Too many savings to get Centerlink (extra on top of my apprenticeship)

Hey everyone wondering if I could get a hand. I've worked very hard to get my savings where there currently at. I have almost no assets, 20 years old and just started a very good dual trade apprenticeship.

Problem is what I'll be earning is poor 360 a week. On an average week I spend 340 on the bare essentials
The only cut I can make is mobile which I will be doing in Nov. 340 is without insurance and rego when it comes up and other kinds things. Can't buy new clothes gadgets car serviced/fixed

If I could get center link I think its an extra 80-120 a fortnight it should cover everything I need at least until I hit second year.

I know its a little greedy and I should just spend my savings to get by. Anyways I was wondering what I could do with my money as so I can have center link. The only thing I can think of is buying gold. Or something like that. That won't lose me money only for a year cause when I hit second year I won't need it.

Any help would be amazing. Sorry for the horrible layout, and somethings might not make sense let me know I'll do the best to correct them

After consideration, decided to suck it up. Use my savings as I need it and try to budget better. It'll only be for a year.


  • How much do you have in savings?

    • look he spends 340$ on bear only ! man i have no earning just 230$ centerlink which is about 115$ per week payment and i am a student and living in my parents house. I am saving at least 200 per month and I DO NOT DRINK AT ALL !!
      if i were instead of you i would have save more than $800 per month. you just dont know how to and where to spend you money perhaps ! because i believe if i dont have money i wont enjoy my self a lot and when i had good earning then i will start spending. Most of us are trapped in Credit jail just because we want to have more than what we have.

  • +41 votes

    Well if you're not eligible for social support payments, then you're not eligible. There's not much you can do about that unless you talk to them, explain your situation and try to get some help. But again, there are strict regulations in place otherwise the whole system will not work.

    Anyways I was wondering what I could do with my money as so I can have center link. The only thing I can think of is buying gold. Or something like that. That won't lose me money only for a year cause when I hit second year I won't need it.

    No. Your gold will be classed as your assets, which is the same as having cash, there is no way you can get around the system unless you use your savings.

    Let me put it to you this way, though, what makes you entitled to Centrelink payments if you have savings you can use. Why are you stingy with your own money and expect other people to help you?

    It's not "a little greedy", it's actually very greedy.

    • Stop being so hard on him, in case you hadn't realised by now in this post GFC age, everybody deserves a government bail out.

    • This one a leaner

    • Oops! Hit - instead of +

      Don't know how/if to undo it.

    • no it isnt greedy. i completely understand. what if he was saving for a home? if he had his savings within an asset like a house he was living in, he would be entitled to it. why should savings disadvantage him from something that someone not careful enough to save, could get? in the long run he wont be a long term centrelink user, because it is a secondary and addition option to him rather than the one and only option.

    • Let me put it to you this way, though, what makes you entitled to Centrelink payments if you have savings you can use. Why are you stingy with your own money and expect other people to help you?

      Well put! Centrelink is a safety net for people who need it.

      OP is looking for a handout, not safety net

    • Sure it is a little greedy, but their situation is also a poor "reward" for being financially responsible.

      What OP should have done was blown all his money on fast depreciating luxuries, holidays and other unnecessary consumables (and generally living outside your means) as many other less responsible citizens do, and then he would have got the assistance without being considered very greedy!

      The OP's brand of greed is the less of two evils (where the alternative would have been to blow the savings - then relying on welfare) so I understand frustration.

      • +4 votes

        Definitely agree with you there. It should be assessed on income and not assets. The person that saves his/her money in the bank to build a future should be supported just as much as the person who blows their savings on round the world holidays and luxuries the moment they leave uni before starting a proper job.

        • Definitely agree with you there. It should be assessed on income and not assets.

          It's a bit of a tricky one. While I agree that in this case the savings ends up hurting the applicant, you wouldn't want people inheriting hundreds of thousands of dollars from their parents and still being paid out government support because they want to stick to their job and their assets are being overlooked.

          Realistically, I think both need to be considered, at least over a threshold.

  • Wouldn't they consider your parents' income and assets since you are under 20? Have you tried applying? If not, just try. I'm over 22 so my situation was a bit different in that my parents weren't considered in my application but I had low income but pretty high savings. I decided to apply anyway and when I was handing in my documents I asked them whether I would be eligible and made it pretty clear I had pretty good savings. They said just apply and see and in the end I got it.

    • May I ask approx savings. If you don't mind.

    • +4 votes

      If you're considered as an independent, for youth allowance the amount of savings you have generally only defers your payment, it doesn't make you ineligible for it (unless you have assets over ~$200k for homeowners, and ~$350k for non-homeowners).

      With liquid assets, you'll be subjected to the liquid assets waiting period, which defers your payment if you have $5.5k+ (for singles) for up to 13 weeks. After the waiting period, you'll start receiving payment even if you're over the threshold provided you meet the other criteria.

      To the OP, have you checked whether you are eligible for Youth Allowance ( before considering whether you're assets are too high? Given your age, you'll be classed as dependent which means it's dependent on your parents' income or you classify as a independent due to reasons listed here:

      • As discussed here which link was already mentioned.

        You can always talk to FIS officer if they are still in use at the Human resources/centrelink.

        If family member have a 'qualified' financial planner, they may allow you to piggy back on their service. But NOTE - know your goals, Know your time frame, understand the difference between long term and short term which is different to 'you can get your money out at any time'.

        There is also a difference what is right [rule] and what is right [social? moral? Of heart]

        And finally two words and you will need to look into and there are many Apps that may help on one of these, and the other is creative thinking.

        No 1 BUDGET

        No 2 CREDIT CARD.

  • I sympathise being locked into a multi-year contract with less than 100% wages sux.
    My advice is to do all the OT you can get your hands on to finish your time early, to get to the bigger bux faster. Good luck.
    Kudos for saving. Stay off the credit trap.

  • +11 votes

    Unfortunately we live I a world where we are encouraged not to save up, if u save u lose any chance of centre link benefits, or in the case of old age, the pension.

    You better off splurging your money on holidays and clothes and other frivolous things a d claim u are poor.

    It sounds weird, I know, I learnt the hard way by saving heaps, paid probably around 150-200k tax in the last ten years, and I will be unemployed soon, but I will get nothing in support back.

    Australia is a great place for those who don't save or work. Sadly.

    • +10 votes

      But it's simple really, if you have the means to live, why do you want support?

      That's the crux of the issue, you view it as an entitlement - I.e. "I should get this" rather than as a means of helping those who cannot take care of themselves - I.e. "Without this payment, I will live, but the bloke who has no savings and no assets will be homeless".

      • but why should people who've saved and not been a complete twat with spending every week on clubbing/eating out/shopping etc, get these benefits.

        I'm in a similar position to OP, but that's because I saved for years in the past to hopefully have a house deposit soon.

      • I can live off 20k a year, I have friends who can't live off 150k every 2 or 3 years. They get money, they burn money, when they don't earn, the govt will support them. When they get money again, they will just burn it.

        There is no encouragement to save, even interest in the bank is taxed, where as no money in the bank can = support.

        • Cloudy, I think you and I disagree on this, but we would agree on some things.

          The first is exactly why socialism as a social and economic philosophy will never work. People generally want to spend as much as they can and take as much money as they can for themselves. People, generally, don't understand the meaning of "helping" people who NEED the money.

          On the one hand, you have people who, as you say, burn money and don't save and end up requiring support.

          On the other hand, you have people like yourself who think you are entitled to the support even though you don't need it.

          Everyone wants support, nobody wants to help others. It's not a bad thing, that's just how capitalism works, so I don't blame you, we're all encouraged to operate in a "dog eat dog" world.

          But just take a bit of time to consider for a minute, because you know what, when someone retires, it doesn't matter what they earned once upon a time, it doesn't matter how they decided to spend their money. The only thing that is important is that at that particular point in time, they don't have money to live. They need support. You do have savings, so you don't need support.

          The fact that they earned more than you whilst working or that you chose to save more than them is irrelevant. You shouldn't need an incentive to save, if you are capable of doing so, you should save, as that is your responsibility to society.

        • Why would it be his responsibility to society to save?

          If he makes the determination that he benefits more from spending than from saving (because hes punished for doing so), then he should be able to make whichever choice he wants.

          Theres no moral issue here, hes not hurting anyone by not saving, and if everything he does is within the bounds of the law the only responsibility he has is to himself.

        • @UnknownCamper: And that's the perfect capitalist view. There's no right or wrong in this discussion, you're right - he has no moral obligation. However, it's different economic theories and their implications.

    • +4 votes

      Australia is a great place for those who don't save or work. Sadly.

      Wtf…..keep your dumbarse statements to yourself. There are heaps of folk working hard and scraping through. For others there is no work in their community. Do we abandon vast parts of regional Australia? ….dude think about what you writing rather than parroting ACA

      • For others there is no work in their community.

        Show me a community where there is nothing productive to do and I'll show you what can be done to make the community better.

        Sitting on ur backside and saying, there's nothing to do isn't a going to get you anywhere. And no, swearing at me doesn't make your comments any more valid.

  • It's probably frowned upon but if your parents have a mortgage consider 'giving' them your savings for a few years, it'll lower their interest and allow you to get Centerlink ;)

    • Tried I can't gift them over q certain amount. To bad..

      • Can you make a loan to them? Then charge them either market or slightly lower interest. You no longer have cash but you do have a "cash flow" of interest. This helps give you an income and depending on your total financials may put you within the limits required by the rules. If not you still gain a cash flow and your family is in the same or slightly better financial position depending on the interest you charge.

  • Buy bitcoin on

    • Never become a financial advisor, this is some of the worst advice I've seen on here. Bitcoins are highly unstable and even false news reports could send the public in to panic.

      They have dropped in value from a high of $1230USD to a low of ~$240 and semi-stabilised at around $580 now.

      So let's say you invested $50,000USD when bitcoin hit $1,100USD, that money would now be worth $26,614
      Never risk the majority of your assets in something so high risk and purchasing a different currency doesn't stop your money from being an asset.

      • +2 votes


        ,or at least that's what I hear people saying before they are on their knee's in the casino car park for some quick cash.

  • Buy shares? The deemed income from your portfolio is something like 2.5% a year, the actual value of the shares isn't counted. If you need to sell them you should get all your money back if you buy decent blue chips or large cap ETFs.

  • Really - shares long term. Remember GFC. Unless you are a trader AND can afford the loss.

                Loans to family - ensure there is a written contract, insurances, and ademdum to will.
                 credit trap good comment.
                 Bitcoins = assets Does centre link assign a deemed income to this.
                  ¿ are bitcoins fully cash redeamable at least original capitable or does the value move like shares.
                  Does human resourses look at credit card balances.
  • Just a suggestion to the OP

    Take your money out of the bank, and buy a good safe and put all your money in the safe…

    Problem solved :D

    Then tell them you lost the lot on gambling.

    • This is fraud.

      They ask you how much cash you have when you apply, I presume, to lie is to be committing fraud.

      • -2 votes

        uhhh yeah, and… Maybe it's just the attitude I've gotten from coming from farmer ancestry but what the government doesn't know won't hurt them.

        • Well, if you're willing to risk having a criminal record as well as a possible sentence for getting a hundred bucks a week, then that's your call. It's still a crime.

      • Yeah it's defrauding the federal government, and therefore a federal crime. Fun times.

  • I think some of the advice here is rather poor. You're looking to reduce savings in your bank account. Buying gold isn't good advice as you're now exposed to a fluctuating gold price. It costs around AU$1400 today. Two years ago it was almost AU$1800, and during 2011 over AU$1800. Anyway, you could be leaving a paper trail of evidence by purchasing something.

    Bitcoin? That's a decent way to store some value but the price is extremely volatile. One bitcoin was valued at over AU$1000 just 8 months ago. Today it's AU$600, and you'd be leaving an electronic trail to buy bitcoins.

    Why not just withdraw the money via an ATM and if anyone comes asking what happened to your savings you just tell them you spent it? Plausible deniability. At most you'll lose maybe 3 to 4% per year by foregoing interest on the savings. Just keep the cash safe.

    Or simply consider that perhaps you should use some of your savings to cover your living expenses before asking fellow taxpayers for additional help.

    • Or simply consider that perhaps you should use some of your savings to cover your living expenses before asking fellow taxpayers for additional help.

      This is the correct advice. You have savings - use them. Looking for ways to more or less abuse the system isn't right in my opinion. Sadly far too many people do it and get away with it.

      • I agree this is the correct advice however it is a bitter pill to swallow as so many people across the social spectrum take advantage of our overly generous (by global standards) welfare system. There is no incentive for people to live off their savings for the mandatory waiting period knowing they can easily hide it or blow it all on a major purchase i.e. new car/holiday and then be rewarded by Centrelink.

        A loosely related anecdote - friends of the family reached retirement age and were not eligible for the pension due to various investments. They sold up (except for their own home which isn't assessed) and enjoyed an epic round the world holiday. A huge chunk of their savings are gone and now they live comfortably in their own home on a partial pension. Some would view this as quite irresponsible however I doubt they are alone in their mentality that they paid taxes for decades and are entitled to something back in retirement.

      • "Sadly far too many people do it and get away with it."

        which is why people think see it as an entitlement to abuse. very sad

  • If in the end you are successful, $360 a week puts you over the tax free threshold. So you would need to remember to schedule to take 20% tax out of your centrelink payment, otherwise you would owe money next tax time.

  • Find someone you trust a whole lot who already earns too much for benefits. Give them a 'gift' in exchange for a suitable 'gift' when you need to access the money. The system is so geared towards the big guys you may as well tweak it to suit yourself, since you can't pull a Rineheart and stick it in offshore accounts and the like.

  • Too much savings to get Centerlink…this is like complaining that I have to drive my blue ferrari and not my red ferrari. Centrelink is for when you need to live, not for want to live better. Be grateful that if you have no savings etc you do have a means of support, the government. To quote the ad, "help support the system that supports you".

  • Our welfare system is horribly broken. We give money to people who should be working and take it from those who are. Best you can do is to work the system.

    I recommend:

    1 Pull the money out of your bank account.
    2 Buy a safe.
    3 Put the safe under your bed and stick the remaining money it.
    4 Claim centerlink.

    If you finish your trade the government will spend the rest of your life gouging you to support welfare sponges, you might as well get something back while you can.

    • Lol, haven't you just noticed that the OP is actually one of those people who don't deserve it but wants it…. lol.

      • Quite the contrary. When I was studying University I had a part time job. They wanted to give me more work, but I declined because working more would drop my Centrelink payments dramatically and I would effectively be working for peanuts for the extra hours.

        I have no moral qualms about this at all and consider it making the best of a broken system. Now that I'm working I'm either supporting 3-4 slackers who will never give back anything, which is terrible, or 3-4 people working towards a future that will give back far more than they ever got.

        The OP seems to be in the latter category and that's fine with me.

  • Assuming you can trust your parents with a sum of money you could always 'repay the loan' that they gave you and withdraw some of the cash.
    Keep in mind though that doing so is considered fraud and you risk losing it if your house gets broken in to.

    The best solution would be (in my opinion) to minimise your outgoings and use as little of your savings as possible. Short term pain for long term gain, using your savings is the lowest risk solution as any asset that you purchase will presumably fluctuate in value.
    By limiting your expenses and allowing a small amount of savings to be used ($20-50 a fortnight could be all that's needed) you have no risk in terms of asset depreciation and your savings can bring in a small amount of income (depending on how much you have) through high interst accounts.

  • The basis of this whole thread is the reason pensioners keep money in suitcases in the cupboard. Just don't donate it to the Salvos without checking first.

  • Go to centrelink and get a proper assessment.

    Use your savings (if needed) to get by for a couple of years during your apprenticeship. Think of it as an investment towards making a good income in the future. When you become trade qualified you will be able to make up those savings plus a lot more.

    In the meantime hold a mean eye on your expenditures… there are many many ways to save in hard times, it is up to you. You would be surprised at how many people think that flippant things like Foxtel, etc are an "essential" item :-(

  • Can you move back home?

    This might cut a lot of costs and once apprenticeship is over you will make more money.

    Don't go on welfare. It should be there for people with nothing, not people who have something like you.

  • OP makes no sense. First off, savings is not, nor has ever been a barrier to apply for the government payment he wants. At most there's a 12 week wait & then he get's the full entitlement.

    Secondly and most importantly though, how do you live at home and have $350 a week in costs?

  • Buy a coal mine. You'll never have to pay tax again for the rest of your life!

  • Have you done the maths?

    $80 * 26 fortnights = $2080

    $120 * 26 fortnights = $3120

    $50k savings gets around $2000 in interest each year.

    Apply now, then wait 13 weeks for your first payment.

  • Go to Hong kong, Open a bank account and deposit your money there. Nobody need to know about it.

    Apply for centrelink payment later on.

    At least that's what my low-life-leeching-parasite-friends do. Sadly I can't report them.

  • Mate are you for real? You claim you have too much saving yet then go on to say you have no assets.

    Cash is an asset and of course the government will check to see if you have sufficient money in your account.

    If you do have a lot consider investing your money with a stock broker so you can use the interest and dividends paid by the shares to generate income to support yourself.

  • +12 votes

    List your bare essentials that cost a 20 year old $340 a week after tax because I find that bullshit

    • If he's living out of home and paying a share of rent and bills (and locked into a lease agreement so cant reduce these amounts) then its plausible.

    • 'On an average week I spend 340 on the bear essentals'

      It might help to get rid of the bear, sounds like a bloody expensive pet. Go for a turtle, not only can you name it Murtle or your favorite ninja turtle but they are also awesome and clearly cheaper to own than your bear.

      • this made me lol that my work mates noticed

      • Hang on, no need for such a radical move. Sounds like it could be a polar bear which obviously has higher costs for eg. air conditioning. Maybe something like a sloth bear - it's smaller, lives in warm weather, and only eats insects.
        An ever cheaper and lower maintenance alternative would be a Care Bear.

  • My 2c

    -Im not up to date on the recent figures (so do your own research) but in my student days, you were allowed around $5k of savings and you could still get Centerlink.
    - Then for every $500 over that threshold you had to wait 1 week after applying to receive your benefits, up to a max of 13 weeks.

    If as you claim, you only need an extra $80 per fortnight to cover your costs, then spend the $40 per week from your savings for 13 weeks (assuming you have to wait that long) and you've only spent $520… then you'll get Centerlink.

    Again, do your own research but I suspect gold bullion would be considered a liquid asset anyway because it's readily convertible into cash.

  • I relised quiet quickly that this post should of been taken down early. anyways sorry for the Hassel I figure I should just suck it up spend my savings then when there gone get center link if still needed. I'll gain it back after my apprenticeship. Once again sorry.
    (Wow it got to the front page)

    • Just do as another has suggested. Apply and see exactly where you stand. Never mind those who 'would never take welfare', it's available for a good reason and you may be eligible. Even the rich get their welfare in tax breaks/subsidies and on ….

  • If you plan to waste it just so that you can get then just put it all into super then it will no longer be an asset

    • It won't be wasting it I want to keep it but seems like a no go but that might be an option.

    • I was kicked out of home at 19.

      If there wasn't Austudy (the dole for full time students), then I wouldn't have been able to get my degree, that got me my job, which allowed me to pay taxes.

      I'm much more comfortable with my taxes going to centerlink recipients than I am for the funds to go towards tax breaks for those much better off. That money circulates through the system (even if it's ciggies and beer) rather than going off shore where the taxman can't touch it, or used to gear against other investments.

      There's heaps of talk about 'dole bludgers', but the real sucker of funds are the tax breaks and incentives given to companies who say that the money goes back into the country, but ends up just sitting in a bank to gain interest for 'millionaire bludgers'.

      It's also a really bad situation at the moment with youth unemployment and I think 'tough love' isn't the way to go about solving the nation's youth unemployment problem. If anything it's going to create a low of resentment towards those who had it easier in times past, who haven't had the troubles that the youth have had with employment. It's hate that isn't needed or wanted in this country and could cause a lot of future social issues.

      I vote Liberal vote and fully support the Centerlink system. This debacle isn't enough to sway me just yet :)

      • Thank you for your reply, makes more sense. SO it clears out the that if not paying as a centrelink benefit the money is NOT even going to benefit the country much either (develop it or whatever) depends on politics party and how to they use it.

        But also when you were 19 you could have worked and make money and lived off it. I am not against government helping you out to study and loan you money for that but you will be paying it back to the government when you are able to.

        • But also when you were 19 you could have worked and make money and lived off it.

          Not whilst doing a full time degree you can't. At least not without going insane.

        • @theguyrules:

          I actually did work part time throughout my course (full time) to supplement the Centrelink benefits as it wasn't enough by itself to pay all the bills.

          Quite often it was for cash in hand jobs so I wouldn't have had to declare it, and the other times I did declare the earnings, and other times I didn't (ignorance, not malice).

          I was getting $1k a month from Austudy which covered my rent and transport to and from uni, so I needed more for food, clothing and other expenses.

          I don't know how people can actually bludge on 12k a year from Centrelink. It's just not enough for a single person to live from unless they have additional assistance from friends or family.

        • @theguyrules:

          Well i have worked part time here while studying and covered all my expenses and living.
          Finished my 3 years degree. Found a full time job and than paid off the study loan that i had. Working full time now. Did all that without Centrelink benefits.

        • @phokati:


          Were you kicked out of home during your full time course? Did you have 0 dollars to your name when that happened? Did you have no assistance from family or friends?

          If you are an Australian citizen then you would have been eligible for Aus Study - and just because you managed to do it without (which I doubt), doesn't mean its possible for most.

        • @alittlelewd:
          it's like, ~$17k a year with the start of semester stuff.
          It's not easy but it's doable. At least it is for me, but i had some savings before uni I suppose.
          Everyone's case is different.

  • How much do you have in savings? 5K? 10K?

  • The liquid asset test has a cap of $348,500 ( You really have more than $348,500 in liquid assets?

    If that's the case even putting it in a term deposit you would earn $13,940p.a. (assuming 4%). If you have more liquid assets then that then you would earn more passive income.

    I think this cap is very generous, you can earn a reasonable supplemental income with no risk and therefore you don't need a government payment.