Budgeting is all about decisions and reallocation, when choosing between owning a car and going on an overseas trip travelling has won for me. to date In 2017 I spent $6675.07 on overseas travel: three trips to New Zealand and a trip across Scotland, Spain and England. I’ve never been much of a fan of driving, at 30 I still haven’t owned a car. Growing up in Palmerston North, New Zealand, I drove my parents’ cars. When I lived in Wellington, New Zealand the public transport was sufficient. Upon moving to Brisbane, Australia in 2011 and living within the 10km radius of the city and with ample public transport across boat, bus and train and with the recent introduction of ride sharing services a car was still not a necessary. This week’s post provides some Brisbane transport comparison figures across car, public transport and bicycle.
I have had a few people ask me about how I’m eating ethically at such a low budget with the $40 grocery challenge. This week I decided to document how I do it, recipes included, and include links through to my grocery receipts on my Instagram to show it is possible. With my challenge I am shopping for one person, I occasionally cook for friends but mainly yours truly. If you are a couple take your budget up to $80 and if you are a family add to your budget again. I’m not always perfect, I go over budget from time to time. With my challenge I am aiming to get creative, eat ethically in order to donate an extra $20 a fortnight to charity.
Have you ever had the courage to contact a stranger on social media? In January 2018 a post from Underspent author, Rachel Smith, showed up in my Linkedin feed. Rachel has merged her talents, hobbies and passions across different areas: she is an advocate for cyclists advising internationally on transport planning and infrastructure, she is passionate about the environment, minimalism and reducing waste, where I most admired Rachel centred around a large challenge that she set for herself in 2014 where she bought nothing new or second hand for over a year. This helped her to save 38% of her salary, $52,680. I plucked up the courage and sent Rachel a private message on Linkedin and we ended up arranging to meet for lunch. I have since read Rachel’s book, Underspent, which details her year of giving up shopping in 2014. This article provides an overview of three lessons I learnt from Rachel to apply to my personal finance journey: making new rules, getting organised and rewarding yourself with experiences.
Brisbane on a budget… Two 19 year old awesome and incredibly active nursing students, with 8 hours to spare to see Brisbane and not a big budget. I love a challenge!
What sorts of systems do you have in place to help you think about your budget? The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape, provided me with three great takeaways: the implementation of an electronic envelope system, a reassessment of superannuation and although I can’t participate in the idea of a “hot financial date” each month the encouragement to share my journey…