Plan and stick to a budget
Budgeting is the best way to manage your money.
Start by using the simple money manager to make a budget. A budget can help you work out your costs over the whole year, including:
- moving costs like removalists, furniture, whitegoods or a rental bond
- study costs like uniforms, text books, fees or course materials
- technology costs like a computer or internet
- hardware costs like tools and safety gear.
Once you create a budget, you should:
- keep a copy of it handy
- look at it often to check you’re on track
- update it when there are major changes.
Save for your future
Having a budget that takes everything into account will help you find money to save.
Set a target for regular savings and watch them add up. You can use the savings goals calculator on the Moneysmart website to help you. Having a savings buffer, big or small, will help you cope with unexpected events, such as:
- an emergency trip to the dentist
- car repairs
- any kind of crisis.
Get other help
There are many ways to help manage your money while you study or train.
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 you if you find it hard to budget 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.
Use online tools
The Moneysmart website has useful tools.
The Moneysmart Student life and money content has information about moving out of home and getting your first job, first car or first big bill.
Use the Moneysmart Cars app to work out if you can afford a car.
If you’re shopping for a new phone or plan, consider Moneysmart’s information about mobile phones and plans.
If you need a fridge or other household appliance, check out the rent vs buy calculator. Renting may cost you more than you think.
Speak to someone
Our social workers can help you with counselling, support and information during difficult times.
Our Financial Information Service (FIS) officers can talk to you about financial matters. This includes information you may need when you start your first job. You can also learn how wages and salary, tax and superannuation work together.
The National Debt Helpline offers free financial counselling. Don’t wait to call them if your money is worrying you.
It’s worth getting free expert advice to get a clear picture of your finances. To get help in your area you can find a financial counsellor on the National Debt Helpline website.
Get fair and affordable loans
You can also check out the Student Start-up Loan to see if you’re eligible for this loan.