It’s a well-worn piece of advice but one you shouldn’t ignore: the best way to take control of your finances is to prepare a budget and to ensure that your income is protected if you can’t work for some time.

Preparing a budget

This simple tool will help you understand the flow of money coming into and more importantly, going out of your household.

No matter what you’re saving for – kids’ education, a car, a holiday – a budget will help you find ways to cut back on extras. And don’t forget to include allowances for fun, leisure and personal expenses. You don’t want a budget so tight that you won't be able to stick to it.

It's a good idea to redo your budget every three to six months to make sure it reflects your current income, spending and goals. Once you’re comfortable using and sticking to a budget, you can update it less frequently, maybe once a year.

Understand where you are spending your money with our budgeting calculator.

Protect your income

How would your family cope if you were unable to work for an extended period of time? Starting a family brings added financial responsibilities and we all know that things can change unexpectedly.

Income protection can pay up to 75% of your income (or 85% if you take your super guarantee into account) if you’re off work for a while. This can help alleviate some of the stress, making your time off a bit easier to manage.

You can apply for income protection through your super account, and your premiums are automatically deducted from your super account balance, so you don’t need to worry about paying for them out of your existing budget.

To apply for income protection, you must be a member aged between 15 and 65 and gainfully employed for at least 15 hours a week.

Not sure how much cover you need?

A superannuation adviser can help you estimate how much cover you need. Having the right amount of cover will give you peace of mind in case something unforeseen happens. Book an appointment with  a superannuation adviser to discuss your needs. There’s no extra cost - it's covered by your membership fee.

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