Budgeting, Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance, Wedding

Life, Love & Money: An Update

Hello friends,

It feels good to write again after 3 months of working through some shit. And while it is by no means over (is the journey of personal growth ever complete?), today I am back, I am inspired, and I would love to share with you a life update as well as some exciting news & money wins!

Continue reading
Standard
Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

My Favourite Personal Finance Books

IMG_4733

Hello friends,

Today I’m excited to share with you my all-time favourite personal finance books!

Sure, I could talk about Rich Dad, Poor Dad or The Four Hour Work Week, like most people do, but I’d rather not. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is extremely vague, unhelpful, and dated, while The Four Hour Work Week was written by a fraud & sociopath. I mean, come on – at one point, while discussing how he outsources his work and exploits human labour, Tim Ferriss actually writes “I would tell you how to do this, but I don’t want to. I want to watch Family Guy. So the next part will be written by my virtual assistant.”

What the fuck?

(Not at the outsourcing; at the arrogance. He then shares the story of a man who uses his virtual assistant to talk to his wife on his behalf and help with their deep-seated marital problems.)

He also boasts of his achievements & titles and how he gained them without actually earning them. It’s not about the journey for him; it’s all about the destination. At one point he encourages his readers to take notes from books on a certain topic, give a talk at a university, go to a Fortune 500 company and say that they’ve given a talk at the university, give a talk at the Fortune 500 company, and in doing so, be able to say, “I’m an expert who has given a talk on so-and-so at a Fortune 500 company.” You’re kidding me, right? You’re encouraging and empowering people… To be frauds?

Now that I’ve had a spontaneous intro rant, I’d love to share with you the books I did enjoy, as well as the real ways in which they’ve impacted my personal finance journey. Here are my 6 favourite personal finance books!

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

What We Did With A $6K Pay Rise

Hello friends,

In September and October this year, my partner and I both received a pay rise in our respective jobs. As you may have guessed from the title, it was approximately $3000 each – a $6000 increase in our joint gross income. Hooray!

Today I’ll be sharing with you what we did with our extra income and how we chose to be mindful with this money.

Continue reading

Standard
Budgeting, Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

Money Mistakes I Made in My 20’s

Collage

Hello friends,

Today I’ll be sharing with you some personal finance stories from my 20’s – or shall I say, my early 20’s!

This topic has often been on my mind, but I’ve always been a little hesitant. As a believer in the Law of Attraction – which encourages manifestation of your best life through thoughts, actions & beliefs grounded in positivity, gratitude, and living in the present – it has always felt unconducive to dwell on the past and on mistakes.

But, I believe reflecting on the past can be incredibly valuable. If you look back on your past self and dislike who you were, or where you were in life, it’s a sign that you’ve grown and become a better person since then. Your growth is what makes it possible for you to have that realisation. It’s the same with personal finances.

So, I’d like to introduce you to the hot mess I was in my early 20’s, and the freeing changes I’ve made since. You could even call it my own financial #glowup! Please note these are definitely not all overnight fixes; whether they’ve taken weeks, months, or years to improve upon, they are all things younger me could have done better over the last 8 years. By the way, do y’all like my cute 90’s inspired scrapbook collage?!

Continue reading

Standard
Budgeting, Lifestyle, Personal Finance, Wedding

Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 4

Wedding Invitations Ruby Chocolate

Hi friends,

Welcome to Chapter 4 of my wedding series!

Last month, I shared how my fiancé and I are managing our wedding finances. Today I’m excited to elaborate on this topic and why we’re creating a new budget, as well as other progress we’ve made with our upcoming wedding.

In July, we

  • created a new wedding budget / savings plan
  • customised and received our wedding invitations (!!!)
  • booked the videographer for our Queenstown ceremony
  • ordered my wedding reception dress

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Personal Finance, Wedding

Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 2

Hi friends,

Welcome to Chapter Two of my wedding series!

May was an expensive and eventful month, one full of wedding accomplishments. Some of these include:

  • paying off our honeymoon
  • booking our florals, lighting, decor, and photography
  • ordering my wedding dress

…And attending two amazing wedding shows!

Continue reading

Standard
Budgeting, Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

When Shit Happens

A few weeks ago, my colleague & friend Lucius asked me, “Hey Sophia, you know your personal finance blog.. What about when shit happens?”

My response: “When shit happens? Do you mean like having money for an emergency fund?” He said yes.

So I told him I’d thought about writing about this, and the times I’d had to use mine (a brief period of unemployment, taking my car to get fixed at the expensive Mini Garage, etc). However, I was currently in a strange position as I had a large emergency fund that I was planning to use as my soon-to-be wedding fund and therefore, may soon need to start fresh. I offered, “You’re welcome to write a guest blog if you like!”

So here is the result, my friends. Please note that we have different opinions on our job, where I get to round out my financial experience in insurance, banking and tax; where we work in a tall building in my favourite suburb overlooking the Sky Tower & city skyline on one side and the majestic Mt Rangitoto & ocean on the other; where the pay is average but having a few other income streams makes it manageable; and where the job itself can be challenging (also, but less often, rewarding) but our team is amazing to work with. That being said, his thoughts are also completely true, valid, and hilarious. Enough of my rambling – enjoy!

Hello to all of Sophia’s readers. As you all might have guessed I have the fortunate “privilege” of working in a dead-end, shitty job wishing that some random shitstain would just throw you off the top floor of the excrement filled building… Motherfucker! A call centre job is not only career suicide, it presents you with constant and elevated stress due to dealing with the very dregs of society, being monitored like criminals by management, and more importantly, shit-all pay. With the cost of living only going up and the value of the dollar diminishing every year; our standard of living has been worse than it’s ever been.

Being more tight-fisted, finances has become a certain necessity for some and a daily struggle for many. Indulging in luxuries once in a blue moon could shove you into paupacy for a few weeks, while a catastrophic event like a car crash or medical condition could tumble you headfirst into financial ruin… And this is exactly why Sophia has invited me to be a guest blogger: to tell you how to prepare when the metaphorical shit/excrement/faeces/turd hits the fan.

Accidents happen, life is shit and shit happens; moral of the story is shit! Personally, when shit happens to me, it happens all at once. Not only did I crash my vehicle (my fault), the garage door malfunctioned, vehicle tyres needed urgent replacing and I had already pre-ordered re-enactment equipment that needed to be paid off that week. Fortunately, I was able to and am still able to pay these off and multiple times over should I need to. You can budget wisely and save to prematurely prepare for said unforeseeable event(s) that would put many ordinary civilians into crippling debt. I call it: managing micro-transactions.

Sun Tzu (shitstain) once said that the leadership of many is the same as leadership of a few; it is only a matter of organisation. Believe it or not, the management of micro-transactions can make the difference between having a safety net to fall back on or hanging yourself with your neighbour’s extension cord that you had to “borrow” due to financial depression. Saving a small sum on hundreds of small transactions can be much more effective than saving on big ones; the key point is to live within your means. I’m not here to tell you about how to manage your fixed costs, but to educate you wretched shits by how you can save over the long term by breakdown down your variable costs. Let me give you a few examples:

Continue reading

Standard
Budgeting, Lifestyle, Personal Finance, Wedding

Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 1

 

Hi friends,

WELCOME TO CHAPTER ONE OF MY BLOG’S WEDDING SERIES!

It sounds fancy and official, but really, it’s a practical and sentimental record of our wedding planning journey – a diary to share my inspirations, reflect on in the future with sweet nostalgia, and of course, keep ourselves mindful with money. I’m excited to share with you every part of this journey – of creating our dream wedding that will be both magical and money-conscious.

This month, we:

  • went to a gorgeous wedding open day
  • started making a financial plan for funding our big day
  • started requesting quotes on florals, lighting, photography & more
  • booked our wedding venue!

Continue reading

Standard
Budgeting, Homeownership, Lifestyle, Personal Finance

The Cost of Owning a Home | My Personal Experience

IMG_0878

Hi friends,

It’s been a while! I want to thank you all for the incredibly positive, warm and supportive feedback I received on my last post, How I Save Money on an Inconsistent Income. It means a lot to me to know that I’ve helped and inspired some of you with your own finances!

Today I’d like to share with you all the costs & expenses I’ve come across as a homeowner. Of course, everyone’s experience is different, so this is tailored to my personal expenses – after all, my house is no luxury beachfront villa; it’s a modest, free-standing house in a safe and sensibly priced suburb. I thought it would be interesting to share what I pay for now that I own a home vs. when I was renting, and hope it will be helpful to both other homeowners and future homeowners with my transparency.

What do you think of when you think of buying a house? Personally, I think it’s so easy to simply think of the purchase price and mortgage payments – plus mortgage protection if you want that peace of mind. I obviously knew there was going to be more, but now that it’s been two years, I truly have a fuller picture to share with you all.

But first, some background..

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

My 2018 Money Wins + 2019 Goals

Hello friends, and Happy New Year!!!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season and feeling rested, refreshed, and inspired for the year to come! This time of the year always calls for reflection and aspiration, so today I’m sharing with you my 2018 money wins – the best things I did for myself financially. I’ll also share with you my financial goals for the year to come.

2018

Money Win No.1 I did a 0% balance transfer
I shared a little about this in How I’m Paying Off My Debt Faster | 3 Easy Ways. Instead of letting the interest-free period on my credit card balance pass and consider it sorted if I met the minimum payments, I said “no thanks” to 25.99% interest and transferred it to my bank. More than just the benefit of having tons of time to pay off the balance, the peace of mind I had made it easily one of the best financial decisions I made last year.

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance, Purpose & Passion

Manifesting Money

NZ Spirit Festival 2018 (206).JPG

Hi friends,

Today I’d love to share with you what I’ve learnt about manifesting money – what it is and why it’s real.

My first experience consciously manifesting money was at the NZ Spirit Festival. I attended a workshop called ‘Tapping into Money’, which taught us the power of tapping on meridians to remove energy blocks and tap into a mindset of abundance, and was surprised to have seemingly manifested money that very night. From the $180 I made from selling concert tickets, to the $50 I made selling my extra festival ticket, to the $500-600 I’d receive later thanks to two photography enquiries in one night, it was excitingly strange and synchronous.

Since then, I’ve learnt plenty on the topic, mostly thanks to Youtube & books. Among the self-help books I’ve read this year, the money-related books I’ve read are Creating Affluence by Deepak Chopra, The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, and You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. I’ve also bought Conscious Money by Patricia Aburdene and The $1000 Project by Canna Campbell to add to my reading list!

What stands out to me is that, no matter how practical and tangible people think money is, everything I have read or watched touches on the most important aspect of attracting more money and building wealth: your mindset.

No, manifesting money isn’t praying to the Universe to give you money while you’re sitting around doing nothing, or the opposite – working to the point of burn-out. It’s not simply using Law of Attraction and positive affirmations to say, “I am wealthy” – it’s so much more than that. Here’s the best lessons I’ve personally learnt about manifesting money.

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance, Purpose & Passion

The Six Ways I’ve Made Money This Year

IMG_9146

Hi friends,

It’s only the end of September, yet so far, 2018 has been a very interesting year for me – in life, in love, and in finances. A few years ago, like most people, I worked full-time and had one income, but this year so far, I’ve earned income from several different sources – six to be exact. Today I’ll share with you these six ways I’ve made money this year.

First, let me take you back to last year, 2017 – where I lay the foundations for where I am today. Let’s go in quarters, shall we?

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

Is the Entertainment Book worth it?

Baduzzi.jpg

Recently, my partner and I made the exciting yet slightly unsure decision to buy an Entertainment membership. You may have heard of the Entertainment book, which claims that you can “discover thousands of valuable 2-for-1 and up to 50% off offers for many of the best restaurants, cafés, arts, attractions, hotels, travel, shopping and much more.”

How true is this? Today, I’d like to share with you our experience so far.

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Purpose & Passion

What’s on Your Reverse Bucket List? | My Goals & Dreams

IMG_6463 (3000x2000)

Hi friends,

Have you ever heard of a reverse bucket list? While a bucket list is a list of everything you want to do before you die, a reverse bucket list is simply the opposite. It’s a list of amazing things that you’ve already achieved and experienced.

My kikki.K bucket list book is very dear to my heart. A brief stay in hospital in 2015 inspired me to purchase a timeless journal to write down all my goals, dreams and aspirations – where I want to travel, milestones I want to achieve, concerts I want to go to, and more.

It’s fun to read over it when I’m going through a rut and feeling ‘blah’, sometimes adding to it – but now, I realise that it tends to constantly keep me focused on the future. Future goals. Future plans. Future achievements. Why not also count and celebrate everything I’ve already achieved?

If you’ve got 5 minutes, I invite you to take a moment to be mindful and grateful with me. Here’s my reverse bucket list; I’d love to hear what’s on yours. ❤

Continue reading

Standard
Homeownership, Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

My Personal Home Buying Experience (Auckland, NZ)

Last year, I ticked off one of my bucket list goals: buy a freehold property. And by tick off, I mean literally – it’s long been written in my Bucket List Journal, alongside goals like ‘Go to Japan’, ‘Try anti-gravity yoga’, ‘Go to Tomorrowland in Belgium’ and ‘Fly a plane’. Needless to say, it was a dream come true!

After I shared the news, I got asked more or less the same questions from friends & acquaintances. So today I’d love to share my home buying journey, as a recount of my personal experience – ie. I’m not writing this from a place of trying to give financial advice, but from human to human to share what it was all like.

1

The first thing I did was educate myself on KiwiSaver and how it can help you to buy your first home. I researched the eligibility criteria and house caps, then went ahead and applied for the HomeStart Grant. Since I’d been contributing to KiwiSaver for over three years, I was confident I’d be accepted. So when I received my pre-approval, I was ecstatic!

Continue reading

Standard
Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Purpose & Passion

Why I Quit The 9-5

Put a value on your time, and start measuring your wealth not in money but in freedom. – The Financial Diet

Hi friends, and welcome to Mindful with Money! 

I created this blog because I’ve always been curious about all things personal finance, as well as minimalism, mindfulness, and conscious living – which are all, of course, holistically connected back to you and your relationship with money. You’ll get to know me really well on this blog, but I thought a good place to start today would be to introduce me – or rather, my life – as a whole, and what it looks like.

I’m currently in my 20’s, living in Auckland, New Zealand. I used to work full-time, but now, I work part time/casually and find myself with what feels like endless amounts of free time. Just a year ago, I was working full-time in the Auckland CBD; the regular 9 to 5 in a corporate office environment, and now I can not see myself doing that again – at least, not for a while.

“But, why?”

Continue reading

Standard