I have been thinking a lot lately about budgeting and living on less. We are by no means in struggle street at the moment, mostly because we are living rent free with my parents (don’t worry guys we totally contribute I swear. We go halvsies on everything else) so we are able to save really well because we are pretty good at that kind of thing. I have even been able to contribute an extra $600 a month towards the mortgage on the land which is nice because it means we are paying off more than interest 🙂
We are covering all of our bills and we have still been able to save, but this could change a lot once we go through all of the surgeries Mr T and I have coming up and then once we take possession of the house, not to mention Christmas in-between so I have been thinking about how to do more with less. I have also been thinking about plans for once we are in the house.
What am I hoping to achieve
I am hoping that in being able to get some additional savings each week now I will be able to:
- Up my extra mortage payment each month from $600 to $1000
- Save between 10% and 20% of my wage. I am hoping for 20%, but I might start off at 10% so it is less of a shock hahaha.
Changes I have already made
- When Mr T and I decided we wanted to buy a house the first change I made was to dump barista made coffee. I worked out that my one bought coffee a day meant I was spending almost $30 a week on coffee! Holy crap that is a bunch. Don’t even get me started on how much Hubby was spending (it’s A LOT more than mine!). The amount we were both spending on coffee each month was rather obscene, if we both stopped immediately within 2 months we could have afforded to buy an expensive coffee machine for the workplace LOL. At the time I was even working at a Library that had coffee (instant) and tea facilities… they even provide milk and sugar! (This is the same Library I now have a full time job with). Stopping this immediately freed up $100 per week!
- I used to love a good shop and buying new things. I was a big fan of STUFF, particularly handbags and things like that. That HAD to stop 🙂 I am now a lot more controlled with my shopping, but I do let myself indulge in some retail therapy from time to time so I don’t feel like such a big hermit!
What I am going to do moving forward
- Currently there is a lot of our “savings” sitting in our everyday account. I am moving that into our savings because we get higher interest on it. I can’t even believe I haven’t already done this. I am going to leave some of it out though because there might be gap payments for our surgeries and if we take out of the Savings account we lose the interest for that month 😦
- Because I have been dedicating myself to living a healthier lifestyle the only downside related to that is the cost of food. It costs a lot more to eat well (especially if you are trying to go organic). However some thing I have figured out is that cooking bigger meals is more cost effective and also means that I have two nights worth of dinner and perhaps even a lunch. Using leftovers can be a HUGE money saver. If you do not like eating the same thing two days in a row see if it is freezable. Most meals will freeze well and it means that you have a healthy homemade microwave dinner for some night you really need it 🙂
Along the same idea as this I am going to try and be much more organised with food. I did a 5 day healthy eating challenge recently which was great and one of the things I found was that because all my food was already organised I didn’t have to spend brain time during the week thinking about food which was awesome! In planning my food it also means writing a grocery list and sticking to the list means no unnecessary spending 🙂
- I am going to go through my belongings and have a good clean out. I am going to figure out any items I actually need to purchase for my closet (I doubt there will be any apart from a pair of black flats for work which might be pricey, but you should always buy proper shoes for your feet or they will cost you more in the long run – my current pair are literally starting to fall apart). The plan behind this is that by figuring out what I actually need I will shop less for random things I want. It will also cut down a bulk of my clothes which will mean I don’t have to pack and move them and deal with them again in the new house 🙂
- Whilst cleaning out my belongings I am going to see if there are items I could get rid of by selling. One I can think of off the top of my head is a fish tank I haven’t used in years, it is biggish and is a waste of space for me. I don’t expect to make a bunch of money out of this, but if I sell five items for $10 each that is $50 which covers about half of our grocery budget for one week. It all adds up.
Mr T. is not going to like this – actually I think he will be okay with it. He doesn’t really spend much 🙂
Because we were quite poor when we first got together (in fact we started living together before we went on our first date because we were both without a roommate and couldn’t afford to live on our own) and we went on serious budget living. Honestly we were managing to buy groceries for $50 or less per week we had to be so strict, but being that way for over a year then and staying budget conscious but not as strict in the years following has meant that we can easily afford our awesome dream home. We have worked hard at Uni and jobs to get ourselves into a good position where we can live comfortably.
So why am I wanting to do this? Well my parents went guarantor for our house (apparently 2 professionals in permanent employment with steady work history, a reasonable deposit and enough money to cover it wasn’t enough), in order to release them (and their house) from guarantor status we have to pay off a certain amount. I want to get that done as soon as possible 🙂
Also paying off more now (while we can) gives us more leeway in the future if something drastic happens and we are short on a payment.
August 29th, 2015 at 2:12 pm
We’re pretty committed now that I’m not working as much to only eating out on Fridays and Saturday at lunch. This has saved us TONS of money. It’s obscene how much we spent on going out. I’ve cooked every night this week and we’ve had left overs for most days, and the days we haven’t we’ve packed lunch. I once added up how much we were spending a month on eating out and it was near $1000. Absolutely NUTS. I’m awful about indulging in new clothes though and I have to get better, which is tough right now where I’m in between sizes coming down from pregnancy!
August 31st, 2015 at 2:47 pm
It is hard, especially when you are losing weight! A saving of near $1000 is incredible!
August 29th, 2015 at 2:24 pm
I love your strategies! We’ve also been doing the sell things we don’t need, limiting how often we eat out (which isn’t too hard for us unless work is busy) and limiting our starbucks trips (I am always amazed at how much we spent at starbucks and I don’t even drink coffee!).
Wishing you the absolute best with saving your pennies!
August 31st, 2015 at 2:50 pm
Thank you, quite a bit of thought went into it. In fact I took over a week to decide the strategies and write the post hahaha.
Hahaha that Starbucks is sneaky. You’re probably not going to believe this, but I have never been to one. When they opened up in Australia some people were telling me how much the stuff cost and how many calories were in them and I just decided I would never try it and would convince myself I didn’t like it hahaha 🙂
August 29th, 2015 at 5:05 pm
Clever! Thank you for giving me some motivation to sell things I don’t need. I can’t believe you can buy organic and live on $100 groceries per week for two people. Wow. Food where we live costs so much and organic is obscene. I assume you aren’t including household stuff just food in that amount but I’m still envious. Wishing you all the best with your plans!
August 31st, 2015 at 2:54 pm
Thanks and you’re welcome. Getting rid of things is good, even if they are smallish things like a fish tank. I know I will probably not use it for some time so I will let someone else have it. It is more likely to get broken at my place hahaha.
Uhh we weren’t eating organic when we were living off $50-ish per week on groceries. We had an atrocious diet back then. We lived on basically pasta, coffee/tea, water, and devon & sauce sandwiches and other varieties of bread based meals. Meat wise we could pretty much only afford mince and sausages. But you gotta eat to live and so that’s what we could afford. Now we are much better and no, we have not mastered the art of buying organic on the cheap hahaha. I’m not convinced that is possible, but I do know that buying in bulk saves you quite a bit of dosh 🙂
August 29th, 2015 at 7:25 pm
Nice work on the budgeting! I am a big one for having leftovers in the freezer. Usually I cook 4 main meals across the week, there is one treat meal and the other two are usually leftover from the freezer. It works out great!! You are doing an awesome job and go you for being so committed to paying that money off to release your parents. That’s awesome. xx
August 30th, 2015 at 12:42 am
Wow! I’m in awe of your your savings already! Amazing job.
August 31st, 2015 at 3:07 pm
Thanks so much!
August 30th, 2015 at 9:34 am
Sounds like a good plan, wishing you luck.
August 31st, 2015 at 3:07 pm
August 30th, 2015 at 10:58 am
Good luck with this, it’s a great plan! The biggest thing (by FAR) that B and I splurge on is eating out. By the time we both get home at night, often neither of us feels like cooking, so we just go grab something instead. I’d say on average we probably spend about $150 on eating out every week…so bad! If you add in lunches…B eats lunch out every single day of the week, and I do at least twice a week, so that adds on a ton. We can afford it right now, but if we ever have a baby come along we know that we’ll need to get rid of that habit real fast!