My 'Every Cent Counts' Mentality

[Image credit: Max Pixel]

This week we have a guess writer! Please join me in welcoming Lauren Marshall. A new stay at home mum that has overcome some amazing obstacles!

It seems like a pretty simple goal really, to save $30,000 in one year to pay off our car loan. I’m currently a stay at home mum, looking after my beautiful 5-month-old daughter. My Parental Leave Pay finalised two weeks ago and I officially earn nothing! My household has gone from having two full time working incomes to a one income family with a dependent. The bills don’t stop just because I’ve stopped earning.

My goal is complicated... I need to somehow generate money above and beyond what my household is currently earning without compromising time with my daughter.

Being a stay at home mum is without a doubt, the most special time in my life. I don’t want anything to jeopardise the time that I have with my daughter. That said, I’ve never been very good at sitting still, not earning money or not having a goal to work towards.

So, when my daughter finally established some sort of sleep routine during the day, I reviewed our household finances, created a personal budget and affirmed that I would abolish any ‘toxic’ debt as quickly as possible.

My husband thinks I’m nuts for setting such a large goal while I am not working, but I’m committed, creative and a little bit crazy and I know that there are many ways to attract money into our lives.

I know there is no secret recipe to succeed with these things, but this is what I have done so far to set myself up for success and start bringing more money in!

  • Set a clear intention to myself, that I am 100% committed to this goal

  • Understand my ‘why’. I’m driven to achieve financial security to know that my family will always be provided for and comfortable (just looking at my daughter’s face reminds me why I am removing debt from my life)

  • Open up an offset account dedicated to the savings generated (you could always open up an interest earning account or another type of account, whatever works for you best - the offset option works for us)

  • Have the ‘every cent counts’ mentality, meaning I raided piggy banks, hand bags, pockets and the car to find money we had laying around, this progressed my savings journey from $0 to $63 in one day. I now get excited when I stumble across a 5-cent piece because it's more than I had before!

  • As soon as I have money in my hand, I take it to the bank. It’s a great excuse to take my daughter for a walk in the pram but also to see the numbers in my bank account grow

  • I’ve been telling friends and family what I’m trying to achieve. It helps me stay accountable to the goal, they help keep me motivated and some of them have even started a similar savings goal themselves!

  • Don’t spend for the sake of spending. Basically everything cheap adds up to be quite a lot of money if you don't need it

  • Stop scrolling aimlessly on online shopping sites. You don’t need those things any more than you needed that stuff in your impulse-buy shopping basket

  • Batch cooking and freezing meals has become a staple part of my week. It makes lunches and dinners easy, your total cook time less and significantly reduces the cost impact and wastage level of food. That being said, you do need to spend some time planning out your weekly meals

  • I recently called all of my insurance companies and asked for a discount! 3/3 gave me a discount! In addition to this, I increased the excess, confident that I will have that sum of money sitting in my savings account just in case the worst were to happen. By asking for a discount and raising my excess, I am saving us $150 per month – yes, $150 per month!

  • We have stopped eating out, unless of course there is a special occasion

  • I have recently decluttered our home, resulting in a long list of items to sell which has been utterly brilliant for a clearer mind, a clearer home and a growing bank balance

  • What I don’t spend, I save. For example, if my weekly spend for food falls below the amount I have allocated, I take the difference and put that in our account. Whether it is 45-cents or $100, they both help to reach my ultimate goal.

I’m staying motivated because small amounts of money continue to trickle into my account and ever so slowly, I can see that I will be able to reach my goal. I’ve been working on this for 2 months now already achieving a savings balance of $4000 which is growing daily. It helps so much to celebrate the little wins.

For me, each time I reach $1000 of savings, I reward myself, maybe I have a massage or we go out to dinner. I’m in love with this goal because it gives me the freedom to earn money on my terms, still spend time with my daughter and work towards a future-proofed bank account with no debt. First stop car loan, next stop mortgage. Every cent counts, it really does!

"Toxic Debt"... such a great phrase! Thanks Lauren!

Have a lovely week,

Erika Gilbert

My Income Organiser

#saving #laurenmarshall #sahm #stayathomemum

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