A 21-year-old stay-at-home mother has revealed how her family managed to save money after following five easy steps.
Thrifty woman Laura Thoms, from Victoria’s Gippsland, said she’s determined the family will have a home deposit within the next five months.
She has a two-year-old daughter Alayna with her husband Charlie Thoms, 21.
The young family-of-three recently moved back into Laura’s parents’ home so they could speed up their savings process to get a mortgage.
But before moving back in with the rents, the couple managed to fund their own family holidays and put aside money for a deposit while living out of home.
Here, she revealed the five key things that helped her save money.
Laura Thoms, 21, from Victoria and has a two-year-old daughter, Alayna, with her husband Charlie, 21
‘We moved back to my parents eight weeks ago, a week after we got married. We never once struggled or couldn’t pay our bills, we only moved back so we could save up for a house deposit faster than we were,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘I got a few comments from my blog saying that of course I find it easy to save and go on holidays when I live at home but that’s not that case.
‘We paid for all these holidays while renting our home and paying bills and have taken Alayna overseas to Bali and New Zealand.
‘We’ve also taken her to Sydney four times, one time we stayed for a month. We take her camping at least once a month which we all love too. We are off to the Gold Coast on Tuesday for 10 days too. We paid for these holiday when we lived out of home.’
Astonishingly, the couple have been saving everything they can so they could make a deposit on their first home in a few months time.
‘We will be trying to purchase our first home within five months,’ she told FEMAIL.
Laura shared the nifty tricks she uses that helps her save money, such as limiting how much you spend on eating out and doing activities that are free.
Although the young family recently moved back into Laura’s parents’ home, this was to speed up their saving process
– Driving somewhere for a picnic
– Camping at a free campground on the weekend with food from home
– Going for hikes
– Heading to the beach for the day
– Building a fort and watching movies
– Having a BBQ down by the park
‘It’s easy to think you need to spend money to have a good weekend, but you don’t,’ she wrote on her blog Tiny Thoms.
‘We are always doing free or cheap things on the weekend, and we make the most it, it’s become the norm to us.
‘We’ve found by doing this, we really do appreciate when we have a big weekend splurging, because it doesn’t happen often!’
2. MEAL PLAN
Of course you can’t avoid grocery shopping but there are ways of doing it that are cheaper than others.
‘We use to spend a fortune on groceries but when I realised it was our biggest weekly expense I knew something had to change,’ she said.
‘Meal planning is a game changer. Plan all your meals for the week, set a budget, write your shopping list and stick to your list.’
‘It’s easy to think you need to spend money to have a good weekend, but you don’t,’ she wrote on her blog Tiny Thoms
‘We are always doing free or cheap things on the weekend, and we make the most it, it’s become the norm to us,’ Laura said
Another way to reduce your spending is by assessing how much you spend on eating out.
‘We went out for breakfast almost every weekend and loved our take-out too! I mean, I live for that smashed avo and runny eggs, but is it really worth it?’ Laura said.
‘It costs us roughly $60 to eat out, for something my husband makes better at home. Now we leave eating out for special occasions.’
So that she has the best of both worlds Laura will feed her and her daughter at home but then take her out for a drink and muffin.
Another way to reduce your spending is by assessing how much you spend on eating out
‘We went out for breakfast almost every weekend and loved our take-out too! I mean, I live for that smashed avo and runny eggs, but is it really worth it?’ Laura said
3. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
A big motivator of saving money is having something to look forward to, which is why it’s important to figure out what you want.
‘For us it’s always been holidays, we only recently decided that we should buy a house,’ she wrote.
‘Holidays have always been a huge priority for us and it’s what we always wanted for Alayna. While we have always put money away to buy a house, we put double away for our holidays.
‘Sounds strange, but we loved our little rental, it was all we needed. We crave regular holidays, they are everything to us.’
A big motivator of saving money is having something to look forward to, which is why it’s important to figure out what you want
‘For us it’s always been holidays, we only recently decided that we should buy a house,’ she wrote
4. FIGURE OUT YOUR WANTS VS YOUR NEEDS
‘This is so simple, but it will change your life. It’s nice to treat yourself every now and again, but try avoiding indulging in material ‘things’,’ Laura wrote.
‘Whenever you’re about to buy something you already have, or that isn’t a necessity, ask yourself ‘do I actually need this?
‘Then walk away and chuck that money you were going to spend in your savings account, and watch it grow.’
5. SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
Laura said that it is important you have a different bank accounts – her and her husband have eight all up.
They have a holiday account, which they both put money in each week for the next holiday, a baby account which is for Alayna and they we made it when Laura was pregnant.
‘This will be useful when Alayna is older for things such as braces, sports, schooling and her first car,’ she said.
They have a savings account where they squirrel money away for their first home and a bills account.
Laura said that it is important that you have a savings account – her and her husband have eight all up
‘This is for ALL bills. We made this when we moved out and it saved us from stressing over them,’ Laura wrote.
‘We got all our bills direct debited out of here so we never had to worry about it. Then we just got money out for the other expenses when we needed it.
‘We put money in for all utilities, groceries, petrol, phone bills, gym memberships, Netflix, Alayna’s activities, expensive outings etc. So we never have to worry about not having enough money to pay anything.’
The couple have separate emergency accounts for when unknown expenses pop up and their own every day accounts as well.
‘We put the same amount of money in ALL accounts each week! So it’s not something we have to work out each time, it’s always the same,’ she said.
‘At the start it was hard to get used to, you just get paid then watch all your money disappear and you’re left with nothing. But we just make sure we do it as soon as we get paid so we never spend the money on anything else.
‘Of course it’s going to be so much easier/better when we do have more money and don’t have to live this way. But like I’ve said, we make it work.’
If you would like to find out more about Ms Thoms’ journey, you can follow her on Instagram @mama.alayna or via her website.