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How to Communicate With Your Partner About Finances

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the financial stresses in your relationship and struggled to effectively communicate with your partner about budgeting and finances? *Raises hand*. Financial discussions with your loved one can cause stress and anxiety, but if left unresolved can cause more serious financial woes and long term unhappiness in your relationship.

Maybe you are the one who carries the bulk of the financial stress on your shoulders because you feel your partner has enough to worry about? Perhaps your partner doesn’t want to hear about financial issues or they don’t even know there are issues as they assumed you have everything under control? By being open an honest with each other you can remove the guesswork out of your financial security and get the reality of your finances out in the open so you can both start working together on a plan of attack.

Money can be one of the biggest make or break things in a relationship. Relationships Australia 2015 survey found that 7 out of 10 couple report relationship tension as a result of financial woes and stress. Finances are not something that should be pushed under the rug or left alone to cause endless stress in your relationship. Ignoring them will not make the bills disappear but make them harder to deal with when the time comes to pay them… and it will come.

Even though at first, it may be a difficult and awkward subject to discuss in the beginning, you will have more of a chance to achieve your financial goals when you are both on the same page working as a team. Don’t struggle alone when you can both be working together tackling your debts and achieving your savings goals head on. Just like having a gym buddy to hold you accountable for going to the gym and finishing a set, having your partner on your team will help keep you accountable to your financial goals.

Even if you aren’t married and have separate finances that doesn’t mean that you can’t both be on the same page when it comes to money and will certainly give you a head start if you relationship does progress to something more down the line.

Here are they are: 9 Tips On How You Can Communicate With Your Partner About Finances.

1. Set a time to meet and discuss finances
Avoid leaving financial discussions with your partner to what you can yell over the TV ad or what discussion you can get in before you are interrupted by the kids. Plan some time to get together and talk about your future goals and current finances in a quiet place so you can both focus and not be under other pressures or distractions. It can be be a over a home cooked meal when the kids are out for the night or morning (if you have kids) or out on a date night over dinner, it doesn’t matter just find a spare hour somewhere in your schedule to chat about your finances.

Don’t forget to let your partner know in advance that the purpose of meeting is to discuss about finances so they aren’t blind sided. After the first one, make it a regular gig. Set a monthly reminder to sit down for half an hour to talk about your budget each month and how you are progressing towards your goals.

2. Approach the conversation from an understanding and non-judgmental zone
When you speak to your partner don’t assume the worst or treat the meeting as an opportunity to bring up every unacceptable expense (in your eyes) that you have been bothered by in the past. You may find that your partner actually agrees with you on getting your finances in better shape and completely acknowledges what your financial problems are. They might have even been thinking the same thing and weren’t sure how they were going to bring it up with you!

Sometimes they are even aware of their own spending problems but don’t know how to change their spending habits and need a plan and your support in order to help keep them on track. Approach any conversations calmly and with the intention to work as a team, not go on the attack and lay blame on your partner. Acknowledge that you might even have your own over-spending areas that you need to work on and be honest about these to your partner. Leave the mistakes in the past, and focus on what changes you can make in the future to reach your financial goals.

3. Know your why
Get on the same page with your goals. Budgeting isn’t meant to be about torturing yourselves indefinitely and saying no to anything and everything that is non-essential expenditure. It is about making your goals and dreams come to life. How far away that is will depend on your current state of finances. If you are swimming in credit card debt and other loans with little in the savings account it may take a while for you to see that you are making progress on your debts but you will get there with a little bit of determination. And there is nothing more motivating that having future plans written down and at the forefront of your mind. These goals are what are going to keep you on track during those times when you want to quit.

Write down your joint future goals:-

  • Do you want to go on a family holiday next year?
  • Be debt free so you or your partner can cut back hours at work or for  you  to spend more time with the kids?
  • Are you wanting to stop living week to week?
  • Or remove the anxiety you feel about your finances and get an emergency fund built up?If you are both on the same page you will have more motivation to stick to your financial plan for the long haul. Put your goals somewhere where you can see them such as a Financial Vision Board or on the fridge so they are there to remind you of why you are doing this.

4. Acknowledge the finance problem areas
Now that you’ve got your financial goals written down and you’re excited to take the next step in your financial freedom journey, it’s time to acknowledge the problem areas. If you are hiding debt, bills or anything from your partner, now is the time to come clean. A genuinely honest relationship includes being open an honest about any debts that you may have or spending habits that you know are not helping you achieve your financial goals. If there are any pressing financial issues bring them up and be ready to hear them. Take a deep breath and appreciate that your partner is being honest with you and starting to communicate.

Acknowledge that your budget issues are not going to be something that you can fix in a night or a week, or possibly even a year. This is going to be a long-term process that will take time to work at. Be patient with each other as you slowly replace your less-than-ideal spending habits with more intentional ones.

A good place to start is reigning in the expenditure that won’t hurt so much. Cancel unwanted gym memberships or subscriptions to services that you are no longer using, make more of a conscious effort to save electricity where possible, renegotiate your mortgage to a lower rate and commit to only shopping once a week to reduce the amount of times you are stocking up on groceries. None of these measures leaves you feeling any extreme budget pain but the savings will give you a super helpful boost to paying off those debts and speeding up the debt repayment process.

As you progress in your financial journey you can move on to tackling those not so easy spending problem areas. Consider how you can reduce any excessive spending on areas such as:

  • Overspending on clothing, shoes, accessories
  • Regular costly dinner outings
  • Car repayments that you cannot afford
  • Spending on hobbies that is costing large sums of money
  • Buying coffee multiple times a day, every day

Don’t try to tackle the problem expenditure all at once. Pick one and go from there. Maybe this month instead of buying coffee each day you could bring your own from home or make one at work. Next month you can limit your expensive dinners to once or twice a week and cook at home more. The following month you could adopt shopping at thrift stores instead of buying everything brand new. These small changes may seem unimpressive on their own, but when you add all those savings  together it can really add up! Over time you will build your budgeting muscles and find new ways to save.

5. Plan your budget
Your budget needs to be something your partner and you both agree on. Think of it like taking on a new commitment, you both have to sign on the dotted line. By leaving your partner in the dark about finances they may think things are rosier than they are and that is not going to work now that you are a team! With the numbers in black and white you can both be on the same page and work together to dodge any budget pressures that come up.

Don’t misconstrue that being on a budget will suck the joy out of life. It is a tool to make your life easier, with the end goal being what you want it to be! More time, regular holidays or an emergency fund, whatever your financial goals are. Be sure to allow individual and joint fun money in the budget (we’ll go into that below) to ensure your budget is realistic and that you will not set unrealistic expectations and fail before you start.

Over time you will get better at finding frugal ways to have fun such as going for a long walk or bike ride together, inviting your family over for breakfast, going to the beach or inviting friends over for a night of board games. If you think you can’t have fun without spending money you have tried hard enough 🙂

To help you get started, you can download my Budget Worksheet here. Don’t forget to include those often missed budget expenses like your Spotify and Netflix membership, house repairs or beauty treatments!

6. Set an allowance for you and your partner.
This is a great tool and bound to save you lots of arguments over spending by yourself and your partner that you both probably will never agree on (I am a non-coffee drinker, the hub loves his daily coffee, I’ve come to terms with it ‘;)). We are all individuals, with our own interests, hobbies and wants, use this allowance avoid explaining to your partner every purchasing decision you make.>

Having $0 for ‘free spending’ to do as you wish is not going to work, nor is questioning every dollar your partner spends. Set an allowance based on what your budget will allow. It could be $50 or $100 a week to spend each, whatever you both agree on and stick to it. This gives you and your partner the autonomy to spend it as you see fit. If you have kids you can add in a small allowance for them, it will be a great start to teach them about budgeting and saving!

It also takes some of the guesswork out of budgeting and makes it easier to stick to your goal. Withdraw your weekly allowance in cash or keep it in a separate account for each of you so it is easy to keep track of. Simply check your wallet or bank balance and you will know what is left. Great for those who aren’t that great at keeping track of their spendings or remembering to enter them into an app or notebook. Of course if you don’t spend it all you can save it up to buy something you really want down the line!

At the same time set up a joint spending account and allowance so you have some money each week to go out on a date night or day, or to catch up with friends. After a while you will get into the routine of what you can and can’t afford and sticking to your budget will become less of a struggle.

What about expensive hobbies?
If you or your partner have some big spending categories, this might also be a good time to set other budget allowances for those expenses to keep them in check. If you love shopping for new outfits, maybe you can set yourself an annual allowance on what you are allowed to spend on clothing. This can work for any expense; concerts, hobbies, beauty, new tools etc. This gives you the permission to spend guilt free on those items when they are in budget and helps to keep you conscious of when you are overspending on those categories.

7. Be considerate and honest 
I’ve heard horror stories of partners going out and buying new cars without speaking to their spouse first. This kind of thing makes me cringe. Agree to avoid making large spending decisions without consulting with your spouse first. If you have shared finances and even shared debt, you should both be on the same page with spending. It can be helpful to agree on a threshold as to what you need to discuss together before buying something.

You don’t have to ask permission to buy every single item, how exhausting would that get! I’m suggesting to consulting your partner before buying those more expensive items. Such as a new appliance, phone or piece of furniture for the home. Even ignoring the financial aspect, it can’t hurt to ask for their opinion on something you want or need they made have some great advice or suggestions to offer, and it is particularly handy if it is something for your home (I’ve certainly unknowingly bought some things home that were deemed “ugly”).

8. Get Educated 
Open your mind to new budgeting tricks and tips and financial strategies. If you are short on time listen to an audiobook on your commute to work or on your next shopping trip – wherever you can. I recommend listening to (or reading) Scott Pape’s Barefoot Investor and Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover which have some great strategies to get your started on your new financial journal.

It’s something that might get you more open to talking about finances with your partner and get you both excited about your new financial path! If your partner wouldn’t date touch a finance book, don’t push the issue. You can sometimes effectively communicate with your partner the message of what you are reading just by discussing your favourite parts of the book with them.

If you sign up for my mailing list you can also get your free copy of my eBook “101 Ways to Save Money Whilst Still Living Awesomely!”. Reading about finances might not be the most enjoyable thing for everyone but listening to a few financial gurus will open your eyes and ears to things that may make achieving your financial goals that much quicker!

9. Be patient
You might not be on the same page at day one or day 100. Sometimes people need more time to grasp new ideas and lifestyles and long-term support in order to do so. I’ve listened to many Dave Ramsey Debt Free Scream stories where people had read the Total Money Makeover books years earlier and yet only started to change their habits after years of thinking about. Or it took their partner longer to get on board but once they were they were a strong team.

It might not happen as quickly as you would like but over time you will learn how to effectively communicate with your partner. In the meantime you can always lead by example and start making changes to your own spendings such as reigning in grocery spending, skipping the drink at lunch and just bringing your water along with you and finding more frugal ways to catch up with friends such as skipping lunch and going for a walk instead.

Find what your partners passion is and what they will be willing to change their financial habits for. Go back to your why and find out theirs. Sometimes the only thing they need to hear is that it would make your family more financially secure and both of you happier to get them motivated to start on the financial journey with you.

Don’t forget to be a little flexible. Maybe your loved one won’t give up their monthly gym membership for the budget, their Audible membership or their daily coffee but hopefully they will be willing to make other changes to get you to their goal and be more proactive in reducing expenditure such as taking more notice and filling up on cheaper fuel days or cancelling their unwanted memberships.

When the above measures aren’t helping

Of course there are instances where no amount of discussion or understanding can get your partner on board with your financial goals. If your efforts to budget and get ahead are met with constant resistance you may need to consider other issues that are present. If your partner is facing issues with addiction e.g. drugs, alcoholism or gambling, attempting to adjust your budget may not be met with encouragement and make your efforts come undone.

I won’t go into that situation in too much detail as this is a finance blog and I am no psychologist, but I will mention that if you partner is constantly resisting and attempting to tear down your efforts to get ahead, that it may be time for them to seek help with those issues, or for you to reassess the relationship and whether it is in line with your long-term values. This article written by The Minimalists may help you with how to approach a relationship with deteriorating communication.

Do you have any tips for how to effectively communicate with your partner and approach budget and finance conversations? Please share them in the comments below 🙂



A Quick Guide to Reviewing Your Superannuation Fund

Reviewing your superannuation fund can be one of the most efficient ways to save for your retirement. Fees can add significant costs and eat away at your retirement nest egg if they are left unchecked. The sooner you conduct a check in of your superannuation fund the sooner you can ensure your money is being invested in the best way for you.

I’ve recently been on a personal finance binge and was recommended Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor book from many people. I bought it two weeks ago and have just finished it. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take control of your finances and achieve financial freedom. This should be everyone! In particular, I loved the advice on Australian Super funds which can see like a minefield of confusion.

I’d always thought I was on top of my super. I’d consolidated all my superannuation accounts into one. I chose one considered to be low fee, updated my information and checked my bi-monthly statements each time I received them. Each month I’d make sure my superannuation was paid within my payslip and if I moved, I’d update my address.

After reading the Barefoot Investor, I realised that there was more I could do and set out to learn as much as I could from his book and my own research. Scott Pape points out that we work 15 hours a month to earn our 9.5% super so we should be dedicating a small amount of effort into making sure we’re in the right super fund and I couldn’t agree more!

I wanted to not only learn how to make my super work better for me, but to compile information for others to help arm you with more knowledge about your superannuation so you can make the right decisions for  your future.


Here is a list of five things you can do right now to give your superannuation fund a quick tune up.

1. Set up an online account for your super.

If you don’t already have one, set up an online account for your superannuation. Save your password and log in details somewhere safe so you can access your account at any time. Request emailed statements and keep these in your email inbox (I try to go paper free as much as possible, if that isn’t your thing feel free to print them out). Label them as Superannuation in your gmail for easy access or if you print them, file them in your superannuation folder for easy access.

2. Download your Super fund’s mobile app.

This will allow you to easily login to check how your investments are performing and what your superannuation balance is.

3. Consolidate your super accounts.

Did you change employers and join your new employers preferred super fund? If you haven’t consolidated your old superannuation accounts you could be paying fess of $400 or more annually on each account and losing out on growth in your retirement savings. Don’t let dormant super accounts steal your retirement nest egg. You can find your lost super through MyGov, or you can contact your current superannuation fund and request they consolidate your super on your behalf. Alternatively find more options for finding lost super through Superguide.

4. Check your insurance cover.

When choosing a super fund you should opt in to the Death and Total & Permanent Disablement insurance. These will protect you and your loved ones by paying out a lump sum in the event of death or disablement. There is also an option to get Income Protection Insurance which will pay you a percentage of your wage (up to 75%), usually after a waiting period of 90 days in the event that you can’t work due to sickness or injury. The fees for this will come out of your super fund so you don’t have to pay them from your own after tax wages.

5. Update your beneficiaries.

If something happens to you who do you want your super going to? Best to make this decision well before it becomes an issue. You should update this with life changes such as a marriage,
relationship breakdown, after having children and so on.

NB: If you are considering changing your superannuation fund, hold off on these steps until you have decided whether to stay with your current fund or change to a new one to save you redoing them!


Check your super fees by downloading your super funds Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). This should be found with a quick online search of “Your super fund PDS”.

These are a summary of the types of fees you are likely to be charged on your superannuation account:

Administration fee: This is a weekly admin fee covering the general running of your superannuation account. This can cost around $5 per month, approximately $60 or more a year.

Asset-based Administration Fee: The asset based administration fee is a fee in addition to the admin fee that will be charged as a % of your total superannuation balance. These differ depending on the fund that you are in. The higher the balance in your super fund the higher your fee. An asset fee of 0.15% on a $50000 investment amounts to $75 a year.

Investment Fee: This is the fee for your investment allocation and is also charged as a percentage of your superannuation balance. These fees can range quite significantly. On a $50000 superannuation balance a fee of 0.02% would cost $10 a year versus a fee of 0.64% at $320 per year. This is where the bulk of your superannuation fees come from so is the most important one to review and compare.

Switching Fees: Some superannuation funds charge this fee when switching your investment choice this can be around $25 per change. Others don’t charge a fee for switching investment choices which is ideal so you are fee to change your investment choice, fee free as it suits you.

Exit fees: Some superannuation funds charge and exit fee to leave them such as a $36 fee.

Compare your superannuation funds fees to others and see how they compare. High fees can eat up a significant portion of your investment over a period of decades.

Check out the Super Guide’s Top 10 Cheapest Australian Super Funds from Feb 2017 for some comparison on Superannuation costs across some of the cheaper Australian Funds.

Once you have reviewed and compared your superannuation fees make a decision on whether to stay with your current fund or change.


Changing your superannuation is a fairly simple process. The easiest way to go about it is to sign up for your new fund online, fill out the online form with your details and tick the box that allows your new fund to consolidate you old super account balance into your new one. You will also need to mail off a signed copy of your form.

When filling in your application form you can opt in to the new superannuation funds insurance cover and select income protection insurance cover is you want that additional insurance cover. You will also need to choose beneficiaries and select an investment option from your super funds available options. For more information on these see the Investment Options listed below.

When you receive your new superannuation membership number give this to your work’s Payroll Officer as soon as possible so they can ensure all future superannuation payments are paid to your new account.

>> If you want to learn more about achieving financial freedom check out How the Debt Snowball Can Get You Debt Free Faster


Canstar Australia’s biggest financial comparison site did an analysis on two different people’s superannuation funds to consider the future superannuation balance of two 25 year olds if they paid fees of 0.75% and 1.75% a year. The assessment was based on incomes of $45000 a year and $70000, increasing 4% annually. With 10% of their salary being contributed to superannuation annually until the age of 65. An investment return of 8% annually was used.

The findings were the someone earning $45000 per year, with the above conditions, could potentially accumulate nearly $330000 more in super if they had lower fees (0.75% versus 1.75%), whilst the person earning $70000 per year could have over $450,000 more in super with the lower 0.75% fee compared to the 1.75%. The results can be found in the table below.

Earning $45,000 per year Earning $70,000 per year
Beginning Salary $45,000 $45,000 $70,000 $70,000
Salary increase annually 4% 4% 4% 4%
SG rate (annual contributions) 10% 10% 10% 10%
Investment return in super each year 8% 8% 8% 8%
Annual fees (%) 0.75% 1.50% 0.75% 1.50%
Beginning super balance $25,000 $25,000 $25,000 $25,000
Super balance in 40 years, at age 65 $1,880,074 $1,551,237 $2,696,232 $2,240,590
Difference in super balance $328,837 $455,642

This example demonstrates how important it is to consider the superannuation fee when determining your chosen super fund and monitoring them closely. Choosing the wrong one could cost you tens of thousands in lost super over your investment period.


This is the type of investments you have in your super fund and can include Australian and International Shares, Property, Infrastructure, Bonds and Cash Investments. Your super fund will have a range of investment options that may sound complicated but to help you decipher them, here is a summary of the four main investment options:

Growth options are ideal for people in their 20s or 30s. These investment options are made up of 85% shares and property investments or a high growth option will hold 100% in these investments types depending on the risk you are prepared to take on. Growth investment have the most risk. Expected rate of return is 6.2% before fees, taxes and other costs with a High volatility rating.

Balance investments are a make up of approximately 70% in shares or property and the remaining 30% in fixed interest and cash. This is a good mid-point for people that are not nearing retirement and want growth, but want to avoid the high level of risk that come with a 85-100% asset allocation in the growth options. Expected returns before fees, taxes and other costs are around 5.7% with a medium volatility rating.

Conservative investments are a blend of about 30% in shares and 70% fixed interest and cash. This holds the least risk and is a better investment option for people approaching retirement. The expected return for this asset allocation is around 4.2% before fees, taxes and other costs and have a low volatility rating.

Cash investments options invest your money in Australian deposit taking institutions aiming to reduce the losses in investments. The expected return of these investments are under 3% before fees, taxes and other costs and have a very low volatility rating so are better for people who want to keep their money safe and to keep up with inflation but are not looking for growth.

For more information on super investment options and asset allocation check out Money Smart’s Super Investment Options.


This can be found by typing in” your super fund investments performance”. Take into consideration the 5 and 10 year investment performance of your chosen investment option.

You ideally want to cover your annual fees of say 1% and inflation at 4%, a required return of 5% to keep ahead of fees and inflation and more than that in order to grow your investment. Review your superannuation funds performance regularly to consider whether your superannuation fund is giving you a sufficient return on your investment.

For more help in comparing your superannuation funds performance check out Canstar’s Compare Super Funds. Simply select your age and investment balance and it will populate a list of superannuation funds including the past 3 years performance of the fund.



Consider salary sacrificing some of your before tax wages and take advantage of the tax concessions on offer. If you earn over $450 a month, your employer must pay 9.5% of your salary to your super fund this is called the Superannuation Guarantee. If you earn over $37000 a year you are paying a marginal tax rate of 32.5% plus 2% for the medicare levy for every dollar earned above this.

Superannuation contributions are taxed at 15% for individuals with income under $300,000 up to a maximum contribution of $25000 per year. By salary sacrificing some of your before tax wages to superannuation you will be giving yourself a tax discount of 19.5% per dollar.

In The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape recommends that  if you are in a position to do so – meaning you are debt free and have bought your first home and have saved up your three months of expenses – you should then consider topping up your 9.5% employer contribution to a full 15% – an additional 5.5% of your after tax wages.

On a salary of $70000 before tax with a marginal tax rate of 32.5% + 2% medicare levy, if you were to contribute an extra 5.5% to your super, a total of $3850 a year, you will reduce your tax bill by $750 a year ($3850 x 0.15 vs $3850 x 0.345).


If you have taken all the above steps you can pat yourself on the back. Many other Australians have yet to do this and a rolling on auto-pilot and may not wake up until they are fast approaching retirement age.

Don’t forget to review your investment option over time. Consider your age and the type of investment option you should adopt, growth is you are in your 20s-30s, Moving to less risky balanced investment options as you approach your 40s and moving to larger cash asset allocation investments as you approach retirement.

From here please don’t return to auto-pilot mode. Set yourself a regular reminder to review your super. Quarterly should be frequent enough or you can do this monthly if you prefer. Grab your phone and set a digital reminder in your calendar for the first day of each quarter to check your investments. Now you won’t have to think about it until your reminder goes off and you can do a quick review and go back to whatever you had planned for your day.

Have your read the Barefoot Investor? What was the most valuable part in the book for you? Comment below with how it has helped you on your financial freedom journey!


How I discovered Financial Stability Through Minimalism

What if I told you there was a whole new way to financial stability that you may have not yet heard or considered? You might say something in reply like ‘Well, I’ve tried everything and there is no way I can get ahead’ Or ‘I don’t earn enough to save or have any financial stability’. But don’t fret!

What if I could show you that there was a way to get your finances in order without having to save every cent. Without living miserably whilst trying to keep your head afloat financially. Hoping that one day you would land a better paying job or win the lotto and your financial problems would be solved. A lifestyle where you could buy that expensive insert quality material possession you’ve wanted guilt free with a bit of forethought.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across the term Minimalism by accident. It was during my lunch time Pinterest scroll where a few Pins came across my feed. I’d never really heard of ‘Minimalism’ before and wanted to learn more. I started to read the first post I came across. Then another and another. I became infatuated with the idea of living a more intentional life, reducing the excess to focus on the essential. Not long after I was reading and watching everything I could about the Minimalist lifestyle. What I didn’t realise at the time was how much this would have a positive effect on my financial stability.

Fast forward a couple of years to the present as I am typing this article. Minimalism has allowed me to change my whole relationship with money. I’ve always considered myself a frugal person that budgeted and saved and was keen to stay out of debt as much as possible. Those are all great financial habits and helpful to get to a point of financial stability, but I now see the missing piece of the puzzle. Through Minimalism, I have developed a more intentional approach to my finances and even more foresight for my financial future than ever before.

In the past most of my financial decisions were based on a price basis. I’d ask myself questions like – Was what I was buying a good price? Was is it on sale? Good questions by all means but they weren’t getting to the heart of the spending issue. Minimalism has opened my thought process up to a whole new dimension of financial decision making.

Instead of being focused just on price, I now consider other aspects of the purchase. These include asking myself questions before spending my money such as; is this the best use of my money? Could something I already have do the same job? Could I borrow this from a friend or family member if I only need to use it for a short amount of time? Is this something that will last me and be a quality product? Could my money be better utilised elsewhere?

The Minimalists define Minimalism as a tool that allows you to make decisions more consciously, more deliberately. To live a minimalist life to me, means living within your means and living more intentionally, getting off auto-pilot and reassessing your daily interactions and decisions. This I believe, is the key to financial stability. It doesn’t matter if you are earning a six figure salary and are spending more than six figures or only on a small wage. Minimalism can be used to help people on any income at any point on their financial journey.

I have found Minimalism a great tool in many areas of my life and one that can greatly add to your financial health. Here is How I discovered Financial Stability Through Minimalism.

  1. I trust myself to plan for the future.

I know that I will, through everyday actions, be thinking of ‘future me’ and how I can ensure ‘future me’ is not left behind at the expense of ‘today me’. This gives me confidence to know that my financial future will be one of stability as I have plans in place in order to prepare for any financial emergencies that may present themselves unexpectedly.

  1. I consider the bigger picture in decision making.

Minimalism has taught me to consider each purchase and take pause. Every purchase is well thought out and intentional. If I’m in kmart it’s because I’ve already made a list of what I need or want, where I am buying it and asked why I am buying it, and where it’ll be stored in my home. The temptation to impulse buy is reduced when you have to stop and think about your purchase decisions more thoroughly. The less I am buying on impulse, the less I will have to deal with buyers remorse and the shopping hangover that comes after a shopping binge.

  1. I no longer feel the need to impress or keep up with others.

Minimalism has taught me to appreciate what I do have and shown me that I don’t need to make decisions to impress others. Being more aware of what truly makes me happy gives me financial stability and the financial freedom to make decisions for the right reasons, not to impress others.

Not everyone has the same financial circumstances and bank account balance as you. No one knows what everyone’s personal financials are and we shouldn’t be blindly trying to keep up at the expense of our own financial stability. If you want something and can afford it, that’s great, but don’t do it because of some need to impress others.

  1. You’re more aware of your needs vs wants.

We bought our first home in our mid 20s, assuming at some point in the future we’d need to upsize when our one garage home with small rooms and one bathroom started feeling claustrophobic. Since discovering minimalism, instead of upsizing to a larger home, we donated, sold and cleared over half our our possessions.

Rather than getting a bigger home (and mortgage to go with it) we’ve stuck with our humble abode that is the perfect size for us. Sure, it might be nice to have some extra space and a more modern home, who doesn’t want that?! But we would rather have a smaller mortgage we can comfortably afford to pay.  And even better, being able to afford additional payments means we can be debt free earlier and that is more important to us.

  1. Seeing the importance of planning for unexpected financial disasters.

Before I discovered minimalism I maintained a small emergency fund and always made sure that if the car broke down or the hot water system blew we wouldn’t be stuck. There was some foresight to tackle any small potential disasters. But it was through discovering minimalism that I discovered a whole new level of financial stability.

I learnt how important it was to forgo temporary joy in the present for my future financial stability. This includes saving up three to six months of expenses to prepare for even bigger hiccups such as the possibility of a job loss. Having a goal to get an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses is no easy feat, but certainly adds a level of financial security.

If you were to lose your job tomorrow with a few months of pay stashed away, it would still be an unexpected development but one that you were prepared for. This emergency fund could give you the time to find a new job without worrying how you will pay your bills or put food on the table.

  1. I value my time and money more

Minimalism has taught me to value my time and money more and that means finding ways to spend my hard earned cash more efficiently. Like looking for new ways to decrease my expenditure and therefore hours required to earn that money, without necessarily decreasing my spending. Spending time to find discounts on bills such as insurance, registration, utilities, and phone bills which can add up quickly in your budget and often only require a quick call or online quote.

I save time by automating my saving transfers and ensure my money is transferred to a separate savings account before I am even tempted to spend it.

Each small investment of my time to reduce expenses not only decreases the time I need to spend working to earn that money, but also better manage my money so it can be better utilised and contributing to my financial stability.

  1. Minimalism frees up time which can in turn increase your savings.

In addition to the above point, one of the biggest benefits of minimalism is finding more free time and using it more efficiently. When you spend less time organising, cleaning, maintaining stuff and less time shopping for things you don’t need, you open up time to dedicate to more value adding activities.

This could include freeing up time you might have spend at the mall that you can now dedicate to reviewing your budget and analysing your expenditure to check in with your finance goals and to be more in control of your finances.

It can also free up time that might otherwise have been wasted. This could allow you to take up a side hustle to bring in extra income to further contribute to your financial stability.

  1. My debt appetite has been re-routed.

Minimalism has helped me to become more aware of how intrinsic debt is in our society. People will pay out their car loan and not long after they are going out to buy another car with another hefty loan. They are so accustomed to having a debt repayment they haven’t even considered what else they could be doing with their money if they were just willing to hold onto a slightly older vehicle. I am now even more unwilling to go into debt than ever before and focused on reducing my current debt as quickly as possible.

Having less credit card debt, or any other kind frees up your cash to invest in your savings account and allows you more financial freedom to plan for the future. If we don’t have cash for something we don’t buy it. Our emergency fund also helps ensure we never have to rely on a credit card for unexpected costs.  

  1. Minimalism encourages living within your means.

If you are not living within your means, your income is less than your expenses and you are going to end up going into debt to fund your lifestyle. Minimalism has shown me that it is possible to save and have financial stability despite the level of income, if I choose to live within my means.

Just because you earn six figures doesn’t give you the ability to be financially naïve and ignore your incomings and outgoings. Nor does it mean someone on $40000 can’t have a savings balance. By working out your income and expenses for the pay period and planning your budget, you can ensure that you aren’t spending more than you earn.

  1. Always asking is this the best use of my money?

Minimalism has taught me the importance of re-evaluating where my money is spent and asking whether that is the best use of my savings and income. It has shown me the importance of acting in the best interest of my goals.

Maybe you want to go on a trip to Europe next year but your friends want to go on regular shopping days. Or your friends asked you to go out for an expensive night of bar hopping that is going to blow your entire weeks spending budget. Minimalism reinforces how important it is to make intentional decisions each day to reach your goals.

Being more intentional about how I spend my money has helped me reach financial stability. Don’t be afraid to say no to an event or suggest alternate budget-friendly plans if something is going to put you in a financial pickle. Being open honest with friends and family can make this easier. If they understand your goals and why you are savings I’m sure they will be happy to make more budget friendly plans that can involve you.

Have you discovered financial stability through Minimalism? Please comment below and share your experiences!

If you loved this you may also enjoy reading 10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Lifestyle.


How the Debt Snowball Can Get You Debt Free Faster

There is no faster ticket to financial freedom than being debt free. Having  debt can weigh us down and keep us from making changes in our life for the better. Whether that be freeing up money to add to your retirement savings, taking a new role that you love but that involves taking a pay cut or even the improvement in your health from the reduced stress that comes with being debt free.

About a year ago I came across a book called the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It was here that I first came across the Debt Snowball Method for reducing your debts. I’d always considered focusing on the interest rate the smart way to go about debt repayment. It seemed more financially savvy to me to focus on the dollars involved and interest saved. If you are paying more interest on one debt over another, why would you pay the one with the lower interest rate out first? Since discovering this new method I can see the advantage in paying off debts from the lowest to highest balance over focusing on the interest rate.

Paying off debts is a hard slog. When you see how many years and repayment periods are left it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel and you will be paying them off indefinitely. The key to the debt snowball is building momentum. Building new habits is tough and we often need instant rewards in order to keep us working towards out goals.

When we want to lost weight we join a gym and closely watch the scales. It can be hard to stay motivated when those scales don’t budge in the beginning. If you lost a kilo that first week, it would help you stay focused and more determined on your weight loss journey. This is why the debt snowball can be so effective at helping you get on top of your debt. It focuses on knocking down the smallest and easiest debts to tackle first. With each debt repaid, you can see your progress a lot sooner than if you attempted to pay out a much larger debt just based on the fact that you were paying a higher interest rate.

>> If you like this post, you’ll love: “10 Easy Tips Save Money Groceries Budget“<<

Before I go into the debt snowball method I want to mention another step that is equally important before starting your snowball.


Before attempting the debt snowball it is best for you to save an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey and a lot of other finance experts recommend having and emergency fund of $1000. I would suggest going a little bit further and aiming for $1500. In my experience if your hot water system goes or your car dies and needs an expensive repair $1000 doesn’t always cover your emergency costs. Just having that little bit more will give you piece of mind especially if two emergencies rear their head at the same time!

This $1500 is a reasonable savings buffer to help you in times of emergency when you would normally throw those amounts on your credit card. There is no point trying to pay down your debt if you are going to be wracking them up again and living paycheck to paycheck with no plan for unexpected expenses. You’re just going to end up back where you started.

And let’s face it, there are always going to be budget emergencies. Just like it rains on the weekend, there are going to be rainy days where your best intentions to budget are going to take a hit. Do what it takes to save up your $1500 emergency fund and ensure that it is only used for emergencies. If you have to dip into it because your had to replace a tyre or you have a dental emergency, the money will be there for you. Just be sure to save up your emergency fund again as soon as possible.

Once you have saved your emergency fund you can move onto your debt snowball.


With a few minutes of planning you can be well on your way to paying down your debt. Here are the four steps to use the debt snowball method:

Step One:

Write down all your current debts in an excel worksheet or piece of paper (Exclude your mortgage, this will be tackled once you have paid back all of your consumer debt and saved a 3-6 months expense fund). Go back to your loan paperwork, online banking or credit card statements and work out what your current debt balances are for all outstanding debts as at today. Then, take note of what rate of interest you’re paying (for full awareness of your debt) and your monthly minimum repayment.

For the Australians out there, getting a current HELP loan debt statement is not possible as these are only sent out annually with your tax return. Instead, enter the HELP balance that was on your most recent Tax Assessment paperwork and make a note to update this when you get your next one.

Step Two:

Once you have written all your debts down, number them from  1, 2, 3 from the smallest balance to the largest. Debt Number 1, the smallest debt balance will be the one that you are going to pay off first and attack with your debt snowball. The last and highest debt balance will be the last.

Work out based on your current budget, how much extra on top of the minimum repayments you can afford to put on your smallest debt for that month. If your lowest debt has a minimum monthly repayment of $25 and you can spare another $100 a month, start paying the $25 minimum repayment plus the additional $100 repayment, or whatever it is that you can afford.

Continue to pay Debt Number 2, 3 and so on as minimum repayments. Continue to do this until Debt Number 1 is full paid off. If you get any additional income, a bonus for example, or you were under budget for the month putting that extra money as an additional top up payment on your Number 1 debt will help you knock it down even faster.

Step Three:

Once your smallest debt is repaid, take the minimum payment for Debt Number 1, in the example above, that would be $25 a month and add your additional repayments of $100 a month and add this to the minimum repayment for Debt Number 2 – your second lowest debt.

This means you will now be paying a much larger amount on your second debt – saving you significantly in interest and getting you to your debt free goal much quicker. If your monthly repayments for Debt Number 2 were $40 you will now pay the minimum amount of $40 plus the $25 and $100 you were using to pay of debt number one. Continue to do this until debt number two is paid.

Step Four:

Continue to do this for each of your debts in the snowball until the last one is paid off. For each new debt paid off you will be taking the past minimum repayments plus your additional repayment and carrying it forward to the next debt in your snowball. Like a snowball, the repayment for each will grow and pay off a bigger chunk of each debt as it grows and moves to your next biggest balance.

There are no short-term solutions to paying off debt. It is going to be a slow and difficult journey but one that will be well worth it. Imagine all the things you could be doing with your cash if you were debt free. Put a deposit on a house, go on that dream six month holiday. Maybe you want to start your own business or invest for your retirement.

Keep these dreams at the forefront of your mind! Every time you feel like giving up ask yourself if you are willing to give up on your financial dreams.


Here are some tips to help you stay out of debt and to help you get to your debt free journey sooner:

  1. If you can’t afford it don’t buy it. Are you about to buy something on the credit card? Stop! Whatever you are buying you are paying a 19% interest amount on top each year that balance is left unpaid. Does that sale price look so good now?
  2. Cut up your credit cards. If you are the kind of person that can’t resist a good deal and doesn’t pay your credit card off in full each month it is time to cut those cards up!
  3. Stop trying to impress others. No one cares what brand clothing you wear. People are too worried about their own lives to focus on your daily outfit choices.
  4. Learn to be content with what you have. Do you really need a brand new $35k car on finance on your $50k salary when your current car works perfectly fine? Are you willing to pay x dollars every month for the next 60 plus months? In good times and bad – when you are unemployed, when you are trying to live on one income, when you decide to cut back hours at work to study for a new career – that debt is going to still be there.
  5. Stop going shopping! It’s surprising how little you spend when you avoid going to the shops unnecessarily. If you have endless emails from clothing shops or stores that tempt you unsubscribe from them! Instead of going shopping, meet a friend for coffee, read a book, watch a movie. There are plenty of hobbies that are much cheaper and more valuable uses of your time.

For tips on saving more money to help you free up cash for your debt snowball check out 11 Everyday Tips to Save Money.

What are your debt goals? Do you have a plan in place to become debt free? Are you using the debt snowball method to pay down your debt? Comment below your goals and wins to achieve financial freedom below 🙂


11 Everyday Tips to Help You Save Money

Sometimes finding ways to save money can seem too hard and an impossibility. You research tips and  think to yourself how is saving $12 a month on bank fees or a few dollars on a coffee really going to have any impact on my savings? How will that help me get on top of my debt or save for a holiday? It may all seems like too much effort with limited results but it is important to stay focused on the bigger picture.

Savings can be found anywhere you spend your money. In order to find them you need to look at where you currently spend your money and get creative about ways to reduce those expenditures. Often it could be as simple as a phone call to ask for a better deal or taking ten minutes to research something a little bit more before hitting the buy button. Becoming complacent about spending can end up with us losing $100s or $1000s of dollars.

Here are 11 Everyday Tips to Help You Save Money. Each one alone may only give you a small increase in your savings, but together they can make a big different over the space of a year and the less money that comes out of your pocket day to day the better for your savings account and future.

1. Review insurance annually

Shop around for all insurance bills annually. Insurance can increase significantly year to year and most companies will take advantage of loyal customers who don’t put the time in to compare what they are being charged. Most insurance companies offer quick online quotes and allow you to alter the market value and excess coverage in order to get a true comparison. Within minutes you can have a few price comparisons for the insurance you are renewing and be well on your way to save money.

I’ve often saved hundreds of dollars doing this and for each insurance type over a year the savings can significantly add up. Do this for your car insurance, home and contents and any other insurance you purchase and it can easily save you hundreds of dollars or more a year. Another option is to call your insurance provider to ask if they can make you a better deal.  

2. Only shop when you have something specific in mind

Avoid going to the shops unless you specifically need something, particularly if the only reason is because you are bored. Make an ongoing list in your phone or planner of what you need as you think of it and take your list with you on your next trip to the shops. Sticking to a list will allow you to limit your shopping to specific stores and aisles, helping you avoid temptations of items not on your list. Not only will this help you save money but also save time, allowing you to use your time more wisely and create more space for more value adding activities.

3. Shop around for mobile phone plans regularly

Phone bills can add a significant cost to your annual budget. To save money shop around for phone plans, particularly if you are on a no lock in contract arrangement and have the flexibility to move around. Phone companies are always updating offers to attract new customers and if you haven’t researched in the past twelve months what offers are available to you, you may be losing out on some amazing savings.

By changing my phone provider, I was able to take up a 6 month phone plan for new customers that was half the price I was paying to my current provider for the same inclusions. This added up to a saving of $210 in the first year. It may not sound like a lot but that saving alone covers my gym membership for the next four months and that is definitely money better spent on my health. 

4. Limit dining out

Limit eating out where possible. If you do want to go out, buy the meal you most prefer to eat out whether that is breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. For me personally I can easily make toast or pancakes at home so I would rather use my dining out budget to pay for dinner which is something much more time consuming for me to create.

For dessert, often instead of going out and paying $30 on top of our dinner bill, I’ll opt for an ice cream at the movies or occasionally have some store bought waffles on hand in the pantry which comes out much cheaper and certainly doesn’t seem like a sacrifice to me! If you have a dinner outing that you don’t want to miss, opt for one of the cheaper menu items so you can socialise whilst avoiding blowing your budget. Alternatively, staying home and making dinner with friends or your partner is always a good compromise.

5. Reduce one of your regular expenses 

What do you buy regularly? Is it coffee? Chocolate? A soft drink at lunch? Pick one expense you buy regularly and try and reduce your spending on that one item. If you love coffee, buy a good quality coffee to have at home and bring your reusable coffee cup out with you. Can you bring in a bottle and have water at lunch instead of spending $4 daily on a coke? Could you cut back on buying the pricey vending machine chocolate on your afternoon tea and just bring some from home? Even if you just cut back slightly, or even make small reductions to two regular expenses that will give your savings a kick start.

6. Create a wish list with a wait period

Sometimes we don’t even realise we are making impulse purchases and taking a step back, or waiting a few of days to think about a purchase can help us be more intentional with what we are buying and bringing into our homes. Creating a wishlist is a great way to think about future purchases. When you come across something you want to buy, write it on your wishlist and try and wait a period of time such as 30 days before buying the items you have listed. This will help you to avoid impulse purchases and make more informed decisions.

A wishlist allows you to truly assess whether this new purchase is needed, if it will add value to your life and whether you want to part with your hard earned cash in exchange for it. It also allows you time to consider other products, look into reviews, ask friend for recommendations and do price comparisons to make sure you are getting the best product for your needs at the best price.

Your wait period can start small and you can gradually increase it to what suits you. To begin with, set a goal to walk away from the shop, say to yourself if I really want this I will come back to buy it before I leave. If you still want the item when you are ready to leave you’ll make the effort. Making educated purchases can help you avoid suffering any buyer’s remorse, having to go through the hassle of a return and save you any disappointment in your purchase.   

7. Review your utility plans

Have you been paying your utility bills on autopilot without reviewing what plan you are on? A quick call to your service provider can save you hundreds in a matter of minutes. Buy contacting my utility provider I was able to switch to a new plan that offered a 16% discount for on time or early payment. A quick ten minute phone call has added up to hundreds of dollars of savings that have helped us to save money and signficantly reduce our utility bills.

8. Unsubscribe from store mailing lists 

We are constantly exposed to advertising whether it be on the radio, TV, Youtube, or when we are checking our email. My inbox seemed to constantly be filling up with new sales and offers from stores and became and unnecessary distraction. Unsubscribe to your unwanted shopping email subscriptions as they come into your inbox. When you aren’t being informed on sales 24/7 you will reduce the desire to go shopping and buy unneccesary things as well as the fear of missing out. Instead of having advertisements telling you what you need to buy, you can be more intentional and only add to your wish list things that you need.

9. Stop paying ATM and monthly bank fees

No one likes paying bank fees, there is no benefit to us for these costs which makes this area a great place to start to save money. Learn where your banks local ATMs and stop withdrawing cash at other bank tellers. Each withdrawal is at $2.50 or more which does add up particularly if you are only withdrawing small amounts. Think ahead or pay by card where you can. Consider getting a card like ING’s Orange Everyday Account which gives a 100% ATM fee rebate.

Another expense that adds up are monthly bank fees. Contact your bank and ask them to wave fees on any bank account that you deposit $1000 or more into each month. If you are being charged monthly bank fees on your mortgage consider changing your home loan to a fee free one or asking for those fees to be waived. These small banking fees add up month to month and are much better in your bank account.

10. Review your super accounts

Do you have one superannuation account for every job you have had to date and have yet to consolidate them? Each superannuation account pays out management and insurance fees and if you are paying for these twice, or more, you are throwing away a large chunk of your retirement savings.  Consolidating your super is a lot easier than some might think. Most super funds just require you to fill in a Consolidate Your Super form and will contact your other superannuation fund to transfer your balance into your new account on your behalf. It may seem like your retirement is a lifetime away but every dollar you can save today is going to make your life a lot easier in the future.

11. Sign up to your local library

I recently joined my local library after hearing about the access to borrowing eBooks and audio books. I never go to the library, but could not pass up access to free ebooks and audiobooks on my phone. You only have to go to the library once to sign up and after download the OverDrive app you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free without having to leave your chair. I’ve listened and read countless audio and ebooks this way. If you aren’t too set on only reading physical copies this is a great way to read more and save money on buying books. They might not have every book you are after but any access to more books is a good thing.

Do you have any tips to save money that have worked for you? Please comment below to share with other readers.