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How to manage your pay when you first start working

How to manage your pay when you first start working

There’s nothing like the freedom of earning a regular income. But while it can be tempting to splash out, it’s important you consider how to manage your hard-earned dollars.

With a balanced budget and a simple savings plan, you can start building up cash for the long term. And avoid falling into the habit of living from pay-to-pay.

Create a budget

Your budget is your best friend when it comes to managing your income. It shows exactly how much is coming in and going out of your account.

Top tips:

  • Track how much you spend during an average month - try our online budget planner
  • Don't fudge the numbers, include everything (online TV subscriptions, gym memberships etc.) - check your bank balance to jog your memory
  • Take a good look at how much you’re spending – if the difference between what you’re spending and earning is tight, decide if there’s somewhere you can cut back

Check out How to create a budget and stick to it

Manage everyday spending

You need to be clear on how your finances are tracking at any point in time, starting with what goes in and out of your everyday account.

Top tips:

  • Having figured out where your money goes, it’s a good idea to categorise your spending so you can tweak or change your spending habits
  • Pay bills on time and avoid being stung by late payment fees – see, track and pay bills in the CommBank app and NetBank
  • Review your budget - check to make sure your budget plan is still working for you

Check out How to use the CommBank app to track your spending

Start saving

Some people are natural savers, others struggle if they don’t have a plan.

Top tips:

  • If you have a goal in mind like a holiday or your first home, use our savings calculator to work out how much you can save, how long it'll take and how much to set aside each month to get there
  • Set up a savings goal in NetBank and we'll tell you how you're tracking
  • Organise automatic payments from your everyday bank account into your savings account every time you get paid
  • Make the most of discounts – if you bank with CommBank and are studying, you may be eligible for our Student Options
  • Always check your super is being paid by your employer into your superannuation account – think of this as saving for your future, here's our quick guide

Check out How to get into a saving habit

Use credit wisely

If you’re over 18, it’s important to maintain a healthy credit history, which may not be important to you right now, but it will have an impact on your ability to borrow money in the future.

Top tips for over 18s

  • Staying on top of bill and credit card payments is important – repeatedly failing to pay on time can have a negative impact on your credit score
  • If you need to borrow money, aim to repay your loan as soon as possible to minimise any fees and interest 
  • If you have a credit card, turn on notifications in the CommBank app so you know when purchases you make are charged to your card

Check out What's your credit score and why it's important

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.