28 May 2015

Lifestyle: How To Create A Budget


I was inspired by the lovely Leanne over at Organising the Four of Us when she was talking about budgeting to finally sit down and get this budget thing happening.

We've always had a rough budget, but when the kids came along and we were on one income the savings disappeared pretty quickly.

It's taken me a lot of courage to sit down and work on our budget recently, but I am so glad that I did. Now I can see where our money is going, what to expect in the upcoming months and where we could possibly be able to make cuts in order to save more.

If you haven't created a budget for yourself before or in a while, here are a few steps to take to get started.

1. COLLECT ALL THE INFORMATION REQUIRED

Before you can effectively work out a budget, you need to sit down with a pen and paper and your bank statements and or bills folder and go through everything. When it comes to income and expenses every household is different this is why it's so important to go through your statements.
The below list covers what most households will need to cover in their budget, but as I mentioned it all varies from person to person. You also need to write down the exact amounts to get a clear picture. $1 on every expense can make a huge difference at the end of the year.



2. DO I REALLY NEED IT? 

Once you've written all your expenses up, look over each one and ask yourself the question DO I REALLY NEED IT? Can you live without foxtel? Could you swap it for Netflix instead? Do you really need that very expensive cheese on a weekly basis that costs 1/3 of your weekly grocery bill, or could you give it up altogether or indulge in it on a monthly basis instead? Call your internet provider and find out how much data you really use on a monthly basis. You'll be surprised to find that you're spending a lot less than what's on your plan. I found looking over our expenses, I could also cut back on groceries, personal spending, clothing and makeup (um what?) and insurances. I also combined our gas and electricity with one provider and am getting discounts for doing so.

3. WORK OUT THE FREQUENCY 

You need to work out the frequency of your income, bills and other expenses. This can make a huge difference. If you pay your home or car insurance on a monthly basis, chances are that you're paying more than if you paid it yearly. Same goes for your mortgage, other debt, insurances and utility bills. Once you have the breakdown of this, you can work out how much money you need to put aside for each expense depending on your pay period.

Example: Our home insurance is due in 3 months time. Because I haven't had a budget I haven't put any money aside for it. I've worked out when that bill is due and have worked out how many pays there are until that is due. I have now worked out that I need to put aside X amount away over the next 12 weeks in order to have the money for that bill. Same goes for all the other big bills especially the registration, insurances, tax bills. Once that bill has come and gone, I will work out the expense based on this years premium and work out how much I need to put aside over the next 52 weeks in order to have the money in the account for that bill. 



4. SET UP SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNTS

I'm not talking about setting up a bank account for every expense, but if you can set up an account where all the expense money goes into it will make life easier and you'll know how much you have sitting in your account for bills. Some providers will also let you prepay the bills. I'm not a fan of doing that because I would much rather have the money sitting in my account collecting interest (if you decide to put it in a mortgage offset or high interest account).

These are the basics to start off with when it comes to your budget. 

I will be doing another post on what you can do to make your dollar work harder for you soon, so stay tuned. 

I would love to hear from you! How do you budget? Do you have any advice for myself and my lovely readers? 


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25 May 2015

Book Review: Confessions Of A Once Fashionable Mum by Georgia Madden

If the book has confessions and fashionable in the title, you can bet that I'll be buying and reading it.

I had this book sitting in my kindle for a few weeks before I got to it and it's safe to say that I managed to read it in 3 days flat.

Here is a little bit about the book:
Successful hubbie? Tick. Facebook-worthy baby? Tick. Bikini-body six weeks after giving birth? Um . . . not so much.
Fashion PR exec Ally Bloom got her happy ending. Okay, her marriage might be showing the odd crack, her battleaxe mother-in-law might have come to stay, and she might not be the yummy mummy she'd imagined, but it's nothing a decent night's sleep and a firm commitment to a no-carb diet won't fix.
But when Ally returns to work and finds she'll be reporting to a 22-year-old airhead, she decides to turn her back on life as a professional fashionista and embrace her inner earth mama instead. So it's out with the Louboutins and champagne and in with the sensible flats and coffee mornings with the Mummy Mafia.
From attending her first grown-up dinner party only to discover that placenta is top of the menu to controlling her monster crush on local playgroup hottie Cameron, Ally must find her feet in the brave new world of the stay-at-home mum.
I have really enjoyed reading Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum, probably because I can relate to it in so many ways. From deciding wether to pursue my career or look after my kids to living on a single income and budgeting, to trying to make new mummy friends and attending sex toy parties. This light hearted book made me laugh, remember those endless days at home, and be grateful that I have put away that godawful nappy bag (as cute as it seemed at the time of purchase).


Have you read this book? What did you think about it? 
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21 May 2015

Pay Day Picks #3

It's been a while since I posted a Pay Day Picks post. I've had a few emails from my lovely readers saying that they've loved the other two, so it's definitely a keeper.

Here are this weeks Pay Day Picks

1. Country Road Grid Crew Round Neck Knit - $99.95


2. Mimco Disc Pony Set - $29.95


3. Kmart Copper & Wood Table Lamp - $20.00



What are you buying this week? 
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09 May 2015

Sephora Australia Haul

It's only taken me 4 months to get out to Sephora in Sydney CBD to finally check it out.

I was so excited and the best part was that hubby decided to go off and have coffee while I shopped!

I will be completely honest, I wasn't too overwhelmed by the whole experience. Maybe it was the fact that a lot of the products that I was after were sold out, or that they didn't have some of the brands that I was hoping for. But none the less I got a few things that I couldn't wait to try.


1. Tarte Lights Camera Action Mascara - AUD $15.00 - USD $10.00
I've been dying to try this mascara, but they only had the full size in the waterproof formula and I really don't like waterproof mascara. I found the sample size at the check outs. As you can see the price difference isn't too drastic and if you take in the exchange rate into account it would have come up to $12.90.


2. Tartelette Limited Edition Amazonian Clay Lip Butter - AUD $24.00 - USD $16.00
They had so many of these still in stock and I was excited to get this as I sometimes need something more nourishing than a lipstick on my lips especially since we're going into winter now. This seems to have a bigger mark up considering it's only about $20.00 on the current exchange rate.


3. IT Cosmetics Tightline Mascara - AUD $15.00 (sample) - USD $24.00 (full size)
IT Cosmetics doesn't seem to be on the US Sephora website which is a little bit strange. I didn't want to pay for the full priced item, so decided to grab a sample size of this to try out and see how it goes.


4. IT Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trio in Pretty In Amber - AUD $38.00 - USD $24.00
I was originally going for the IT Cosmetics eyeshadow palette, but they didn't have any in stock and I bought this because the colours seemed unique and really pretty. This product has a huge mark up in Australia considering the exchange rate is only at about $30.00 at the moment.


5. Formula X Nail polish in Supernatural and Pedal to the Metal - AUD $17.00 - USD $10.50
These nail polish colours seem to be really amazing and long wearing. I can't wait to try them about. But for a There seems to be a big price hike on these considering the exchange rate is about $13.00 but considering how hard it is to get nail polishes into Australia I won't be complaining.


6. Clinique Happy in Bloom Rollerball Perfume - AUD $25.00 - USD $19.00
Who doesn't like a fresh smelling perfume to keep in your handbag? This was the biggest impulse buy and the exchange rate is pretty much on par with the Australian rate at the moment.



What have you recently bought at Sephora? 

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07 May 2015

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide

If you are like me and have left the mothers day gift shopping to the last minute, here are a few of my picks and if you hurry up you can get a special discount too. Sometimes being un-organised pays off.

1. Peter Alexander Sherling Trim Hooded Gown  - $89.95
Today only they have 15% off (7th May)


2. Seed Waterfall Vest - $129.95
Seed currently has 20% off all their stock


3. Mimco She's A Mod Stud Earrings - $79.95
Mimco has 20% off all full priced items today and tomorrow only


4. Mac Eyeshadows in Purple times Nine - $65.00


5. Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial in a Box - $29.99
There is 20% of Sanctuary Spa at Priceline at the moment


6. Freedom Kite Vessel - $34.95


7. Adairs Home Republic Wool Throw - $159.95


I hope this has helped a little! I would love to hear from you about your mothers day traditions and what you got for your mum this year. 

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