Simple way mum saved $1500
A Queensland mum saved $1500 in a single month thanks to a plan that forced her to avoid forking out on unnecessary luxuries.
Kylie Hemer, 29, from Morayfield in Brisbane's north, developed a plan after looking at her family's empty savings accounts last month.
"We were living from pay cheque to pay cheque and saving absolutely nothing," Kylie told news.com.au.
Her husband, Matt, works as a truck driver, and while their bank account was being topped up each fortnight, Kylie noticed the family had "nothing to show for all that hard work" at the end of each month.
"I wanted to prove to myself that we were just wasting the money we earned on meaningless stuff," she said.
Kylie discovered the "no-spend" saving method online and committed to it last month.
The no-spend plan essentially eliminates all luxury items from a family's budget and only lets you spend money on the most vital expenses.
"My month would revolve around only paying those 'must-pay' bills and purchasing the groceries I had on my list. That's it," Kylie said.
For one month, the Hemers only spent their money on necessary things, such as $1400 on rent, $700 on food and cash for fuelling their two cars - which came in at $600.
They also made sure they met their financial requirements, paying over $900 on loan repayments, plus their utility bills, car rego, daycare bills. Plus internet, phone bills and medication costs.
What was left over after their essential spends - $1500 in Kylie's case - went straight into savings.
Watching her family's savings account grow each day, Kylie said she was "over the moon".
"I feel fantastic knowing that extra money is there for anything that comes up, and I'm excited to watch it grow further," she said.
While initially the family struggled by cutting out things now deemed "luxuries", the
mum-of-three soon found ways to keep herself and her kids occupied on the cheap.
"I would pack snacks and drinks from home, throw the kids in the car and make sure we got out of the house," she said.
"There is a lot of free fun to be had if you look properly."
With a car full of kids and homemade snacks, Kylie would track down a new park to explore each day, letting her sons play while she relaxed or read.
"I wrote a list on our fridge of free activities in our area we could try like museums, pools and lagoons," she said.
Kylie posted about her method on the Mums who Budget & Save Facebook group and received hundreds of comments and likes from people eager to follow her "inspiring" lead.
"I absolutely love the family time that's coming out of this. What a wonderful added bonus to huge savings!" one mum wrote.
Kylie explained her meals were all pre-planned and purchased at Aldi each fortnight.
"I avoided going to big shopping centres or using credit cards, so any food I needed was purchased on the spot at Aldi, and I would never deviate from my written list," she said.
Breakfasts were a simple choice between Weet-Bix, oats or cereal, and lunches were homemade picnics in the backyard.
Matt, who usually bought takeaway food and iced coffee for lunch, was now taking packed lunch to work.
Kylie took some new clothes back to Kmart, exchanged them for vouchers and bought her husband a Thermos, which she filled with homemade iced coffee each morning.
She even taught herself to bake to avoid buying her kids snacks.
"I've started baking muffins and corn fritters from scratch, and the kids love them," she said.
"Instead of packing them LCM bars or chips, if they need snacks, I just bake them."
Kylie has gained hundreds of fans and plans to keep posting her savings tips on Facebook.
"Wow you are doing so well, you should be very proud of yourself!" one mum wrote.
Another added: "This is inspiring me. $10 here and there on little unnecessary things all add up!"
On weekends, Kylie's family like to catch the free ferry to the city and even pack their own food to barbecue in public parks.
Aside from the family's growing savings, Kylie said the exercise had also brought them closer together.
"We are much closer because we've had to play and interact a lot more with each other," she said.
"There are no arguments at all, now that everyone can see what we're working towards as a family."
Kylie and Matt's relationship has also grown stronger in just four weeks.
"Matt knows that, as well as earning enough money for his family, we have something to show for our hard work at the end of the month," she said.
This full list of expenses the Hemers had for the month is below. Everything else they earned went into savings:
Rent - $1400
Food - $700
Petrol for two cars - $600
Personal loan - $600
Car loan repayments - $330
Power - $240
Daycare - $160
Car registration - $100
Internet - $60
Car Insurance - $44
Phones - $40
Medication - $20
Gas - $20