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Seven years ago, when hubby and I first moved to Australia, we both had full time jobs and no kids and we had money coming out of our ears. We were spending it as quickly as it came in though. It all went on cigarettes and alcohol, nights out and fun stuff. Those were the days.
Things changed dramatically when Millar was on the way. We had to stop all of our partying ways, not just for the health of the impending baby, but also for our financial health. We had to learn to live on one income once the baby came.
We were surprised to find we were actually pretty good at it. This new budgeting thing was a bit of a fun game for awhile and we enjoyed the challenge and I do love a colour coded budget spreadsheet! But we also came to enjoy pay rises and new jobs that bought in more money. A bit of part time work for me, a move to the suburbs and life became much easier financially.
Pretty soon, the budget was out the window and we were spending money quicker than it came in again. This time, on school fees, ballet class, clothes, toys and stuff that our now two kids required.
We had made it this far without using a credit card but the move to India in 2012 made a credit card a necessity, and one that we didn’t cancel upon our return to Australia.
The credit card was quite handy for those extra expenses when we were buying this house too!
But now, as home owners with rates and water bills, and back to one income, we have gone back to that colour coded spreadsheet and our belt tightening, money saving game face is on! One of the first things we did, after looking at our budget, was organise a balance transfer for the credit card. Credit card companies and banks often offer low or 0% interest on balance transfers for 6 to 12 months to encourage you to join them. We decided to use this to our advantage. We transferred what we could afford to pay off within that 0% time frame. So far it’s going well and we are getting back on top of the finances without having to sacrifice any of the extras we’ve gotten used to. YAY!
It’s like magic money juggling. If you want to have a go yourself then you can find out more about what a balance transfer is here.
It also means I don’t have to put Xanthe in daycare and Millar in before and after school care and go and find a job. I don’t know if there would be much left after all the day care fees anyway. It’s a huge juggle to make this stay at home with the kids thing actually work! But this way works for my family.
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of money juggling to make the belts a little less tight.
But if you do know of a job that I can do from home while still interacting with my kids and that pays heaps of cash for about 2 hours work a day – let me know!