Financial management can feel like a challenge, especially if you’re a new NDIS participant. However, learning to manage your NDIS funds is critical for reaching your goals and having a good experience with the program.
As a participant, you want to avoid overspending - but it’s also important to avoid underspending as well. The NDIS may provide you with less funding if they see that you haven’t utilised the full amount allocated in your plan when you have your next review.
The simplest way to prevent underspending is to move to plan management so that you have ongoing financial planning and monitoring. However, here are some other useful tips that all NDIS participants should be aware of, regardless of plan management arrangements.
What causes NDIS participants to underspend?
Your funding is based on the goals outlined in your NDIS plan. Therefore, NDIS will provide sufficient funds for your supports and needs. However, if you’ve made your cash stretch far throughout the year, you might find that you have resources left over. Participants tend to underspend for these reasons:
Feeling overwhelmed: It’s easy to feel out of your depth if you’re unfamiliar with how NDIS funding works. Gain confidence by educating yourself on the details of NDIS funding: Learn about different types of providers and their typical rates, become familiar with the invoicing process, and understand the roles within your support team.
Not able to find service providers: With plan management, you have the flexibility to choose your own providers. This gives you access to many options that you wouldn’t have otherwise. However, finding the best provider for your needs isn’t always easy, and it’s common to get stuck as you search for the best option. This can impact your spending since those funds aren’t being utilised until you start seeing a provider. A plan manager can provide advice on how to find providers that meet your needs.
Not tracking budget properly: Eyeballing your budget or tracking inconsistently also leads to issues with underspending. Tracking every inflow and outflow is critical for getting a high-level view of your NDIS funds. With this added perspective, you’ll know ahead of time if you’re on track to underspend, and you’ll have time to make changes.
How All Disability Plan Management helps participants avoid underspending
We understand that underspending can be worrisome for NDIS participants. After all, you want reassurance that you’ll have sufficient funding in the future, and seeing your budget may be reduced can raise questions about allocations for the upcoming year.
Plan managers such as All Disability Plan Management are responsible for helping you track and oversee your finances. We do everything we can to ensure that your funds are used appropriately and that you don’t over or underspend your budget including providing regular detailed reporting to you.
Tips for managing your NDIS funds
After receiving your NDIS plan, know what supports you can receive under each category and then estimate how many hours of each you’ll need. For example, if you know you need two hours of cleaning each week and have the hourly rate for those cleaning appointments, you can estimate the overall cost. Your support coordinator (if you have one) can help you estimate your costs. Further, your All Disability plan manager will conduct a bi-monthly budget review and analysis to help you track your spending and stay on top of your budget.
Actively track your spending. All Disability plan managers show participants each category and how they are tracking during the bi-monthly reviews. Tracking is done in categories since most budgets in your NDIS plan are non-transferrable. Your All Disability Plan Manager will point out any areas you need to pay attention to.
View your online dashboard at any time. All Disability Plan Management uses a 24/7 online dashboard to track spending. You can access this dashboard at any time for a high-level view of your finances.
Plan Managers can help with paying your invoices and tracking your costs, while support coordinators help organise your supports within the constraints of your budget. If you think you’d benefit from these services but don’t currently have them in your plan, you can request a plan review to get them added.
Get service agreements in place. Service agreements outline the services rendered by each provider along with related costs. Further, these documents spell out the terms of your arrangement with each provider. Terms should always be clear and set in writing.
All Disability Plan Management can help you make the most of your NDIS funding by helping you choose your supports, manage your funding, and work with providers. You’ll have your own dedicated plan manager and access to regular reports to help manage spending - so you won’t have to worry about overspending or underspending your funds.
Best of all, our services are FREE - they are included in your NDIS funding, so there’s no cost to you.