Budgeting, Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

Money Mistakes I Made in My 20’s


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?!

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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!

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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:

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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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Budgeting, Personal Finance

How I Saved $232 a Month While Looking for a Job | One Year Update

Hi friends,

A year ago, I wrote a blog called ‘How I Saved $232 a Month While Looking for a Job. It was well received, and I was especially delighted to hear from others who could relate to my situation of saving money through big life changes (whether or not they were job related)!

The six expenses I cut or reduced were:

  • Spotify Premium
  • LinkedIn Premium
  • Mobile phone data
  • My gym membership
  • Office 365
  • My mortgage payments

Of these I have four updates to share, so today I’d like to share with you how I’m doing one year on.

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Homeownership, Personal Finance

How to Buy a $650,000 House in NZ

Trade Me Property Search

Hello friends,

Today I will be answering a big question: how might two people earning an average salary buy an average priced property in New Zealand?

Writing this out of curiosity and to inspire & inform, I need to make a few disclaimers. The first is that I will be making assumptions. The second is that I will be over-estimating and simplifying numbers & figures. Banks and financial entities have this disclaimer when presenting their calculators – and creating hypothetical scenarios here is no different because it’s not realistic to personalise this to everyone’s individual situation.

In saying that, I’ve chosen what I believe to be realistic – of the average millennial earning average dollars buying an average house – based on my experience, my knowledge of others’ experiences and good ol’ fashioned research!

I hope this helps to give you an idea of how two people in New Zealand might buy what is officially called an ‘affordable home’ in New Zealand, at the humble price of $650,000.

Let’s call them Jessica and Noah!

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Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance, Purpose & Passion

The Six Ways I’ve Made Money This Year


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?

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Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

Is the Entertainment Book worth it?


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.

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Homeownership, Money Mindset

First Steps You Can Take Today Towards Buying a Home in NZ

Hi friends,

Recently, I shared my personal home buying experience in Auckland, and at the end, I share a few helpful resources that I used. Today I’d like to expand on these, and share a few steps I’d recommend if you are an aspiring homeowner in New Zealand.

It can be overwhelming with the amount of information out there, so hopefully I can condense and simplify some of it for you. Some of these, like Kiwibuild, are extremely new developments that didn’t exist when I was looking to buy a home, but now do, thanks to our government. Aren’t we blessed to have access to such a wealth of resources and support?

Without further adieu, here are steps you can take today towards buying your first home. I hope they help!

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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?”

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