Income. How you can do more with less

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We all wish our income was the same as the amount of money we actually take home.

But your salary, or what comes home in your pocket, is impacted by taxes, payments into your super, and other possible costs like payments for HECS-HELP loans.

While it may not be possible to increase the amount of your actual income, there are some strategies to increase the amount that comes home with you, after taking into account any deductions. The figure advertised for your job may not be the same as the amount you take home, but maybe you could be doing more with that salary by looking at some options on how you’re spending it.

So let’s look at how to improve your average salary, with two ways to make your money go further.


The average salary in Perth is currently $1,840.50 per week for an adult working full time, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Average Weekly Earnings Australia report. Broken down, that’s $1,995.60 for men and $1,539.30 for women, the gender pay gap being evident.

Here are the three most popular occupations with the average salary in Perth Western Australia:

OccupationAverage annual salary
Operations Manager$92,000
Mechanical Engineer$78,000

Of course, salaries in Perth and throughout Western Australia are subject to the cyclical growth and declines we experience due to the mining sector. When it’s strong, our salaries and house prices are high, but they dip quite a bit when the sector is experiencing a lull. Right now, we’re sitting in a pretty good spot.

These are averages, but they give you a sense of where you sit in comparison to other occupations, and to the average earner in Perth.

The other important fact to consider is that the average household spends $1,425 a week. Depending on how many wage earners are in your home, your income amount, and how many dependents you have, the amount of annual salary, take-home salary and expenses will fluctuate as well.

But once you’ve “brought home the bacon,” paid your bills and bought necessities like groceries, there should be something left in the bank account. What should you do with that leftover money? And how can you make that amount grow?

Here are some ideas.


There are two options to help you grow your assets and make your salary stretch that little bit further.

1. Salary Sacrificing

Sounds morbid, but it isn’t. The concept is to put extra money into your super in order to save taxes. By “sacrificing” some of your salary, you won’t have it available to spend elsewhere, which is what is meant by the term sacrifice.

But the advantage is that you’ll pay less tax by sheltering that money in your super. And as a bonus, your super will grow, which is key to planning a successful and happy retirement.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you “Salary Sacrifice” $1,000 into your super. That money is taken from your pre-tax wages so the only tax you’ll pay is the regular 15% tax on super contributions.

Here are the advantages of putting that money away:

  • It equates to $850 added to your super fund.
  • It means a little less tax paid on your earnings.
  • You access the benefits of compound interest which leads to a whole lot of potential growth to your retirement nest egg.

2. Pay Down Your Mortgage

Another option to consider is putting more money into your mortgage, helping to reduce the overall interest paid and reaching the goal of owning your home sooner.

This option won’t help you save on tax. In fact, after paying tax on the $1,000 salary amount, you will have between $550 and $675 in your pocket – or to put toward your mortgage. That’s compared to the $850 that could have been put into your super, which will continue to grow.

But depending on your situation, this could be a better option. That extra $550 paid into your mortgage will help reduce the lifetime of your loan, meaning you can get out of debt faster.


Unless you get a pay rise, it’s not always possible to increase the actual amount of your salary. But with some planning, it is possible to get more out of the money you do bring home. You could improve your situation by either putting more money into your super, which saves tax and boosts your retirement fund, or paying down your mortgage to get out of debt faster.

There are a range of benefits to both of these options. Find out which one might be best for you by downloading our Super V Mortgage guide here. If you have any questions, please contact us below.

It is very important that you understand that the information above is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. It is also worth noting that the Australian financial and taxation system is ever changing, and the information above may no longer be relevant. Again, we suggest seeking professional advice from a financial adviser before proceeding.

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