Plan and track your expenses with the First2Care app
Managing your NDIS funding gives you greater choice and flexibility to plan the support you need.
But it also comes with extra responsibilities.
As a self-manager, you’re responsible for managing your own budget for the duration of your NDIS plan. This includes purchasing the right supports, claiming and paying for them on time, and maintaining up-to-date records.
It takes careful planning and organisation to keep your funding on track and make sure it lasts for the length of your plan. And this can be time-consuming, even a little overwhelming.
This is where First2Care can help.
First2Care is an easy to use app platform that helps you manage your NDIS funding. Simply add your budgets and purchases as you go, and the app automatically takes care of tracking your expenses.
This article looks at how you can easily manage and report on your NDIS funding with help from First2Care.
Step 1: Understand your NDIS budget
Your NDIS plan will outline the types of support budget you have available for the duration of your plan. These supports are in addition to help you may already receive from family, friends and other community and government services.
There are three types of support budgets available:
1. Core supports budget, which funds consumables, assistance with daily activities, social and community participation, and transport.
2. Capacity building budget, which is allocated across eight sub-support categories: matched to your NDIS plan goals. These are:
Choice and control, e.g. training in planning and plan management
Daily activity, e.g. therapy that builds your capacity to participate
Employment, e.g. employment assessment and counselling
Health and wellbeing, e.g. exercise advice to reduce the impact of disability
Home living, e.g. support to find and retain accommodation
Lifelong learning, e.g. support to move from school to higher education
Relationships, e.g. support strategies for reducing behaviours of concern
Social and community participation, e.g. life skills development and training.
3. Capital support budget, which is specifically for assistive technologies and home modifications.
It’s important to note how much funding you have allocated for each budget before you start making purchases.
Start by adding your plan’s budget and dates into the Support Budget tool. You can select the specific categories you’ve been funded for from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Spend your budget wisely
Once you understand the funding available to you, you can now choose the right supports. Supports must be linked to the goals outlined in your NDIS plan.
There are different types of support providers available, with different areas of experience and expertise. As a self-manager, you have the option to:
1. Buy your supports from a business or organisation that are registered or unregistered providers
2. Use self-employed contractors that are registered or unregistered providers
3. Directly employ and manage people to support you or the person in your care
Under each support budget category, you can choose from a comprehensive list of available supports. When you click on a listed item, a link to any matching providers in your area will appear.
It’s important for you to compare providers and find those that will best help you reach your goals. Before you purchase any supports, you should consider:
Value for money: Is the cost of support reasonable compared with other options?
Quality: Is the quality of the support high and helping you meet your goals?
Quantity: How much support will you need over the length of your plan?
Budget: Can you afford the amount of support you need?
Step 3: Keep track of your expenses
As you pay for supports, you’ll need to track what money is coming in and what payments are going out. Keeping a separate bank account for your NDIS funds helps. But First2Care makes it even easier.
You can record your service agreements, invoices and payees inside the app. First2Care will automatically subtract these expenses from your budget and forecast how much is left to spend.
First2Care also displays your budgets and spending using graphs so that it’s easy to see where you’re up to.
If you need to check your payments, you can download reports to see a yearly overview, spending month-by-month, or transactions under each category. You can then reconcile figures against your bank statement to ensure accuracy.
Step 4: Meet your reporting requirements
An important part of managing your NDIS budget is showing how you’ve spent your funding. You need to demonstrate at your NDIS plan review meeting that the supports you’ve purchased have helped you reach your identified goals.
You’ll also need to keep records of any invoices, pay slips and bank statements as evidence that you’ve managed your plan responsibly for auditing purposes.
Using First2Care, you can upload all of your important NDIS documents so they’re safe and secure, and on hand when you need them. The document vault keeps everything together and is more reliable than saving and storing paper copies.
Managing your NDIS funds yourself isn’t for everyone
Self-managing your NDIS plan is a hands-on approach, offering greater choice, control and flexibility. If self-managing is the right choice for you, First2Care can make it easy to track, budget and spend wisely.
You should always remember that if self-managing isn’t working, or you need more support, a Plan Manager can help.
First2Care have partnered with registered Plan Managers Support Management Solutions (SMS) to teach participants how to manage the financial obligations of their plan. If self-management isn’t for you, getting training and help from a plan management team might be a good option. You can learn more here.
Over to you ...
How do you manage your NDIS funding? Do you have any tips for tracking your expenses or keeping appropriate reports and records?
We’d love to know in the comments below.