How to build a budget for civilian life.

Budgeting is a key step in managing our money. It shows how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and is a great way to identify ‘spare’ cash for saving and investing.

Long story short, budgeting is an effective tool for all Australians to get their finances under control.

Budgeting is especially important if you are leaving the ADF and entering civilian life.

A life of military service offers many benefits – great job security, unbeatable camaraderie, and a career filled with diverse experiences. It also provides generous benefits including subsidised accommodation, free medical and dental, and help buying a home.

The annual value of these benefits varies with rank, accrued service and other conditions. However, when you leave the ADF you need to budget for life without ADF concessions – including, for example, something as simple as paying for work-related clothing through to managing your rent or home loan repayments.

We’ve got you covered for a budget.

When it comes to drawing up a ‘civilian’ budget it makes sense to use real calculations rather than rough estimates.

Jump onto Defence Bank’s budget planner to put your numbers together, and plan ahead with certainty.

Stick with Defence Bank to score extra benefits.

Moving on from the ADF doesn’t mean you need to switch to a civilian bank.

As an ex-ADF member, you can continue to benefit from Defence Bank’s unique products and services after leaving the Defence force.

Let’s take a look at some of the money savers Defence Bank provides, which can be incorporated into your civilian budget.

Help with your DHOAS home loan.

You may still be eligible for a DHOAS home loan after you leave the ADF as long as you have unused service credits and a DHOAS eligible home loan. If you haven’t already used your one final DHOAS certificate since leaving the ADF, you may use it to apply for a DHOAS loan. Defence Bank is one of only three banks that offer DHOAS home loans. Even if you are not near a base, talking with one of our lending specialists is easy when you make a virtual home loan appointment at a time and day suitable to you. For further information on DHOAS eligibility requirements, visit

Discounted health insurance.

As a Defence Bank member, you’re eligible for a 5% discount on health insurance when you join Navy Health with hospital and extras (combined) cover. Navy Health also provides health cover to the wider Defence community including serving and ex-serving members and their families.

If you stay involved in the ADF as an Active Reservist you may be eligible for 10% off your Navy Health premiums.

One of Australia’s lowest-rate credit cards.

When you’re setting up a new life for yourself outside the ADF, chances are a credit card is going to come in very handy.

With a six-month introductory rate of just 3.99%, and an ongoing rate of 8.99%, a Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card has one of the lowest interest rates on the market, so you can pay for any unexpected extras without being weighed down by over-the-top interest charges. Plus, half of the annual $45 fee is donated to the Defence Bank Foundation which supports the Defence Community Dogs program.

We Salute your service with a high rate on savings.

Defence Bank’s Salute account is our way of saying thank you for your years of service.

As you leave the ADF, you are eligible for our Salute account which offers high bonus interest for 12 months. It makes your money work harder, which is a big plus to help you get established when you’re moving out of the military.

For more details about how Defence Bank can support you in your civilian life, talk to the team at Defence Bank. Call our Contact Centre on 1800 033 139 or visit your local branch to find out more.


Important note: This information is of a general nature and is not intended to be relied on by you as advice in any particular matter. You should contact us at Defence Bank to discuss how this information may apply to your circumstances.

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