Personal Finance

Coronavirus + Money | How COVID-19 Has Affected Our Personal Finances

Hello friends,

I hope you are doing okay during these crazy times! Personally, I have been doing my best to stay sane and practise self-care while at home by doing more of the things I love: reading, writing, and taking online classes that excite me. (If you’re not from New Zealand, our country is currently in a 4 week lockdown, so everyone is staying at home, in our ‘bubbles’ – except for grocery shopping, essential services and enjoying local scenery).

Today, I want to share with you my thoughts & experiences on how COVID-19 has affected money and personal finances. I imagine that life looks very different for most of us at the moment, including how we handle our money and what our incomes & expenses look like. I hope this helps you if you’re looking for ideas – and the knowledge that you’re not alone.

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Budgeting, Homeownership, Lifestyle, Personal Finance

The Cost of Owning a Home | My Personal Experience

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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..

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Budgeting, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

How I Save Money on an Inconsistent Income

Hi friends,

Today I’d like to share with you how I save money on an inconsistent income. Just a few years ago, I’d rely on $1400 to hit my bank account every fortnight – and it did, each and every fortnight without fail. Even then, my income regularly fluctuated because I volunteered for so much overtime and, twice a year, received a performance bonus – but it was positively inconsistent in that I could always rely on at least that amount or more. It was blissfully easy to budget.

Fast forward to 2019, and I’m sure those of you who are freelancers, self-employed, contractors, or run a side business can relate to earning a wildly inconsistent income. It started in 2018, when I had six sources of income, one of them being a part-time job that would give me 21 hours one week, 4 hours the next; another being photography, where one month I’d shoot two events and others where I’d shoot none.

Here’s a snapshot of my income now:

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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.

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Budgeting, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

How I Saved $232 a Month While Looking for a Job

Hi friends,

Today I wanted to share with you how I reduced my monthly expenses, and talk about whether I’ve noticed much difference in my life. I’d like to thank a brief period of unemployment that motivated me to make these positive changes, some of which were only temporary – if it weren’t for my need to reduce expenses, I might’ve never truly evaluated where my money was going, and what was important to me.

Here’s exactly what I cut back on..

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Budgeting, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

How to Live on 80% of Your Income

When it comes to budgeting your money, it can be confusing to know where to start. How much should you be spending – and what should you be spending on? How much is ‘normal’ to spend on everything in your life, from your rent or mortgage, your car, entertainment and eating out?

If you have no idea where to start, or would just like to refresh your money mindset and give your budget a makeover, here’s a super simple budgeting rule: the 50/30/20 rule.

If you have a 50/30/20 budget, that means that:

50% of your net income goes towards needs;

30% of your net income goes towards wants; and

20% of your net income goes towards your financial goals, like paying off debt or buffing up your savings.

Let’s say that I bring home $1500 every fortnight. Ideally, my budget would look like this:

$750 (50%) for my needs;

$450 (30%) for my wants; and

$300 (20%) for my financial goals

So what does this mean? Because 50% goes towards needs and 30% goes towards wants, that means that 80% of your budget is allocated, leaving you with 20% to grow in your personal finance goals. Of course, if you can increase that 20% to 30%, 40% or more, even better! In an ideal world, right?

What it means for you is that you need to learn to live on 80% of your income. Here’s how I did it, and you can too!

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