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Stressed about money

My husband and I have just bought a house and now that we are paying a mortgage instead of rent we are noticing we are struggling more with money. Does anyone have any tips to save? I notice I spend most on food, I try to eat as healthy as possible but it's so expensive to do so. I haven't ever really budgeted before so I don't even know where to start :(


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Answers (8)

Start by paying your mortgage first. Know how much you earn a fortnight, subtract your mortgage payment and that's what you have to budget with. Know how much your regular bills are, like insurance, rego, rates, electricity, water etc and figure out how much you need to put aside a fortnight to pay those in cash when the bills come do you don't have to stress over them. Does your mortgage allow you to set up an offset account? If so, this is where that money should go. Food is the biggest regular expense, and it's easy to overspend. Rationalise needs over wants, never shop hungry, meal plan, shop online so you can see the total of your trolley as you go. Entertainment is a budget killer. If possible cut down on takeaway coffee, meals out, movies, concerts, pay TV etc. Pay cash for everything. It's a lot harder to hand over a $50 than to swipe a card. Don't buy anything over $100 (other than fuel or groceries) without thinking about it overnight. I hope that was helpful. Congratulations on your house. :)

 Wonderful response.
helpful (1) 
 I love the don't buy anything over $100 without thinking about it overnight. I'm going to bring that one in our house!
helpful (0) 

You technically should be able to afford the mortgage repayments (unless you somehow fudged figures to get the loan). The you now need to cover the extra bills and emergencies that pop up.
Budgeting is key, if you don't budget then you tend to develop huge money leaks. Keep track of all spending for one month and then check where it's gone. You'll find fat to cut.
I budget fortnightly. Bill cash in seperate account (300 = rates, ESL, water, gas, electricity divided by 26) (210 for regos and servicing 2 cars). Food budgeting - 140 week for 2 adults, toddler and bubs plus 20 week to bulk buy specials and usually have money left for takeaway, freezer cooking to save cash, always eat brekkie, take food and water to work, shop around for insurance, second hand clothing where possible, give yourself a target and set reward just like a toddler. We also have a large whiteboard with goals, expenses etc good for visual picture and motivation.

Could it be that you are paying more attention to where your money is going so that you are noticing what was most likely happening previously anyway. You just had blinkers on. Having a mortgage is psychological as well as financial and not a lot of people realise that. If rent gets too expensive you can move to another house. If you can't afford the mortgage payment you can loose your house, money and a dream. The first couple of years of having a mortgage can be daunting but stick at it. It is worth it in the end.

Answered by SAHM Staff

Hi there - just popping in to let you know that we have lots of great money saving and budgeting ideas right here on the SAHM website - here's where most of them are!

 your budgeting spreadsheet is working wonders for me!
helpful (3) 

I wish I could send you a budgeting spread sheet I have and use for my clients!

My husband and I had to tell each other when we wanted to spend anything over $100. It's amazing because most of it is crap that you can live without. Just telling the other person, you then see that you don't really need it.

My husband and i don't have a mortgage but i have a pretty strict budget that we have to stick to if we want to eventually buy our home. I've worked out all of our expenses and every week money goes directly off the power, gas and phone bills. Plus another chunk of money goes into a separate account for the bills that get direct debited from our account monthly like foxtel and car insurances plus registrations just build up over the course of the year. Our other weekly expenses is food which is $200 for our family of 6 including food for our 2 dogs, 2 cats and chickens and fuel for our 2 cars which is about $150 give or take if we've gone for any drives as a family as our 4wd does tend to go through a but of petrol. The biggest thing i think is meal planning, you save so much money of you know what you're going to eat for the week.

Work out how much everything costs and allocate a weekly fortnightly or monthly (depending on pay cycle) portion toward that cost. You can set aside separate accounts for different things or pay directly off your bills. Eg I pay weekly off my rates and put aside weekly for my water/gas/elec into a high interest online saver. I then pay a portion of the mortgage each week (I get paid fortnightly so does hubby on alternate weeks- I do a larger portion out of his pay since he earns more then we have the same amount left over) we also pay our savings into the mortgage ($800 extra a month) so we save interest as well as have available redraw incase of emergency. each payday all the payments or transfers come out (make use of Internet banking!) and all that's left is for spending that week on petrol/food and entertainment. Depending on our plans I'll put some aside in a short term savings which I use to manage week to week. (If we have a quiet week I put it aside for when we have birthdays or more expensive events to prevent wasting left over money and having to dip into savings) how much you can save will be relative to your income & mortgage. Be realistic but also think about the luxuries you can go without to save more.