How to budget

We have tools and information to help you start a budget.

Budgeting tools

A budget is an estimate of income and expenses for a period of time.

Budgeting makes sure you can manage essential expenses and plan for things you would like. There are plenty of tools to help you.

Go to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) MoneySmart website to:

Our Deduction Statements help you track your deductions and make sure your financial arrangements are correct.

Budgeting in 4 easy steps

Step 1 - calculate your income

Use your pay slips, Deduction Statement and bank statements to calculate how much money you have coming in.

Income per fortnight $
wages or salary  
Centrelink payments  
other income - such as income from a boarder  
total income $

Step 2 - work out your expenses

Work out how much you are spending. Check your:

  • bank statements
  • bills
  • credit card statements
  • receipts, and
  • shopping dockets

Remember to include things that you pay once or twice a year. Items to include may be insurance or car registration.

Expenses per fortnight $
medical expenses - visits to the doctor or prescriptions  
school fees or child support payments  
your mortgage or rent  
electricity, gas, water and sewage bills  
food and groceries  
transport - car, bus or train ticket expenses  
credit cards or loan repayments  
total expenses $

Step 3 - set up your budget

Once you have worked out your income and expenses, use the MoneySmart Budget planner to set up your budget. It’s easy to use and you can save your results online. The budget planner will do the calculations for you.

After you pay expenses, you can put money left over towards savings or other things you want to buy. If you have a goal, knowing how to save each week will help you reach it. Use ASIC’s MoneySmart savings goal calculator to see how much you will need to reach your goal. It will also tell you how long it will take.

Step 4 - review your budget

Remember to review your budget regularly to make sure it’s still working for you. A change in your income, or ongoing expenses can affect your budget.

Page last updated: 10 August 2018