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How to Make Centrelink Income Work For You

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Learning how to get by is one of the things that humans are pretty good at. However, not having the assurance of where your next salary will go or if it’s enough to pay for all the bills that you have is very stressful. Those depending on the limited salary from Centrelink can definitely relate to this. With such a small amount of income, paying for all expenses and saving money seems impossible. But having something is still better than nothing, so sometimes you just have to work with what you got. To those who are struggling with the same financial challenge, here are some tips on how you can smartly budget your expenses and work out your Centrelink profits.

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Making The Most Out Of Your Centrelink Salary

Though you might think that this is cliché and too simple, but the best way to make the most out of your profit from Centrelink is to budget. It’s easier said than done, that’s practically true but the only struggle with budgeting is sticking to it. With this, make it a habit to follow your budget. One of the secrets to maintaining a solid and effective budget is having the discipline to stick to it. Once you do, here are the benefits that you will reap:
• You are fully aware of where your finances are being spent
• You specifically know how much money you need to spend on particular expenses
• You can create attainable financial goals according to your salary
• You can clearly see progress on your savings

Planning a Great Budget and Following It

1. Asses your salary

Examine your Centrelink online income statements and find out how much will go to you after taxes. Once crucial tip that you should live by is not to depend on money that you’re not certain you’ll have. If your Centrelink incomes differ every week, just count the minimum amount you expect to receive. Then, you can put the excess to your savings account.

2. Monitor past and future expenses

You need to monitor the activities in your account regularly. But if you are a rookie in the entire budgeting scene, one great way to track your past expenses is to download your bank statements from the past few months. This will help you determine where your money is being spent. Once you have a clear view of your spending habits, you can begin planning your budget. Starting now, it’s very important to keep a record of every expense that you have. You can write them down on a notebook and bring it wherever you go. You can also download the Track My Spend app since this allows you to list down all your expenses and categorize them accordingly – such as utility bills, rent, clothing, and groceries. With this app, you can always track what’s happening in your account. Monitoring your expenses is the most efficient way to determine where your finances is going. Most of the time, if you take out money from your account, it’s difficult to point out where exactly did you spend it. With a tracker, you’ll have the chance to examine which expenses are mandatory and which ones should be cut down. Your future self will thank you for doing this.

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3. Limit your spending

Now that you are completely aware where your finances are being spent, you can begin cutting down what’s unnecessary. To do this, focus on your major living costs – the unavoidable expenses. These include your groceries, rent, public or petrol transport expenses, credit card payments, insurances, Centrelink loan payments, pet expenses, and utility bills. You can also take out debt consolidation loans to organize your debt payments in one. Once this is done, you can start cutting down your expenses on non-essential things like dining out, clothing, movies, snacks, leisurely events, alcohol, and more. It doesn’t mean that you have to completely give up entertainment, social life, eating out, and other fun activities. Making too much sacrifices will make you lose your motivation and ditch your budget. Just think about which expenses are important for keeping your sanity. You can download the Budget Planner app to help you plan out your budget. The app allows you to categorize all your expenses and over time, it will add up everything to give you an overview on how much you are spending on certain expenses. 

5. Make realistic financial goals

Budgeting your Centrelink salary to get the most out of it doesn’t have to be hard. It’s even easier once you are motivated and you have something to look forward to. Create financial goals and make an effective plan on how you are going to reach them using your budget. For instance, say you want to save $350 in one month. Asses your budget and strategize what you can do to reach that goal then put it into action. Set a schedule when you’d plan to reach that amount. When you managed to get there by your scheduled date, reward yourself. This doesn’t mean that you should splurge that $350 on an elegant dinner and loads of drinks. A great reward would be a glass of wine together with a friend, one barista coffee, a chocolate bar from the supermarket, or a movie treat for yourself. These simple yet special rewards will motivate you to stick to your budget.

Stress-free Sideline to Add to your Centrelink Salary

There are times where your job opportunities are very limited or you are in a certain situation that hinders you from working and all you need to do is to solely depend on your Centrelink online services. You might also be a student who rely on Centrelink Youth Allowance to make ends meet. If you don’t have a job or unable to find a job, but you still want to improve your cash flow, here are several ways on how you can do it.

1. Sell your stuff

This doesn’t mean that you should sell out everything that you have. If you have stuff that you don’t use anymore, try to make some cash out of them. Make a Gumtree account or eBay page. Sell your preloved items to people who need them more than you do. It can be your clothes that you don’t use anymore but are still in great condition, old phones that still work, Xbox games you used to love, or any sporting equipment that are just waiting to be used again. If you no longer need them, sell them to those who do and you might be able to collect a generous savings that will match your salary in Centrelink.

2. Rent out a spare room in your house

If you have an unoccupied room or rooms in your house, why not rent it out to someone? Though you need to give up some of your space and adjust to the fact that someone is living in your house, it could bring you good amount of money.

3. Apply for short-term jobs

Another great way to add money to your Centrelink online payments is to apply for short-term jobs. You can join online surveys that pay you for participation. You can also participate in focus groups and mock juries. Just take note that the aforementioned option may require your personal presence so it’s impossible to find more online options. Apart from this, you can also sign up to work as a mystery shopper for hospitality businesses and retail stores. All you have to do is frequent a certain restaurant or store, pretend that you are a normal customer and share the details with the company owners.

All of these are super simple and easy ways to increase your budget without the need to work too much. In fact, you can do most of them online.

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