Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Money Course.

The next few days of the course, we’re going to try a budgeting exercise. Can you help Steve and Joanna work out their budget?

Ask people – can you remember the key steps so far? Ask people to shout out and then recap.

Our steps are:

  • Step 1: Work out your income
  • Step 2: Identify regular payments (often monthly)
  • Step 3: Look at weekly and occasional expenses
  • Step 4: Prioritise
  • Step 5: Find savings

Steve and Joanna need help to make a budget. Both were working in good jobs, but Joanna has just been laid off. They are now struggling to make ends meet. Here are some numbers we’ll work with – but note that they aren’t necessarily realistic for your situation and place. We just want you to work out how to work with a budget – you can use real numbers later when it’s your turn!

Their Income

Steve has a job. He brings home $2,500 per month.

Joanna has just lost her job. She gets social assistance of $292.40 every two weeks.

They have a little girl, who’s 3 years old. They get child allowance for her, which is $42 per week.

Their Expenditures

Regular Spending (‘Household Bills’)

They own their home. The mortgage costs them $810 per month.

Gas costs $50 and per month and electricity costs $80 per month.

Weekly Spending (‘Living costs’)

They’ve added up the food shopping, and that costs them between $160 and $220 per week, about $190 on average.

Steve buys his lunch at work every day. This costs about $50 per week.

Annual Costs (‘Travel’)

They need to insure the car. It cost $1250 last year for the insurance and $100 in licensing.



We’re going to start putting together their budget for them.

Take a look at the attached file, “Steve and Joanna Overspending Budget table.”

The columns are the same as the money pots for weekly, monthly and quarterly/ annual expenditure.

You may find the following exercise daunting, so it’s worth taking this slowly. Do this in small groups so you can discuss and learn from others. And you may want to have a calculator handy for this exercise.

Blank Budget for Steve and Joanna

Question: Work out their overspending. How much are they overspending each month?