Oh wow, it’s been so long since I’ve been on here! I’ve had a few people ask when my next post was coming and I have been really wanting to do one for so long!! However as some of you may know, I have taken myself back to uni this year to study a postgraduate course in Emergency nursing. I am officially half way through and although I am enjoying my new adventures at work, it is pretty hard work and time consuming! I am working 4 days a week with full time study piled on top, so my free time has been very little in recent months. In saying that, I’m officially on my mid semester break and loving being able to lounge around at home, watch Netflix, do some craft and not feel guilty that I should be studying!! It’s amazing and I have seriously taken that for granted the past few years. Apart from enjoying free time the past few weeks, as it has switched over the new financial year, I have a brand new budget in full swing. So I thought I would share some of my budget with you all!
If there is one thing I got from my mum, it’s the love of budgeting, saving money and finding a bargain. Peter and I saved pretty hardcore when we were saving to build our house. We were lucky and had the ability to live with my parents without paying rent/board after school so we were able to save maximally. This lead us to building, buying and owning our own home at the age of 21 (with a mortgage of course).
This past financial year, I haven’t stuck to the budget as tight as previous years. We have bought new fun things like cameras and a new computer, we went on an a holiday and did some work around the house. This lead to us not saving as much as we probably could have. This financial year I want to focus less on material things. I want to live simply and cheaply. My ultimate financial goal this year is to continue paying off the mortgage as normal, plus saving 12 months worth of our minimum mortgage payments. This is around $26,000. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!! Below and in future posts, I’ll be writing about our budget, how/where we save money, our grocery shopping, what we do for entertainment cheaply, our bills and … well, everything else in between!
When it comes to money, we both have regular pay checks and earn about the same as each other. With our fortnightly wage, our budget is based around breaking it down into mandatory expenses, such as mortgage, savings, bills, food and petrol. Then into extras like everyday spending money for things such as going to the movies, buying clothes etc. I just want to add, this is just what we like to do. I hold no judgement to what other people do with their own money. I just love to read and gain tips from other thrifty people or people trying to save money so I hope you who are reading may get some inspiration or tips from me writing this.
Paying off our mortgage is high on our priority list, in fact it is at the top of our list. I am certainly not a financial advisor by any means but I really believe paying off a mortgage is the best investment you can make. Our plan is to have our mortgage paid off in half the term amount (15 years rather than 30 years). The only way to achieve this is by paying extra money off every fortnight. We have done this since the start and will continue to do so until our mortgage is no more! The amount of interest you save by paying extra money off your mortgage is phenomenal. At the end of the day, the interest can either be in the banks pocket or your own and that is my inspiration to knock over our mortgage as fast as possible. I’ll just add here that we don’t have any other debts to pay. No car loans, no afterpay, no credit cards.
After the mortgage, we put money into a high interest savings account. Remembering that we are aiming to save at least 12 months worth of minimum mortgage repayments, I have calculated this exactly and are putting the allocated amount into this account each fortnight. We are now saving significantly more than we have since moving into our home and it’s actually really fun and satisfying.
The next mandatory expense in bills. For this, I calculated the entire amount that we spent on bills last financial year. This includes house rates, electricity, gas, water, internet, phone, car and home insurance, car registration, nursing registration (yes I have to pay to do my job every year), my union fees, Netflix, Foxtel, ambulance cover and Peter’s subscription to Lightroom. I added it all up and divided it by 26 fortnights. I then put that calculated amount into a bills account each fortnight so when bills come in, the money is always there. This year I have decided to add an extra $50 a fortnight to cover things like car servicing, dentist and doctors appointment that we might run in to. I totally acknowledge that some of these bills (mainly Netflix and Foxtel lol) are definitely not essential but we enjoy them and aren’t quite ready to cut that expense out just yet.
Next is petrol. We both work about a 30 minute car drive away from home. This makes petrol a mandatory expense. Petrol prices of late have a real kick to the budget. Regardless, we allocate money each fortnight specifically to petrol so we can get to work to earn money haha.
Last mandatory expense is food. Our grocery bill is definitely something I will be able to save money on this year. A few ways we already save money on groceries compared to others is where we shop. We have always shopped at Aldi which is without a doubt cheaper than any other of the major supermarkets. Secondly, we don’t eat meat. We both haven’t eaten meat for many years for ethical reasons (we just love animals!!) but not buying meat also saves you money (it is just soooooo expensive!!). We did our grocery shop a few days ago and already saved $50 compared to what we spent each fortnight last financial year. I did this simply by planning our fortnightly meals, shopping to a list and not making any impulse buys.
Another account I keep is money for gifts, both for birthdays and christmas. It’s not a huge amount of money each fortnight ($50) but it is handy to have when birthdays come around and spending money is a little tight.
The last area is everyday spending money. This is allocated to both of us to do what we like with. I usually spend my money on things such as op shopping and going to the movies. Peter spends his money on things like saving for new camera gear. We are both pretty simple and don’t spend a great deal on clothes etc but I’ll do some posts in the future about what I have bought with my fortnightly budget to give you more of an idea! Anything left over from our allocated money will go into an extra account, we like to call our ‘slush’. We aren’t sure what exactly we will spend this money on yet… maybe save for a holiday or a new car???
An easy thing we have already saved money on this financial year is culling the gym membership. We were paying it monthly but not using it nearly enough to be getting our moneys worth. Cancelling it has saved us a whopping $1500 a year which will go nicely into our savings.
OK so I feel like I’ve written enough to make up for the past new months where I haven’t posted anything, so this is where I leave you for now. I would love to know any tips you have about saving money, paying off mortgages, living simply and cheaply! Or if you have any questions about the way our budget works, just let me know! I hope to continue writing posts throughout my next semester of uni about our budget, my op shopping, other adventures we have and anything else in between. I will hope my next post will also have some more photos!! For now, thanks for reading and sorry its been so long.