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Welcome to our monthly “Share it All” Family Household Spending and Saving Report (A REAL FAMILY BUDGET YOU CAN COPY THAT WORKS TOO!).

My mission for this blog is help others work towards financial and time freedom, and that means putting your money to smarter spending, smarter saving and then making sure you do some smarter living along with it.

So below you will find the exact tools and strategies I use with my family’s incomes for doing just that and our progress towards our ultimate goals.

Feel free to copy and use these for your own family, and I would love if you would like to share your budgets to compare using the hashtag #realfamilybudget too.

DISCLAIMER – all information given is not intended to act as financial advice for your unique situation. 

Before changing any money strategy or investing, please ensure you are comfortable with all the costs and risks and ensure you are fully responsible for your actions.  This is your money, and my family’s situation will be different to yours – so use your own judgement wisely.

Some links below are affiliate links, which means I receive a very small percentage of the profits if you purchase the items mentioned. 

We budget to Zero with our Spending Report

I rename our Household Budget our “Spending Report” as how we use language in our descriptions of anything can affect the emotions that it brings within us.

We all are very fortunate to have homes and food to eat, better than 99% of the world, and when we focus on using our money to send it different places for our benefit that is when we feel positive about what we are creating.

I’m a huge believer in the Law of Attraction and believe that when we have a purpose to our spending, which is what a Budget really is, then this will allow more opportunities to come to us for showing more attention to where the money goes to.

In my Spending report, I use every last penny each month sending it to a specific fund or place – such as Investments/Savings, our retirement money and then how we spend it with our family and fun time.

I like to sit down at the start of every month and roughly plan how we will use the money in each allocation – such as family fun money – so that we can really plan how we will use it and use it well.

Our Long term Goals

I take what I say and preach on this blog about creating a life of financial freedom and security, to create the balance of time and lifestyle of your dreams, very seriously.

Our family are working towards that very goal, and we are on target to hit it within the next 10 years, to retire early and live off our side businesses and investment increases.

In fact, with the power of compound interest and extra hard work than normal – it might be even sooner than that!

Our family knows the exact amount of money in Investments we need to reach in order to live off the interest payments indefinitely, and it isn’t rocket science.

You can calculate your value as your goal too here.

For any financial goal, whether it be to pay off debt like we have (we paid off £22k of credit card debt in the past few years alone with these strategies learnt) once you have the exact amount to work towards it will start to become reality as you take action towards it.

Want to know how to create your own Spending Report?

Check out one of my latest videos that explains how to start creating Spending Reports/Budgets so you can work towards goals such as retiring early, paying off that debt and creating your dream life and much more.

How to Start a Budget UK - Budgeting for Beginners - with AmyBeingMum - YouTube

Our 2019 Money Goals

We have a few buckets of money goals this year ahead, to keep us on track to hit our financial freedom long term goal but also so that we can live life comfortable and plan for the future.

This includes saving each month towards a bucket of money for Christmas and Home improvements, Insurance bills etc.

Then we are planning on holidays throughout the year and next, so we have a budget goal for that account.

Finally, we have an emergency account that is being created at the moment.  This is an account with roughly 3-6 months of expenses so that if we wish to change any aspect of our lives, we can do so without the risk of running out of living costs.

It’s then our job to recover those incomes within that time.

I should say that if you follow my Budget planning video, you will know that we apply a 10% additional payment to our Mortgage and Car payments, so that we will pay those off earlier than forecasted but also it allows a buffer if we needed to remortgage to a lower monthly amount if we were unemployed for any reason – and not lose our home!

What budget style do I use?  The Money Stacks Method

With so many different money strategies out there, I found it confusing and difficult to design life on our terms for the long term.

That is why I created a blend of the very best budgeting strategies out there and advice, and it is called the Money Stacks Method.

You can find my full blog post and video explaining this strategy here:

THE MONEY STACKS SYSTEM - Money Management that WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE - YouTube

In this video you will see me use a beautiful Busy days Planner and Family Planner from Boxclever Press, that were kindly gifted to me, for a paper copy of my budget to have to hand and then I also use my electronic spreadsheets called the Autopilot Money System to track our Budget in detail, Savings percentages for our Money Stacks categories, our Net worth P&L and our Financial freedom retirement date calculation.

You can pick your own copy for your family here on my Etsy store:

Our June 2019 Budget

Start of the month, our main savings amounts go straight out on autopilot standing orders to our budgets so that we save without even questioning it.

We pay our future selves first, investing in our financial freedom and retirement, then use the rest to have fun and live life.

This means even our investments are calculated and paid at the start of the month, so that we are not tempted to spend that money first.

Our Food & Petrol money account and our Family Fun money is then our free money to manage the rest of the month as we see fit.

The goal is to spend it on things that bring us joy, and it isn’t a challenge to make sure we have some left over.

Any left over from these money accounts though at the end of the month is usually transferred to our Emergency Goal account or Invested.

Then we start over the next month on a zero budget afresh.

How did we do this month?

Here is the screenshot of our Family money stats from May achieved, and also our Money Stacks percentages currently.

I’ve also added in some extra data to my spreadsheet – How much money we are generating with our investments for the future.

You can see that by using rough estimates of return of investments percentages of 5% and 9.8%, by tracking the age that we can be financially free is inspiring.

I’ve also listed how much monthly money I have added to our family’s “retirement” budget if we SAVED NOTHING MORE and let that amount sit there and generate interest until I was 55.

The month those amounts for our “predicted” (as nothing is guaranteed in stocks and investments) monthly increase amounts if we stopped paying into our investments took a jump up which was exciting to see.

You can catch the full video of my budgeting for the month ahead here:

The post July 2019 Budget with Me – Our family’s actual budget and savings shared appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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I swear by Meal Planning in order to eat healthy as a family but also to make sure we live within our household food budget each month, allowing us extra money for treats as a family instead.

Want to know why I Meal plan for my family of 4 each week? Check out this post here.

When you are food shopping on a budget, thinking about what you want to eat and whether you can afford it when you go to the shops can be stressful and time-consuming.

That’s why I personally LOVE seeing what other families put on their meal plans and what products they choose when they shop at places like Aldi, Lidl, Costco and normal UK Supermarkets like Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco to name a few.

// Our Monthly Shopping Budget

This month our goal for food shopping is to keep within £300 total for the month. 

I break this down into one large “Bulk shop” for the month of all my main ingredients that can be frozen or last the month in the cupboard/fridge happily (approximately £100-£150 of budget allocated), then a weekly top up shop of £35-£40 for perishable items such as fresh fruit, milk, bread, some extra top up items for each week.

I also usually only plan FIVE Main meals for us as a family each week.

I find that when I do this it allows freedom to eat out at the weekend if we want, or have a freezer based quick dinner if we are rushed suddenly for time and some flexibility.

If you are needing to follow a tighter budget of course, you can plan 7 meals a week.

You can check out our latest video shopping large haul below.

We would normally use Aldi or Sainsburys for our large shop and weekly top ups.

We also have a separate budget of £50 for our 2 rescue cats that are in our home where we purchase their food and cat litter from Costco.

// What’s in store for us this month?

I’m continuing my 80/20 strategy to improve the quality of our meals – I like to think of it as minimalism but for FOOD!

I picked our favourite 15 or so meals for each category – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – and then repeated them over the month.

My goal is to see if anyone will notice, or if we will feel that we are better fed actually with meals everyone will enjoy and I enjoy making.

The win-win for me is that I know how to cook each of these meals off the top of my head, so I’m hoping that will work for me better when busy with life and family.

I’m excited to see how I get on and if this could be the way forward for our family.

July 2019 Sainsburys Food Shop and Meal Plan Family of 4 Shopping Haul - YouTube

New to Meal Planning or stuck for ideas?

Click on photo image below to download your FREE Monthly and Weekly Meal Plan template to help your family and budget.

// Recipes 

You will see that I use a combination of Themes and dinner suggestions, planning for roughly 5 meals only a week.

This month I am upping that to 7 full nights planned to give this a go to see if I like it better instead over the summer months, when we are together more as a family.

I’m incorporating theme nights into our meal plan this month, to see if that makes planning easier outside of using my Meal Plan Randomizer tool.

My Meal Planning Guide gives you a full month (31 different suggestions) of themes and then over 185+ recipe links in one bundle.

Never eat the same meals over and over again with my help!

You simply click on the recipe title and it takes you straight to the website page you need for the recipe.

Use it and love it with your family too!

// Still stuck for Ideas on what to make your family?

I was fed up thinking of the same meals over and over again, so I created the AutoPilot Meal Planner spreadsheet which randomizes your favourite meals for you to simply copy onto your weekly meal plan with the click of a button.

You can pick up your own version of the spreadsheet here through my Etsy Store, and even find out how it works and how to use it here.

BRAND NEW – My Meal Planning Guide gives you a full month (31 different suggestions) of themes and then over 185+ recipe links in one bundle.

You will see me use both these products on many of my shopping and meal planning Youtube videos on my channel.

// Why do we budget our shopping in this way?

Our family is working towards the goal of becoming financially free and secure over the next few years, and so we want to make sure our spending habits are as healthy as they can be.

Like any family our money is hard earned and precious to us, so it is my job in particular to make sure we only purchase what we will actually use and enjoy.

Don’t let this budget and meal planning fool you!

The key to the system I developed is that there is plenty of fun money to treat ourselves, but we also make sure we put money towards our future each month as well.

Interested in finding out how I budget our whole household?

Watch out for my monthly Family Budget and Goals update – brand new video series on my Youtube channel where I will share with you how we did against our budgets this month and how we are doing towards out financial goals.

I’m passionate about others working towards financial freedom and security too, so feel free to Click below to find out more!

Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?

With my Tried and Tested Principles, we can change your financial life around completely in just 1 week.

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The post July Meal Plan & Shopping Haul – Healthy Meals on a Budget appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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When people think of a life changing amount of money, often our minds go straight to the thought of suddenly becoming a Millionaire and how that would bring the freedom from most of our responsibilities right now overnight.

In reality most people believe it is only possible to become a millionaire by winning the lottery or a large inheritance fund suddenly coming your way – but I’m here to show you that it really would surprise you just with small amounts of consistent savings and time in your favour (compound interest), the amounts to achieve that common money goal are closer than you think.

** DISCLAIMER – my blog and youtube channel are for information purposes only, and do not act as financial advice for every individual.  Before changing any financial habit or investing, please ensure you are completely comfortable with your choices – it’s YOUR MONEY after all!

Let’s break down the steps of this goal and challenge it!

Like any other goal we have in mind, we need to look at the factors that really play a part in us making this goal of £1m saved a reality.

It will really depend on a number of factors, and this doesn’t include your background or education.  It really is simple a numbers game!

The factors that affect creating that first million in savings

These factors that influence the speed of us reaching our goal can be broken down to:

  1. Ideally smaller amounts of money saved regularly so that the “pain” of the goal can be slowly and steadily achieved
  2. The time you can leave the money without touching it for other life events (such as weddings, building a home, births)
  3. The savings method you choose/interest growth on your returns every year
  4. Making it as automatic as possible – take the human emotional element out of it!

Smaller amounts of money saved towards any goal in general allow us to make the habit of saving less “financially painful” or rely on a sudden windfall of money to come into our hands to achieve this £1m goal.  The goal of £1 million is one that may seem too large to achieve, but broken down into smaller chunks over a longer period of time slowly adds up.

We might not even realise that most of us will have close to £1 million come to us in our lifetime of working (if you were to add up all your wages since you began work until retirement for the average wage of £29k a year per person), it was just that we didn’t know how to use it to keep producing more income for us down the line.

If you choose the saving method of investing in low-cost index funds or in a pension, then regular payments every month also allow you to apply a theory called “Dollar Cost Averaging” where due to the nature of the stock market with rises and falls in stock prices, by purchasing the stock in smaller amounts over regular intervals we can minimise the fluctuation of our stock in the long term.  We have bought when the stock was high and low, so therefore this will smooth out to a steady price.

Ideally for compound interest (where our initial deposit gains interest, which then goes on to gain even more interest over time) the longer we leave it, the longer the compounding effect can work it’s magic for us!

For most people to achieve that millionaire status within their lifetime, leaving your money ideally for 10-15+yrs whilst you work on that saving goal will allow you to gain momentum in the right direction as well as allow your savings to have compounded significantly.

This can be the hardest part of working towards any large savings goal – leaving the money without feeling tempted to withdraw it as soon as you feel the urge – but very much possible to still achieve if we are positive and clear on the end goal.

The Savings method, interest returned on our savings, will be a major factor on how quickly we achieve that £1 million goal without doubt too.

For example, the principle of the number 72 is vital to understand here and why it will affect our money growing efforts.

This principle states that to know how long it will take you to “double your investment money” in any savings forms – simply divide 72 by the interest rate.

If your interest rate is 2%, then it will take you 72/2 = 36 years to double your investment;  interest rate of 7.2% and you would only take 10 years and so forth.

It is vital then that we choose a method of saving and growing our money that allows growth to happen as quickly as we are comfortable with, and for that reason I use the Stocks and Shares market for my own financial freedom savings every month.

If you are unsure about the Basics of the Stock market, and how everyone can use it to grow your savings, you might enjoy one of my videos here:

Stock market for beginners - Investing Basics UK - YouTube

How to save money consistently as a habit for life for that £1m Goal

The greatest advice I can give you here is EARN MORE THAN YOU SPEND and you can make saving a lifetime habit for whatever savings goal you wish.

If you are living with struggles of spending more than you earn consistently every pay cycle, you will be your own downfall (as the famous Motivational Coach Jim Rohn used to say) and will probably love trying this cash only method to really hold yourself accountable for spending.

Having a physical and visual system for your money allows the relationship with money to change in your life.

Once you can see exactly how much money you have left for the time period, say a week ahead, and every transaction you make then has a consequence that you can physically see in front of you – it allows you to second check every financial purchase you make within some reason.

It turns a electronic or paper list of numbers in a budget “ideal” sheet to a very real source of energy within your life, and often this is why people swear by this system to change the relationship with money forever.

If you are looking for a electronic method to budget and control your finances smarter, to direct them towards your financial freedom and retirement – feel free to check out my own AutoPilot Money System collection of spreadsheets.

How to become a millionaire in 10 years – regardless of your age!

The major influences of when and how you become a millionaire really are down to time and rate of return on your savings.  The more money you put in and the longer you keep it invested, the faster you’ll reach your target in summary.  Spin this the other way though of course is that smaller amounts over a longer period of time will get you to that target too.

If you are in your twenties right now, looking to invest in a high interest savings or investment portfolio as part of our financial strategy to generate wealth in the future – there are very few reasons why you won’t end up a millionaire before you retire at age 65.

The problem unfortunately with most choices is that we commonly wait too long to save regularly towards those bigger financial goals, whether that is £1m in the bank or a retirement fund to allow us to live comfortably when we choose to stop working all together.

For most people as well as we get towards our late thirties when we consider such luxuries and ideals, and often we are considering paying off our debts (Such as mortgages or even consumer debt) as the priority when really we should be building wealth AND paying off debt at the same time.

So if right now your goal is to become a millionaire within 10 year then the rate of return will be the major factor here that changes how much we need to save each month to hit the target.

If you look to invest in bonds for example with returns closer to 2-3% then you would need to save £7150 approximately every month to have £1 million saved in 10 years.

If you were to invest in stocks and shares giving you perhaps closer to 10% return (depending on what you selected as your funds of course), then you would need approximately £4880 saved every month for 10 years and left untouched to compound every year.

How to RETIRE a millionaire- regardless of your age!

So we can see that the speed we want to achieve this goal affects how much we need to save, but if we flip this around and say we simply want to retire a millionaire – what would that involve?

Well, let’s assume that you wish to retire as early as possible drawing a private pension or savings pot to use.

Pensions and Investments work to give you an “income” via the growth generated on your total savings pot via the investments they have purchased.

You can find out more information about Pensions here in one of my latest videos as a background to more information:

Pensions UK explained - Pension Basics - YouTube

If we wished to have that £1 million Pension or Investment pot total (in an Investment ISA for example) to spend and use to draw an income (or spend as we see fit), here is roughly the amounts you would need to commit to every month to retire at age 65:

  • Starting at age 18 years – 5% Return on investment yearly would need roughly £450 saved every month; invest closer to 9.8% YoY Growth (S&P500 index fund past performance as an example) then you would need £90 a month instead.
  • Starting at age 25 years – 5% return yearly on investment needs roughly £650 saved a month for the next 40 years; invest at 9.8% or above average and then it drops to £200 a month approximately saved and invested.
  • Starting at age 35 years – 5% return yearly on investment needs roughly £1300 saved a month for the next 30 years; invest at 9.8% or above average and then it drops to £500 a month approximately saved and invested.
  • Starting at age 45 years – 5% return yearly on investment needs roughly £2400 saved a month for the next 20 years; invest at 9.8% or above average and then it drops to £1500 a month approximately saved and invested.
https://youtu.be/o0-dmSyv8x4 Lump sums saved early also allow you to gain that £1 million target

Interesting fact too that as time and rate of interest growth being the key indicators for our success at this goal – if at age 18 years you were given or worked hard to save £13,000 and placed it into an Investment portfolio giving close to that 9.8% YoY growth, at age 65 years you would also have that £1 million total WITHOUT ADDING A PENNY MORE to it from age 18 years.

Compound interest is a wonderful thing that concludes starting as early as you can with investing really works in your favour to produce the results of wealth and growth.

Save £26,000 by age 25 years and leave it till retirement untouched compounding with interest and growth of 9.8% YoY also gets you that £1 million pot.

It really is all about the math and working backwards to achieve that goal!

Everyone can achieve a million with a little effort and dedication!

As you can see, it really is just a numbers game to make that first million if you are dedicated and trust in the process of investing and working towards a goal.

An interesting point to close with though is really that million pound target and life you believe it can create might not be the total focus for you – and that is where setting your own individual goal amount for your retirement or early financial freedom is completely up to you.

Think of the life you want, figure out what you need to make that happen and then set your budget and goals towards it!

Make money your master, and enjoy the process of outsmarting it to work for you every year towards your goals without too much effort and stress!

Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?

With my Tried and Tested Principles, we can change your financial life around completely in just 1 week.

Get your FREE WORKBOOK straight to your Inbox
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The post How to become a Millionaire at any age! appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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Achieving financial security and freedom with your money really is all about focusing on moving from exchanging your time for money to PASSIVE INCOMES in whatever form they can take.

This is one of the fundemental mindset changes that really will open up your life to more freedom and choices over how you spend your days, allowing you to also try new opportunities and life paths as they come along too.

Understanding why Passive incomes (ways to receive money in the background instead of receiving it as paid for your time) is due to the fact your time is more valuable than money.   There is no way around that fact.

Unlike money, which can be earned, saved, spent, invested, we can never get our time back once spent each day and the greatest turning point in your financial path ahead will be when you develop those passive income sources outside of your normal day job.

With passive income, you make money while you sleep essentially as they do not require you (in most part) to turn up or be present to receive a form of income from them.

** DISCLAIMER – my blog and youtube channel are for information purposes only, and do not act as financial advice for every individual.  Before changing any financial habit or investing, please ensure you are completely comfortable with your choices – it’s YOUR MONEY after all!

Passive incomes and become a form of investor with your resources to create incomes this way are a key component of a well-known Money Principle called the Cash Flow Quadrant.

Creating a Passive income will may require some time and effort initially to set up the process, but often the small amount of time to create or start the income is a one-time effort with minimal maintenance required long term.

Most of the world lives with the mindset that you must work in order to produce an income, and with a limited amount of time each day to do that – our total possible income is fixed.

Without any more hours in the day, you simply cannot make any more money!

I want us to be smarter than the norm and by creating multiple sources of income in general allow us to become less reliant on our main income source (our job and career usually) and diversify taking away alot of potential pain and risk from unemployment in the future.

I am excited to share with you my favourite passive income sources that I have personally tried and tested and use in some ways still in my own life.

Small amounts added up regularly can make a difference and quickly become part of your household income regularly each month.

Passive Income Idea #1 – Investing

It goes without saying but on my blog and Youtube Channel my hope and passion is that everyone understands how easy and simple it is to start investing in the Stocks and Shares market in a tax efficient way to gain passive income every month.

This is one of the basic principles that I believe everyone can apply, even if you only choose this as your only form of Passive income outside of your job, and really requires little to no input of your time once you have a plan set up.

Investing in a low-cost index or mutual funds allows you to own a part of many hundreds of generally the top performing companies in the world and then as they use your money to make profits, they return back some of those profits to you.

Of course with investments there is a level of risk, however by spending time understanding how to minimise those risks as best as we can – we can ensure that year on year using Investments as part of a income source long term (10+years at least) we will continue to see a higher return for our money deposited.

It works with the power of time and compound interest, our amount total saved in for example an Investment ISA (a tax efficient way to save up to £20k per person per year currently) gains interest in the form of the change in the fund pricing from when we bought it to the current date.

You can find out more about Investing and even how to set up your own Investment Account using Vanguard on this blog too!

Investing for Beginners ¦ How to Start to Make Passive Income UK - YouTube

Passive Income #2 – Start a Blog or Youtube Channel in your spare time

A great place to start when looking to create a fun passive income is to start a blog or Youtube channel.

It would be wrong for me to miss out on this side hustle idea given that I took up this very advice a few years ago, and now enjoy making a form of passive income myself from sharing knowledge and information about money and success lifestyle strategies.

To turn this into a passive income source, you would need to look for ways to monetize your content for example with either Youtube or Blog uploads you create, if you receive enough people watching and enjoying your creations – then advertisers will start to want to have their adverts mentioned on your website or before your videos show on Youtube.

This then allows you to receive a small portion of that ad revenue as a form of income and if you manage to create content that is highly sought after and “evergreen” (content that doesn’t age with time but people are still searching for) then quickly pieces of information you create once can then provide you with an income for the long term.

It is not uncommon of course for people to find within a few years of creating content online that this income equals or replaces their full time income in comparison, if the niche and topics you pick are sought after and your content is engaging.

To start with this idea, all it takes is your time and efforts – blogging can be completely free of charge using such sites as WordPress to create a blog and uploading to Youtube is free all you need is a phone with a camera and off you go!

This is one passive income that doesn’t require any investment outside of the time to create content that you are passion about and people will enjoy.

A great fun passive income to try for anyone in their spare time!  Why not give it a go! Passive Income #3 – Create and sell Ebooks on Amazon

You might also have noticed that recently I turned my hand to publishing my first book “The Master Money Blueprint” and I can testify that absolutely anyone can create E-books (and paper copies) with a little bit of work and effort for passive income.

With the rise of Digital readers being so popular, everyone is seeking for the next great book to read and enjoy and there is no reason why that book cannot be written and published by you in your spare time.

Intially of course for this income we need to come up with a concept, write the book and then ideally have it in either Word or EPub format which may take you approximately 1-3 months to complete in your spare time.

However, the process of then self-publishing couldn’t be simplier!

You would simply use Amazon Kindle Self-Publishing tools online, as one example, to upload your manuscript and away you go!

The tools even allow you to create your front cover if you wish to provide a paperback copy of your book to readers.

Every month then if you are selling copies of your book in whatever format, Amazon will send to you your royalities in the background from books sold.

You do not need to get involved in any form of the printed/storing of books/shipping and therefore so simple to start to create books on any topic or story you desire.

Passive Income # 4 – Affiliate Marketing

Without realising, often the products and companies we enjoy regular are looking for loyal customers to promote their items to others, and even offer them a reward in return to both parties for making the suggestion and creating a new customer.

Think for example about your energy supplier, or pension, or even your favourite Cash back site – all of these usually have a “Refer a Friend” or simliar marketing strategy where if you provide your friends and family with a unique website link tracking you as the referrer, you will receive some form of income if the new customer signs up to their product.

A great place to mention this to friends and family is to create a list of your favourite products in the form of Blog post or email signature at the bottom of every email you send, so that you are making use of communications with people you love to share products you love as well.

Sometimes the affiliate referrals can be worth a sizeable amount very quickly, so always make sure to check out if the products and services you are using allow for some benefit for referring others that you could use as a form of passive income.

Passive Income # 5 – Become an Amazon Associate

Similar to using “Refer a Friend” marketing from your favourite products and services, we cannot over look Amazon as an easy way to set up a similar “favourite products” list for our friends and family to view and potentially order from.

Particularly important if you have any form of website, content online or business in general, Amazon is quickly becoming the main online provider for most of our home purchases and anyone can apply to become an Amazon Associate to gain unique referral URLS for the products we love from Amazon to share with others.

Every time someone clicks on your unique links and buys anything (absolutely anything not just the product you recommended), Amazon will give you a very small portion of the profits and cost of the total basket ordered.

Although the amounts can be small this could quickly add up over the weeks and month, to form a fantastic passive income source for anyone who uses Amazon regularly for household, personal and even business items.

They even allow you to create your own landing page on Amazon (like a Store front) where you can catagoise your favourite items, very much like having your own website but custom built with Amazon products you use and enjoy.

A passive income very much where you “shop and add to basket” once and then you can allow it to create income for you as you recommend others to check out your favourite items.

Passive Income # 6 – Dropshipping or Amazon FBA

If you are looking for a side business idea that very quickly could be become passive income every month, then drop shipping or Fulfilled-by-Amazon could be a great place to start.

Drop shipping is the term given to a business idea where you would use a third party to produce and ship the entire product you have created to your customer, removing you from the physical creation of the item or handling returns/exchanges.

A great way to think of this would be with a Tshirt or garmet designing service where you would take time to create digital copies of your printing for the items, upload to a drop-shipper (such as Inkthreadable in the UK) who would then select the garmet, print your logo as per your image and ship to customer.

There would of couse be charges for using such a service that you would need to include in your final price to customer, but outside of the intial product creation and some basic customer marketing to direct eyes to your site – this would be a business where you can sell and ship out products you created without much interaction from you at all and easily during weeknights or weeknds.

Amazon FBA is another route like this where you would source your items to sell on Amazon from a third party, market and create your information on Amazon and then ship directly to Amazon warehouse to store for you.

Everytime someone purchases your item from Amazon, they would ship to customer directly and handle any returns as well internally, removing you from the customer feedback circle.

A slightly harder passive income to set up, requiring perhaps a little initial investment if selling third party products or at least some time and effort to ensure you have products to sell in the first place – but this is a known income source where people can very quickly make a lot of money if they find a product in demand for the right price.

Passive Income #7 – Cash back cards and rewards

Never overlook good old cash back on your purchases as a form of passive income, although technically you do have to spend money in order to generate it!

Many banks and credit cards offer spending cash backs on certain purchases or debits you make, such as utility bills or travel, and those small amounts of cash back can add up over the months.

I also love using cashback sites such as TopCashBack and such comparison sites where we can receive money back from making our required purchases online and over the course of the year, this could add up to a good few hundred pounds very quickly if you use it smartly to maximise cash back on your household items and spending.

https://youtu.be/Bu9RkD4qrtk Why not have a go yourself at one of these?

There are many more Passive Incomes ideas out there, but hopefully these will inspire you to try a few and see what extra money you could bring into your household on autopilot in the coming months.

With the internet making it much easier than every to have additional sources of income outside of our day job, it makes sense to give a few of these mentioned a go at least and you never know what you could create in a matter of months with some effort and time intiailly.

Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?

With my Tried and Tested Principles, we can change your financial life around completely in just 1 week.

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The post 7 Passive Income Ideas that ANYONE can try! appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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I swear by Meal Planning in order to eat healthy as a family but also to make sure we live within our household food budget each month, allowing us extra money for treats as a family instead.

Want to know why I Meal plan for my family of 4 each week? Check out this post here.

When you are food shopping on a budget, thinking about what you want to eat and whether you can afford it when you go to the shops can be stressful and time-consuming.

That’s why I personally LOVE seeing what other families put on their meal plans and what products they choose when they shop at places like Aldi, Lidl, Costco and normal UK Supermarkets like Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco to name a few.

// Our Monthly Shopping Budget

This month our goal for food shopping is to keep within £300 total for the month. 

I break this down into one large “Bulk shop” for the month of all my main ingredients that can be frozen or last the month in the cupboard/fridge happily (approximately £100-£150 of budget allocated), then a weekly top up shop of £35-£40 for perishable items such as fresh fruit, milk, bread, some extra top up items for each week.

I also usually only plan FIVE Main meals for us as a family each week.

I find that when I do this it allows freedom to eat out at the weekend if we want, or have a freezer based quick dinner if we are rushed suddenly for time and some flexibility.

If you are needing to follow a tighter budget of course, you can plan 7 meals a week.

You can check out our latest video shopping large haul below.

We would normally use Aldi or Sainsburys for our large shop and weekly top ups.

We also have a separate budget of £50 for our 2 rescue cats that are in our home where we purchase their food and cat litter from Costco.

// What’s in store for us this month?

I’m continuing my 80/20 strategy to improve the quality of our meals – I like to think of it as minimalism but for FOOD!

I picked our favourite 15 or so meals for each category – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – and then repeated them over the month.

My goal is to see if anyone will notice, or if we will feel that we are better fed actually with meals everyone will enjoy and I enjoy making.

The win-win for me is that I know how to cook each of these meals off the top of my head, so I’m hoping that will work for me better when busy with life and family.

I’m excited to see how I get on and if this could be the way forward for our family.

New to Meal Planning or stuck for ideas?

Click on photo image below to download your FREE Monthly and Weekly Meal Plan template to help your family and budget.

// Recipes 

You will see that I use a combination of Themes and dinner suggestions, planning for roughly 5 meals only a week.

This month I am upping that to 7 full nights planned to give this a go to see if I like it better instead over the summer months, when we are together more as a family.

I’m incorporating theme nights into our meal plan this month, to see if that makes planning easier outside of using my Meal Plan Randomizer tool.

My Meal Planning Guide gives you a full month (31 different suggestions) of themes and then over 185+ recipe links in one bundle.

Never eat the same meals over and over again with my help!

You simply click on the recipe title and it takes you straight to the website page you need for the recipe.

Use it and love it with your family too!

// Still stuck for Ideas on what to make your family?

I was fed up thinking of the same meals over and over again, so I created the AutoPilot Meal Planner spreadsheet which randomizes your favourite meals for you to simply copy onto your weekly meal plan with the click of a button.

You can pick up your own version of the spreadsheet here through my Etsy Store, and even find out how it works and how to use it here.

BRAND NEW – My Meal Planning Guide gives you a full month (31 different suggestions) of themes and then over 185+ recipe links in one bundle.

You will see me use both these products on many of my shopping and meal planning Youtube videos on my channel.

// Why do we budget our shopping in this way?

Our family is working towards the goal of becoming financially free and secure over the next few years, and so we want to make sure our spending habits are as healthy as they can be.

Like any family our money is hard earned and precious to us, so it is my job in particular to make sure we only purchase what we will actually use and enjoy.

Don’t let this budget and meal planning fool you!

The key to the system I developed is that there is plenty of fun money to treat ourselves, but we also make sure we put money towards our future each month as well.

Interested in finding out how I budget our whole household?

Watch out for my monthly Family Budget and Goals update – brand new video series on my Youtube channel where I will share with you how we did against our budgets this month and how we are doing towards out financial goals.

I’m passionate about others working towards financial freedom and security too, so feel free to Click below to find out more!

Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?

With my Tried and Tested Principles, we can change your financial life around completely in just 1 week.

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With a flood of personal development books out on the market, from everything from just making your bed to manifesting all the money in the world – WHERE DO YOU START?

Personal Development Book Haul June 2019 #reading #books #mindset

You will know I am a devoted reader of Personal Development and Business strategy books, and struggle to read fiction if I’m being honest, and it is with that love of books that I have decided to start doing a monthly Book Haul review for you on the blog and over on my Youtube Channel.

Why read Non-fiction?

Personal Development, working on ourselves in our spare time, is a life changing habit.

You can read all about how you can start your own Personal Development journey here of course.

Give yourself 15 minutes to change your mindset

I commit to at least 15 minutes a day or listening to an Audiobook or reading, and truly has changed my life.

If you are not a great reader, I love Audible to be able to pick up great books on the go and turn that car journey into an education experience.

Audible offer between 1 and 3 months free trial (1-3 free books!) depending on if you are a Prime member or not, so the perfect excuse to give audiobooks a go.

You can start your trial through this link, which is an affiliate link below, but I believe in this product so much I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audible-Free-Trial-Digital-Membership/dp/B00OPA2XFG?tag=leth3-21

Don’t forget you can also use Kindle Unlimited, which for £7.99 a month you can download as many Kindle books as you like – perfect for me who likes to read quickly and alot!
Books I loved this month

You can find all the books I mention on my Amazon Store here

(these links are affiliate which means I receive a small percentage of the cost, this cost goes to keeping my website running and ensure I can keep doing what I love.  Thank you for your support with this!)

Money: A User’s Guide by Laura Whateley

In a straight forward, non-technical jargon way Laura is on a mission to educate the UK with the simple money principles around finance, saving, investing and purchasing that will allow them to take control of their financial lives.

This is a great book to read to cover all the basics of how to get out of debt; how to buy your first home and also how to understand and purchase stocks and shares with each of the chapters broken down into clear and practical elements.

I really enjoyed this book, found it very easy to read and understand from a wide variety of reader backgrounds and knowledge levels – and strongly recommend it particularly to those with older children/university aged adults around that are looking for that first book for financial knowledge.

A great UK based book that aims to give the reader the basics to enter and start their financial journey’s with confidence.

Unshakeable by Tony Robbins

As a follow up to his hugely successful Money: Master the Game book a few years ago, Unshakeable aims to break down the fundamental elements of investing for financial independence for any reader.

I am a huge lover of Tony’s books and mindset/success strategies techniques, knowing they have worked effectively in my own life for sure – and this book is one that I keep returning to for the first hand investing knowledge that you only get from someone who helps others achieve great things with money and business.

Although US based with it’s advice, I strongly recommend this when you are confident with the stock market terms and jargon – but a book that will give you more confidence in any investing decision you make that helps you on your journey towards security and stability.

The Abundance Project by Derek Randall

The Abundance Project is about having more than enough in every area of your life—more than enough money, time, love, creativity, happiness—regardless of the circumstances you’ve been through or are currently facing.

I am a huge fan of Derek’s podcast every week, wholesome and uplifting for those seeking a spiritual element to their lives and also focusing on the good they already have whilst creating more of what they want.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book with many step by step techniques that allow you to focus on being present in the moment, whilst driving your thoughts and focus to creating more of your goals and setting actions each day.

A wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone looking to explore mindset and successful living strategies for builder a bigger more fulfilling picture for their future.

The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder

Catherine’s books are considered some of the greatest texts on Prosperity and Abundance from recent decades, and this book is currently my favourite.

Filled with practical real life examples of ordinary people using the power of their minds, affirmations and thoughts to design the life they want – this book speaks clearly and boldly to help us take control of our lives and shape them to include the elements of money, health and business we want in them moving forward.

I especially enjoy many of the wonderful affirmations that Catherine conveys to beautifully throughout the text, with each chapter focusing on a particular mindset skill in order to encourage abundance and prosperity in your life.

A great book that I use as a textbook often to reference for thoughts and inspiration on basic daily techniques that I can use to remind myself of the best possible that I and others can achieve.

Looking for more books to read and enjoy?

Feel free to check out my top 30 Personal Development books in the below link that I truly believe will change your life.

Enjoy these books – CHECK OUT my 30 Books that will change your life Blog Post
Reading is one of the most common daily habits of Self-Made Millionaires and Billionaires, and for good reason as it will shape your mind with ideas and promptings outside of your current experiences.
Don’t forget also your local library will have an option to read any of these books for free, and even some local areas can allow you to download the E-book version in the same way!

*Some links above are Affiliate book links should you purchase from Amazon

You can even purchase my own book here at Amazon, sharing 26 Principles that will help you create your ultimate Money Mindset and achieve total financial and time freedom once and for all in your life.

Join my exclusive E-newsletter list here for workbooks, news and more….
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The post My Favourite Books – June 2019 appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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Welcome to our monthly “Share it All” Family Household Spending and Saving Report (A REAL FAMILY BUDGET YOU CAN COPY THAT WORKS TOO!).

My mission for this blog is help others work towards financial and time freedom, and that means putting your money to smarter spending, smarter saving and then making sure you do some smarter living along with it.

So below you will find the exact tools and strategies I use with my family’s incomes for doing just that and our progress towards our ultimate goals.

Feel free to copy and use these for your own family, and I would love if you would like to share your budgets to compare using the hashtag #realfamilybudget too.

DISCLAIMER – all information given is not intended to act as financial advice for your unique situation. 

Before changing any money strategy or investing, please ensure you are comfortable with all the costs and risks and ensure you are fully responsible for your actions.  This is your money, and my family’s situation will be different to yours – so use your own judgement wisely.

Some links below are affiliate links, which means I receive a very small percentage of the profits if you purchase the items mentioned. 

We budget to Zero with our Spending Report

I rename our Household Budget our “Spending Report” as how we use language in our descriptions of anything can affect the emotions that it brings within us.

We all are very fortunate to have homes and food to eat, better than 99% of the world, and when we focus on using our money to send it different places for our benefit that is when we feel positive about what we are creating.

I’m a huge believer in the Law of Attraction and believe that when we have a purpose to our spending, which is what a Budget really is, then this will allow more opportunities to come to us for showing more attention to where the money goes to.

In my Spending report, I use every last penny each month sending it to a specific fund or place – such as Investments/Savings, our retirement money and then how we spend it with our family and fun time.

I like to sit down at the start of every month and roughly plan how we will use the money in each allocation – such as family fun money – so that we can really plan how we will use it and use it well.

Our Long term Goals

I take what I say and preach on this blog about creating a life of financial freedom and security, to create the balance of time and lifestyle of your dreams, very seriously.

Our family are working towards that very goal, and we are on target to hit it within the next 10 years, to retire early and live off our side businesses and investment increases.

In fact, with the power of compound interest and extra hard work than normal – it might be even sooner than that!

Our family knows the exact amount of money in Investments we need to reach in order to live off the interest payments indefinitely, and it isn’t rocket science.

You can calculate your value as your goal too here.

For any financial goal, whether it be to pay off debt like we have (we paid off £22k of credit card debt in the past few years alone with these strategies learnt) once you have the exact amount to work towards it will start to become reality as you take action towards it.

Want to know how to create your own Spending Report?

Check out one of my latest videos that explains how to start creating Spending Reports/Budgets so you can work towards goals such as retiring early, paying off that debt and creating your dream life and much more.

How to Start a Budget UK - Budgeting for Beginners - with AmyBeingMum - YouTube

Our 2019 Money Goals

We have a few buckets of money goals this year ahead, to keep us on track to hit our financial freedom long term goal but also so that we can live life comfortable and plan for the future.

This includes saving each month towards a bucket of money for Christmas and Home improvements, Insurance bills etc.

Then we are planning on holidays throughout the year and next, so we have a budget goal for that account.

Finally, we have an emergency account that is being created at the moment.  This is an account with roughly 3-6 months of expenses so that if we wish to change any aspect of our lives, we can do so without the risk of running out of living costs.

It’s then our job to recover those incomes within that time.

I should say that if you follow my Budget planning video, you will know that we apply a 10% additional payment to our Mortgage and Car payments, so that we will pay those off earlier than forecasted but also it allows a buffer if we needed to remortgage to a lower monthly amount if we were unemployed for any reason – and not lose our home!

What budget style do I use?  The Money Stacks Method

With so many different money strategies out there, I found it confusing and difficult to design life on our terms for the long term.

That is why I created a blend of the very best budgeting strategies out there and advice, and it is called the Money Stacks Method.

You can find my full blog post and video explaining this strategy here:

THE MONEY STACKS SYSTEM - Money Management that WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE - YouTube

In this video you will see me use a beautiful Busy days Planner and Family Planner from Boxclever Press, that were kindly gifted to me, for a paper copy of my budget to have to hand and then I also use my electronic spreadsheets called the Autopilot Money System to track our Budget in detail, Savings percentages for our Money Stacks categories, our Net worth P&L and our Financial freedom retirement date calculation.

You can pick your own copy for your family here on my Etsy store:

Our June 2019 Budget

Start of the month, our main savings amounts go straight out on autopilot standing orders to our budgets so that we save without even questioning it.

We pay our future selves first, investing in our financial freedom and retirement, then use the rest to have fun and live life.

This means even our investments are calculated and paid at the start of the month, so that we are not tempted to spend that money first.

Our Food & Petrol money account and our Family Fun money is then our free money to manage the rest of the month as we see fit.

The goal is to spend it on things that bring us joy, and it isn’t a challenge to make sure we have some left over.

Any left over from these money accounts though at the end of the month is usually transferred to our Emergency Goal account or Invested.

Then we start over the next month on a zero budget afresh.

How did we do this month?

Here is the screenshot of our Family money stats from May achieved, and also our Money Stacks percentages currently.

I’ve also added in some extra data to my spreadsheet – How much money we are generating with our investments for the future.

You can see that by using rough estimates of return of investments percentages of 5% and 9.8%, by tracking the age that we can be financially free is inspiring.

I’ve also listed how much monthly money I have added to our family’s “retirement” budget if we SAVED NOTHING MORE and let that amount sit there and generate interest until I was 55.

The month those amounts for our “predicted” (as nothing is guaranteed in stocks and investments) monthly increase amounts if we stopped paying into our investments took a jump up which was exciting to see.

You can catch the full video of my budgeting for the month ahead here:

BUDGET WITH ME June 2019 (using Money Stacks Method Monthly Budget) - YouTube

The post June 2019 Budget with Me – Our family’s actual budget and savings shared appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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One of the most fundamental ways you can revolutionise and turn around your financial habits and status is by switching from paying by cards/Apple Pay all the time to handling as much of your life as possible in cash.

If you have ever heard of the “Cash Envelopes System” mentioned on various Dave Ramsey money management inspired communities, you will know that people are very much completely IN LOVE with Cash envelopes or turn the other cheek to their power for money management.

I’m here today to show you how I set up a Cash Envelope System for my family of 4 when I am budgeting, and use it regularly as part of our Financial and life Goal habits.

The Cash Envelope System, or using Cash Envelopes to manage your money and spending every week or month, really is where you work out how much of a budget you have for particular spending areas of your life and then withdraw the physical money to spend.

Once the money runs out in your envelope, that is it until the next time you have planned to top it up!

Simple but effective, and I’m here to show you how I create a system for my own family and why I feel it works really well when you need some discipline for your purchasing powers and saving goals.

Let me share with you the step by step process to creating your own system, and how it can change your financial life forever.

** DISCLAIMER – my blog and youtube channel are for information purposes only, and do not act as financial advice for every individual.  Before changing any financial habit or investing, please ensure you are completely comfortable with your choices – it’s YOUR MONEY after all!

How I budget for my family

Budgeting can seem like a swear word to most people, and when you mention the word feelings of restriction and hardship seem to jump to the forefront of our minds.

However, budgeting or really having a “financial plan and direction” for your hard-earned income every month really is the only way that you will design life on your terms and allow you to create the life of your dreams.

Before we start thinking about using cash envelopes, you ABSOLUTELY MUST have completed a basic budget or spending report for your income to outgoings for ideally each pay day.

This means for every time you are paid, whether once a month/once every four weeks/once a week, you know how much of your money is for bills and then how much you have left over to use for the other areas of your life.

I follow the Money Stacks Method for our money management, where we split our income into our Essentials (Bills and living outgoings including food and transport); Long Term Saving Goals; Financial Freedom savings accounts; Fun money (guilt free spending); Giving to others; and finally money for Education & Growth as a family.

You can find out more about this Method which I created and has changed our lives for the better here:

THE MONEY STACKS SYSTEM - Money Management that WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE - YouTube

I then sit down with my AutoPilot Money Spreadsheets and detail every planned bill/outgoing for the month ahead and use past information on our eating/travel to approximate the money we will need to allow us to live comfortable for the month.

You can see how I set up my Budget every month on my channel and blog with my “Budget with Me” series, for example here.

I have been creating a budget now for over 6 years, starting it when we faced getting rid of nearly £24k worth of credit card debt and we needed to do things smarter.

It is now the only way that I can imagine managing our money, and as they say – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

If you are struggling with Debt, you might find the below video useful to you right now to learn some excellent strategies to change your financial future once and for all:

Credit Card Debt - How to get rid of it FAST - YouTube

How to save money consistently as a habit for life

The greatest advice I can give you here is EARN MORE THAN YOU SPEND.

If you are living with struggles of spending more than you earn consistently every pay cycle, you will be your own downfall (as the famous Motivational Coach Jim Rohn used to say) and will probably love trying this cash only method to really hold yourself accountable for spending.

I use the cash envelope system only on a few budget categories within our life – this is our Food & Transport budget and our Fun (guilt free) money as a family.

Our Education & Growth, Giving, Long Term Savings and Financial Freedom savings are contained within online accounts that I can access when we need them.  I find that these spending areas of our life tend to be more online choices and easier for us to save up towards larger goals if held in an online account out of our way.

For Giving in particular, we often will feel inspired to give during the month and I will take the money from our account via transfer on my banking app to a debit account and then make the payment.

A money system that allows you to make better choices!

Having a physical and visual system for your money allows the relationship with money to change in your life.

Once you can see exactly how much money you have left for the time period, say a week ahead, and every transaction you make then has a consequence that you can physically see in front of you – it allows you to second check every financial purchase you make within some reason.

It turns a electronic or paper list of numbers in a budget “ideal” sheet to a very real source of energy within your life, and often this is why people swear by this system to change the relationship with money forever.

With everything, the first time you attempt to create a cash handling system it might not be perfect, but the key is to continue to use it for at least a month if you can to feel the effect of the change in your life for the better.

I talk in particular about the Energy of Money and using Cash in my book, the Master Money Blueprint, as a resource for changing and designing our life rather than the master of it.

This is just one of the 26 life-changing principles and techniques that I go into more detail that I believe will help you if you currently feel stressed or overwhelmed with your financial status right now.

Start with your budget 

So first, start with your budget on paper or electronically.

As a family, our essential bills are ALL Direct Debit payments straight from our Bills current account taken out the 1st of the month.

I’ve set it up this way so that from the 3rd of each month approximately all we have left in our Bills account is left over money except for one further bill – our cat pet insurance which comes out middle of the month.

We use a Zero-based budget system, which means that it can be scary when you see your money go down to zero in your bills account as soon as you are paid every month – but every pound is allocated to a spending area.

If you are new to budgeting, you might find the below links useful to click on:

How to create a 80/20 Budget

How to create a Budget that works – Step By Step

How to create a Baby Steps Budget – Dave Ramsey style money management

Catagorise your Spending

Now we have an outline of how much we are budgeting for each of the categories ahead such as Food and Transport and Fun money, I then take this amount and create a weekly total spend amount (basically our monthly budget amounts on the sheet divided by either 4 or 5 weeks depending on the month size).

For me, I do not like to carry large amounts of money around with me and so a weekly cash envelope system works best for how I like to manage my money.

I like the thrill of weekly topping up the envelopes, rather than waiting for each pay day and allows me to manage our spending better and more spread out.

Sometimes when we have a monthly amount, which is a huge amount of time really, that is when the bad habits of spending more than we should at the start and then having to live on crumbs towards the end.

A weekly cash envelope system allows me to keep control better in my opinion.

If we have money left over, we then carry it over to the next week OR I choose to transfer the money into our savings/Long term goals online accounts.

It really is up to you how you manage any surplus money every week or month, but very exciting none the less to have this happen even when you have had a great week together as a family.

Only use the money in that particular envelope

This seems like a no-brainer but really become strict with yourself about what qualifies for using your cash in each category envelope.

I personally merge our Food & Transport and Fun money together as one total amount for the week, and then once it is gone, it’s gone!

Keeping this in my purse is easy for me, as I can physically see what we have to spend for the week ahead prioritising food and petrol for life and work to happen without any issues.

You can absolutely create your own envelopes using good old plain paper or plastic holders, and be sure to label each of them with the specific budget section they are for – such as Food, Petrol, Fun, Giving for example.

My top tips for Cash Envelopes

  1. Break down your income into weekly spending budgets for your cash envelopes to keep the fun and momentum of the system refreshing regularly for you.
  2. Don’t be tempted to pull money from another envelope – try your best to keep exactly to the amounts and IF you need more over a consistent period of time (such as 1-2 months needing more) you need to look at changing your budget for that category for sure.  It must be realistic!
  3. Take only the envelopes you need with you on outings.  Don’t feel the need to carry all the cash envelopes with you every time you go fill up your car.  Plan and use the money every day and keep surplus cash to a limit!
  4. Set a financial goal and purpose for your spending behind the scenes.  Cash envelopes work wonders for people looking to change habits, and set a goal (such as cash flowing a holiday rather than on credit) in the background to reward your new habits.
  5. Review all budget regularly for envelopes and in general.  Don’t assume that your first budget works for every month of the year or FOR LIFE.  Review and study your spending patterns at least once every 3 months so you are accurate and keeping up with daily living costs of food and petrol in your area for example.
  6. Get your partner and family on board too! This can be a tough one, but try to encourage every family member to support your system.  There is nothing worse than trying to spend on a debit card when you have taken the money out as cash already.  Don’t let this system cause any pain but explaining the reason and purpose for the new habit, and allow them time to see the benefits you create.
Stuffing my cash envelopes – it becomes fun to manage money!

Venturing on Youtube these days and the world of watching people “Stuff their envelopes” can be found with a huge audience! Crazy right?!

But in all seriousness, the feeling you will get from using cash and preparing your budget every pay day or week (if you are like me) allows you to be first of all thankful for the money and resources for living life right now, and also the chance to see money really as a tool to design your life.

A great tip is to get your family and young ones involved in the process of each week setting up the envelopes with you, show them that money can be fun and a resource to be appreciated rather than feared.

As mention my family work with a weekly amount for our cash envelopes as I feel more confident with a limited spend of 7 days rather than a full month ahead – but really it is up to you.

Take this method and adapt it as you see fit – but for us, it allowed us to create the fun back with money and be accountability for what we truly were spending on things.

It makes it ten times harder to overspend if you physically can’t see the money after all!

Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?

With my Tried and Tested Principles, we can change your financial life around completely in just 1 week.

Get your FREE WORKBOOK straight to your Inbox
Email Address *

First Name *

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Pensions in the UK seem to be the one topic that you either are passionate about, or pretend to ignore and put your head in the sand believing that the “Government State Pension” will allow you to live life comfortable in those far away years to come.

One of my missions for this blog and my work is to help others create total financial freedom and security on their own, without relying on contributions from other sources, so that we can ensure that FEARLESS knowledge and mindset that we have everything as secure as we can make it should life change or we want to create it slightly differently.

That means we learn how to effectively use money as a tool to create wealth sooner than we think, and dare I say it – even retire from our day jobs if we create a plan and keep committed to the process whilst also allowing for life to naturally take its course.

** DISCLAIMER – any advice on my blog or youtube channel is for information purposes only and is not to be taken as financial advice for your situation.  My advice is based on my own knowledge, understanding, goals and preferences for risk and therefore not unique to every individual.  If you seek to invest in a pension or investments in general, please ensure you understand that investments can go up and down and therefore there are no guaranteed outcomes for your money.  If in any doubt, before making any financial decisions for your future, seek out a financial adviser.   My hope is that you can learn the tools and skills so you are confident in your choices too. **

How do Pensions work?

If you are unsure about Pensions and what they are, I recommend you check out my latest blog post and video to get familiar with the general terms and reasons why a Pension should part of your financial future strategy.

If you are Self-employed or already have a workplace pension you are automatically enrolled in, remember you can also have a Private pension and receive the same tax efficiencies up to the total of £40k invested per person per year over all your pensions.

In this post, I will be showing you step by step how to set up your own Private Pension using PensionBee.

This is NOT A SPONSORED POST OR ADVERT

I just really like their product and services mainly as they allow you to transfer existing pensions to them quickly and easily; allow you to see your pension pot with immediate access via their app and overall believe that everyone should have a pension that is easy to understand for their future.

When should you set up a pension and pay into it?

Start as early as you can! 

If you take one piece of advice from this, it is all about the magic of compound interest and why small amounts over a long period of time allow you to grow your wealth for your retirement exponentially.

I use a Pension contribution as part of my pre-tax financial plan where my employer makes contributions and I also make a salary sacrifice every month from my top line earnings (before tax is taking from the amount earned).

The other part of my future planning for our earlier than normal retirement and financial freedom is using Investment ISAs (using our money to invest in the stock market for higher than normal returns using index & mutual funds) and you can find out more about why I love investing in these articles:

Investing for Beginners UK 

Opening an Investment ISA with Vanguard (Step by Step Tutorial)

Stock Market for Beginners

Who can open a Private Pension?

If you’re selfemployed, you can set up a personal pension to save for your retirement.

You can add regular contributions or make ad hoc payments into yourselfemployed pension, and your pension provider will claim tax relief and add it to your pension pot.

If you are employed as well, you can have your company’s pension plan from your pre-tax wages as normal and then use a Private Pension for further income sources from the age 55 years.

If you are thinking of opening a Private pension and believe it is the right decision for you and your financial path ahead, we both could earn £50 as a thank you from PensionBee using the below URL:

http://refer.pensionbee.com/mQfbfqN

What are the benefits of a Private Pension?

One of the most obvious is really that you will have access to more diversified investment options for your money compared to regular banking accounts or workplace pensions.

Generally a workplace pension will have very few choices for your investments, due to the company selected to provide the service for the many employees as a whole.

With a private pension however that you set up yourself, you can hand-pick exactly what you wish to invest in and how you wish to diversify that selection with payments and funds.

You will receive tax relief on any amounts placed into your pension up to the personal yearly limit (monthly or ad-hoc) and will allow you to have greater control on how your money is invested and the risk level of that investment/possible return on your money.

With any investments though, there is a risk that your money will be worth less than you place into it – but generally we can assume that a return of 3-5% year on year growth is likely with our investments.

Should you die before you reach 75 years old, the pension pot is then given to your dependents as a tax free amount OR the pension can be paid as an income to the nominated reciprocate.

Before making your final choice for a Private pension, I recommend checking out this great post on Money.co.uk with the top UK Private pension options.

Calculate how much of a Pension Pot you need

I really loved playing around with the Pension Calculator tool in particular on the PensionBee site and you can find it here.

For example, if we took the UK average of £29k wage and assumed that a person would roughly need a pension income of £20k (roughly 2/3 of their working wage) to pay for living expenses and enjoy life (assuming no mortgage or children to care for by the age of 65 years ideally) it worked out for me that I would need to invest in my pension around £690 a month from ages 35 to 65 years without fail.

That equals to roughly 29% of my take home pre-tax wage every month alone!

An amount by no means common-place with most mid-thirty year olds I’m sure, and staggering to think that most of us really are not set for the income we probably need or wish in retirement.

The time to act for our financial future is now!

I found there tool to show the average pension for your local area really fascinating too – for example in Scotland where I live the average pension income is £12k with only 32% of the working population making regular contributions!

That is shocking to see that over two thirds of working age are relying on the State Pension of currently around £550 a month to live on as their source of income in the future!

Know your Pension charges and fees

Before we get started on setting up a pension, whenever you are researching this critical area of your financial journey and future – be sure to look at the fine print on the pension charges and fees.

With ANY type of investment, you will pay the provider, insurance company or bank a fee for them setting up your investment with them and for them to keep it for you.

I like PensionBee as they have ONE total fee for using their services completely, whereas some companies can charge you set-up fees (moving your pension to them), holding fees, inactivity fees (if you stop making contributions at any point before retirement), exit fees and the list goes on and on.

The lower the fees and charges can literally keep you THOUSANDS and YEARS OF INCOME in your pocket.

For example, if you are making 5% return on your pension pot every year, but the investment firm is charging you 2% fee to manage this for you – then guess what, you only actually receive around 3% rate of return and effectively losing nearly a half of your potential profits. 

Keep that repeating year and year as the pot of money grows and this could mean your pot and income is dramatically reduce due to that one charge taken from you.

With PensionBee, you pay between 0.50% and 0.95% depending on the plan you choose, which we’ll automatically deduct from your pension pot.

If your pot size is larger than £100,000 we’ll halve the fee on the portion of your savings over this amount.

For me those levels of fees are suitable for our return potentials and future income, and a reason why I decided to go with them for our private pensions currently.

How to set up a Private Pension (Step by Step)

In this video, I am going to talk you through how we used PensionBee to find previous employer pensions to be combined in one place for a new Private Pension, and then how to set up a plan and payments.

It really is very straight forward, and for me is one of the simplest ways to get the benefits of tax relief and diversification on our future planning for the age of 55 years and over.

As with any investment and your financial future, if you are unable in any way of what to invest in with your money – please feel free to contact a Financial Adviser to talk you through your full options to match your lifestyle and goals.

This blog and youtube post is meant only for information purposes only based on what my family has chosen, and one size doesn’t fit all!

Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?

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The post How to set up a Private Pension with PensionBee appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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Pensions in the UK seem to be the one topic that you either are passionate about, or pretend to ignore and put your head in the sand believing that the “Government State Pension” will allow you to live life comfortable in those far away years to come.

One of my missions for this blog and my work is to help others create total financial freedom and security on their own, without relying on contributions from other sources, so that we can ensure that FEARLESS knowledge and mindset that we have everything as secure as we can make it should life change or we want to create it slightly differently.

That means we learn how to effectively use money as a tool to create wealth sooner than we think, and dare I say it – even retire from our day jobs if we create a plan and keep committed to the process whilst also allowing for life to naturally take its course.

When we are young, it is easy to dismiss pensions or financial freedom savings as being boring, and not relevant – but I’m here to show you WHY this particular portion of your money towards your future life is the most critical skill you can learn from as young an age as possible.

** DISCLAIMER – any advice on my blog or youtube channel is for information purposes only and is not to be taken as financial advice for your situation.  My advice is based on my own knowledge, understanding, goals and preferences for risk and therefore not unique to every individual.  If you seek to invest in a pension or investments in general, please ensure you understand that investments can go up and down and therefore there are no guarenteed outcomes for your money.  If in any doubt, before making any financial decisions for your future, seek out a financial advisor.   My hope is that you can learn the tools and skills so you are confident in your choices too. **

How do Pensions work?

A pension is a financial product where you save money regularly or place lump sums so that eventually the total amount over time will allow you to draw a “wage” for your living expenses when you choose not to work any more.  Currently in the UK, the age you can start to take monthly income from your pension is as young as 55 years.

The money saved into the pension is invested, which some people have no clue about surprising, typically into funds that hold shares or bonds, and grows over the years to deliver a retirement pot.

Most people will have a pension through their workplace as there are tax benefits associated with a pension contribution made every year from your salary.

Typically, it is your responsibility to select how much of your salary you wish to place into your pension (before tax) every month HOWEVER the current Government laws have changed that this must be a minimum of 8%.

The Government will give you tax relief on any money placed into a pension, so effectively you are drawing it straight from your Gross salary rather than net in your pocket with everyone getting 20% on top of your contributions automatically as a minimum.

Higher tax bracket payers can then claim up to 40% relief for higher earnings.

  • If you are a basic rate taxpayer, for every £100 you save into pension, the Government adds £25 in tax relief, making a total of £125.
  • If you are a higher rate taxpayer, for every £100 you save, £67 is added, making a total of £167.

Currently the limit is £40k for pension contributions per person for tax relief purposes, and a lifetime limit on the total pension pot of £1million.

If you go above these values, you will face large tax charges making a pension financially not the best place for your money.

If your employer offers matched contributions or better, TAKE THAT MONEY AND GET THAT FREE PAY RISE!

Most employers will also give you matched or BETTER contributions on your pension payments as they receive benefits as a business for placing money into this scheme rather than giving it as a wage.

If your company holds a private pension, and makes contributions in some way – PLEASE TAKE AS MUCH OF THAT MONEY AND SMILE! 

Any form of contributions to your pension are FREE MONEY on top of your wages that you are not having to earn, and therefore all adding up to a more financial secure future for you.

This is the one piece of advice that will allow you to build up your pension and retirement pot far quickly than your own contributions, and allow with many years of compounding interest the pot to grow to a good amount.

What are our investment choices with a Workplace pension?

Right now, you should be automatically enrolled into a pension plan through your employer for 8% of your wage, unless you say you wish to be opted out.

Your workplace will usually have selected a Pension provider company for you, and give you a few basic fund choices to select from.

Generally, Pension companies due to their nature have to ensure that you will have an income in future years from them so pension charges will be reasonably low due to the large amount of people pooled together to use the same pension provider.

What are Private Pensions?

If you wish more choices and options, you would be best to consider starting a Private pension (or SIPP as it is known as also) on top of your workplace pension.

A Private pension is where you have full control over your contributions and fund selection for investments, and you must ensure complete responsibility for your choices ahead and retirement potential income.

Personally I recommend exploring an Investment ISA (tax free savings up to £20k per person per year) for immediate access to your growing pot of money rather than having to wait until the age of 55 years or so as a minimum if I was considering an alternative to a Company Pension as a good place to start too.

This is of course my personal opinion, and the strategy I follow with my money is to max out my Pension contributions with my employer in my Employee Pension and then put an automatic amount every month invested via an Investment ISA (through Vanguard and you can read about how to do that here) to take advantage of further compounding interest and the stock market with our money for our financial freedom ahead.

If you are self-employed or wish to start your own private pension, then there are many good UK companies out there that allow you to do this very easily.

Since 2006, there has been no restriction on the number of different pension schemes that you can belong to, although you can only have the total of £40k in your pension pot contributions every year as mentioned.

What is the difference between the State Pension and Personal ones?

To get the basic State Pension you must have paid or been credited with National Insurance contributions for at least 30 years, which means you have had to have paid National Insurance contributions via your workplace, received National Insurance credits (unemployment benefit etc) and made voluntary contributions.

If you have fewer than 30 years payments, then you will receive a portion of the full State Pension.

It is worth remembering that the State Pension is currently available to those over the age of 65, but predictions are that down the years this age will move towards 70 years with the possibility of means testing for those who receive it.

To be very honest, I would say that the State Pension should be looked as a top up amount when we hit retirement rather than a basis for our monthly income – there is just no financial guarantees that our Government will be able to afford it with an aging population and quantity of people who will require it as time goes on.

How do I actually get my pension income?

Under current legislation, you can start to draw your pension income from the age of 55 and you don’t have to stop work to draw benefits.

Up to 25% of your accumulated fund can be withdrawn as a tax-free cash lump sum with the balance used to provide an income.

The amount of income you receive depends on the options that you select.

We have a few options to us with pensions – you can have either defined benefit or defined contribution schemes.  Let me explain what that actually means in simple terms with your money and how you receive income to live off.

First of all you can choose to take a 25% tax free lump sum from your pension at age 55 years onwards, for example if you wished to pay off your mortgage completely or use that money to create income (Via investments potentially).  If you take more than 25% then you will pay tax on the amount above that threshold.

You have basically purchase an “income” via an Annuity provider or insurance company, giving you a guaranteed income OR you can keep the money invested and remove an income every month based on the pension pot available.

This is called Drawdown.  While you’re making withdrawals from your pension fund, the remainder of your fund continues to be invested, giving it the potential for growth.

However, the value of your fund or funds, can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed, so you may not get back what you have invested.

In terms of Annuity incomes, there are many variations to choose from including an income that stays the same for the rest of your life; an income that increases with inflation every year; one that can be split with a dependent and further choices regarding set term payments for 5/10/15 years to yourself or dependent.

How much of a pension could you have to live off?

The average person if the UK earns roughly £29,588 based on current statistics, and if you are taking the automatic enrollment with your company’s pension of 8% overall contribution that equals to a total of £98 a month from yourself and £197 total monthly from all contributions.

If we throw that into a Pension calculator, for example the Nutmeg one I found online here, with a current starting age of 35 years and wishing to retire at age 65 years, we would only receive an additional £450 of pension a month to live on on top of the state pension (if one still is available by the time we reach that age).

Personally I don’t even know if that would cover basic eating and travel for a couple for one month if they lived in an expensive part of the UK like London and local areas.

This is a real problem, and one that most people don’t understand they need to solve quickly and as soon as possible for their financial journey ahead.

If we want to match our current wage, we would need to place £1100 a month into our pension for the next 30 years ahead without fail, roughly 44% OF OUR TAKE HOME PAY EVERY MONTH just to match what we have now even without inflation of 30 years against us!

That kind of math just doesn’t add up for me, and why I say that we need to be smarter and work in combination with our savings.

However, remember that by that age hopefully we are living off much less money than we are currently with our home completely paid for and no debts ideally.

What is best to do to make sure you are set for retirement with style?

Really, for me and this is not personal advice for anyone directly, I without doubt always take any free contributions to my pension from an employer to maximize the free money available.

My wage every month is then based on maxing out this contribution, and knowing that I am getting that pay rise (sometimes up to a further 10-15% contributions on top of your own) without me having to exchange time for money.

Check out my notes on Cash Flow Quadrant to know why this is important!

Then I follow the Money Stacks Method for our money which sees 10% of our post tax monthly income as a minimum placed into investments that we have access to much earlier than 55 years via an Investment ISA.

I would also set the goal to know exactly how much money you need in an investment portfolio to live off the interest generated every year for live, allowing you to be financially free and choose to work or not.

If we were to put aside 10% of our income every month in index linked funds with low costs and charges, receiving roughly 8-9% return on growth over the long term every year which the S&P500 index has received on average the past 50 years – it would take us roughly 22 years to generate a passive income from the investment that we could match our current wage.

That means the average 35 year old then could retire by age 57 years and not have to rely on the State pension or a private pension for income matching what they have now.

If we received between 5-6% return on investment instead, more conservative, it would take around 33 years to age 68 but that is then living passively on the income completely without a State or private pension on top!

Increase your savings rate of course to 20% of your post tax income, and that time becomes 24 years or age 59 years for that modest return of 5-6% year on year growth to live financially free.

Start at age 25 years, growth of 5-6% with 20% of your income saved in investments – you are financially free approximately at age 49 ready to travel and do whatever you want whilst everyone else is waiting to have their pension age come around.

This is why compound interest really is the eighth wonder of the world and how it can change your life!

If you are thinking of opening a Private pension and believe it is the right decision for you and your financial path ahead, we both could earn £50 as a thank you from PensionBee using the below URL:

http://refer.pensionbee.com/mQfbfqN

(Note that this URL is a unique Refer-a-friend code for myself, we both receive £50 into our pensions as a thank you gift, so if you are ok with that the click away!)

I will be sharing shortly on my channel and blog how to set up a Private Pension with PensionBee too.

Ready to start a journey to mastering your money?

I love and use my own financial freedom, budgeting, debt repayment and Net worth calculator spreadsheets every single week with my family as we track our progress towards financial freedom.

You can find my tools here to use with your own family too:

Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?

With my Tried and Tested Principles, we can change your financial life around completely in just 1 week.

Get your FREE WORKBOOK straight to your Inbox
Email Address *

First Name *

The post Pensions UK Explained – How do Pensions work? appeared first on Mamafurfur.

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