finance

'We saved tens of thousands in one year': Jaz and Reid had a 12-month baby budget that worked.

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When Adelaide couple Jaz and Reid first met, they had no idea that their relationship would turn into a “life” together.

In those early days, they didn’t have to think about planning for big things. But, as things got more serious, so did the reality of being financially ready for it.

They both had personal debt that they managed to clear, and once they had a solid grasp on their finances, they bought a house together.

Things seemed “on track” and they didn’t think they needed any financial guidance. Until one thing came along to change the engaged couple’s mind: the impending birth of their now one-year-old, Jack.

“We were planning and ‘doing’ a life together – but we hadn’t combined finances,” Jaz explains to Mamamia. “We wanted help to do that, and then to take those combined finances to the next level. We thought, ‘We can’t be having a baby and still have different accounts personally’.

“We always had healthy savings, but now had someone we needed to plan for.”

Jaz, 31, who’s in sales, and Reid, 35, a construction supervisor, had been together for four-and-a-half years.

When Jaz was 21 weeks’ pregnant, she and Reid decided they had to do something to grow their savings to prepare for their new life. They had a good friend who knew a lot about that – Tammy Barton, the founder of personal budgeting service MyBudget.

Jaz was initially reluctant to seek the services of MyBudget, as she was concerned about having to sacrifice her lifestyle (a very valid worry for a lot of parents!).

“I still wanted to shop,” she says. “We wanted to renovate our house and go on a holiday.

“I didn’t want to be restricted, because we’d already worked hard to get where we were. I wanted to still enjoy what we’ve worked for.

“I didn’t know about the potential structure it would involve, and I was apprehensive about it.”

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Jaz and Reid had all the expenses new parents have - but they were prepared. Image: Supplied.
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Nerves about personal finances and how to structure budgets are more common than you think. Recently, MyBudget surveyed 1000 Australians for their 20th anniversary report, and found that 49 per cent of people think about money more than they do about sex.

For women in particular, money worries are front of mind. From the survey, 60 per cent of women said they worry about money "frequently", as opposed to 47 per cent of men.

There are many reasons for this, whether it be a consequence of the gender pay gap, saving for maternity leave or steering the ship of a family and/or a business.

For Jaz, her worries were settled once she had a 12-month budgeting plan in place, covering off both current expenses and future goals. If she'd done it without professional advice, the results wouldn't have been nearly as remarkable.

“We saved tens of thousands of dollars in one year,” she says.

“We wanted to save as much money as we could in a short amount of time, and MyBudget helped us do that. We were blown away by how much money we saved, while still living how we wanted to.”

One of the features Jaz loved about the service was that it gives you an idea of where you’re going - it’s not just about ‘existing’.

“I loved the 12-month prediction of our finances,” Jaz shares. “We had our prediction on how much we could save, but they could give us more detail.”

For those worried about the work needed to even get to the first consultation, Jaz advises not to stress.

“At first, I thought it’s too hard, to get all the detail together. But they made the whole process really easy – they can do some of the dirty work for you. And it is so worth it.”

The couple has certainly come a long way from when they first met. But Jaz is sure they never could have come as far as they have since then were it not for MyBudget.

“People think I work for the company, I’m so passionate about how good it is,” Jaz laughs. “But if you want to get forward, MyBudget can help you get in front faster. You just need to shift your mindset and not think of the service as just being about debt.”

After getting on top of their baby budget, Jaz and Reid had two new goals they wanted to finance: a wedding and a holiday.

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But then, they decided they wanted something else – a puppy for Jack.

“We also bought a puppy, Arthur – and all expenses were budgeted for. So it didn’t feel like an extra expense, and something that would blow the budget out if there was an emergency.”

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Jack and Arthur. Image: Supplied.

The couple’s only debt is their mortgage, but Jaz explains that knowing they’re kicking their savings goals is a great feeling.

“MyBudget is setting us up for the future,” she says. “And more importantly, for Jack’s future.”

Jaz reveals as of this week, they’re also saving for someone else, because she’s 18 weeks pregnant.

“It was totally unplanned,” Jaz excitedly shares. “I just went back to work! But I feel more confident about our lifestyle during maternity leave after MyBudget.”

Jaz firmly believes using the service was the best thing they could have done for their savings.

“One thing I want people to know is even if you think you’re OK, experts can show you a way to do better.

“We live more comfortably now, and that peace of mind is priceless.”

If you're looking to take your savings up a notch or need help organising your budget ahead of a big lifestyle change like Jaz and Reid did, visit MyBudget.com.au to see what they can do for you.

MyBudget

No matter what your goal is—to save money, tackle debt, stop living week-to-week, sort out your finances or simply free up time—MyBudget is here to help. Visit mybudget.com.au to find out more

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