STEP THREE

STEP THREE

Step three is where I’m at – building an emergency fund.

In life, there are always things that pop up that we’re not expecting, but the beauty is that we can often actually be prepared. An emergency fund is just one way to be prepared financially.

Now, let’s be clear… A new pair of shoes or jeans because The Iconic have them on sale is not an emergency. I repeat, it is  not  an emergency!
For me, an emergency would be if your car needs something done to it that you weren’t expecting, or if you need urgent medical or dental attention that you haven’t had time to budget for. I would even use my emergency fund as a way to make sure all of my bills were paid should something happen to my employment status.

Some financial advisors suggest that you should have 3-6 months of expenses in your emergency fund, and if you’re self-employed maybe a little more. I think that once you know how much it costs you to live (like we sorted out in step two), then from there you’ll be able to gauge how much you’ll need in your fund.

I’m only at the start of saving for our emergency fund and because of everything else we have going on at the moment (wedding and house building), I’ve just set us small goals so that we can still be building our fund while taking into account our other financial commitments at the moment. Although you might want $5,000 as a minimum for your fund, it can be a bit overwhelming at the start of that savings journey so start with a smaller goal and timeframe and then keep going from there. I always find that once I hit $1000 in any savings goal, I am so much more determined to keep that growing than if I only had $500 saved (don’t ask me why, it’s just a weird way I think, haha).

So my thoughts on building an emergency fund…

  • Be disciplined as to what your emergency fund is actually for
  • Be realistic about what it would cost you to live for 3-6 months and how much excess you’d want for any medical or other emergencies
  • Be realistic about the timeframe you can save your desired amount in – you don’t want to stress yourself with your goal
  • Push to get $1000 saved, and then let the momentum you’ve built saving towards that keep you going to get you to your overall target

I’ll keep you posted on how I’m going with building my emergency fund and I’d love to hear from you too.

Happy saving!

STEP TWO

STEP TWO

In step one we looked at why it’s good to have clear financial goals in place before doing anything else when it comes to owning our finances.

The next step is to look at your financial situation as a whole.

  1. List all of your debts
  2. List all of your assets
  3. List all of your weekly/fortnightly/monthly expenses
  4. List all of your goals

Let’s start with listing all of your debt. This can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re in a bit of a pickle but it’s important. Debt would include anything like personal loans, car loans, credit cards, mortgages, and absolutely all Afterpay/Zippay payments waiting to be paid. Literally anything where you owe someone else money, even if it’s a bit of cash you borrowed from mum and dad that you’ve been meaning to repay.

Now listing all your assets next should hopefully cheer you up a little if listing your debt was a little disheartening. An asset is any item you own that has value. Things to include in this list would be your car value, superannuation balance (not that you can touch it for a million years but it’s always good to check in that the amount isn’t going backward), and any savings that you have. Other examples that I’ve got on our asset list are things like our laptops, cameras, music equipment and furniture (or home contents).

Next up is to list all the essential regular expenses that you have and the dates in the month that they are due. This would include your phone bill, car insurance, any home expenses like rates or water bills, regular car expenses like services. I even include things down to my license renewal and sponsor child payments.

Then we look back at the goals we wrote down in step one to see how well what we’re spending, what we owe and what we’re saving is aligning with those goals.

If you are looking at what you’ve written down thinking that your current situation isn’t looking great up against your goals, don’t stress! That’s why you do step two, so you can work out where things need to start changing.

So, see how you go working through these four steps and if you’re unsure you can always shoot me a message!

Happy writing!

(Or Excel-ing, y’all know I’m an Excel girl)

 

 

STEP ONE

STEP ONE

Sometimes the hardest thing about trying to sort out a budget or get ourselves out of debt or grow our savings is knowing where to actually start.

How do I even create a budget?
Do I tackle debt first?
Do I start saving first?
Do I tackle debt and save at the same time?
What do I want to save for?
How do I invest my money well?

So many questions!

The first place you really need to start is to determine what your financial goals are. Without creating clear goals for yourself, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be living pay-check to pay-check and when it comes time for you to need a deposit or a big car service comes up it’ll add unnecessary stress.
If you have clear financial goals, it’ll be much easier to break down the steps to get to them and to living in a place where finances don’t stress you out.

If your goal is to get rid of all your commercial debt (being personal loans, credit cards, Afterpay) before you even think of anything else, then making sure that when you get paid you have enough to cover regular bills and general expenses and then throw everything left over at your debt.

If your goal is to chip away at debt and saving for a holiday is the primary focus, then you need to work out what your minimum repayments are for your debt and make sure they’re paid, and save as much as you can.

If you’re unsure what your goals are, then your first step would be to spend some time figuring those out. What do you want your life to look like financially? Do you want to live pay-check to pay-check or are you after more freedom and flexibility? Do you want to go on a holiday, and if yes, when? Do you want to buy a home? How do you want your life to look when you reach retirement? (it’s never too early to be thinking about that).

So, step one – determine what your financial goals are and write them down.

Happy planning!

 

A Refocus

A Refocus

I originally started this site with the aim to help people by sharing about things that have happened in my world. The goal is still to help people, but I’ve had a little refocus and thought I’d fill you in on what things will start to look like around here.

If you’ve been following this page for a while, or know me in real life, you’ll know that I love budgeting, personal finance, and finding creative ways to make the most of my money. I even changed what I was studying at uni to pursue it! This whole website thing is now going to really just focus on that.

We’ll look like tips and tricks on making the most of your personal finances and I’ll share things that have and haven’t worked for me, in the hope to inspire you to try something new. If your debt isn’t decreasing as fast as you like or your savings increasing as fast as you like, maybe the ways that I’ve tackled debt and savings can help you.

I’d love to hear from you along the way! I’d love to cheer you on in your financial goals, as well as help out in any way I can to get you there. Life is always better when it’s done with one another, and I can’t wait to cheer you on in all your financial growth and success!

 

Hann.

 

 

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Meal Planner

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Last Monday I posted on my Instagram story about the new meal planner/grocery list I created to help get myself organised with food and to cut down on unnecessary spending during the week on food as well as unnecessary food waste.

The next job on the list is to go through the fridge and pantry and list what we already have (and maybe throw out some things that probably should have been thrown out a while ago). From there, Mum and I will be able to create meals that will work for lunches and dinners cut down our food groceries (hopefully!)

So here they are… The meal planners with a food shopping list. I hope you find it super helpful and that you are able to save some money on your grocery budget just by being a little more prepared.

Han xo

Weekly Meal Planner (BLUE)
Weekly Meal Planner (PINK)
Weekly Meal Planner (GREEN)

Budgeting 101

Budgeting 101

If you read my post on why I changed my degree, you’ll know that I am passionate about personal finance. If you just know me in general, you’ll also know I love personal finance as well as a good Excel spreadsheet!
(Excel is where I have created my budget)

I thought I’d do a quick post on the basics of budgeting that I think is a great place to start when we’re looking to reach a financial goal (big or small).

Before we get to more practicals, here’s a great rule to follow if you find following a  written budget difficult…

If you can’t afford it up front, don’t buy it! 
I’ve done it, and I’ve seen friends and family do it, where things that aren’t necessities are purchased either on Afterpay or a Credit Card that really shouldn’t and don’t need to be. This year I put myself on a shopping ban and you know what, I haven’t missed buying new clothes and shoes at all (they were my kryptonite). I got some cash for my birthday and some gift cards so I used that to buy a few new items for my wardrobe but now it’s back to the ban. Clothes are just one example (Maccas is another, lol), but I’d encourage you to think about something that you’re spending money on that you don’t really need to be and maybe start saving what you want to spend instead of buying it or put that amount onto a loan you’re paying off. And also, if you’re budgeting well, you should still be able to treat yo self every now and then.

Anyway, that bit is for free!
It’s all for free, but here’s the budgeting part…

Over the last 9 years, since I started working full time, I’ve tweaked my personal budget a billion times and still do, but here is what it all comes down to in 3 simple breakdowns…

First, list all expenses. I define expenses as all the necessary things I need to pay for in a year. I have worked out my expenses for a 12 month period and then divide that by the number of pays I get and set aside that amount of money. For me, I get paid fortnightly so my yearly expenses are divided by 26. Some expenses may be: phone bill, rent, mortgage, health insurance, haircuts, car costs (rego, insurance, services, fuel), the list can go on. Depending on your age and circumstances, you might have only a few small expenses or some bigger ones but remember, expenses are the essentials.

Next, compare my expenses to my income (what I earn). I understand that it can be a bit overwhelming to do this if you’re working a casual job, but because you have a casual job shouldn’t be a reason not to budget. It probably is even more important to do up a budget if that is your circumstance. Now here’s the most important part – your expenses shouldn’t be more than your income. If that’s the case, we might need to take a look at what you’re defining as essentials, haha. Another thing would be to look at ways to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

Now the good part – saving and giving. With what is left over, after I’ve considered my income and expenses, is what I will use towards saving and giving (for those who are a part of a church and tithe, my tithe doesn’t come out of this giving allocation – it is included in expenses as it’s a non-negotiable for me). By doing this part of my budget last, it means that I can still be generous and still save, but I’m not struggling to pay my rent or bills because it’s all within my means. It also means that I have been able to set achievable and attainable goals too!


You may find it difficult to start with and hate setting aside money, but I promise that it will get easier and just become a habit and your future self with love you for it!

If you would like a little help starting out, or are finding it hard to differentiate what’s a necessity and what’s not, let me know. I would love to help you out (and already have a Spreadsheet we could start out on, haha).

I hope this has been helpful in some way or another!

Han, xo

Why I Changed My Uni Degree​

Why I Changed My Uni Degree​

Earlier this year I put a post on my Instagram about being accepted into Deakin University and had said: “I’ll put a post up soon to fill you in on why I decided to change degrees”.

Soon turned out to be a month later, but better late than never!

I have always been intrigued by the statistic that finance is one of the biggest topics that couples fight about. I’ve also always been determined not to be apart of that statistic. I don’t want my family, my friends or my future children and even grandchildren to be apart of it either. So I’ve decided to dedicate the next three/four years to learn about every aspect of commerce and financial planning to help myself and others be the best we can be with our finances. This has meant that I’ve swapped degrees and am changing university’s, but that’s okay. I’ve been able to score some credit points and I feel good that what I’m about to start I am 100% passionate about.

I have always loved knowing where my money is going and how I can best spend, save and share it but I have had to figure it out by myself (although, kudos to my Dad for teaching me the in’s and out’s of Excel which is where I work all my money magic, haha). Unfortunately, there’s not really a subject in school called “Personal Finance” where you can learn how to deal with money in the real world, but I wish there was! I wish there would have been something there for me when I got my very first job at 15 that would instill great money behaviours and patterns within me that would help me as an adult.

Last year I got to thinking…

What if I could be the person who helps people begin to manage their money well…
What if I could be the person who helps people shape positive money beliefs, understanding that it’s okay to have money…
What if I could be the person who helps people spend, save and share their money so that not only they benefit but those around them do too…

Money is so important and I think it’s the most powerful resource we have been entrusted with. I feel like not enough people talk about it, especially in a positive way and also out of a Christian view, but it is something that needs to be talked about! I’m passionate about helping people – young and old – understand money and why it’s good to have, why it’s good to be generous, why it’s wise to invest and why budgeting is always a good idea.

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I’m inspired to shift the stigma around money, the statistic it’s created in relationships, and I’m excited to see the freedom it releases in people’s lives not only for them but for those around them.

I’m excited to learn more about money and although I’m not qualified (yet!), I’m excited to hear your stories and experiences with money and help you where you need it (e.g. setting a killer budget)! There is no judgment; nothing will shock me – if you have a bucket load of debt or a bucket load in the bank, I want to hear from you.

Can’t wait to share the journey with you!

Han, xo