Managing large sums of money
Making your payout last
If you've received a big sum of money from a compensation
payment, tax refund, land money or an inheritance, there are ways
to make the money last and protect yourself from people who might
try to take it from you.
Here we explain how to deal with scammers and family pressures
when you receive a big payout.
How to make your money last
If you have received a big payout, there are ways to make the
most of your money now, so that it can help you and your family in
Pay off your debts
If you have a lot of debts, or a debt you're not sure you really
owe, talk to a free financial counsellor before you
pay. They can help you work out which debts you should pay first
and which ones you might be able to negotiate.
Paying off your credit card bills, loans and debts will free you
from debt worries. You will pay less interest and can start saving
for other things, like a holiday or a car!
Work out how much you could save if you pay off your credit
Credit card calculator
Put the money in a high-interest savings account
If you put your money into a high-interest savings account and
don't take the money out for 6 months or a year, you will earn
interest, which is extra money on top of the money you put in. The
longer your money is in the account, the more interest you'll earn.
This works well for people who don't need to use the money straight
Find out how to set up a savings account.
Work out how much extra money you will have if you put it into a
Compound interest calculator
Spread your spending over time
If you come into a large sum of money, it can be tempting to
spend it all at once. But it is sometimes better to spread your
spending out over time so that you have a little bit extra each
fortnight to spend on things you need. A financial
counsellor or financial capability worker can help you plan how
to do this.
Case study: Ngupyula spreads her money over
Ngupyula has received a large compensation payment. She
remembers that when her friend, Leanne, received a big payout last
year, Leanne's family got her to spend it on a brand new barbeque
for her community to use. Although everyone was happy to have the
barbeque, Leanne regretted how she spent the money because she
struggled to afford all her bills.
Ngupyula doesn't want the same thing to happen to her, so she
decides to keep her payout a secret. She uses ASIC's MoneySmart budget planner
to work out how much money she needs to pay her bills, and deposits
some of the money into a high-interest savings account so she'll
have money later when she really needs it. She now plans to spend
the rest of her money to help her grandkids.
Invest your money
Investing is when you put your money into a managed fund, shares
or property that might make your money grow. There can be risks
with some types of investments, and scams that mean you can lose
Before you invest your money, make sure you understand what's
involved. Find out the golden rules of investing so you know
where to start. You can also talk to a licensed financial
adviser to get help with investing.
Make sure you have a will
Having an up-to-date will is the best way to make sure that your
assets and money will go to the people
you want to have them when you die. This is especially important
when you receive a big payment. If you die without a will, the
court will decide who gets your assets, and this could take a long
time and be expensive.
Find out more about making a will and where you can get help.
How to deal with people who
try to take your money
There are people out there who might try to get you to give them
your money. Be careful who you tell about getting a big payout, so
you don't end up losing it.
Be wary of scammers
If a person who wants to rip you off knows you've come into some
money, they may target you and try to scam you out of your money.
If someone does come to you with an offer on how to spend your
money, you need to make sure they aren't trying to trick you.
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably
People may contact you by phone, email or in person at your
local community centre to ask you to invest in a company. Don't
give them any information. Walk away, hang up the phone, delete and
block any emails or messages from the person through social media
and stop dealing with them.
Read more about how to avoid scams.
Don't be afraid to report scammers to stop them from ripping off
other people. You can call ASIC's Indigenous Helpline on 1300 365
957 about scams involving insurance, superannuation, investments or
financial advice. Report all other scams on ACCC's SCAMwatch
website, or the ACCC's Indigenous Infoline on 1300 303 143.
Protect your personal information
Never give out your personal, banking or credit card information
to anyone who contacts you. When someone calls you or emails you,
you can never be sure that person is who they say they are. The
person might say they are from your bank or a government agency -
when they are not.
If someone asks you to give them your banking details, don't
give it to them unless you have double checked they are who they
say they are. Search for their phone number in the phone book or on
the internet and call them on that number. That way you'll know you
are definitely speaking to someone from the right organisation.
Be careful of bullying by members of your family or
If members of your family know you have received a large sum of
money, they may expect you to give them some of it or buy them
things with the money. Even though you may want to help your
family, you need to look after yourself first. Make sure you have
enough money to pay for food and bills, then decide how much you
will give to your family and how much you will save. See our page
on dealing with
family pressure about money for more information.
Where to get help deciding what
to do with your money
If you've never received a big amount of money before, it can be
hard to work out what you should do with it. There are places you
can go to get guidance.
Department of Human Services
If you receive benefits from Centrelink, you must tell them if
you receive a large payout, as it could affect your entitlements.
If you don't tell them when you receive the money, you might be
overpaid and have to pay money back to them. Call the Centrelink
Indigenous Call Centre on 1800 136 380. If you're receiving
compensation through a lawyer, they will be able to tell Centrelink
on your behalf.
Financial Information Service (FIS) officers
FIS officers can help you understand whether what you decide to
do with the money will affect any Centrelink payments you receive.
Financial Information Service website for more information.
If you're not comfortable meeting a financial counsellor
or financial adviser on your own, ask someone you trust to go with
you. They can support you and help you ask questions about things
you're not sure of.
Financial counsellors provide a free, confidential and
independent service. They can suggest ways to improve your
financial situation, or help you organise your finances and do a
Find your closest financial counsellor.
Financial counsellor online search
advisers charge for their services. They can help you work out
options for investing or using your money.
Find out more about how to choose the right financial
adviser for you and the questions to ask before you sign up for
There are lots of things to think about if you
come into a large sum of money. Use the money wisely and be careful
who you tell so you can make the money last and help your family
over the long term.
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Last updated: 10 Sep 2018