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07 June 2022

5 tips for utilising all of your NDIS Plan budget.

Did you know that around 25% of NDIS funding still goes unspent? That’s a lot of funding for supports and services that could help you achieve your goals.

And if you don’t spend all the funds allocated in your NDIS budget, they don’t roll over to the following year.

Here at Leap in! we are committed to helping our Members to make the most of their NDIS funding with smart connections to providers and tools to track NDIS spending.

We take a look at the common reasons you may not be spending all of your funds and share some creative suggestions for using all of your plan budgets.

 

Reasons for having unspent funds.

There are many reasons why people get to the end of their NDIS Plans and haven’t spent all their allocated funding..

Some of the common reasons include:

  • Lack of confidence in how to use your funding
  • Saving funds to the end in case you need them
  • Circumstances have changed, and you didn’t need all the funding provided
  • You’re unable to find providers for the services you need
  • You may have been unwell or unable to complete therapies due to illness
  •  An item of High Cost AT you had funding for was unavailable.

NDIS figures show that people who use less of their budgets are more likely to have a hearing impairment (57%), developmental delay (64%) or sensory and speech disabilities (68%). People with almost all other categories were above 70% utilisation.[1] So how can you make better use of your NDIS budget? Read on to find out!

 

Tips for using all of your plan budget.

1. Spread your expenses throughout the year.
While it’s always a good idea to “save some money for a rainy day”, as the saying goes, the role of the NDIS is to help you cover the cost of services and supports related to your disability.Your NDIS budget should have enough to cover the cost of consumable items, therapies and other supports for the entire year. It’s helpful to allocate a portion of each budget category to things you know you’ll need, particularly for flexible funding such as Consumables.When you first get your plan, look back at the work you did when preparing for your plan meeting. Check the budget for each ongoing expense and divide it into 12 to give you an amount to aim for each month.

 

2. Track your spending.
It may sound obvious but keeping track of your spending is the best way to ensure you’re not underspending or overspending your NDIS funds.And the best way to track your spending is with the Leap in! app. Members get real-time budget updates showing the proportion of budget spent and how much remains in clear, colour-coded graphics.If you aren’t a Leap in! Member, try recording your expenses on a spreadsheet or in a book. The important thing to know is how much you have left in each budget divided by the number of months left in your plan. Then you know roughly how much you have to spend each month.

 

3. Use a plan manager.
More people are choosing plan management to manage their NDIS Plans. More than 54% of people on the NDIS now use a plan manager. But not all plan managers are the same.With Leap in! you get 24/7 access to all your NDIS info and budgets and monthly Budget Health Checks so you always know how your spending is going in each budget category. You’ll also get tailored advice from our experienced team. If you have questions about your budget, we’re always here to help.And, if you’re underspending in an area, the Leap in! app can connect you to providers in your area that match the relevant budget.

 

4. Allow time to purchase Capital supports.
Some more expensive items may need more lead time, including high cost assistive technology and home and vehicle modifications.If you have funding in your NDIS Plan for any of these items, try to get started early on in your plan, so you have enough time to obtain quotes, book any installation or arrange purchases. Due to staff and product shortages around the country, there may be longer delays than usual for some items or services.

 

5. Use Core supports flexibly.
Core supports is the most flexible budget. You can generally use funds from one Core support category to make purchases under another (exceptions apply, including transport and stated supports).For example, you may be able to use remaining Consumables funds to achieve your Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation goals. Depending on what you want to achieve, you could use this funding to support volunteering, work experience or learning a new skill.

 

We can help!

Whether you’re just getting started or have been with the NDIS for a while and want more assistance, Leap in! can help. Our experienced team can answer all of your questions and help you understand your NDIS budgets. Call 1300 05 78 78 or chat with us online via our website.

[1] NDIS Explore Data, data as at end of September 2021, accessed 26 May 2022.

Further reading

NDIS support categories explained.

NDIS Core supports budget: A closer look.

Top 5 reasons why people don’t spend their NDIS budgets.