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Surviving on JobKeeper and Jobseeker: emergency budgeting advice

- May 6, 2020 2 MIN READ

Can you survive on $550-670 a week? That’s exactly how much money millions of Australians will have to satisfy their financial obligations as the impact of the coronavirus crisis continues.

More than 850,000 businesses have registered for JobKeeper payments, in addition, to close to 600,000 people who have applied for the JobSeeker scheme. The schemes will pay out $670 and $550 per week respectively after tax.

Financial adviser Helen Baker says this leaves people with little wriggle room, making a budget necessity.

“An income of $670 will be extremely difficult to get by on and is not sustainable over the long term, which is why the first step for JobSeeker and JobKeeper recipients will be to make arrangements with their banks, landlords, insurers and utility providers to defer or reduce payments,” Baker says.

Baker and the team at money.com.au have put together a budget to assist people to work out how to survive on the government’s support payments. However, she says the budget relies on people proactively reducing spending and seeking to defer payments where possible.


“They should also seek bulk-billing medical services where possible. This emergency budgeting guide assumes that rent has been reduced, mortgage repayments have been deferred (you should seek advice if that is appropriate for you) and other financial commitments have been delayed for six months (you should also seek advice if that is appropriate for you).

“Those who use this guide will also need to almost eliminate non-essential spending. The budget caters for a healthy, single person without large ongoing expenses, or in need of ongoing medical support. We want to show Aussies how they can live off these funds and best manage their finances until they can get back to earning their normal income.”

Baker says JobSeeker and JobKeeper recipients can adjust the suggested budget and tailor it to suit their needs.

“Once you have your budget outlined, use it to negotiate with your financial services providers and/or landlord to negotiate payment reductions or deferral options until the crisis is over. The budget will clearly show your bank or landlord not only that the amount of money coming in will be less than the amount going out, but by how much you will need to reduce your payments.”


Budget guide for JobSeeker

Expense Budget for JobSeeker recipients ($550 per week)
Rent $200/week
Electricity $150/quarter ($12/week)
Internet and mobile phone $105/month ($25/week)
Supermarket items and produce $150/week
Cosmetics and toiletries $7/week
Hairdresser $0/quarter
Car (includes petrol, parking and tolls) $50-65/week
Public transport $40/week
Streaming subscriptions $24/month ($6/week)
Alcohol $30/week
Eating out $10/week

 

Budget guide for JobKeeper

Expense Budget for JobKeeper recipients ($670 per week)
Rent $300/week
Electricity $200/quarter ($15/week)
Internet and mobile phone $105/month ($25/week)
Supermarket items and produce $140/week
Cosmetics and toiletries $7/week
Hairdresser $75/quarter ($7/week)
Car (includes petrol, parking and tolls) $50-65/week
Public transport $40/week
Streaming subscriptions $24/month ($6/week)
Alcohol $20/week
Eating out $20/week

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