We’ve put together some options for assessing your current situation, finding additional sources of financial support as well as 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. Detail your income, your expenses, debt you are managing and the savings and investments you have available.
Cash Flow view in the CommBank app can help give 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.
You can also do it the old fashioned way by gathering your paperwork (such as bank statements, bills and any debts such as minimum payments, rates, and terms, property paperwork, tax records etc.) and writing down everything you spend.
Here’s a video to show you how to download this information in NetBank.
Now that you’ve got an idea of your current situation it’s time to draw up a budget based on your new circumstances.
2. Rebates, Government benefits and Superannuation
There could be payments, rebates, government benefits or concessions that will help you to get financially back on track:
- Our Benefits finder will connect you to benefits you may be eligible for and help you start a claim
- Check out the Australian Government’s economic response to coronavirus and the support measures that could be available to you if you’ve been impacted by coronavirus
- You might also be eligible to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation early under compassionate grounds. There is no tax payable on superannuation released under this temporary arrangement and Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments will not be affected. Find out more at the Australian Taxation Office website, the Moneysmart website or on the Fact Sheet from the Australian Government. We suggest that you seek independent professional advice, as it may have a significant impact on your future savings
3. Reduce your expenses
If your income is reduced due to coronavirus 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 Government’s Energy Made Easy website.
Reducing debt can be an essential part of getting your finances under control. You may want to consider prioritising which debts to pay first.
The Moneysmart website can support you in this with steps to get debt under control and there is also lots of useful information available on the National Debt Helpline’s website starting with their debt solutions.
Where to go if you need support
For more information about how we can support you during this time read our Financial Support Guide.
Our Financial Assistance Solutions teams are also here to help you. Find out more about financial assistance 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.