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Article | 3 minute read

When two (breadwinners) become one

Learning to live on a reduced household income right now? You’re not alone. We’ve summarised some next steps for you and your partner which may help you get back towards your financial goals.

Going through life together means sharing high points and low points. Here, we explore some potential next steps you could take today which may help you to manage your financial health together:

  1. Reset and review your shared finances
  2. Revise and re-prioritise your budget
  3. Reach out 

1. Reset and review your shared finances

Take a moment to reset and review your current financial situation together. Begin by getting an overview of your total income and expenses to figure out your household’s cash flow.

You could do some good old-fashioned spreadsheeting. Or, you could use our Plan Your Spend tool or ANZ Spendi in the ANZ App. Alternatively, try logging into your online bank account to get a record of your transactions.

Review money coming in: 

Make sure you’re factoring in any continuing pay, any pay cuts or reduced hours and any alternative income streams, among other things.

These might include:

  • Interest
  • Current savings 
  • Loans 
  • Government benefits 
  • Private/freelance income
  • Capital gains (money from selling certain assets, such as property) 

Review money going out:  

Categorise your common expenses into essential ‘needs’ and non-essential ‘wants’. It’s important to share these with your partner, so that you both understand each other’s situation.

Some ‘needs’ might include:

  • Rent or mortgage repayments
  • Utility bills (such as energy or water)
  • Basic grocery items
  • Basic clothing items
  • Transport costs (if you’re unable to work from home)

Some ‘wants’ might include: 

  • Entertainment/media subscriptions
  • Expensive food items and eating out
  • That daily cup of barista-brewed coffee 
  • Holidays

2. Revise and re-prioritise your budget

Significant life events for your household, or a ‘new normal’, means finding new ways to manage money. Discuss with your partner where you might cut costs to find quick wins:

  • Are any expenses we’ve listed as needs actually wants?
  • Can any expenses we’ve listed as wants be reduced or removed?

You might consider the following ways to cut living costs: 

  • Asking for reduced rent or mortgage repayments
  • Contacting your electricity, gas and water provider to ask if you’re eligible for a utility rebate or enquiring about applying for financial hardship assistance
  • Cancelling or consolidating unused subscriptions
  • Placing a cap on takeout meals and entertainment per month

This may help you to start setting financial expectations, including financial goals for the short and long term. 

To get an in-depth breakdown on planning your budget, check out our Financial Wellbeing Check-In guide

We’ve also compiled some ways that may help you to manage your financial products and services if you need more help getting back on track. 

Reach out

Your current situation may be difficult, but temporary.  

In the meantime, here are some resources which may help you and your partner’s financial wellbeing: 

Last but not least, our experts at ANZ may also be able to assist. You can book a remote appointment to talk through your options or visit your local branch.  

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.