How to budget

Practical information to help you budget.

Getting started

Calculate how much money you have coming in, by using any of these:

Work out how much you’re spending. To do this, look at any of these:

  • bills
  • credit card statements
  • receipts and shopping dockets
  • costs for annual and one-off expenses, like insurance and car registration.

Use the Simple Money Manager to do your budget.

You can then see if you have money left over. You could use this for your savings. Set savings goals, that way you’ll know how much you need to save on a regular basis to reach it.

You can use the ASICs MoneySmart savings goals calculator on the how to build savings page to help you. It shows how long it will take to reach your goal and how much you’ll need to save.

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

Simple Money Manager

More services we offer

Centrepay is a free and voluntary service you can use to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments. Read more about how Centrepay works.

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

Centrelink Deduction Statements help you track your deductions.

Tips and tricks

Here's more information and tools to help you manage your money.

Use online tools

ASIC’s MoneySmart website has apps to help you track your spending and savings.

Use ASIC’s MoneySmart TrackMySPEND app to see how you spend your money. You can also set up and track your savings goals with TrackMYGOALS.

Watch the video on the ASIC’s MoneySmart website to learn how to check your bank statement. Check your bank statement often to understand and better manage how you spend your money.

Do your research

Find the best deal you can get. If you’re shopping for clothes, a mortgage or thinking about changing electricity providers, you can ask for a better deal. It might save you money.

A clever way to make the most of your money is through your super. The MoneySmart website shows you how to get government co-contributions if your income is below a certain amount.

Save on banking fees

Every little bit counts. If you get a Centrelink payment, you may be able to get a savings account at your bank, that won’t charge fees. You can also ask your credit union or building society about fee free accounts.

Many companies and banks charge you each time they send you a paper bill or statement. Choosing to get statements and bills online can save you money. You can get them either:

  • by email
  • in your online account with that company.

If you can’t get your bills online, you can still choose to get them sent in the mail. Ask if you can be exempt from the fees they charge to get a paper bill.

Read about savings accounts on the MoneySmart website before talking to your bank or credit union. Most banks have online accounts that have better interest rates.

Talk to someone

If you have problems with debt, the National Debt Helpline (NDH) has a free, confidential and independent financial counselling service.

It’s worth getting free expert advice to understand all your money matters. Find a financial counsellor, on the NDH website, to get help in your area.

Related subjects

Page last updated: 10 July 2019

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