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How to get Free Money and Vouchers in Australia (Includes State by State Info!)

How to get Free Money and Vouchers in Australia (Includes State by State Info!)

Many people don’t know that there are numerous programs out there to help with the cost of living.

You don’t need to be on Centrelink to access all of them either, although there is more available if you have a health care card or pension or some form of payment from them.

By spending a little time going through your state and all the options you could walk away with a few hundred or more.

Check out each state below and look at the nationwide options at the bottom of the article for everything from emergency help through to a $500 savings bonus for educational expenses.

I have included state-specific links then covered everything I could find from Centrelink, banks and businesses for all Australians to get discounts and freebies.

There is also systems in place if you need urgent help and tips for debt, debt collectors and financial hardship.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links for products and services I personally use.

$125 Cash Bonus from ING until 30 September 2024

If you are a new customer of ING you can get $125 for opening an everyday account with them by doing the following steps:

  1. Open an everyday account, put the promo code CNW116 in the promo box (you must use the code to get the $100 bonus), and complete all the steps below in the first month.
  2. Deposit $1,000 into the account such as your income or Centrelink payments
  3. Make 5 settled transactions (use the card 5 times and complete the transactions, no pending ones).
  4. Open a Savings Maximiser (current interest rate is 5.5%)
  5. Deposit any amount into the Savings Maximiser

Then you get your $125 the following month.

ACT

On the ACT government website, type in concession and all the options available for concessions including the First Home Buyers Grant will come up.

They also have a cost of living support page with all the help available for the current cost of living crisis.

What is available to you will depend on your circumstances but it is relatively easy to navigate both of those links..

There were a few interesting ones such as help putting bins out for those who can’t which I did not expect to see.

Dental, medical, bills, help paying fines, food etc. All of it is in there.

A lot seems to require low income or Centrelink proof but it doesn’t appear too hard to prove.

NSW

Service NSW has the Savings Finder page where you answer a few questions and they filter to find the specific programs and assistance available to you based on your answers.

I entered a few common details based on readers here and got over 30 forms of potential assistance available.

If you have kids, make sure you are getting the vouchers.

Active Kids vouchers are $50 to help with sports and Creative Kids vouchers are $50 too.

There are also payments for kids starting swimming, $500 for childcare and more.

Plus, electricity discounts and so many options for other assistance.

NT

If you have issues because of a natural disaster, residents of the Northern Territory can see what is available to them here.

For everything else, you will need to search the NT Gov website yourself.

Type in concessions or click here to see some of what is available to you.

QLD

Queensland has a variety of services available but it isn’t as obvious as the other government websites.

Use their Smart Savings section, answer the questions and apply for anything relevant.

One I found particularly interesting was the free dental for adults in certain circumstances.

If you are a family, this link is where you will find the information relevant to you.

For kid’s sports, there are Fair Play vouchers worth up to $150 as well.

SA

South Australia has two sections on their government website to help.

If you type in save or concessions to search their site, it comes up with options.

It was interesting to see how much is available for different situations if you do a little research in those links.

TAS

Tasmania offers a selection of concessions and discounts depending on your circumstances.

All of them are available on the government concessions website and there is a YouTube video to make it easier to understand now.

Overall, their website was one of the more accessible ones.

VIC

Victoria has a range of concession and one-off payments due to the hardships this state faced over the past few years.

You can find all the concessions here.

WA

Western Australia has a site specifically dedicated to concessions you might be eligible for.

Concessions Western Australia is easy to use and there is a lot of help available.

All of Australia

There are a lot of services, concessions and free money available Australia-wide.

I’ll start with the concessions and rebates but further down I have some free cash and other discounts such as $100 cash from ING or $14 instantly from Up Bank.

AskIzzy

Ever wish you could ask someone for help or where the help is in your area?

AskIzzy covers it all.

Ask Izzy is powered by Infoxchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise that has been delivering technology for social justice for over 30 years.

Electricity Rebates and Comparisons

Use the government website energy.gov.au/rebates to find electricity rebates relevant to you.

For residents of NSW, SA, QLD, Tas and the ACT, check out Energy Made Easy to compare all electricity and gas providers. Any other site won’t have all the options.

Health Insurance

If you need health insurance, again, use the government health insurance comparison website so you can compare all the options.

The government website is the ONLY website with all the options. There are many comparison websites and they might be prettier but they give limited options.

All non-government comparison sites only give the options they get paid to promote.

Education Expenses Savers Plus: Up to $500

Saver Plus is a financial education program for families and individuals on a tight budget to develop life-long savings habits.

It is Australia’s longest-running financial education and matched savings program (since 2003).

It will help you build financial skills, develop life-long savings habits, and receive up to $500 to assist with education costs.

Unclaimed Money: $0 to $20,000

MoneySmart, a government website created by ASIC, has a section where you can search for unclaimed money.

Mine was under $200 but others I know have found up to $20,000!

What is unclaimed money? It’s money from lost bank accounts, shares, investments, and life insurance policies.

When you move and don’t update your details with your financial institution, this money becomes lost.

It can be worth it to check your state revenue office too as I know some that didn’t show in the ASIC site but showed in their state revenue site.

Services Australia/Centrelink

I know they can be a nightmare to deal with but they are the welfare system for Australia.

Have a look at what you might be eligible for here, use their payments finder (it takes a few minutes but comes up with everything they can help with) and go through the process.

Read how to survive while living on Centrelink which covers everything I have found and use the tips below for how to deal with Centrelink to make it easier.

How to Deal With Centrelink/Services Australia

It is well known trying to get help can be exhausting and a long process but not always. Use these tips to help.

1. Do What you can Online/With the App

It is quicker, easier and you can track everything. Anything that can be lodged, claimed, or done online should be.

The phone lines are clogged and you often won’t get through or it can cut out while you’re on hold.

Research whatever it is you need to do first, get everything together you can and then do it online through the website or app.

With the app, once it is set up you will get notifications when you need to address something and often it is a couple of clicks.

Also, you will have your concession cards and details handy whenever you need them.

2. Be Patient and Prepared

Anything you have to do with Centrelink can take a long time so be prepared. If you have to call them, plan for it.

I always have washing to fold, a kitchen to clean or other things I can do while on hold.

Pop your earphones in or put your phone on speaker and go about whatever it is you have to do while waiting on hold.

When you finally get through, be polite, positive, grateful and they are much more likely to want to help as much as they can.

Centrelink customer service gets abused a lot. So when someone comes through who is nice, they appreciate it too and are keen to help you get a good result.

I have had customer service officers go through everything for me when they didn’t have to. E.g. last year I had to call to fix details they had wrong.

When I got through, they fixed that and noticed I had an application for CCS.

So they processed that instantly for me as well even though I only applied last week.

They also noticed I might have been eligible for something a while ago, after a couple of coding adjustments, it turned out I was underpaid something and got it back paid.

It pays to be polite, patient and grateful.

3. Keep Accurate Records

Document the date, time, receipt number, name of the person you spoke to and what was discussed.

Keep accurate information so you can refer to it and prove it later if needed. Do it for everything!

The Robodebt disaster shows it is up to us to know and keep records.

4. Know As Much As You Can

I mentioned in tip 1 doing some research. The more you can research online about your issue, the easier it is.

Staff aren’t trained in everything and sometimes you suggesting something, politely, can make it easier for them to find what you need on their end.

Other Services

Often people will say to contact charities for assistance and there is help there but they are overloaded so it can be harder right now.

If you’ve never been in a situation where you need to contact them, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start.

Charities

You can search for charities in your area and specific needs with the Social Services website.

It only takes a few minutes to put in your details and the list for your state or the area you chose is generated instantly.

Churches

Growing up, I was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (I’m not now).

Dad was a leader in various capacities (Bishop, President, etc.) So I can say this with full confidence, churches generally want to help.

They will either be able to help directly or at least have the contacts to suggest where to go.

Even if you haven’t been to church since you were a kid, reach out.

Urgent Help With Money

There are various services available depending on your circumstances.

Here is the government website with links and resources for urgent help with money and you do not need to be on Centrelink to access help.

NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme)

Some people might be eligible for NILS, a community based No Interest Loan Scheme.

Good Shepherd, Vinnies, the Salvos and Anglicare are just a few places you can access it and other help.

These loans can only be used for specific purposes though, not everything.

They can help a lot if youa re setting up a home, need to pay for education etc.

Other Free Money and Big Discounts

This section has bank sign-up bonuses, free boxes of food and other things I have found and used. I’ll add to it as things come up.

You can also check out my 9-step method to get discounts and cash back on everything.

Get a $125 Bonus from ING

Until 30 September 2024, ING is offering $125 cash to new account holders. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open an everyday account and put the promo code CNW116 in the promo box (you must use the code to get the $125 bonus) and complete all the steps below in the first month.
  2. Deposit $1,000 into the account such as your income or Centrelink payments within the month
  3. Make 5 settled transactions
  4. Open a Savings Maximiser (current interest rate is 5.5%)
  5. Make a deposit of ANY amount into the Savings Maximiser

Then you get your $125 the following month.

Note: The $1,000 deposit doesn’t need to be $1,000 at once, it can be smaller amounts as long as it is $1,000 total within the month.

Up Bank: $14 Instantly

I am coming up to 3 years with them and used them overseas. They offer $14 as soon as you join.

CoinSpot: $10BTC

Get $10 worth of Bitcoin when you deposit $10. It is volatile but a great way to see how you feel about crypto.

Food And Groceries

Read how to save money on groceries in 2023, along with how to reduce waste and 13 tips to reduce the cost of meat.

Free HelloFresh Box

New customers only. Get your free HelloFresh box here. HelloFresh is our favourite as it has the widest variety but it does cost more than EveryPlate.

Save up to $180 with EveryPlate

Get up to $180 off EveryPlate, split across your first 5 boxes with the code THRIFTYEPLATE. They are Australia’s lowest price meal kit, easy to use and the discount is for new plus returning customers.

$144 Off with Dinnerly

Save up to $144 with Dinnerly across 3 boxes. That’s 49% off the first order, then 30% off the next two.

$190 off with Marley Spoon

Save up to $190 off 4 orders! That’s 53% off your first order, and 20% off your next three. Grab your Marley Spoon discount now.

Free $10 with Uber Eats

Use the code eats-kyliet591ue when you download the app and make an order to get $10 off.

Funky Food is a new delivery service offering boxes of produce that are heavily discounted compared to the supermarkets.

The fruit and vegetables are high quality but all different shapes instead of ‘supermarket perfect’. Check out Funky Food and get discounted fruit and veg now.

Reward Programs

Woolworths has Everyday Rewards as their free program you can collect points and cash them in.

If you opt to pay for Extra’s you get so much more plus 10% off one in-store shop.

It has saved me hundreds and has been well worth the price. Read the comparison between Coles Plus and Everyday Extras.

Coles has Flybuys which has various opportunities to earn points and convert to cash too.

I use both Coles and Woolworths, accessing my discounts and only shopping the items on sale at each store to get the best prices.

Check every store you shop at to see how you can save with loyalty programs.

Cashback Programs

Your first step needs to be getting the apps and Chrome extensions installed.

They can notify you when you are on a site eligible for cash back and how much you will get.

The ones I use are:

CashRewards: By far my favourite as it usually has the highest cash back offer, the payments are processed easily and customer services has been good.

Simply join CashRewards for free, activate it when you see the cash back offer and get a bonus $20 cash back with your first purchase over $20.

Shopback: Works the same as CashRewards. You can only activate and use one so I compare to see which one is offering me a better deal. 

Join Shopback for free and get a bonus after your first purchase through them too.

Honey: Slightly different, Honey offers cash back but also scans for discounts and coupon codes. Join Honey for free here.

Swagbucks: Best known as an online survey site, they also have a cash back program with the cash being awarded in points you accrue and cash out. Join free here.

ReceiptJar: This is for after your purchase is final. Upload your receipt and get points. Once you reach 1,000 points you can get a gift card. 

Join free with the code KYLIT3QH2 and get a bonus 200 points when you upload your first receipt.

Birthday Freebies

We have a full list of over 50 birthday freebies and discounts for Australians here.

Gift Cards

Check out 5 ways to get free gift cards. Also keep an eye out throughout the year for discounted gift cards at Coles and Woolworths or other programs. You can save 4 to 15% on numerous cards.

Make More Money

If you’re reading this article, I am sure you would also like some ideas on ways to make money.

Most of us are time poor or have to juggle things around the kids. Here are a few options:

23 ways to make money on the side in 2023
The best online survey sites for 2023
How to make over $10,000 a month reselling things
43 ways for single mums to make money

Debt and Debt Collectors

If you are struggling with debt and debt collectors, here are a few articles to help.
How we cleared $90,000 worth of debt in 12 months (starting off unemployed)
6 tips to easily reduce debt (includes how to deal with debt collectors)

Financial Hardship

If you are suffering financial hardship and have a mortgage or any other debt, reach out to your bank or financial institution to discuss options.

You are much better off getting something set up and talking to them than you are ignoring it.

Choosing to ignore any financial issues you are having is essentially choosing to make those issues bigger.

Banks/lenders want to know they are going to get their money so they’d rather work with you before sending your debts to a debt collector.

Here is the government website with links and resources for urgent help with money.

Other

A few extra tips you might want to check out:
How to survive when the cost of living keeps going up
How to survive on one income
Ideas for leftovers include: 20 ideas for leftover sausages, 28 meal ideas for mince, 29 recipes for leftover chicken, 25 ideas for leftover ham and this huge list of ways to turn leftovers and scraps into something new.

Situation Specific (Trigger Warning)

There are specific situations people might find themselves in that require extra assistance e.g. Domestic abuse, homelessness, stay at home parent who needs to leave, death of a loved one, illness etc.

When I left my abusive marriage I had no idea of the help available.

That was in 2012. In 2015, I was paralysed on and off with level 10 pain causing me to black out.

I wish I had known what was available to me for that because I was unable to get disability or other assistance.

Numerous organisations are there to help.

Debt: Check out the National Debt Helpline. You might also find this article with 6 tips to reduce debt helpful.
Domestic Abuse: 1800 RESPECT has lots of services and help available.
Medical: For long-term illness and other help, check out the government site, Health Direct. Also read how to afford medical expenses.

For more ways to make and save money follow us on social media:

The Thrifty Issue Facebook Page
The Thrifty Issue Facebook Group
The Thrifty Issue Instagram

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