How to save now that you have a family (and a mortgage!)

Posted in Work and Finance.

Our savings journey started slowly. But most of what we did had less to do with the physical dollar and more with changing our mindset! But then of course comes the money side of things, which I know for some people can be super daunting.

But trust me, once you get your head around things, and also start to see what’s truly important to you and why, it all becomes a lot easier! Some might even say fun.

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It’s gonna be a big year for this tribe! One starting primary school and one starting kinder!! I feel my babes are gonna need their mama bear close for their big transitions… A huge thing for me has always been setting boundaries and being okay with saying ‘no’, but more than ever I need to put these in force conserve my energy for the things that matter ?‍♀️ This year will be less hustle and more cuddle ? As time goes by you realise that you just can’t wait for it to be a better time, for things to slow down, otherwise it just all goes by before you know it! I want to spend it with them, be at home or travelling the world! I’ve always prided myself on being the reliable one, the one who’s always happy to help, the hard worker and subsequently I think I’ve burnt myself the fuck out, usually doing things that don’t benefit me at all, all because I just wanted to keep people happy or felt a need to impress those who I need not waste my time on ? And at its worst, it meant I couldn’t even enjoy the things I did want to do because I was so overwhelmed!! So moving forward, this is where you’ll find me!! ?? If I disappoint you or underwhelm you, don’t take it personally #itsmenotyou ? . . . #childhoodunplugged #momsofinstagram #momswithcameras #ig_motherhood #unitedinmotherhood #magicofmotherhood #motherhoodmoments #darlingmovement #inspiremothers #bestofmom #pixel_kids #motherhoodrising #motherhoodalive #motherhoodmotherhoodintheraw #motherhoodthroughinstagram #slowliving #parenthood #hustle

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There’s nothing scary about understanding your finances

I have found that this has been the truth for a lot of people, especially women. Thinking that someone else will take care of the money, or feeling like if they don’t know, the problems are not there.

I know that money can be a huge stress inducer for people, because I’ve been there! I am there! I get it! But it’s so important to be aware of your financial situation, to understand your income sources and where your money goes.

Both of us have access to our accounts and are across what goes in and what goes out and we talk about money with each other to understand where we are at and where we want to be.

Whether you are an individual or a couple, be across your money!! Whether you are working or not, know what’s going on.

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Family photo fail but day bloody well spent ?

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Discuss what your money goals are 

I think it’s super important to have some goals in place to motivate you to work towards.

The big picture for us was our home renovations. We didn’t want to be taking out loans if we could avoid it and paying interest to the banks. It can be super easy to have a goal and find ways to get it straight away, but a little bit of hard work and we still reached that goal, debt free.

Get out of debt! 

You really can’t start saving any money, until you rid yourself of all unnecessary debt, especially that which has high interest.

Personally, I don’t have much experience as I’ve never had short term loans or credit card debt. But, I once had a car loan and quickly learnt what ‘compounding interest’ was. I sold the car, paid the loan off and bought a car I could afford outright (it was a lot older and shitty, but it ran). I’ve never had a loan other than a home loan since.

To start I would work out what you owe and where, calculate the interest on these payments and start getting them paid off INSTANTLY!! If you have to go without, then do it.

If you can sell the items, like a car and trade for something more affordable, then do it.

Focus on what you DO already have

This was one of the main things my mum drilled into me as a kid! It’s great to have goals and aspirations, but you need to be content with what you have now, and enjoy it! Otherwise, you will always be lusting after something and never enjoying what you currently have.

So what’s the point if you finally reach your goal, only to create another one and never sit in the moment and appreciate it.

Make do!

Can thank my granddad for this one! And it’s so true. I have many things in my life that could do with an upgrade! My car is one of them. But it runs, it gets me from A to B and I don’t owe money on it, so why do I need a new one?

Same goes for my dining table. It doesn’t match the house at all, the kids have put food in between the top and base and it’s not looking great, but it functions exactly how a new table would? I mean it’s a table?!

Sometimes, it’s best to just leave things. Otherwise, you can spend your entire life just upgrading and buying new things and you’ll never save a thing.

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Accept it takes time to save 

Who here knows the feeling when you see something and you just want it NOW?! We all do right? Well sadly that’s not gonna help you reach your savings goals. Just put more money in a banks pocket most likely.

About a year ago I decided I wanted a new lens for my camera. Again I could have put it on a credit card, taken money from our short term finance, sourced a cheaper version (not as good) or overextended myself but I waited for over six months to buy it when I had the money.

I even waited till a sale came on for the exact one I wanted. I feel like waiting for it meant I really knew it’s what I wanted because I was prepared to wait and my mind never changed.

Same goes for big long-term goals. Sure you most likely won’t save the worth of an entire house, but saving the most you can for a deposit could save you 10’s of thousands on interest, mortgage insurance etc.

Slow and steady wins the race!

Focus on balance and living your life

I know a big part of changing your mindset and being frugal with money is cutting down on things, but on the flip side, I also think you still need to live and enjoy your life.

If something REALLY brings you joy, or is non-negotiable, then don’t feel you HAVE to cut it. Like I mentioned before you have to be happy with what you’ve got while working toward what you want.

Balance is the word, right? We still go out on weekends, a dinner date, the movies and holidays! We just find better and more affordable ways to do it.

Don’t compare!

Probably the biggest point I want to make! (And for people to take home.)

Social media has everyone comparing their lives and thinking they need bigger and better! But who does this really impact?

Don’t go making decisions, especially financial ones, because you worried about how you look and what you have to impress other people.

This post originally appeared on House of White and is republished here with permission.


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