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Resources

Budgeting during treatment

Many people find cancer brings extra financial demands. Often income decreases while expenses increase.

Many people find cancer brings extra financial demands. Often income decreases while expenses increase.

We know that making a new budget may seem time consuming or stressful on your own. Here are some tips to get started or if you want to talk to someone about creating a budget, we can connect you to someone who can help.

How do I make a budget?

A budget is a record of all your income and expenses. Following the steps below, you can get a clearer picture of whether you need to make changes, and where you can make them.

Step 1: List all your expenses

Tip: Use your bank and credit card statements as a guide

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Food and groceries
  • Household bills like electricity, gas, water and internet
  • Medical costs
  • Travel expenses including car registration and insurance
  • Debt payments and interest
Step 2: Calculate your total income after tax
  • Your salary including any changes to your employment that might happen during treatment
  • Centrelink or pension payments
  • Investment income

Managing your bills

Young people and families facing cancer often tell us that keeping up with bills and other payments is extremely difficult, especially when they’re focusing on getting through cancer treatment. If you think you’re struggling to meet bill payment deadlines or may have fallen behind, there are things you can do.

Apply for financial hardship

Some companies may extend payment dates or lower bill costs for people experiencing “financial hardship” (which means involuntary, short-term difficulties covering living expenses). When contacting a company about a bill, you may want to ask some financial hardship questions, such as:

  • What’s your financial hardship policy and where can I find it?
  • If I apply for financial hardship, what information do I need to include (e.g. a letter of reference)?
Extending or reducing bills

Another option is to ask for an extension or reduction. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Is it possible to have my bill payment period extended or my bill payments lowered?
  • Do you have policies on how people can manage outstanding bill payments? Where can I find these?

Managing home loans and other debts

Like bills, mortgage and other loan repayments can also be a source of financial stress for young people and families facing cancer. If you think you may not be able to cover your mortgage payments during cancer treatment, a good first step is to contact your home loan provider and let them know of your situation. Some home loan providers can offer:

  • A reduction to interest-only payments
  • An extension of your loan term
  • A temporary suspension of payments
  • A freeze on interest

It’s also a good idea to talk to the companies managing any other debts you might have (such as car loans or personal loans to find out if they have any payment options to help in you situation.

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