Managing your money day to day

If you would like to find out more about dealing with money, we have tools and resources that may help.

Checking your bank statement

Checking your bank statement regularly can help you better manage and understand how you spend your money.

Watch the video on the Australian Securities and Investment Commissions (ASIC’s) MoneySmart website to learn how to check your bank statement.

Understanding your bank statements can help you improve how you manage your money over time, because checking your bank statement can help you spot spending patterns and keep track of how you’re spending your money.

Get help to find and track your spending patterns - download ASIC’s MoneySmart mobile app TrackMySPEND from the MoneySmart website.

Budgeting

Managing money can be tricky. Together with the resources on ASIC’s MoneySmart website, we can help you make better decisions about how to manage your money from day to day. Putting a budget together may sound like a lot of work but it’s easier than you think. A budget will help you to stay on top of bills. You can start putting money towards the things you want to buy in the future or to help with an unexpected expense.

Read more about how to budget or use ASIC's Simple Money Manager. You can complete a budget in 9 languages, including English.

You can do your budget yourself or get help from a friend who is good with money, or a financial counsellor. Find a financial counsellor near you on the Financial Counselling Australia website.

If you get into debt

Following your budget will help you avoid getting into debt. Sometimes the unexpected can happen and the money going out is more than the money coming in. It doesn’t take much to reach a point where you are in trouble financially. If this happens, help is available.

Read more about managing money and debt.

It’s also good to have some savings put away in case of an emergency.

Read more about how to manage your money to build savings.

Help managing your money

Centrepay is a free voluntary bill paying service. Deductions come from your Centrelink payments and can be used to pay many types of bills, such as child care, electricity bills or rent.

If you are interested in using our Centrepay service, you will need to ask your provider or business if they accept Centrepay deductions.

If they do, you can set up Centrepay deductions by:

Our Rent Deduction Scheme is also a convenient, secure and free service that allows you to pay your state or territory housing authority rent through regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.

If you receive a Centrelink payment, our Income Management service can also help you manage your money to meet essential household needs. Check to see whether Income Management is available in your area.

Bills

Be aware of how your bills will affect your budget in the long term. For example, when you shop for a mobile phone, think about the ongoing costs. Deciding between a pre-paid or contract service can affect what else you can buy. Get some tips on choosing a phone plan from ASIC's MoneySmart website.

Banking

You may be eligible for a fee-free bank account. Find out which banks offer basic bank accounts on the Australian Bankers Association website. You can also ask your credit union or building society to identify the best product for you and your situation. If your situation changes, it's a good time to check your banking arrangements are right for you.

Household goods

Renting household goods can be very expensive. If you’re thinking about renting household goods, use the Rent vs buy calculator to find out the real cost to you. When you rent an item like a television, fridge or washing machine, you enter into a consumer lease. You’re expected to make regular payments over an agreed timeframe. At the end of the lease, you may have paid more than it would have originally cost you to buy. This type of lease might also be called a 'Rent to own' or 'Rent to buy' agreement. It can seem like an easy way to get goods that you can take home straight away but you should still check all the costs. You may also have to pay fees and charges on top of regular rental payments.

Check out other ways to get your product sooner. You may be able to apply for an advance payment or use lay-by. You may qualify for a loan through the No Interest Loan Scheme or StepUP. Choosing which loan is right for you is easy on the Good Shepherd Microfinance website.

Information services

Our Financial Information Service can provide you with information to help you make sound financial decisions. They can show how your choices may affect you in the short, medium and long term. It’s never too early to start planning.

Skills for Education and Employment

If your speech, reading, writing or math skills need improvement, you may be eligible for training to improve your skills for education and employment.

The program will give you more confidence when looking for work. It will make it easier for you to fill in forms, write letters, and prepare resumés and job applications.

Reporting your income

Our payments can help support you at different times of your life. With most of our payments, you may still get some money from us even if you have a job.

Reporting your income correctly will help make sure you are paid the right amount. When you report your income using your online account or Express Plus mobile app, there are special features to help you to get it right. If you are overpaid, you may have to pay money back.

To make reporting simpler you can record details of your employment with us using your Centrelink online account through myGov or by using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app as you go.

Page last updated: 3 November 2016