Looking for work

We can help you stay in control of your finances while you look for work.

Think about your income

While you look for work, your income might change. Make a plan so you have enough money set aside to pay your bills while your income has changed. To get a complete picture of your finances, you can use the simple money manager.

Remember to think about your regular bills as well as other expenses you have, for example:

  • rent or mortgage payments
  • energy and water bills
  • council and strata rates
  • car registration and insurance.

Plan your expenses

If you think you can’t pay your bills on time, talk to the hardship teams at companies, such as at:

  • your utility providers
  • your bank
  • other places you have loans with.

They may want to help you and suspend, reduce or waive debt repayments depending on your situation.

Speak to someone

Another place to get help with your planning is the National Debt Helpline. They provide a free, confidential and independent financial counselling service.

Don’t wait to call them if your money is worrying you.

To get help in your area, you can find a financial counsellor on the National Debt Helpline website. They can suggest ways to:

  • improve your financial situation
  • negotiate repayment options
  • get help from other services, such as a gambling helpline, personal counselling or community legal aid.

They can also provide advice about:

  • repaying debts
  • debt collectors or debt recovery through the courts
  • house eviction or disconnection of electricity or phone
  • uninsured car accidents
  • tax debts
  • unpaid fines.

Our Financial Information Service (FIS) officers can talk to you about financial matters. This includes giving you helpful information if you have received a redundancy payment. They can help you make an informed decision about how you use your money. Talking with someone can help you make the best choices in the short and long term.

Our FIS officers can also help you understand information about money and work, such as wages or salary, tax and superannuation.

Our social workers can help you with counselling, support and information during difficult times.

Get other help

There are a range of tools you can use to help manage your money while you’re looking for work.

Read about our payments and services

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

The weekly payment option can allow you to get your income support payment weekly. This can help if you find it hard to budget for a fortnightly payment.

You can ask for your Family Tax Benefit or Carer Allowance payment to be offset. This means your Family Tax Benefit or Carer Allowance can be paid on a different week to your income support payment. You can call your regular payment line to find out if you're eligible.

Concession or health care cards can help eligible people get cheaper health services and medicines.

Use online tools

The simple money manager is a great way to set a budget.

The Moneysmart Cars app can help you work out if you can afford a car. Having a car can make it easier to get to interviews or a new job.

Get fair and affordable loans

Check if you qualify for a no interest loan from Good Shepherd. These loans provide safe, fair and affordable credit for essential goods and services. You can pay this loan back through Centrepay.

Page last updated: 10 February 2022