In uncertain times, managing your finances can be even more challenging than usual. Many households are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Today we’re going to take a look at some tips for making your money go further and share some handy resources to help with budgeting.
1. Access available COVID-19 supports.
If your income has been affected by COVID-19, some of the below measures might help you through this tough time.
- Hardship assistance may be available if you’re having trouble paying utility bills such as water or power. Contact your provider for details.
- Many companies have removed late payment penalties or guaranteed no disconnection of services if you can’t afford to pay due to COVID-19
- Check out the COVID-19 financial assistance page or get urgent help.
2. Find areas where you can reduce spending or make savings.
Assessing where you might be overspending or can save money is a great way to get more money in your pocket.
- Reduce grocery bills by buying home brands
- Buy in bulk and share the cost with friends
- Switch to a bank account with no monthly fee
- Add any bills that are due to a calendar so you can be sure to pay them on time and not get charged overdue fees
- Find ways to repair or upcycle what you have instead of buying new
- Spare time on your hands? Use this time to have a clean out and sell unwanted items on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
3. Use bill renewals to get better deals.
Many people receive a bill and pay it without thinking. This is the perfect time to seek a better deal, especially when it comes to insurance.
- Call the company and ask if they can offer a better rate
- Shop around and compare several quotes
- Depending on your policy, you may be able to cut car insurance costs by changing the items covered eg. removing windscreen damage coverage or changing your excess.
4. Spread out payments.
Spreading out payments across the year makes it easier to manage large bills like insurance, water, power and rates.
- Choose the monthly or fortnightly payment option so you don’t have to deal with lump sum payments
- Check whether your power or water company offers “bill smoothing” where payments are averaged out to avoid bill shock.
5. Be smart with credit cards.
When you’re short on cash, it’s easy to resort to using credit. Following some basic guidelines can help keep your credit card spending under control.
- If you are in debt, pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first
- Plan purchases so you don’t overspend
- Choose a card with no annual fee
- Keep your credit limit low
- Pay off the balance in full every month.
6. Have a budget.
When you have less money, keeping to a budget can be hard. Like managing an NDIS budget, knowing how much you have available to spend and what you are spending it on is the key.
- Check out How to do a budget
- Make every dollar count when you’re on a low income
- When you have extra money, start a savings habit, even if it is just putting $2 coins into a piggy bank!
7. Use the Leap in! app to manage your NDIS budgets.
- Get alerts if you are under or overspending in a category
- See how much you have in each budget 24/7
- View your payments history
- Use the ‘Providers near you’ feature to connect with providers in your local area who can help you with supports and services in the categories where you aren’t using all of your NDIS funds.
How plan management can help.
Working with a plan manager like Leap in! can help you get the most from your NDIS budgets. With Leap in! you’ll be supported through every step of the NDIS Plan cycle with free advice from experienced plan managers. Give our Crew a call on 1300 05 78 78 or chat with us online.