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The Shovel’s 7 Tips For Living On Newstart

There’s been a lot of talk about increasing the Newstart payment recently. But as the Government has pointed out, there’s really no need. While $40 a day might not sound like much, with these handy hints – compiled with the help of Coalition ministers – you can really make your budget stretch.

1. Get someone else to pay for your interstate travel

Incidental business class travel can really eat into your daily budget. So if things are tight, make sure the taxpayer is footing the bill for your work trips to Canberra or family holidays to the Kimberleys.

2. Self-manage your inheritance fund

If the Royal Commission has taught us anything, it’s that large financial organisations can’t be trusted with our money. By managing your inheritance fund yourself, you’ll save thousands in fees and charges. That’s extra money for everyday basics like electricity or a second-story extension.

3. Claim a living away from home allowance on your spouse’s property

Getting $270 to stay in your spouse’s house may not seem like much, but over time it can really add up. After ten years you’ll have close to a million dollars – not enough for that extra holiday house you had your eye on perhaps, but a great way to fund the wine cellar you’ve always wanted.

4. Shift your share portfolio offshore

It’s amazing how many people on Newstart still have their share funds and shelf companies based in Australia. Be smart and shift your assets to an offshore haven where your tax liability will be lower. With the extra funds, you might even have enough to take the kids to the movies or Disneyland.  

5. Get a driver

Running a car is often one of the most expensive items for cash-strapped households. So you’d be a dill not to use a taxpayer-funded Comcar instead. All that money you used to spend on registration, petrol, insurance and servicing can now go into putting food on the table at your favourite hatted restaurant.  

6. Look for cheap rent

Then avoid it. When you’re scraping by on $280 a week, it’s important to get the highest rents possible for your property portfolio. As a guide, a three-bedroom investment property in Potts Point should net at least $1800 a fortnight. Not complaining now are we?

7. Cut down on little luxuries

Do you really need that second coffee or bottle of ’98 Hill of Grace? By switching to a slightly younger vintage, you can save hundreds of dollars a week. It may not sound like much, but it could be the difference between a new swimming pool and a new swimming pool with in-built lights.   

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