Hi mums, wondering if anyone out there are on Centrelink payments and what they have done once their youngest has turned 8. I’m at my wits end as I have just lost around $300 a fortnight and there is very little employment in this town. How do people cope?

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  • By watching every penny! Careful shopping and buying. There are some great charities out there that sometimes help with bills, others help out regularly with food vouchers etc

  • You would have received plenty of warning it was going to drop. Maybe if you look into studying, Centrelink may increase your fortnightly payment if you do. They will most likely suggest you move to an area with higher employment prospects. Harsh I know, but they can be really inhuman

  • It is really hard to adjust, but something you learn because you have to. It’s a massive drop isn’t it? Centrelink gave social workers available to help, maybe a chat with one if them would help?

  • Email and ask to have a consult with a social worker and financial adviser.

  • yeah it is tough these days but you just have to control every dollar that you get. ya never know, try your luck and advertise washing or ironing services, cleaning or cooking, babysitting. what is the main demographic in your town? tailor your services to that

  • Unfortunately this government is not concerned about people’s situations and is only concerned with helping itself. I am on a fixed income and have had it reduced also. I make ends meet by trying to be more self sufficient and grow my own vegies, have chooks for eggs, and cut out all processed foods when shopping except for the essentials. Also, you don’t need to have meat every night in my household and sometimes we have quiche and salad for dinner instead, or tuna bakes, etc etc. You can cut down your grocery bill by reducing non essential spending on processed and junk foods.

  • you have got to budget and paying bills, accommodation and food are the 3 main things that eat money and savings up.

    hang on and you’ll get there

  • Go to their website!!

  • It is very difficult and yes it would be a shock to drop down that much money instantly. There are options through foodbanks, electricity vouchers and similar ways to have cheap options of things for the kids. Schools quite often also have emergency money to assist with uniforms and excursions if you are in financial hardship. Your best bet for employment is registering (if you haven’t already) with a job services australia provider as they can assist with reverse marketing, updating your resume and sometimes paying for courses and training to get you into employment. It is really hard to deal with all this however it is better looking at retraining and returning to work now rather than be one of these mums been at home for 15 years and then needs to go back to work when the kids grow up. You could also look at opportunities to start your own business where you can work from home such as party plan. When I was off work I also found heaps of online sites with samples, trials, surveys and competitions that helped me earn vouchers, get samples of products and win prizes I otherwise couldn’t afford. Don’t be afraid to ask assistance from charities – as they say it is a help up not a hand out.

  • See a financial counsellor to help draw up a new budget (Centrelink should be able to refer you to a free one, or see someone like Mission Australia). Look for small savings as these can really add up. Sign up to free newsletters like the Simple Savings or Cheapskates newsletters, as these often have helpful hints. Hopefully these things will help to some extent.

  • I have had the same thing happen and I work full time and have my son full time and it’s still hard. I basically do things like buy meat in large quantities when on sale and use my slow cooker a lot, as you can get away with cheaper cuts at better prices. I reassessed everything I was spending money on. I use my dryer now very sparingly if at all. I do cold water washes in washing machine. I also go to sites that give you freebies. I bought a set of clippers to use on my son’s hair to save money. Pay bills like someone else said in small increments or if you have to get a payment plan. Encourage and get excited with the kids about doing free activities where you can, like going to the playground and having a picnic or going for a hike in good weather. Gee there is so much and so many adjustments I have had to make that it’s hard to think of all the cuts.

  • This is going to sound obvious but since you asked, I would cut down on expenses where I could, make a list, plan a budget. As to little work in your town, could you possibly explore the option of working from home? On line work? Contact some employment agencies, have you discussed your options with Centrelink, you might be surprised at the direction they can point you in or offer information.

  • Budget by writing down every expense to see where you can limit things. Do payment plans so you pay little amounts more frequently instead of big bills and make a meal plan so there are no unnecessary dinner costs and apply apply apply for jobs.

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