.
The Carer Payment (external link) is a payment for individuals who give daily care to someone who has a disability or is elderly.
If you are receiving a government payment and have a low income you may be able to get a Heathcare card (external link) to help you pay for doctor appointments, tests and medications.
Newstart Allowance (external link) is a payment to assist individuals who are looking for work. People on Newstart also receive help to look for work. This help may include writing resumes and job applications, as well as financial support to pay for clothes, training courses and transport to interviews.
The Parenting Payment (external link) is a payment for eligible parents and guardians of children.
Abstudy (external link) is a payment that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are studying at University or TAFE.
Austudy (external link) is a payment to support eligible people over 25 years old who are studying.
Youth Allowance (external link) is a payment to support people aged 16-24 who are studying full-time at university, school or TAFE.
Other Government supports
If you need a support person so you can go out into the community, you may also be able to get a companion card. This card allows you to take your support person or carer to events and activities without an extra cost.
Tip: You can find out more and apply for a card on the Companion Card website (external link).
National Disability Insurance Scheme
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was introduced to help eligible people with disability who are under 65 years old to pay for the supports they may need.
Tip: To find out if you are eligible for NDIS support, visit the NDIS website (external link).