5 frugal tips: sustainable and minimalist life

I sometimes get the question what my top frugal tips are to save money and be kind to the environment. In this short video I share my 5 key tips around how I live a simple and financially aligned life that works well for me.

  1. Buy quality over quantity. Most often I’ll save up for a better quality piece of clothing, technology or whatever else I need, rather than buying something cheap that won’t last. I do still buy items in second hand shops or via marketplaces, but I look for quality brands/products that will likely last longer.
  2. Ride a bike. I commute daily to work on a bike (and have done for years when I’ve worked 10-20 km from where I live), and even if it’s not very far to my current work I really enjoy it. Even if it costs a little bit of money to buy a bike, it will last a long time if you look after it well. And it will save you lots of money on travel costs too!
  3. Do free online workout classes at home. There are loads of free apps and videos (check out one of my favourite YouTube channels here) which will save you money, time and travel costs. Make sure to stay accountable with a friend or perhaps your partner/housemate.
  4. Get quality food containers, wraps and bags. This will keep your food and meal prepping fresh and tasty for much longer. My favourite products are linked in the description box here!
  5. Use a menstrual cup. Many women are scared to try this, but I have been using this instead of pads and tampons for almost 4 years and it’s easy to use and very comfortable once you get used to it!

Meal planning and grocery haul

I am a huge fan of meal planning! It saves you money, time and most importantly it greatly reduces food waste. In our home we have been meal planning on a weekly basis for the past year and a bit and it has made a huge difference in making our week simple and stress free.

Key benefits we have noticed:

  • We only have to cook 3-4 times a week (I’m happy to eat the same thing 2 days in a row).
  • More importantly we share the cooking, as neither of us love cooking (but we both enjoy healthy and tasty food). We typically cook 2 times each during the week, which suits us just fine.
  • We only go to the grocery store once a week and get everything we need in one go. No need to run and ‘top up’ shop every second day!
  • It keeps our grocery budget down. When you have a meal plan in place and ingredients in the fridge it is way harder to justify takeaway for dinner. That said, we still make exceptions every now and then on days when we really don’t want to cook… ๐Ÿ™‚

How to meal plan

  1. Start with weekly meal planning. Planning in longer time periods can be harder for some when you first get started.
  2. Pick a few of your standard dishes that you know how to make and that suit your current budget. If you need some inspiration for new recipes I love this website for meal prep ideas, otherwise Google or YouTube is full of simple and healthy meal ideas that are very affordable to make.
  3. Grab a piece of paper or a small whiteboard and write the plan down.
  4. You don’t have to love cooking to meal plan! I have never loved cooking, but I really enjoy to eat healthy on a budget, so that means that I sometimes have to cook.
  5. Allow things to move around within the week if plans change, but don’t waste food. We sometimes move around the day we’ll be eating/cooking a certain dish, but we always use the ingredients (especially fresh produce) in the week we planned to. So much food in this world is thrown in the trash every year which makes me so sad.
  6. You can set challenges for yourself as you progress. If you are looking to save money, eat less meat or whatever your goal is, you can set a challenge for yourself during a week/month to focus a bit extra on that. It’s really cool to see what you can achieve when you set your intention and stick to it!

A theme for the new year

After the big, crazy year that 2020 was, I know I’m not the only one who wants 2021 to be a bit different. The first few weeks of a new year is when many of us set personal and professional goals, and sadly it’s also the time we tend to forget that willpower can only run for so long. Without support structures we will eventually lose focus and usually by March or so, the big goals have often been replaced with “I’ll get to it later” type of thinking.

A few years ago, I thought I’d start my year slightly differently and set a theme for the year. This could then connect to specific goals and it would at the same time be easy to remember and re-focus on.

When I studied coaching back in 2012, we’d often talk about the fact that “where your focus goes, energy flows“. The human mind simply can’t focus on too many things at once, so it’s pretty obvious. This way of focussing on themes instead of only specific goals has really helped me move the dial on many things in my life. I hope you’re keen to try and see what happens for you!

The simple process:

  1. Set a main theme you’re passionate and/or truly care about.
    In 2018 and 2019 my theme was personal finance, in 2020 it was creativity and in 2021 it is self love. These themes are not ones I consciously decided upon, but themes/topics that keps coming up and I felt a strong internal need to nurture and build that part of my life. Your theme can’t be a ‘should’, you have to land in a ‘want’. For example, when my personal finances were not working for me I did not feel like ‘I really should get on top of that…’, but rather ‘I never want to be in this difficult position again. I want to be in charge of my money and my life.

  2. Pick 2-3 activities/areas that will contribute to your theme. It’s important to keep these simple, yet helpful. If the activities or areas you pick here are not easy to reflect on or notice a difference in, you many need to get more specific. The 3 key areas I picked to support my theme of self love are:

    a) Learning: this includes things like reading, listening to podcasts, doing online courses or chatting to friends about practises they have experienced as helpful tools in building their self love muscle.

    b) Body and mind: this area is about exercise, food and well being for me. Reflecting on a regular basis on my exercise routine, rest, meditation, sleep and nutrition helps me stay on track 80% of the time. I still drink too much wine some days, or have chips for dinner, but this helps me look after myself.

    c) Relationships: for me personally self love is not just what I do in my own little bubble, but how I interact with friends, family, colleagues or strangers. To look at my relationships and interactions whilst reflecting on healthy boundaries (we all need to learn to say no to some things!), ability to be vulnerable and a range of other things are very helpful as I look at the big picture of self love.

  3. Review weekly (or even daily). If you write a gratitude journal or have a moment of silent reflection every day (I often do it before bed), it can be useful to just reflect on your 2-3 areas and what you did/what happened in each of them that day. Every day won’t be super productive, but they key here is to just notice where your time, energy and effort is spent every day/week and have the ability without judging yourself for ‘getting it wrong‘.

A simple life for me is one of awareness and gradual improvement. Everything new that we do is a skill that we need to train. Self-love is one that many ignore (I have too!), which is why I wanted to get curious to ‘train that muscle’ and notice where it takes me.

Mental decluttering

Ok, so it’s been a while since I last checked in. If you happened to have missed it, there is a bit of a global pandemic going on and sadly it caused most of Melbourne, Australia (where we live) to shut down into hard lockdown and even evening curfews and restrictions.

Good or bad (I’d say it’s a little bit of both), we happened to be house sitting for family members outside of the city when the lockdown came into force. Bonus was the approximate distance to the beach and the good company in the house. Somewhat of a downside was that we had only packed clothes and other things to be away from home for about 2 weeks (#minimalist101). Lucky we had Freyja the super cat with us. Unfortunately, my camera did not make the packing list.

Fast forward (or slow forward) 3 months and we’re now:

  • Back in our small apartment in central Melbourne.
  • Enjoying a gradual release of restrictions and social distancing (still wearing masks anytime we are in public).
  • Celebrating that when some relationships struggled, we chose to get engaged instead! Yep, that’s right, I would imagine mid-Covid engagements are probably pretty rare… ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Getting ready to move back into a slightly bigger apartment a bit further from the city.
  • Trying to deal with a fair bit of change and feeling a little bit overwhelmed.

Which made me realise that the post and video for this week had to revolve around mental decluttering. So I’m going to do one of my favourite exercises and bring you right along with me.

You see, decluttering and minimalism of the mind is just as important as that of your physical space. And it’s pretty straight forward.

Grab a piece of paper or a notebook plus a pen. Or if you’re more of a digital person (like I am), just open a blank document on your computer or phone. Now:

1) Write down everything that’s on your mind. Everything you stress about, everything that annoys you, every little thing you’re trying to remember that you have to do. You get it – basically write all of it down. Don’t edit yourself, just write it ALL down.

2) Once it’s all captured, it’s time to colour grade it. Use different colours or markers to highlight what A: the things you can control (green in my example) B: The things that are totally out of your control (red in my example).

3) Look at the distribution of that list and focus your daily actions and practise on 5+ things you can control. My favourite ones that recur regularly are things like:

  • How I fill my space
  • What I do with my time and how I spend my money
  • How I exercise, eat and look after my body
  • What makes me laugh
  • Who I reach out to

Simple Essentials are not just about the things we declutter, but about the things we choose to focus our thoughts on. Just because I highly value simple and healthy food, does not mean that I won’t order not so healthy Uber eats for dinner and drink half a bottle of wine on another day. Just because I know that certain people and dramas are not worth my time, does not mean that I won’t get upset and sad another day.

The main difference is the act of mental decluttering and full awareness of what’s on our ‘big worry list’. Awareness brings clarity and the opportunity to clean out. If you don’t know what’s there, it’s hard to clean it out.

Simple low waste kitchen hacks

I often hear people talk about a zero waste kitchen. For most of us (unless we grow a majority of the food we eat in our own backyard) this is something that’s quite difficult to achieve.

For quite a few years, I have actively looked at where I can waste less and be smarter with how I shop for groceries and store my food. In the current global pandemic (it’s July 2020 as I write this), I’ve found it’s much harder to access food markets and some of the places I used to buy bigger bulk items from, but I’m still doing my best to reduce the amount of plastic bags and packaging that comes into my home.

Here are my top 5 favourite tips of how to reduce waste and plastic in your kitchen!

  1. Bring your own shopping bags. Goes without saying that bringing our own bags to the shops (not just the grocery store!) is a great first step. I always have a few canvas bags in the car, but I also keep a small fold up bag in my handbag and another one in my gym bag. That way I always have a bag with me for groceries and other shopping so I can say ‘no thank you‘ to any unnecessary plastic.
  2. Reusable produce bags. I bought similar bags to these ones about 4 years ago and I use them every single week. If they get dirty, I just wash them in hot soapy water, they dry very quickly. If you don’t want to pay money to buy something similar, it’s super easy to make your own produce bags using old t-shirts, pillowcases or pretty much any type of fabric you have laying around your house.
  3. Bees wax wraps and reusable silicone bags. I have found that bees wax wraps are great for that half of an avocado, onion, tomato or other thing you need to wrap up and use later. I have bought most of my bees wax wraps at local markets over the years, but you can of course buy them online or even google how to make your own. I wash mine out in lukewarm or cold water and sometimes it’s good to use a sponge or gentle scrubber to get any stubborn food stains off. Instead of ziplock bags, I bought reusable silicone bags a few months ago and absolutely love them! They store things really well in both the fridge and the freezer and wash our really easily with warm soapy water. They have also worked really well as sandwich bags on a few hikes.
  4. Food storage containers and glass jars. As an avid meal-prepper, I have a bunch of different types and sizes of food storage containers on hand. Glass jars from your old pasta sauce or mustard can easily be washed out and used for storing salad dressings, soup and a bunch of other things.

    Over the past few years I have gradually started replacing my plastic food storage containers with glass tub versions. You can pick these up online or at your nearest well Kmart or similar. I do still use my old plastic containers for storing food in, I just make sure to not reheat the plastic tubs in the microwave, but rather put the leftovers on a plate for reheating. It makes me a bit sad when people throw all their perfectly good storage containers in the trash just because they happen to be made of plastic. Reducing your plastic waste is a great intention, but where do you think most of those plastic tubs you threw out actually end up? In landfill waste. So rather than throwing things out and creating more short term waste, use the items responsibly until they break and then replace them!
  5. Wash out and reuse ziplock type plastic bags. A very simple hack that saves both money and plastic waste. If I use ziplock bags (which is rare), I make sure to wash them out with hot soapy water, let them dry out and then use them again. If you buy frozen berries or fruit, they often come in sturdy resealable bags which you can easily wash out and use again. For any plastic bags that are torn and can’t be washed and reused, I make sure to recycle them.

I think zero waste is a great intention, but for most of us it’s very hard to achieve it. Rather than thinking we have to be perfect or not try at all, I welcome you to join me and do your best to reduce the waste that’s generated from your kitchen and household. I believe in progress over perfection and hopefully that’s something that can help you too!

Declutter Challenge Check In

I hope you’re doing as well as you can during this challenging time. I have definitely struggled with motivation when it feels like the days just blend into each other.

As we’re forced to stay home a lot more that we are used to, I know quite a few of you are using this time to sort through things and organise your space to work better for you. If you want a declutter checklist and template you can check out my last declutter blog post here.

I find that going through decluttering always triggers a few things for most people, such as:

  1. I don’t have time to finish a whole area in one go“. For some people this can cause them to beat themselves up for “not being organised enough”. This is not particularly helpful, so if this is how you feel right now, remember that getting started with something and taking your time to complete it fully (in steps if you need to) is not failure, but progress!
  2. I need to change the order of the declutter areas“. No sweat my friend, that’s why you have the checklist. Swap the order around however you like, but make sure you track your progress and tick things off that list!
  3. How much of my stuff should I declutter in the first round?” It’s totally up to you. I always recommend to start with what seems reasonable for you and then come back and declutter again in 3-6 months time. In this weeks video I share some of my most recent wardrobe declutter (just before Covid19 shutdown). It’s amazing to me that I still get rid of things every few months after actively decluttering regularly for a few years.
  4. How to dispose responsibly of things during Covid19 times? As I write this in early May 2020, it’s a bit difficult as charity shops are closed and selling/swapping/donating things to others is not encouraged. Of course there are still a lot of things you can get rid of that is either recycling or trash. For anything else, simply just box/bag it (make sure to label it!) and come back to sell/donate it once the current situation passes. It’s good to have a spot in your storage/garage or similar to gather these things so you know exactly where they are when you can get rid of them.

I know it’s not easy to spend this much time at home, but I’m choosing to see it as a valuable pause and chance to continue to make my home more welcoming and nurturing. Having space and harmony in your home is probably more valuable now than ever.

Minimalism in lockdown

How are you tracking with the changing world around us right now? It’s a strange time where lots of people struggle emotionally and financially. I’ve certainly had days where I feel super low, and I think it’s important to remember what it’s ok to feel sad, stressed, angry or any other feeling that comes up when so many things are out of our control.

If you or someone you know need extra support and you don’t know where to start, I’ve listed a few amazing resources in the bottom of this blog post for completely free and confidential support. If you’re not in Australia, just google what support services are available where you live. There is so much free and confidential support available!

On a lighter note, I actually have a positive life update from my end to share. After being in between jobs since October 2019, I finally found a full time job in marketing for an organisation that is so aligned with my values. I interviewed with them just before Covid19 closed down my part of Australia, and have been working from home since I started the role 2 weeks ago. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity at a time when the global economy is all ver the place and many companies are not recruiting.

So then, how are we coping with 2 people (both working full time from home) and 2 pets in a small 2 bedroom apartment?

  • It’s been a bit tight on space to create 2 work stations that work for us! For now we’re splitting our time between the living room (improvised stand up desk at the kitchen island) and the dedicated home office. I will do a full apartment tour at a later time, but if you want to see some snippets from our home you can check out my decluttering video.
  • We’ve found it more important than ever to have clear surfaces and putting things away. We’re usually pretty organised, but we’ve had to make sure that everything has a home. When we finish the work day we move all our work related items (extra screen, keyboard, laptop) go into the study and the living room is clear to hang out and relax.
  • I have not missed a single thing Iโ€™ve gotten rid of. As I’ve decluttered over the past few years, I used to ask myself “What if I miss this item later?“. Turns out I should not have worried, because even in the current lockdown situation I can’t think of a single thing (clothes, books, tech, kitchen items) I wish I had kept. When I asked Paul, he admitted to missing a few warmer jumpers he decluttered (we’re heading towards winter in Melbourne now). To me it just goes to show that a clear space helps my well being so much more than having lots of things.
  • Overall, weโ€™re loving our small space and especially the balcony. Weโ€™re finding ways of being creative and repurposing furniture pieces and storage. Don’t get me wrong, I wish we could go out and enjoy things we used to have access to, but we’re choosing to make the most of what the current situation means.

Helpful resources if you need emotional support (some of these have both apps and chat functions as well as a free number you can call):

  • Lifeline (Australia): call 13 11 14 in Australia or chat/text with them via their website.
  • Beyond Blue (Australia): call 1300 22 4636 or chat with them via their website.
  • Insight Timer: my personal favourite free meditation app that holds a range of music and meditations to calm your mind.

Looking after our mental health and speaking to someone who can listen and support is key, it’s actually a true strength to admit we need help (in a big or small way). I’m not sponsored by any of these resources/organisations, but wanted to share them for anyone needing extra support at this time.

I hope you look after yourself and work through this time focusing on the things you are able to influence, like your home space, time, food and exercise.

Meal planning basics

I can’t believe it took me so long to start embracing meal planning! It helps us manage our budget, save time and eat healthy (depending on the types of food we choose of course).

My partner and I have been meal planning on and off since we met 2 years ago, but started to really do it on a weekly basis since the start of 2020. It’s been a game changer! I think it was hard to be consistent with it in our earlier attempts, simply because you need to plan your meals upfront AND do an organised grocery shop.

In more normal circumstances (outside of Covid19 lockdown) our meal plan actually works very similarly to what I share in this week’s video. The only thing that has changed is that we eat all our meals at home.

My top tips:

  1. Keep it simple. I just use a marker and a blank piece of paper to draw up a 7 day meal plan. You can make it pretty if you want to of course, for us it’s just important that it says what we’re having and who is responsible for cooking.
  2. Divide responsibility. My partner and I split the cooking and each prepare dinner every few days, since neither of us love to cook. I typically do most of the salads, soups and new recipe experiments. Paul is the king of pasta bolognese, roast and homemade pizza.
  3. Batch cooking means you have to cook less often. We are usually happy to have the same dish 2-3 days in a row, but if we’ve made a bigger batch than that, we just freeze anything extra and have it the next week.
  4. Be flexible. Right now (#physicaldistancingandcrazytoiletpaperhoarding) some things are harder to find at the supermarket, so it’s best to make a realistic meal plan, but be open to changing up the ingredients if needed.
  5. Follow the meal plan 90% of the time. Even with a great basic meal plan, we sometimes swap the order of the meals, order the occasional takeaway or go out for dinner. The plan is not set in stone, it’s just there to help you simplify your week and stay healthy and on budget more often than you don’t.

Below is an example meal plan for the other week. You’ll notice we only plan lunch and dinner, as we often do intermittent fasting in the morning and skip breakfast. I’m happy to share more about this in a future blog and video if you’d like to fund out more. Just let me know in a comment here and I’ll add it to the filming schedule!

A minimalist stockpile?

Can a minimalist have a stockpile of food or things? If so, how big is it allowed to be?

It’s late March 2020 as I write this and Covid-19 is impacting us globally. Needless to say it’s a disruptive and difficult time for many people, and I wanted to share how simplicity and minimalism has helped my partner and I stay focused before all this unfolded and manage the situation so far. And in case anyone is wondering, we still had a few spare rolls of toilet paper in the house when the crazy hoarding behaviours hit the supermarkets a few weeks ago… ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re only 2 people and 2 fur kids in our house, so I appreciate our situation is different to many others who might have big families, but I wanted to share my approach on how I’ve always thought (way before global virus situation) about staple foods, shopping and budgeting.

In this video I cover 2 of the key themes I use to plan and live as simply as possible (I’ll go into them in a bit more detail below:

  1. Plan and buy the things you use often.
  2. Learn to improvise! (multi purpose tools/items, food and recipes – you name it!)

I would consider myself a minimalist to some extent, but I don’t believe this means that you can’t buy relevant things in bulk to save money, time and energy. Not to mention lower environmental impact with less packaging and fewer trips to the shops.

  1. Meal plan and know the things you often buy. Like most people we try and eat healthy, and therefore our weekly shopping list tends to include mostly the same things. Fresh or frozen veggies (as a side note, I would struggle to live without avocado!), eggs, salad, a few canned goods, almond milk, meat and/or tofu. Knowing your basic ingredients/recipes well also means you can vary them as necessary if it’s hard to get hold of certain items during a specific time/season.
  2. Make sure you never run out of all items in one category at the same time. For example, we always buy ahead to ensure we never run out of sweet potato, rice and pasta at the same time. If we’re low on one, we’ll substitute with something else from the same category. Same goes for protein and veggies.
  3. Buy one extra or a bigger pack of things you use all the time. This makes good budget and eco sense (big pack means less packaging in the long run), and I do this for canned goods, pasta/rice, hygiene items (yes, including toilet paper) and frozen foods. In our case, we try hard to only grocery shop once a week (I’ll talk more about this in my upcoming meal planning video) and we only have one large drawer for our pantry and a fairly small apartment size fridge/freezer, so it’s a bit of a Tetris game on shopping day! Freezing soup/sauces/meat/chicken and other things flat in portion size (reusable) bags also helps reduce packaging and fit more in the freezer.
  4. If your favourite brand/food is on sale, buy one extra (not 10!). Somewhat related to the above point, but I only do this for things I know I will use, and I never buy more than one or a big family pack if it’s a product/food/drink I’ve never tried before. It’s often a waste of money and because you bought it, you’ll either feel the need to use/eat it even if you don’t like it OR shove it in the back of the cupboards and end up having to throw it out later (when it’s expired).
  5. I’m always so grateful for what I have. Not a planning tool, but it’s really helped me over the past few weeks. There was a time in my life when money was extremely tight, but I still managed and I have since then always been grateful to have food on the table, be healthy and have beautiful and supportive friends and family in my life. Nurturing a mindset of ‘I have enough/more than I need‘ helps both our mental health and our ability to stick through tough times without giving in to fear and panic.
  6. Learn to improvise! As a student I learned to make up random food dishes with whatever I had in the fridge and pantry. I’m by no means a chef, but I like the challenge of improvising new meals from the basic foods I most often have on hand. Also remember that a well stocked spice cabinet can really improve the blandest of things. If you need help improvising food from a small pantry, YouTube or Google is your friend.

As a side note, before crazy virus times, we also started keeping some basic backup food items and a fresh water jug in the house, just in case we’d get sick, have a power outage or something else unexpected happened. I’m not talking about surviving for 6 months without going out, but rather an extra weeks’ worth of food for us and the pets if we were ever in a pinch. Much like the financial emergency fund I talked about in a previous post, this is a very simple thing for peace of mind and resilience in unexpected and difficult times.

Simplicity and minimalism has helped me realise that it’s not about having as few things as possible. It’s not a competition! It’s about making space for the items and routines that help make our lives easier and remove the things and people that cause clutter and noise.

I hope you stay safe during these strange times and physically stay away from other people whenever possible. Thank goodness we live in a time where people are only a phone call or video chat away!

How to start budgeting

One of the best ways to simplify your life AND look after your mental well-being is to have a budget that works for you. Knowing where your money goes helps free up your mind, helps prepare you for any ‘rainy day’ scenario and helps you save up for travels or other fun things you’d like to do. It basically gives you freedom and choices! In the bottom of this blog post, you’ll find the 5 type of bank accounts* I use and would strongly recommend you explore for yourself.

Now listen to me. There is no shame in starting from scratch, that’s exactly what I did. It does not matter how old you are or what you ‘should have’ been doing up until now. Taking charge of your financial situation is something only you can do, and with the right support it’s not as hard as you might feel that it is!

I will admit that I did not used to have a budget at all, I just used to just save like crazy leading up to any big trip I had planned. My dad always nagged me to have a savings account for emergencies too, and thanks to him I did have enough money put away for some of those hard days when I got hit with an unexpected expense. I kind of got by with no real plan. And I’ll willingly admit that I had no financial goals at all, except being able to afford to travel internationally about once a year.

It wasn’t until I had a massive financial scare about 4 years ago (I was single at the time and potentially loosing my job), I had one of those hard awakenings. I had just come back from a big trip to visit family back to Sweden, I had no savings in the bank and if I lost my job then, I would have been in big trouble. I will never forget how I felt that day. The shame and the self blame. How could I have put myself in this situation?

Luckily I did not loose my job, but from that day forward, I promised myself that regardless how much or little I earned, I would find a way to always look after myself financially.

My first step was to educate myself more about budgeting and finance. I have watched countless YouTube videos over the past few years to look at different budgeting systems and tried a bunch of them to see what worked for me. One way of budget thinking that really worked for me was Barefoot Investor. My friend bought me his book a few years ago (I’m in no way sponsored by his brand), and I immediately resonated with his thinking around finance. His book and blog is super useful for you to get started, regardless of your income level or potential debt. My financial approach that I share below is a combination of his advise and other tips and tools I have learned via a range of YouTube budgeting channels.

The 2 things I started doing that made a huge difference for me:

  1. I tracked my spending for 3+ months. Not the most fun I’ve ever had, but very important! I did this to find out what I was really spending my money on and see if my draft budget was realistic. Most people (I am no exception!) vastly underestimate how much they spend on groceries, eating out, entertainment, transport and a bunch of other things. After tracking it for a few months, I pretty quickly worked out what was realistic and set some personal savings goals.
  2. I set up a structure of bank accounts to earmark a certain % of my income to different things. Specifically, I set up (and still have) 5 different bank accounts with very different purposes. This might sound like it’s more than what you need, but most people who are good at managing their money have dedicated ‘pools’ for their money to go into.

Remember, you don’t have to have a high income to set this up for yourself. Most banks will allow you to do this in just a few minutes online.

The 5 types of accounts I have:

  1. Everyday account for salary and bills. This is where my salary comes in and all money for bills, groceries, and rent come out from.
  2. Everyday spending account. This is what I use for eating out, hairdresser, transport (uber, taxi, public transport), gym related things, coffees, gifts and pretty much everything else I spend money on that is not just for ‘survival’. I know some of you would argue coffee is sometimes survival, on most days I would agree with you… ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Smile savings account. In Barefoot investor, he talks about having a savings account where you save up for fun things that make you smile. I love this way of thinking and how much more fun do you have knowing that you can enjoy that experience 100% guilt free when you save up for it first! This is a high interest savings account where I save up for travels, more expensive experiences (like my skydive), a new fancy bicycle and other bigger purchases. Normally about 10-15% of my income goes here.
  4. Future fund savings account. High interest savings account to use for bigger future investments, for me this is a house deposit. I normally put about 20-25% of my income here.
  5. Emergency fund. This is a bank account that I never touch! It’s the one I saved up for first, I’ve got AUD$2,000 in there and it’s only for absolute emergencies or unexpected bills only. I’m happy to say that I’ve never had to use it, but it gives me great peace of mind to have it should I ever need it. Some might argue that an emergency fund should have more than $2,000 in it, so just choose whatever number you need to be comfortable.

If you have credit card debt or other debt, the above might look a bit different for you. There is a wealth of knowledge and tips across the internet on how to pay off debt quickly, so just start researching and start working on it.

The main thing I have learned when it comes to budgeting and money, is that it really does not matter all that much how much you earn every month. Yes, more money can help you reach some goals faster, but what matters the most is what you do with the money you have and the everyday decisions you make to improve your financial situation!

* Please note: I’m not a financial advisor, so all the advise shared here in the blog and in my videos is just what I’ve tried and learned myself and what is working for me right now. Naturally you need to experiment and see what works in your unique situation! Always seek professional financial, legal or other advice before you make any big financial decisions in your life.