On my Way to Financial Freedom – The Day I Decided to go Barefoot

I’m a spender, no question about it. I love having new things. Pretty things. That thing I saw in that magazine that looked like it’s going to change my life. Need it! You get the idea. I love stuff.

Thankfully, I also have pretty good will-power and a basic understanding of “don’t spend more than you make” so I’ve never gone into large amounts of debt or lived well beyond my means…

But…

I admit, being on two lots of maternity leave left my credit card looking a little dire and upon my return to work, my fortnightly pay was mostly paying the bills and mortgage first, and my credit card second. No money left for pretty new things. Wahhhhhhh! Doesn’t matter! I just paid $500 off my credit card, I’ll use that! And the cycle continued. You get the idea. I was constantly chasing my tail.

I knew something had to be done, but what?

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The magic cards of the Barefoot Club

Enter dear Husband, who sat me down one day and told be about this book that his mate had read. “A finance book? Yawn! No thanks!” was my first reaction. But I’m a good wife (ha!) so I sat and listened to what Benji had to say. Saying goodbye to debt, paying off our mortgage, setting up our girls with good nest-eggs, setting ourselves up with enough super to live comfortably until the day we bid this world adieu. It all sounded pretty good. All I had to do was read a book, and if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to go ahead with anything. Simple enough.

Enter The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. You’ve probably heard of him before. He’s on the TV, in the paper, he’s bloody everywhere. Turns out there’s a reason why.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of the book for you here, but what I will tell you is I’m hooked. I’m in. All in.

His book is simple, easy to understand and gives you a great plan for how you’re going to set yourself up. It makes you THINK about your money more and I’m pretty sure most of us could use a little reminder to do just that. Especially those of us with a nasty internet shopping addiction…

Since reading the book, I’ve cut up my credit cards, opened new, zero-fee bank accounts and have set up my buckets of money so they are now working for me. Now I just have to stick to the programme.

I’m going to be more mindful about what I purchase now. Do I really need that 6th pair of jeans just because they are a shade lighter than the ones I have already at home? No, I almost definitely do not. Do I need that face-cream that’s going to help reduce fine-lines and stop me from looking like a dragon in the morning? Yes, yes I do. For a spender, it’s tough – not unbearable, but Benji and I are making it work. We have savings goals in mind and I tells ya what, we are going to smash them. That I’m sure of. Because like I’ve said before, I’m a stubborn thing and once I get a goal in my head, I get it done.

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Who knew that you could read a finance book in bed and stay awake?!

And you know what? It feels really bloody good. Knowing that I’m taking control of my money and setting my family up for financial freedom is giving me all of the feels. More feels than having all the things in the world can give me.

So if you feel like you’re a little overwhelmed with your money, take a deep breath and go find a copy of The Barefoot Investor. You might read it and think nothing of it, but for some of you, it might just change your life. What have you got to lose?

*Please note this is NOT a sponsored post – I’m just super excited to share something I’ve learned with you all!

** If you do decide to go barefoot like me and open an ING Orange everyday account before February 28 2018, email me at hellojadedmonkey@gmail.com to receive a promo code to receive $100 (conditions apply).

Five Minutes with Seriously Milestones

I’ve been a big fan of Issy and her Seriously Milestone cards ever since I first came across her on Instagram. Understanding that motherhood isn’t exactly the picture perfect world that we often portray on social media, Issy has managed to snag a corner of the market that was missing – milestone cards for those Seriously Real Moments. The ones that sometimes make us cry, but almost always make us laugh.

Mother of two herself, you’ll find Issy on Instagram most likely chatting candidly in her dressing gown, singing in the car (a woman after my own heart) or making some amazing lip sync videos with her bestie, Emma which you can view over at @lipsyncbattleground.

As the mother of girls, I’m always interested to know what “Girl Power” means to you?

Oh wow way to start with a hard one!

Girl power means so many things, it means being able to stand up for yourself without being a bitch; respecting males but understanding that you don’t need one to be happy; not really giving a shit what other people think but also considering people’s feelings.  It is super hard to summarise actually, but maybe I’ll half answer it in the next question.

Who inspires you and why?

On a business level, there are so many amazing women out there who have and continue to inspire me on a daily basis.  The ones who are literally there every step of the way like Leah (@leahladsonphotography), Morgi (@morgimacdesign) and Em (@happyhandshappyheart), to the ones that I have never even met before but have been so generous with their knowledge on this crazy journey – Heather (@kippins_), Cherie (@thedigitalpicnic) and Kim (@captain.and.co).

Anyone who has been generous to me is a winner in my eyes, because it can be so easy to not reply to an email or to forget the ‘little man’, but all of these woman and more have gone out of their way to support me and I am forever grateful for it.

Describe Seriously Milestones in three words:

  • Piss-take
  • Time-consuming
  • Love

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Was it hard to take the leap into running your own business?

I wouldn’t say hard is the right word, it was more exciting.  There were times when it was challenging, but having been on maternity leave for almost 12 months my brain was ready to start up again!  Plus, as I mentioned above, I had a shit tonne of support, so any time I started to doubt my idea, I had a whole tribe behind me telling me that I was going to totally rock this business thing!

If you weren’t running Seriously Milestones, what would you be doing?

Probably back at my office job in a school, trying to ensure that the naughty kids don’t get expelled and sorting out an alternative pathway for the ones that do…See why I’ve had to develop a sense of black humour? I do love that job though, mainly because my boss was so freaking awesome, but she knows I am not coming back any time soon 😉

I love that the Insta-community is so supportive of each other. Share with me your top five Insta-brands and what makes them so special:

Oh god I feel like I’ve totally done a million shout outs, so I’m kinda including those girls in this but I’ll pump out some new ones too –

  • My Little Booky Wooky – she is special because she is new on the scene, and she has that energy and excitement to learn that only a new account can have, so I’m excited to see what she does.
  • Hello Zef – I caught up with Suzi when I was in her home town of Torquay recently and it was so nice to meet someone for the first time who is just exactly what you expect them to be like.
  • Thank-You – Because, they are amazing.  I wouldn’t say we’re supportive of each other, or work in the same circles, but I have a total girl crush on Justine and think the whole brands ideology is something that we should all aspire to.
  • Emmylou Loves – if you haven’t watched her insta stories yet, do yourself a favour! She swears, she gets her kids to film her as if they were her insta husband, and she does not appear to have a filter between thinking and speaking.  Can’t get enough.
  • Hurrah For Gin – I obviously couldn’t do a shout out without mentioning this account, because I do repost her images about once a week.  She is a god, that is all.

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What’s next for Issy and Seriously Milestones?

In August I’m heading to Life Instyle for my first trade fair – I’m so excited! Hopefully it goes well enough that I can convince hubby that we should go to one in New York next year…watch this space.

For me? I’m gearing up to kick the eldest one out of the house for more days a week and into school next year, and I may have to cut the apron strings and put my big baby into some sort of care…but I probably won’t.

Finally, for anyone out there wanting to make a change, what words of advice do you have?

Find your support crew – the people who will champion your idea but also give you constructive feedback.  Probably the ones that know the industry you are going into so they can give you their advice from learned experience.  But most of all? Back yourself, you rock!

To celebrate my chat with Issy, you can get your hands on a free greeting card of your choice over at the Seriously Milestones website when you purchase any set of milestone cards. Simply pick your card and mention the TJM blog in the comments at checkout. Enjoy!

You can find Issy and her awesome cards here

Amy x