Running out of NDIS funding? The importance of budgeting!
Budgeting isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, it can be complicated and stressful and the same goes for budgeting your NDIS funding. One issue that can arise is overspending NDIS funds. This can happen when people don't have a clear understanding of how much funding they have available and what their needs are. Overspending can leave people without critical support and resources and in a situation where overspent funds are required to be paid back to the NDIA.
If you are concerned about overspending your NDIS funds, there are several steps you can take to help prevent this from happening:
1. Work with your NDIS coordinator/planner/early childhood partner early: These partners can help you create a spending plan that meets your needs and goals while staying within your budget. They have been involved in the creation of your NDIS plan based on what you need to achieve your goals and live an independent life, so are the perfect resource to use.
2. Create a budget: A budget can help you keep track of your expenses and make sure you don't overspend. Start with each funding budget, breaking it down into what services will come out of each category, and how frequently you will access them (for example weekly occupational visits etc.). You might also have some lump payments come out of your budgets that can be easily calculated into your spending. Having a rough idea of how much your services and supports are going to cost per month will give you a good indication of your budget lasting the span of your plan.
3. Consider being Plan Managed: If you are finding it difficult to manage your NDIS funds on your own, Plan Management could be a huge help. Having a Plan Manager manage your funds eases the stress of budgeting. Your Plan Manager has purpose build software to track and manage your funds, they have additional tools for you to keep across your spending with live views and will alert you to any chance of overspending before it happens. They are also there to answer any of your funding questions, helping to build your NDIS knowledge.
4. Track your spending: Keep track of your spending and make sure you are staying within your budget. You can use a spreadsheet, a budgeting app, or even a simple pen and paper to track your spending. Tracking your spending regularly allows you to adjust your spending as needed.
5. Review your spending: Make sure you review your spending, and look at provider invoices in detail, as this will allow you to pick up on possible reasons why you might be spending too quickly. There might be costs that you didn’t factor in, such as travel time charged by your providers or report writing that needed to be done on top of therapy sessions. By reviewing your spending, you can be more proactive with your budget and not reactive when you realise you are spending too quickly, ensuring your supports remain uninterrupted.
By taking these steps, you can help prevent the overspending of your NDIS funds and ensure that you have the resources you need to live a fulfilling life. If you do find yourself in a situation where you have overspent your NDIS funding, don't panic.
Sometimes life cannot be predicted, and you may find yourself in a situation that requires a large amount of funding to be used, that wasn’t planned for. Serious changes in circumstances need to be brought to the NDIAs attention as soon as possible. This allows a reassessment of your situation to be done and a new plan created with extra funding included. Contact your NDIS planner, Support Coordinator or the NDIS on 1800 800 110, as soon as possible to discuss your options and find a solution that works for you.
If you think NDIS Plan Management is something you need to make your life easier, reach out now! The friendly team are on hand to chat through all of your questions. Call us today, on 1300 467 284, or reach out online here.