I know it may seem a bit farfetched that I’m writing on a blog on how to save money. After all we did just move back to my parents (short term) after living out of home for 2 years. But, this wasn’t because we were struggling with money. I mean, money was tight but we worked with it. The reason we moved home was so we could speed up our saving process. So we could buy a house sooner and start popping out these babies! My partner is an apprentice and I’m a stay at home mum, so we have always had a small income. I’m going to share what works for us when it comes to budgeting and saving!
It’s easy to think you need to spend money to have a good weekend. But you don’t. We are always doing free/cheap things on the weekend, and we make the most it. It’s become the norm to us. We’ve found by doing this, we really do appreciate when we have a big weekend splurging, because it doesn’t happen often!
Doing things like:
- Driving somewhere for a picnic
- Camping on the weekend. Find a free camp ground (or your backyard, we’ve done this) and take the food from your house.
- Going for hikes/walks
- Packing lunch and heading to the beach for the day
- Building a fort and watching movies (on those rainy days)
- Having a BBQ down by the park (we do this lots in summer instead of going out for dinner)
Grocery shopping is something you can’t avoid, but how you do it is! We use to spend a fortune on groceries. When I realised it was our biggest weekly expense I knew something had a change. Meal planning is a game changer. Plan all your meals for the week, set a budget, write your shopping list and stick to your list!
Eating out! The easiest way to waste your money and have nothing to show for it. I won’t lie, I’m guilty of this! We went out for breakfast almost every weekend and loved our take-out too! I mean, I live for that smashed avo and runny eggs, but is it really worth it? It costs us roughly $60 to eat out, for something my husband makes better at home. Now we leave eating out for special occasions/treats.
I love taking my daughter out for dates. So I’ve found by eating a meal at home then taking her out for a drink and muffin, we get the best of both worlds. We don’t miss out, we still get to go out on dates and enjoy those moments together. But for a quarter of the price!
Know what you want-
This is different for everyone. Maybe it’s a house, car, holiday, boat or a private jet. For us it’s always been holidays, we only recently decided that we should buy a house! Holidays have always been a huge priority for us and it’s what we always wanted for Alayna. While we have always put money away to buy a house, we put double away for our holidays. Sounds strange, but we loved our little rental, it was all we needed. We crave regular holidays, they are everything to us. So that’s what we have always saved for, and spent our money on. Every individual has different priorities and there’s no right or wrong.
Know exactly what you want and save like crazy!
Wants vs needs-
Work out your wants vs needs. This is so simple, but it will change your life. It’s nice to treat yourself every now and again, but try avoiding indulging in material ‘things’. Whenever you’re about to buy something you already have (or that isn’t a necessity), ask yourself. ‘Do I actually need this?’ Then walk away and chuck that money you were going to spend in your savings account, and watch it grow!
I can’t stress this one enough. It’s by far the most important. This tip is the one that saved us! No doubt about it, we struggled with money, expenses, saving and budgeting until we did this! Please get your butt to the bank and sort out some new accounts!
Charlie and I have 8 all up.
Holiday account: where we both put money in each week for our next holiday.
Baby account: This is for Alayna; we made it when I was pregnant. This will be useful when Alayna is older for things such as;; braces, sports, schooling, first car etc.
House account: Money for our first home.
Bills account: This is for ALL bills. We made this when we moved out and it saved us from stressing over bills. We got all our bills direct debited out of here so we never had to worry about it. Then we just got money out for the other expenses when we needed it. We put money in for all utilities, groceries, petrol, phone bills, gym memberships, Netflix, Alayna’s activities, expensive outings etc. So we never have to worry about not having enough money to pay anything!
Emergency account: Charlie and I have separate emergency accounts, so he has his and I have mine. Our emergency accounts are for those expenses that pop up; insurance, rego, popped tyre, hospital trip, injury etc.
Everyday accounts: Charlie and I have our own everyday accounts. After putting money in all our other accounts we are basically left with nothing in our everyday/spending accounts. Because why do we need money? Absolutely everything is paid for. I’m putting money away for expenses, holidays a house and all these other amazing things. All I need is a small amount of spending money a week (I’m talking REAL small).
I give myself enough money to go on a coffee date with Alayna each week and take her to a play centre or something similar. Then we just do free activities like catching up with friends, or going to the park, going to the pools, going for walks and doing crafts at home.
Charlie has a small amount too.. He’s at work all week; I make his lunches, why would we need lots of money to get us through the week? We know we aren’t broke; our money is just going toward better, bigger things.
We put the same amount of money in ALL accounts each week! So it’s not something we have to work out each time, it’s always the same. At the start it was hard to get used to, you just get paid then watch all your money disappear and your left with nothing. But we just make sure we do it as soon as we get paid so we never spend the money on anything else. We have just gotten used to it. Of course it’s going to be so much easier/better when we do have more money and don’t have to live this way. But like I’ve said, we make it work.
So there you go! The 6 things that work best for us when it comes to budgeting and saving. These tip have honestly made a huge impact in our lives. I hope this has helped you in some way, please let me know if it has!
Love Loz xxx