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Support Thread on Taking back financial control? (Barefoot Investor inspired)

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#1 Chicken Pie

Posted 31 March 2017 - 12:17 PM

So it seems more and more people are making conscious effort and decisions to take back control of their finances to get them working for them, to improve financial stability and security long term. Doesnt have to be about the Barefoot Investor book, that's just an example of course...no book required!

Thought similar to the CC cutting thread it may be nice to have a thread to post tips, what you are doing, planning etc and do updates on progress - to keep each other motivated, give ideas, etc?

To start - i read about the Barefoot Investor so downloaded on my kindle and love the book - great communication writing skills!

About me - I am terrible with money, I worry but I also avoid or over complicate matters. Budgeting for me semi works. Swiping a card is easy then it adds up and after getting into CC debt at a young age (worked for a bank in RSA), them immigrating and using pension from RSA to set up here, find work etc with now eH and DD who was 10 months old.

I earn a good wage now, but I overdo things, support others in need to my own detriment as I tend to save everyone else. I need to sort my stuff out, become debt free and build a good nest egg for retirement.

I only started the book this week - off sick with flu after 5 flights in 3 days for work. I have opened an ING and MEBank account. Moved my super and life insurance - once I sat and analysed it really is an eye opener what you pay for out your super in fees. I ensured DH's was consolidated, and chatting to him about options he should move to.

I had a cleaner, but I was stressed always checking on stuff and being unimpressed one week happy the other. I struggle with time but it wasn't a good spend for me so we agreed I no longer needed his services.

Reviewing my expenses and debts and the percentages they make up.

I have 2 credit cards, 1 personal loan (due to being screwed over by car dealer), car loan (joint) as DH's car died spectacularly after being driven into the ground.

My cards are getting there - I am whacking a fair bit of my left over money after expenses into them so should be paid off in the next 3 months (YAYAYAYAY) - never been CC free. Then will do same with loan which should kill it in maybe 2 months - so before the end of the year should have standard expenses and car loan. Then we can build a MOJO account for a house deposit (we rent), side savings etc.

I am also supporting my grandmother etc overseas but its not huge and she did loads for us kids, so that's non-negotiable esp when I am blessed to live where I am.

Sorry that was so long! but really want to make this a positive journey and get people into it!

Baby steps

#2 g_uzica

Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:14 PM

About a year ago someone on here mentioned http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/ and I haven't looked back since, though I have always been a reasonable saver, this website took me to the next level.

I started from the first post and have read every one to date, though I do skim some of the 'how to put underfloor heating yourself' type topics.

The website also has a forum section which is very helpful in learning about finance as well as just entertainment!!

#3 Suz01

Posted 04 April 2017 - 02:05 PM

Happy to join in.

I'm leaving my 120k job to be a full time mum and hoping to firstly start by clawing back control from our $400 per week grocery bill.  Its more than our house payment!

I like that link above PP.  Some interesting reading there.  

To get ready for being on a single income we have:

1. Paid out our car debt;
2. Paid out our credit card debt;
3. Cancelled the ASC and Vacation care for DD;
4. Reduced our DS preschool to 2 days per week;

We are hoping to:
1. bring our food bill to around $200pw by meal planning and reducing nasty packaged food for the kids
2. Swap our tendency to spend without thinking i.e. last minute much needed holidays for planned breaks and camping/fishing
3. Review out insurances and interest rate on the home;
4. Set up joint banking and plan our yearly big bills i.e. rates, insurance, utilities to pay up front for any discounts
5. get a library membership and use local resources

Lots going on and looking forward to taking back control!

#4 Chicken Pie

Posted 04 April 2017 - 02:43 PM

Hi Suz01

Well done you have done heaps in preparation! Definitely a big change coming for you but manageable and 400 a week is pretty high! We do things like fruit and veg from the market, cooking some things in bulk so when tired or lazy takeout is less tempting (e.g. bolognaise sauce, mini egg frittatas, various curries and stews).

I have also had to really focus on spending more consciously because I would get some random idea that I "need" as such and I can do without.

#5 Suz01

Posted 04 April 2017 - 02:45 PM

Exactly!  I'm so keen to get on top of life instead of working/spending cycle we are currently in.

#6 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:00 PM

Great thread! I've been mulling over ordering the Barefoot investor for a while now, but we've been trying to limit spending so I've been putting off the $20 order!

I love reading about what others are doing, I'm a big spreadsheet person so have mapped out our income and expenses for the next 12-18 months. We use the credit card for spending each month and pay off in full to make use of our salaries being in the offset account.

We have a car loan that we've just started to pay a bit extra off ($50, but will hope to build it up) and I've set up to start paying another $200 a month off the mortgage. We also owe my parents about $15k so we are slowing chipping away at that, anything that's left we try to send their way - probably not the most effective way as it's interest free and they aren't in a hurry for it back, but I don't like owing family!

I've also worked out what our total one off costs are for the year (rates, car regos/insurances house insurance etc) and divided by 12 and put that in a separate account so we can pay those bills in one go and save money rather than paying monthly or it being a shock when they become due.

My weakness is 'stuff', we earn enough so that we can buy what we like, but it means there is no savings buffer. I've set a target of $700 a week to cover us for food, fuel and any discretionary spending that isn't a 'bill'. It's been hard and we haven't managed it yet.... so still looking for tips!

#7 Minka1313

Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:30 PM

Love this thread and I definitely need the motivation! We are on one income and have a mortgage on a house we can't live in, so we are also paying rent. We have a good amount of money in an offset account but the last few months we seem to be coming up short so I keep dipping into it - which I hate because this is money to build our house so we can stop paying rent! I'll look up the suggested websites and get motivated!

#8 chicken_bits

Posted 04 April 2017 - 04:53 PM

I'd like to join this thread. DH and I were gifted The Barefoot Investor last weekend after we asked his aunt/uncle for advice re: buying a house. Our timeline has had to change dramatically due to issues with our current rental property.

I'm disabled so we're living on one income, but we own our 2 cars outright and don't have an CC debt. But since having our 2nd child we've been spending more on convenience things and not really thinking about where our money is going. So we're basically living pay check to pay check. So time to fix that. We've already started, but will be nice to see/read what other people are doing and how. And perhaps to share some of our achievements too. :)

#9 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:45 PM

I'm joining in.

Got the barefoot investor book today. DH and I have already started step one :)

#10 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:54 PM

View Post~Nasty_Jodama~, on 04 April 2017 - 05:45 PM, said:

I'm joining in.

Got the barefoot investor book today. DH and I have already started step one Posted Image

Ok I'm going to have to order!

What's best kindle or physical book? I was thinking the book would be easier to go back and refer to certain chapters - or does the kindle edition work just as well?

#11 Chicken Pie

Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:05 PM

Happygoluckyinoz it's cheaper on kindle if u have one? I am the same re "stuff " lol - so your 700 what does that include and for me I have to quite literally tell myself no! Like I tell myself I don't need that soy chai getting to work a cup of tea in office is free and will do (tho not as yummy) it sucks on one hand but the more u consciously stop ur self the more u motivated I guess?

Mika1313 that must be frustrating! Hopefully it settles down...it's hard when coming short and can be stressful!

Chicken_bits it sounds like you have a good place to start re no debt. Challenge in life today is time and energy so convenience often wins even for us! I guess it's about looking at where that happens and what can be changed and how without making it a slog either!

What I found eye opening on my random spend was downloading all my statements and going through it line by line noting what it was for...kinda scary! Even re fees etc so I have moved majority stuff into new ING account and the saver part will be very little until I get rid of debt - if I can just focus on that! But I do, then "stuff" is needed which I need to get on top of...

But it all comes down to being on top of things on a conscious level not just going with the flow (unless of course you in a position to which is great)!

#12 Chicken Pie

Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:07 PM

Welcome NS!

I went with kindle due to cost and I am enjoying it and going back and forth but I guess for something u will be all over the shop maybe paperback is more suited - preference I guess?

Have u checked eBay for second hands?

#13 schwatzen

Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:12 PM

Yep. I feel like i'm at that time in my life where the flippant spending has to end.

My problem isnt debt as i've never had any but accumulating wealth. Which now that i'm in my 30's should be number one priority.

I have money put away for a small emergency and a month of living expenses and that's about it. Which is not a great place to be in.

I really need to get into that mindset of my early twenties of any money left over after rent/bills etc = disposable fun money when really, any money i spend now on unnecessary things is just robbing my future self.

My goals are get a Vanguard account for long term savings.
Have money set aside for 3 months worth of living expenses.
Save a deposit for my 'forever home' because rent is on the verge of becoming more expensive than servicing a loan.

I tend to spend my money on stupid things that make my life easier in the short term. Going out to dinner or getting UberEats instead of making simple meals to eat at home. Spending based on emotion rather than need.

My grandparents would be appalled at my reckless spending. I need to adopt some of their thrifty ways.

#14 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:21 PM

I went hard copy just because I prefer that to reading on my iPad or phone. Plus I can write in it and highlight important bits :)

#15 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:30 PM

Ok I think I'll buy the hardcopy. I like flicking through and pointing bits out to DH. I do have a kindle, but only really use it for random fiction I don't want to keep. I've looked second hand and eBay but they all seem the same price as new from book depository.

We live month-to-month and it's quite scary really. DH has had a couple of periods of being out of work and redundancy so we aren't strangers to a dramatic shift in income, but we still haven't managed to build up that rainy day fund.

My self imposed $700 is to cover everything that isn't accounted for in advance, so doesn't include mortgage, utilities, loans, foxtel, broadband etc it is just for stuff we can't plan or know the cost for in advance - so food, petrol, parking, toiletries, doctors, gifts, clothes, eating out/entertainment anything like that really. We've started to write down on paper each day when we get home what we've spent that day to try and focus on what we need vs what we want, that's helped, but unexpected costs are hard to manage within that if they are high.

I saw a post about someone just pretending one of their incomes didn't exist and living on one, tried to work out if we could do that today and we can't, so as ideal as that would be we just can't achieve it even with cutting back on everything (foxtel, broadband, food etc).

We are also in the process of selling our house and moving to a more expensive area so our mortgage is likely to almost double, so we need to get on top of the frivolous spending pronto.

Do you think it would help to post in here our spending to help focus?

So this week for me:
$35.98 - clothes for DS
$8.26 - train
$19.99 - ed shearan album

Oops it's not started well!

#16 ~river song~

Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:15 PM

We're about 2-3 months in on Barefoot. We've followed it to the letter and so far saved around $5000 into mojo in that time. We are saving like crazy for a house as well.
Our plan is to have all our ducks in a row in the next few years to then supercharge our wealth in order to afford private school for our three kiddos for high school.
Of course there are still moments of weakness but we are on a better path for sure

#17 Chicken Pie

Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:41 PM

Yeah look I love the book it's really practical. We can't do mojo until we kill debt. I have made the hard decision to stop the cleaner as we using funds for extra murals and we can do it though it's hard. My aim is most debt exc car loan killed by new financial year so I can build mojo starting base then saving for home loan deposit. But we have clear goals and steps now which help

#18 Overtherainbow

Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:50 PM

I read it a few weeks ago.  A great read and it builds on previous knowledge.  I think Richest Man in Babylon is still a better starter though.  It's also on the recommended reading list of most personal finance books.

For those saving, go get the book from the library.  Screen shot favourites and if you check it out a few times, then buy it (or look in a 2nd hand shop).  Remember 10% or 1 chapter is fair to copy.

I liked his percentages.  I would like a percentage for giving but I guess he'd put it as living (safety).  Some of the lessons I've learned is to KISS (keep it simple stupid).  I like lots of categories but simple is easier to deal with.

We've been using YNAB for over two years and it's made a massive difference for us.  I use spend, splurge and safety as our main headings  with each category under that.  

We have reasonable incomes but also have chosen to have private school fees, an additional investment that will lose money short term, and children in expensive extra curricular activities.  

The next 6 years will be our most expensive so it's important to us that we don't go backwards and also that we are building for our future.

Convenience is our biggest money waster.  Work, kid's activities and limited time before bed make take always tempting.  Forward planning by freezing meals or using the crockpot is a big help.

I also agree that sometimes we buy things believing it will make us happy, instead it's just another item to clean up.

#19 Chicken Pie

Posted 05 April 2017 - 04:58 AM

Overtherainbow thanks will look into that book too!

#20 4keykne

Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:28 AM

I purchased the book about a month ago and have been making small changes. We don't have debt other than the mortgage and I will be keeping the credit card as I am firm on spending and the card is paid in full every month. My credit card offers a good reward program giving me vouchers for my groceries saving $500 a year.

I purchased the book to help me future plan I was going to attend a financial planner but I want to have more control over my choices. The book has given me the confidence to make change.

The biggest eye opener I had from the book was the cost of superannuation, my fund is low fee and I chose it for the sustainable and responsible investment options, my husbands fund is not so I am in the process of changing. My first change was to make pretax contributions to cover my insurance premiums within the super in 30 years I should benefit greatly😀

#21 Chicken Pie

Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:11 PM

4keykne that's a good idea re adding to check cover insurance cost I think I will do same. Agreed tho when I really dug I moved mine and doing hubby's next as his is with Plum - first had to consolidate all quick smart he had like 4!

We also both pay an extra 80 a month into tax so we have the buffer re tax bills in case but if anything it turns out to be a bonus at financial new year that is forgotten about and great timing before Xmas for kids.

What's scary is we blindly follow and fall for great advertising for banks and super and if they big they must be good - they big because of the bloody profit we help them make.

Our challenge as well which we cannot change is I don't get child support for my dd and he pays a huge weekly sum in child support. So that's a financial thing we can't get away from :(

#22 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:28 PM

I looked into Super fees a few years ago and our fund was pretty good in comparison, but should probably look into again now.

What fund do people recommend?

I salary sacrifice into my super an extra 2.5% to cover insurances and add a bit extra towards retirement. Each time i get a payrise I just add the extra to that. So only got a 1% rise last year so just increase my sacrifice by that much.

#23 Chicken Pie

Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:42 PM

Maybe hostplus or Australian super

#24 Charli73

Posted 08 April 2017 - 06:21 AM

The book suggests the host plus super account.
I looked into it after finding my own low cost industry super fund actually had larger fees than I thought so I'm in the process of increasing my TPD insurance from the bare minimum to what the barefoot investor suggests so I can then swap super funds as it's easier to swap funds when you don't need to add extra insurance later.. all very time consuming but hopefully worth it..

I've also reduced extra home loan repayments so I can pay off the credit cards off in full, that was hard for me to do..

#25 cordyline

Posted 08 April 2017 - 06:47 AM

I'm with Australian super.

A lighthearted site that scores your fund as a Fat cat or Fit cat based on performance and fees.

I'm about half way through barefoot investor book. Just last year I bought my first $10k of shares (at this stage it makes more financial sense to plug into our home loan but I really wanted to take the plunge and demystify the whole shares thing. I'm still a novice but now I'm less intimidated). Anybody purchased shares?

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