Naomee Hardy earns $45,000, has a one-year-old son, and has managed to all but pay off her Melbourne apartment.
She owns her brand new Toyota outright, and still enjoys eating out every now and then.
Hardy shares her budget with Yahoo Finance.
How much do you earn?
Back when I paid off my house, I earned $75,000.
I’ve moved back in with my parents now to save and I’m not working at the moment as I’m studying full-time.
I rely on my rental income and family tax/single parent benefits. It works out to $45,000.
How much does your rent/mortgage cost?
My mortgage costs me $160 per month. I purchased my apartment in 2014 for $250,000. I put a $120,000 deposit and I now have $30,000 left on my mortgage.
Do you have any other ongoing expenses?
Yes. I have to pay strata rates for the apartment, water and council rates and my car.
Do you have any debts? How did you pay them off?
I own my brand new Toyota outright and I have no debts.
I watched my mum struggle with debt growing up after my dad died, and I made sure to never have a credit card and never buy things I couldn’t afford.
How often do you eat out, and how much would food cost you per week?
I love food, so I eat out at least once a week.
My son is only one, and it’s just us two, so I never spend more than $100 a week on take-out and around $100 for our food at home.
What costs need to be covered for your child?
I breastfed until recently so I saved a lot of money on formula.
As a single mother with no financial assistance from his father, I made sure that my son would never go without. Nappies are probably the biggest cost for him and I buy most of his clothes from Kmart and Best & Less, but I always buy him good shoes from Nike, etc.
Do you put money into savings?
Before I quit my job as an HR manager I saved $1,100 a week and lived off my rent money from my apartment. Now, I aim to save $250 a week.
Every time I save $5,000 I treat myself with something nice. It makes me really appreciate nice things.
Do you receive any financial assistance?
Yes – I get family tax benefits and part single parent benefits as I have a pretty good income from my city apartment in Melbourne.
What are your tips for getting by?
You need to prioritise. All our savings goes into my baby’s account and I don’t have any access to it.
You have to set goals and when you start to achieve them, saving becomes like a hobby.
Be disciplined but also spoil yourself every once in a while. Living in Sydney and being on social media can sometimes make people think they need designer bags and what-not, but it’s important to have a house and be financially secure before you go living a life you can’t afford.
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