Living with mental ill-health can mean making ends meet can be difficult – especially if you’re trying to get by on a low income. Money can be a big worry, but there’s a lot you can do to make it a smaller worry once you decide to take control and take action.  

Tips to improve financial welfare

  • make a budget and trying to live by it
  • find ways to cut costs where possible
  • contact an organisation that helps you manage debt
  • call people you owe money to, be honest about your situation and ask them to work with you – they often will
  • make sure you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.

How to make a budget

  1. How much money’s coming in? Pick a time period, say a fortnight, and, for that period, work out how much money you have coming in.
  2. How much money’s going out? Over that same period, work out how much money you’re spending.
  3. Compare what’s coming in with what’s going out. Now you can see your fortnightly balance.  
  4. Make a plan. Think about the things you buy that you need (maybe food and utilities) and the things you buy that you want but don’t need. That will help you to make decisions about your spending.

The National Debt Helpline (free call) 1800 007 007 (9:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday to Friday).