Ways to save
Plan to create savings. Most experts recommend you create a budget to work out if you’re living above your means or find ways to trim your spending.
Knock down your debts. Make a list of all your debts, then order them from smallest to largest. Focus on paying off the smallest debt first, then use the money you were previously putting towards that debt to pay off the next smallest debt, and so on.
Learn to spot and avoid scams. No one is too smart to be scammed. But there are common signs to be aware of and steps you can take to protect yourself and your cash.
Top up your super. If you can afford to make extra contributions to your super, it will boost your balance through compound interest and save you money on tax.
Saving and budgeting
Start by looking at how much money is coming in. This could be your wages, investments or pension payments. Then look at where your money goes and write down. Once you see it on paper, you can make a call on what to cut back on.
Check if you're eligible for any NSW Government grants, funding, concessions, rebates, vouchers or other support to kick off your savings plan.
Knowing where you are now will help you get to where you want to be. MoneySmart outlines 6 easy steps to plan and manage how you spend your money.
Services Australia has practical information to help you build a budget and reach your short- and long-term goals.
This free, confidential government service can help you plan for your future financial needs – from salary sacrificing and superannuation to increasing your retirement income and understanding what happens when you move into aged care.
Established by The Brotherhood of St Laurence, Saver Plus is a financial education program for people on a tight budget to develop life-long savings habits. You may be eligible to get up to $500 to assist with education costs.
You’re the Boss is a free financial skills-building program that shows you how to change your behaviours around money. It includes a downloadable book that walks you through various savings strategies.
Help with debt
Do your debts feel like they’re spiralling out of control? The earlier you seek help, the more informed you’ll be about your options.
If you are finding it hard to keep up with all your payments, the National Debt Helpline has step-by-step guides and useful information on how to manage specific types of debts.
Can’t pay your debts? This Australian Government site offers free financial help, compares your insolvency options and outlines the consequences of bankruptcy.
Revenue NSW supports customers experiencing financial hardship or cost-of-living pressure. Don’t ignore your fines and fees. Contact Revenue NSW now to discuss options for a payment plan. You may also be able to resolve your fines by doing unpaid work, courses or treatment through a Work and Development Order.
Most people will face financial stress at least once in their lives, according to Lifeline. Get help and take steps to improve your financial situation with their support toolkit.
Free legal advice and financial counselling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The service specialises in credit cards, pay day and car loans, banking, debt recovery and insurance.
Community legal centres provide free legal help to people in need. Select the options that apply to you and find specialist services that fit your circumstances.
Concerned that you are spending more time and money gambling than you would like? This government service provides free chat and email counselling, and other support services.
Financial abuse is when someone takes away your access to money, manipulates your financial decisions, or uses your money without consent.
MoneySmart describes the signs of a financially abusive person and provides advice on how to protect yourself and your money.
The 1800RESPECT Financial Abuse Support Toolkit explains what financial abuse is, what it feels like, and next steps when you are ready to reach out for support.
Redfern Legal Centre provides free and confidential advice about financial abuse. They can also work with other services to help you address legal and non-legal issues related to financial abuse.
This NSW government service provides support and information about financial abuse for older people or people with disability.
The Arise Foundation helps survivors of financial abuse through no-interest loans, employment training and job placement.
If you’ve been through a situation where someone has tried to control you with money, work or other financial matters, the financial independence hub can help you sort things out with free, confidential support.
A scam is a way of tricking people into handing over money or personal details. These resources can help you understand the various ways you could be scammed and how to report anything you think is suspicious.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is raising awareness about how to recognise, avoid and report scams. Learn the common signs that something is a scam and find out what to do if you are a victim of one.
Scams can happen to anyone. Find out how to protect yourself with a free downloadable copy of the ACCC’s Little Black Book of Scams. It’s available in English and 10 other languages.
NSW Fair Trading describes different types of scams and cybercrime, and how to report them to the appropriate government agency.
This government site helps you take control of your cyber security and protect yourself and your data online. It also explains what to do if you’ve been hacked.
Superannuation is a tax-effective way to save for your retirement. Whether you’re just starting out in a job or looking to leave work, it pays to stay on top of your super fund.
MoneySmart tells you how to choose a super account with lower fees, compare your fund’s performance with others, and how to get your super when you retire.
The superannuation choices you make today will help shape your lifestyle in retirement. The ATO’s superannuation hub helps you sort your super now to maximise your savings when you retire. It also explains how and when you can access your super.
Learn more about the help and payments that are available when you retire – from the age pension and other allowances to the home equity access scheme.
Insurance, loans and financial relief
If you don’t earn a lot of money, you may be eligible for low-cost insurance, a no-interest loan or other support to help you get back on your feet.
Use this Australian Government directory to find emergency relief services throughout NSW.
Essentials by AAI insurance is designed for low-income earners who have a healthcare card, or receive Centrelink payments, or have an annual household income of about $48,000 or less.
A no-interest loan from Good Shepherd helps you borrow up to $2000 quickly for essential goods and services and pay no interest or charges. You should perform your own research before entering into a loan agreement.
Mary MacKillop Today offers people on low incomes no-interest loans for up to $2000 for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines and medical procedures. Repayments are set at an affordable amount over 12 to 18 months. You should perform your own research before entering into a loan agreement.
Vinnies offers small, interest-free loans of up to $2000 for low-income families and people across NSW. The loans are usually repaid over 12 months. You should perform your own research before entering into a loan agreement.
The Farm Innovation Fund can help NSW farmers meet the cost of carrying out permanent capital works that benefit the land and improve the long-term profitability of the business.
Bravery Trust is a military charity that provides emergency financial relief and counselling to serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force who have an injury or illness because of their service.
Tools and calculators
Use these free online services to model various repayments or work out if your income covers your expenses.
Understand where your money is going with MoneySmart's free budget template.
Calculate how long it will take to pay off your card by making various repayments.
See how much income you're likely to get from super and the age pension when you retire.
Compare super funds based on their fees and performance. You can also see how your personal super fund compares against others within your myGov account.
Work out your tax refund or debt estimate. It can be used for the 2015–16 to 2021–22 income years.