Money Planning

Do you know your total household income and how much you spend every week, fortnight or month? If you spend more than you earn, you will need to consider how you can increase your income or reduce your spending.

Making a plan for your money will help you know where you stand, manage debt and be better prepared for the future. A financial counsellor or Financial Wellbeing Worker can help you with tools and support to do this.

Colleens Money Advice

Budgeting Will Help You To:

  • Know how much money is coming into your household
  • Get a realistic idea of how much you spend
  • Work out how much you can afford for debt repayment
  • Save for Christmas, holidays and big expenses e.g. house or car
  • Be prepared for bills and unexpected expenses

How To Set Up A Budget:

You can set up your budget using paper, a spreadsheet, an existing budgeting planner.

Before you start you will need to gather some recent:

  • Pay slips
  • Centrelink income statements
  • Regular bills e.g. utilities, phone, rent
  • Bank statements
  • Receipts for weekly food and fuel expenditure
  • Mortgage details

Work Out Your Total Income:

  • What you earn after tax and other deductions from your payslip
  • Centrelink payments (e.g. child/family tax benefit, disability payment etc)
  • Pension statements
  • Contributions from other people who live in your home
  • Business activity statement

Work Out Your Total Expenses:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Phone/internet
  • Medicines/medical
  • Credit card payments
  • Loans, buy now pay later commitments
  • Insurances
  • Rates
  • Food
  • Fuel
  • School costs
  • Car/public transport costs
  • Clothing, gifts
  • Sports, entertainment
  • Eating out, cigarettes, alcohol

When working out your money priorities, think about which items you need for your basic living expenses and which are extras or things you could maybe do without if you needed to save some money.

Tips To Help You Stay on Track:

  • Keep a spending diary – writing down each purchase will help you keep a track of your day to day spending
  • Keep an eye out for free events and activities you can do with the family at weekends
  • Look for opportunities to walk or cycle – you will be helping your budget as well as the environment
  • Redo your budget every 3 to 6 months or when there are significant lifestyle changes to make sure it reflects your current income, spending and what you want to achieve