Hello and hello. Daphne here and just another damn mummy blogger. And fucking proud of it. Also known as, @click.mama from my ever theme changing Instagram feed, or you may know me as your local photographer. Whichever way, hello and welcome to my blog about –
Motherhood. Finances. Marriage. Career. And Other Things In Between That I Don’t Have A Category For. Yet.
First let’s just launch into where I am right now, my ABOUT ME page is for another day. Recently married (six months), pregnant with our third baby (also six months along – you do the math), and absolutely broke. As in broke like everyone else – who drives a stupid expensive car (on a “I can’t afford car loan but I want to impress everyone else”) and buying things without even thinking (hello – massive flat screen tv, tattoos and random other shit like takeaways + Kmart). And also with living pay to pay, week to week, stress to stress and without any savings or financial future goals.
Now, you may be like, “holy shit this chick is crazy for oversharing, and really doesn’t know how to handle life.” Thing is, you are so fucking right. To the max. But this is us a month or two ago. We were not taught about interest rates on car loans (or to NEVER have one), or about savings or how to budget or be accountable for our spending habits. We were living mindlessly, with our heads buried in the sand.
But that was a month ago. We do now have savings (woohoo!), cleared most debt off, refinanced our (stupid) car loan and actually have financial future goals. But that was without a ” huge bitch of a motherfucking reality slap to the face.”
It was in the midst, of my hormonal change (happily brought on by my pregnancy) that really woke me up. The beginning of the year was filled with rage, helplessness and a lot of confusion. We just got married, then found out I was pregnant (FYI “pull out method” isn’t 100% full proof – just saying).
My husband James, was in the midst of his job, he was also feeling lost, internalising how he was really feeling which then left a huge and empty gap in our relationship – which caused us tension. I get it (now) though, he was the breadwinner, and he needed to sort this part of our life out, himself. It was his role. But I believe in being a team, and now he does too. Anyhoo, I concentrated on my personal self first and scoured through Pinterest which had me inspired with decluttering blogs. My constant need to self improve was abundant and a major thought that was constant in my mind 24/7.
I was constantly hating my surroundings in all areas of my life, and the heavy stagnant feeling I was waking up with every morning. Looking at my bank, no money, debt, and all my side hustle money just disappearing to fuck knows what. Then looking around in our tiny townhouse rental, full of dirt, unwanted toys, laundry baskets overflowing and just junk EVERYWHERE. My sons were unhappy constantly screaming, fighting, and wanting to get out of our home. James hated it too, coming home from a long day of listening to peoples’ shit, then coming home TO OUR SHIT. It caused rifts. A lot of it too.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I have been living like this for years. Ever since I had given birth to Eli (nearly four years ago). I am ashamed to think how low I had gotten, I didn’t cook, I didn’t do housework. I was merely existing. Getting by everyday, just mothering and finding solace in my photography work to keep me going. My environment and my mind HAD to change, for the sake of my whole family.
So it was nothing like a third pregnancy to really kick start our lives to be better and also to show a good example to our two young sons. How can I preach this and that if I wasn’t following my own advice? Shit, I would throw remotes at my head too. I really do thank God for this divine timing.
So I read Pinterest blogs, joined facebook groups etc. Then slowly, bit by bit. I decluttered my life. Relationships. People I followed on Instagram and Facebook, people who I didn’t want to see anymore, people who gave me bad vibes constantly. That is still an ongoing thing so I also went to work on the materialistic side of things.
Bags and bags of clothes, toys, and kitchen stuff were donated to the Op Shop (I love paying it forward as I am an avid Op Shopper myself, and always feel so grateful to those people who donated their goods!) The garage was the beginning, I woke up one morning, with a fierce rush of anger which I turned into energy to clear it out. I hired a man off Gumtree to come pick up all my shit, and $70 later, and a very hungover husband. We completed one task. I then got really addicted.
I was reading blogs on “how to get out of a rut”, “how to be happier”, “how to be a better mother”, “how to declutter”. No kidding, I googled that nearly everyday. I was in a bad place.
Most of the blogs then redirected to looking into your personal finances which was the root of most people’s problems. So on one of the million Facebook groups I had joined like “Kmart hacks”, or “mums who budget and save”, there was one post that stood out. About a book. That helped so many people (in Australia FOR Australians – score!) about managing their personal finances. Now I freaking LOVE BOOKS! So I was in.
I read the book. A book that cost me $19 at Officeworks. A book that has changed our lives- in a matter of days. Yes, that is how undeniably real and cut throat this book is. Welcome ladies and gentleman – “The Barefoot Investor”. And for you reading this – welcome to my incredible and raw journey of a young family, trying to “adult”.
I read it in one weekend. It was insanity. James came home that afternoon on the Friday, and I got him onto the phone and called up everyone about our debts. Loans. All that boring jazz. What came back to us, after we added everything up. Was shocking. I cried my fucking eyes out. I yelled. I cried more. I was inconsolable. Our eldest was so upset, never seeing me like this. It was horrible. But we so needed it. That was what I call the “huge bitch of a motherfucking reality slap”.
We were in around $55k worth of debt and counting. Yet we didn’t even know about it.
- James’ tax loan at around 11k (when he went on ABN + had no clue how to do his GST etc)
- GEM Visa at $1198 (from a spontaneous Amart trip buying stupid bunk beds -note we co sleep and a huge L shaped couch – note extremely uncomfortable (but according to James extremely fashionable.))
- SPER James at $2,222
- SPER Me at $490
- Car at $35,963 (we had paid over $20k in interest in the last two years and barely touched the principal. Wtf!)
So yep this was us. A month ago, living in la la land. But the book woke me up, woke my husband up. And now everything has changed. EVERYTHING. I am thankful yet again for God’s divine timing (you will hear me say that a lot) because we realised all these things at the END OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR. So we got ourselves sorted. All our tax return went on ALL OUR DEBT. Now you may think, “well duh why wouldn’t you”. You see, habits are hard to change. Especially ones that have emotion attached to it.
We did it, and now we are just down to our car loan! We refinanced through a friend, and next month we shall hopefully kick off and start to make bigger repayments to pay it off quicker. We have drawn up a savings thermometer, each level upped by $1k, to help us visualise towards our main goal. A HOUSE DEPOSIT. Funny, because I was just telling James two weeks before I read the book, I never want to own, it’s too stressful, and I would rather travel instead. Now my mind has done a crazy 180 and we have a wonky drawn up diagram stuck up in our kitchen, to inspire us daily. I am seriously itching to colour my first $1k in! I feel like then, it will feel like things are really happening for us.
I feel the need to blog this because, I know somewhere out there, there is someone JUST LIKE ME, who is as lost as I was, and drowning in living week to week, pay to pay, stress to stress, clutter to clutter. This isn’t a success story, because- shit, I haven’t finished my debt/declutter journey at all yet. It’s a PROGRESS story, you know the in between. The journey.
I have only just started, but I have found and sought comfort in sooooo many blogs and Facebook groups with real life people explaining and sharing their stories. It was so encouraging, and I still read them everyday. E V E R Y D A Y. To keep me accountable and inspired. So maybe someone might read this and think “I want to start too!” The power of words are really worth there weight in gold.
So that is all for now , thank you for reading, until next time friends 🙂
Sending lots of love and good fucking vibes xxx