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  1. #1
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    Default Budgeting tools and methods

    Hi bubhubbers

    I'll be going on maternity leave in October and will drop down to half salary for a year. DH and I have never really been huge budgeters - we earn a decent combined salary and manage to pay all our bills and have enough to spare on eating out, entertainment etc without having to keep a close eye on money. I know this will have to change while I'm on half salary otherwise we will quickly go into the red!

    We currently pay for most things on a credit card which we then pay off in full each month. We have two lots of savings accounts that are offset against our mortgage and our salaries get paid into one of them. We pay extra on our mortgage and put away some savings each fortnight too.

    I wanted to hear how other people budgeted when they went on maternity leave - did you use an app to track spending? Did you manually add everything into a spreadsheet? Did you find it easier or harder than expected to manage on a reduced salary? Did you make any drastic changes to your spending? Really I'm looking for any tips or wisdom in this space to help me work out what we should do!

  2. #2
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    We were in a similar situation with a reasonable disposable income. Possibly the best thing I did was start living off half my salary when I was about 4 months pregnant (after we’d budgeted for most big purchases), and saved the other half in a seperate account.
    A) Got used to the half pay and B) could spend the “savings” as needed while on mat leave (hello middle of the night online shopping!)
    Plan to do the same thing with current pregnancy but DF has just been retrenched so until he picks up another job we’re already at half pay!

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    FayBelle (18-06-2019)

  4. #3
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    I'm about to go on mat leave for bub no 2. I will receive only the govt PPL, and after that expires, only DPs pay.
    We started with the Barefoot Investor a while ago so are in good stead because of that.
    We also started saving most of my wage from about 3months in
    We have got used to only having DPs salary, and the money we've saved will be enough to help supplement after PPL runs out.
    We have 3 months of living expenses saved, but the aim is not to touch that at all during mat leave.

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    FayBelle (18-06-2019)

  6. #4
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    YNAB is a brilliant budgeting tool. Gives you complete visibility over all your spending, your upcoming obligations, your savings goals.... highly recommend

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    FayBelle (18-06-2019)

  8. #5
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    Hi, i have also been on mat leave no pay for a while and in the last 3 months hubby and I have joined our finances.
    We used to have completely separate accounts and he actually lived directly across the road from me so we never even bothered to move in together lol, because it was nice to have the luxury of living this way. I had no idwa what he did with his money and we never needed to discuss anything as we both just took care of our own stuff.
    Joining our $ together has been hard as Ive realised dh has no idea how much he spends on anything. No idea how much his home loan interest rate was, no idea how much he owed on his house, never used eftpos or internet banking and went to the post office in person to pay his bills and only used cash withdrawn from ATM... like as if he's 80 years old. OMG!
    Anyways, it's been tough, not financially as such but more just trying to work together. So here's some of the things that were hard and what ive learned/my advice.
    Dh will just take money out and spend it with no thought as to what needs to be paid for.
    My advice is to write a monthly list of all the payments due that month so you can see whats coming up and that way dh realises that we dont actually have spare money as it is all allocated.
    He also takes money out without saying anything and there's been a few times where its causes us to not have the money to pay a direct debit available in our account.
    So if he is planning to spend money, he just has to tell me first because sometimes i have to say no because we have x, y, z to pay tomorrow and we need that money in that account.
    So make sure you inform each other of what you are planning to do / if one of you is spending $ the next day.
    I also set up all monthly direct debits to come out on the 1st payday of the month so the day after payday, you can see how much money you actually have left over, rather than trying to keep track of what you need to leave in there to cover bills.
    I also pay all bills straight away as soon as they arrive for same reason.
    It's also been hard because dh will easily spend $100 a week on takeaway without even realising it and i hate it because i try hard to meal plan, shop and cook to save money and id love to just get takeaway so i feel its unfair.
    So id also say to have abig discussion about how you both spend spare/leftover funds. Decide what amounts you both want for luxuries and even what you consider luxuries. I prefer to save money for family holidays. Dh just buys whatever, whenever.
    So i guess, what im trying to say is that it hasnt been difficult financially as we can actully afford to live off one wage. Its just been a hard learning curve t9 have 2 people who think and feel very differently about budgeting. I.e. one who doesnt budget or do anything and one who does.
    I also resent a bit that it has become painfully obvious that i have to be the one who is organised and take on the responsibility of being in charge if everything.
    So aside from the practical stuff of actually making a budget, seeing what your expenses and income are and keeping records,
    Id say the most important thing is to have conversations about who is going to do the financial stuff, keeping each other informed about what you are each doing with your money each day/week etc... and what you each consider is fair wirh regards to the spending or saving of extra money once the essentials are paid for.
    Lol even though dh is hopeless, he is very compliant so he has no issue with me being in charge and saying "no, you cant buy that because we cant afford it." And he knows he cant spend any money without checking with me first.

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    FayBelle (18-06-2019)

  10. #6
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    Oh and another thing i did was to check all our expenses and do comparisons with comapn8es like i-select. I checked our electricity, gas, health insurance, home loan, house insurance, internet etc... and make sure we were getting the best deals possible just because I believe reducing your regular essential expenses can make a big difference as you pay for these thingd every month/year. So getting reductions on these things add up to tens of thousands of dollars over decades, iykwim.
    It was a pain in the butt and took a while to do. I tried to do one supplier a week but it was worth it as a way to reduce our expenses considering we had a reduced income. Should have done it sooner regardless.

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    babyno1onboard (17-06-2019),FayBelle (18-06-2019)

  12. #7
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    Thanks everyone for your responses! I think it's a great idea to start living on what my wage will be while on mat leave - thanks for the tip @MUG81. At least that way is there are huge issues with living that way we'll know early and can take steps to correct it before I'm actually on a reduced wage.
    @SJ565 good idea trying to live off just the one salary - lots of people have recommended the barefoot investor so I'll have a read of that too.
    @WaitRose I'll check YNAB out, that sounds exactly like the kind of thing I need
    @gorgeousgeorge wow I can imagine it would have been hard joining accounts after being separate for so long - it can be so hard getting on the same page financially as your partner. I'm also the organised one of our finances, DH doesn't really care how we spend our money and doesn't like being told we should try and rein it in if we've been spending too much, it can get so frustraiting when you bear the financial responsibility! Greats tips, I think DH and I will have a bigger chat about spending for when I'm on mat leave. I'll also check our current loans, insurance etc and see if we can get a better deal anywhere.

    Thanks!! I'll definitely be trying the reduced salary living for the next few months, it will be good to save the extra money anyway in preparation!

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    gorgeousgeorge (18-06-2019)


 

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