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Money.com.au’s Emergency Budgeting Guide for Aussies on JobSeeker and JobKeeper

April 2020

About the emergency budgeting guide

Millions of Australians will be paid around $670 a week after tax1 after more than 850,000 businesses to date have registered for the JobKeeper scheme. In addition, more than 587,600 people who have so far registered for JobSeeker payments will receive a $550 a week from Centrelink. JobSeeker payments will begin to flow on 27 April and JobKeeper in the first week of May. But is it possible to live on $550-670 a week?

Our spokesperson and licensed financial adviser, Helen Baker, has crunched the numbers to offer a budgeting guide for the millions of Aussies who will be required to survive on JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments.

Helen Baker’s advice

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. 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). The budget caters for a healthy, single person without large ongoing expenses, or in need of ongoing medical support.

Budget for JobSeeker Recipients ($550 per week)

ExpenseCost (Budget)
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 for JobKeeper Recipients ($670 per week)

ExpenseCost (Budget)
Rent$300/week
Electricity$200/quarter ($12/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
  1. JobKeeper recipients receive $750 in gross payments. This is based on the assumption that individuals are taxed $80 (32.5%), but recipients may be taxed more or less. This will depend on what they were earning prior to JobKeeper, as payments will be taxed at their marginal tax rate.

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