Pauline and Keith are a married couple. They have children who are getting older. Pauline was working part-time work as a business manager and Keith has his own landscaping business.
They were finding that their biggest challenges were that they were living week to week, they seemed to never have quite enough money and they felt that their spending was out of control. They couldn’t seem to see a way out of their situation, they felt as if they had tried everything.
There was a lot of stress that was building between them because of their money issues. Pauline had been trying to get another business off the ground to bring in more income, this resulted in Pauline being out most nights of the week and the weekend, which resulted in less time as a couple and a lot more money was being spent to try and bring the money in.
The credit card debt was mounting, the bills were really becoming a struggle to pay and they felt like they were losing the once active social lives they both had because of their money issues.
Pauline and Keith had tried budgeting before, they had written out on a piece of paper what they wanted to spend on certain items however they always found that there were things it just didn’t cover.
On top of all of this all they want to do is to be able to go on a holiday together, re-kindle their relationship and start to have quality time with their children.
So, what did they do to change their situation and save $5000 in 3 months?
First of all, there was a change in their mindset, they found that the desire to change their money situation was greater than ever. They knew that they had to make small changes to help facilitate the life that they truly wanted to create.
Next, they sat down and worked out some goals for themselves, starting with the long-term goals such as retirement, buying a home and going on holidays. They then slowly worked backwards from those big goals to figure out the smaller goals which would help them to achieve those goals.
Then they sat down with ALL of their money paper work such as bank statements, credit card statements, bills and pay slips to actually figure out where they were spending their money.
This is where they realised there was a lot of areas in which they could save money.
First, they looked at their food expenses per week. They were spending approximately $140- a week in groceries and other shopping, what they also realised was that half the food they were throwing in the bin, they were buying a lot of premade foods that were twice the price of if they made them themselves and they found they were going to the shops multiple times a week instead of doing one large shop and they were often doubling up on what they already had. They started to meal plan and only buy what they actually needed and make their food from scratch. This resulted in them cutting down their food bill by $70 a week. Therefore saving $840 in three months.
Next, they looked at the debt that they were paying off the credit card bill was approximately $17,000 and the interest rate was approximately 22%, by making a phone call to the bank and asking if the bank could match a competitor’s interest rate of 14% this changed the amount of interest owing and saved them $950 just in the three months since changing the interest amount.
Now that they were completely examining their lifestyle and what was happening with their money they realised that Pauline really wasn’t bringing in enough money to help the family and that they would continue to live week to week if she remained part time. Pauline found full time work. Being then on a higher salary they were then able to put $2000 directly into savings within the three months whilst stopping living week to week as they knew the bills were covered.
Next, they looked at their living situation, they were in a near new home with 5 bedrooms and 3 living areas, as they were trying to keep up with the jones as they say, this was costing them $570 a week in rent. They realised that they didn’t need this much space and that they could find a 4 bedroom 2 living area home 2 suburbs away for $450 a week, meaning in just three months they had saved $1440.
So the total savings they had made in 3 months were:
- Saved in their shopping = $840
- Increased wages = $2000
- credit card interest rate change =$950
- Change in rent= $1440
- Totalling $5230
They also now have a plan in place to pay off their debt whilst continuing to grow their savings.
Sometimes you need to think outside the box to save money in some clever ways.
Sally Bellamy is a Money and Budget Coach who works with those who seem to be stuck in the cycle of never having QUITE enough money and are struggling to get their spending under control, and who instead want to rapidly reduce their debt and create a savings plan that allows them to say YES to what they want more often.
Getting your money sorted doesn’t mean you need to resort to 2min noodles for dinner or stress over every dollar spent. It’s about creating a plan so that you DON’T have to count every penny anymore. And it can be SO much easier (and more fun) than you might think.
Let Sally show you how!