Get your money on track

Steps to a brighter financial future


1. Create a budget

A budget helps you manage your money so you can cover the essentials and have enough left over to save or play with. If you can find extra savings in your budget, pay more off your mortgage or put those savings into paying off any credit cards or other debts.

Set up your budget to make sure your money goes where you want it to.

Budget planner

2. Track your spending

Don't let your money slip through your fingers. It can happen too easily with coffees, lunches and everyday small items.

Once you work out what you are spending on these items, you can include them in your budget to ensure you don't overspend.

3. Pay off your debts

If you've clocked up credit card debt or taken out a loan, make sure you won't still be paying off these debts in 10 years' time! Make a plan to pay them off quick smart.

See how much you'll save by repaying your debts faster. 

Credit card calculator

4. Start a savings plan

Whether you're saving for a car, a holiday, a home deposit or an emergency fund to cover you if things get tough, you're more likely to reach your goal if you have a realistic savings plan in place.

Work out how much you'll need to save each week to reach your goal.

Savings goals calculator

Once you know how much you will save each pay, open a high interest savings account to help your money grow.

5. Build your super

It's never too early to focus on building up your super. In fact, the sooner you start, the more money you will have when you retire.

Calculate your likely retirement income from super and the age pension.

Retirement planner

There are things you can do to boost your super now:

  • Check - Check how much super your boss should be paying you, using our employer contributions calculator.
  • Consolidate - If you have more than one super account, combine them into a single account so they don't get eaten up by fees. See consolidating super funds.
  • Invest - Consider putting your super in a growth investment option. Find out more about super investment options.
  • Contribute - If you earn less than $52,697 per year (before tax) and put after-tax money into your super, you can get a Government co-contribution. To find out how much you can get, use our super contributions optimiser.

6. Take charge of your home loan

Whether you are choosing your first home loan or thinking of switching home loans, we have tools to help you.

First home

When choosing a home loan, it's important to work out the features you need from your loan and how much it will cost you in fees.

Work out how much you can borrow, work out your repayments and faster ways to pay off your loan.

Mortgage calculator

Switching home loans

Switching home loans could potentially save you thousands of dollars in interest or let you take advantage of features offered by another loan. Do your sums and work out if the benefits of switching are worth the costs.

Work out whether you will save money by switching loans.

Mortgage switching calculator

7. Protect the important things

If you have a partner or family then you'll want to make sure they'll be taken care of financially if the worst should happen to you. Life insurance is a good way to do this. Check if you already have life insurance through your super as it can be a cheaper way to get this cover.

Protecting the things you own against loss or damage makes great financial sense. Think about how much it would cost you to repair or replace your home or possessions if you had to. Visit our webpage on home and contents insurance.

8. Invest wisely

Investing your money can be a good way to grow your finances for the future. But you need to understand the risks involved so that your investment decisions match your goals, timeframes and risk tolerance.

Start planning your investments.

Investor toolkit

We have information about many different types of investments.

9. Consider getting financial advice

Financial advice can help you clarify your goals and create a plan to achieve them. There are different types of financial advice options available, and various things you should consider when choosing and working with a financial adviser.

Navigate the financial advice process with confidence.

Financial advice toolkit

10. Get help if you need it

If you're in debt or just struggling to make ends meet, there is help available to help you:

  • Financial counselling - A free and confidential service that can help you solve your money problems.
  • Free legal advice - If you are in debt and have legal problems, community legal centres and Legal Aid agencies offer free legal advice in every state and territory.
  • Urgent money help - Services are available to help you if you need emergency relief or emotional support.

If your personal circumstances have taken a turn for the worse, visit our webpages for practical advice to help you get back on your feet if your relationship breaks down, you lose your job, experience illness, lose your partner, or have problems paying your mortgage.

MoneySmart's range of calculators and tools are a great place to start if you want to work towards a brighter financial future.

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Last updated: 02 Aug 2019