We’ve put together some options for assessing your current situation, finding additional sources of financial support, and ideas on how to reduce your expenses. These might help you to get back on top of your finances, or adjust to a new situation.
1. Assess your situation
The first step to getting back in control of your finances is to assess your current financial situation – your income, expenses, debts, savings and investments.
Cash Flow View in the CommBank app can help give you a good overview – but don’t forget to add any large one-off costs like your annual car rego, or recurring payments like your health insurance premiums.
You can also do it the old-fashioned way by gathering your paperwork (such as bank statements, bills, etc.) and writing down everything you spend. You can find out how to download statements in NetBank.
Once you’ve got a better idea of your current situation, it’s time to draw up a budget based on your new circumstances.
Here’s a guide to how to make a budget and our handy Budget Planner. You can also access some useful resources from the Australian Government’s Moneysmart website, including a guide to managing on a low income.
2. Access rebates, government benefits and superannuation
There could be payments, rebates, government benefits or concessions that can help to get you financially back on track:
- Our Benefits finder can connect you to rebates and benefits you may be eligible for and help you start a claim
- You may be eligible to access your superannuation early under compassionate grounds – you can find out more at the Australian Taxation Office website. We recommend you seek independent professional advice if you want to explore this option, as it may have a significant impact on your future savings.
3. Reduce your expenses
You may need to reduce your spending to stay on top of your finances. While some expenses are easy to remove (e.g. cancelling unused subscriptions), others are more essential, such as power, phone and internet services. For these utilities, we suggest contacting your providers, as they may have special support packages available to you.
You may also want to check that your energy supplier is giving you the best deal on the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website.
Reducing debt can also be an essential part of getting your finances under control. You may want to consider prioritising which debts to pay first.
You can read our guide on how to pay off your debts faster. The Moneysmart website also outlines steps to get debt under control, and the National Debt Helpline’s website sets out some debt solutions you can consider.
Where to go if you need support
You can visit our Cost of living hub if you’re looking for support with the rising cost of living.
Also, our Financial support hub can help to connect you with the right financial support specific to your circumstances.
If you’re experiencing financial hardship, we have specialist teams that can help. Find out more about financial hardship support, or request assistance online in NetBank. You can also call us on 13 30 95 (8am - 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 2pm on Saturday, Sydney/Melbourne time).
For additional guidance with your finances more broadly, including access to free financial counselling, visit the National Debt Helpline.