A budget helps you understand how much money you have, how much you’re spending and how much money you need to cover your expenses.

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Track your spending

Tracking how much you spend for a couple of weeks will help you understand where all your money goes.

Ways to track your spending include:

  • Jot down expenses in a notebook
  • Use an online tool such as the government’s money smart budget planner,
  • Download a mobile phone app – visit the App Store (Apple phones) or Google Play (Android phones) to see what is available. For example, TrackMySPEND is a free, easy-to-use app provided by the  Australian Government.

If you need assistance preparing a budget, you can speak to a financial counsellor

Steps for preparing a budget

1. Choose a time frame

Decide if your budget will be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly. Many people choose the time frame that matches their pay period.

2. Write down your income

For example:

  • take-home (net) pay and bonuses
  • income from investments, shares or property
  • government benefits, such as Centrelink payments
  • child support payments
  • repayments from anyone who owes you money (debtors)
  • any other income

3. Write down your expenses

For example:

  • housing – rent/mortgage, council rates, strata fees
  • loan repayments – car loan, personal loan, credit cards
  • utilities – electricity, gas, water, phone, mobile, internet, pay TV
  • insurance – home and contents, car, private health, life
  • health – medical, dental, pharmaceuticals, optical
  • transport – petrol, registration, repairs, fares, parking fees
  • education – child care, school fees, excursions and uniforms, HECS/HELP repayments
  • food and groceries
  • clothing and shoes
  • personal care (e.g. haircuts)
  • entertainment, holidays, gifts
  • child support payments
  • unpaid fines
  • tobacco and alcohol
  • incidentals (pocket money)

4. Calculate the difference

Work out the difference between your income and expenses. If your expenses are greater than your income, see How do I balance my budget?.

Once you have prepared your budget, review it regularly, as your income and expenses may change.

How do I balance my budget?

If you spend more than you earn, that is, your expenses are greater than your income, there are various ways to reduce your expenses and/or increase your income. You can read about the options that apply to you on the links below, or talk to a financial counsellor.

Reduce debts and expenses

Find other income

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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059


To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in October 2018
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