Meet your money

Welcome to CashintheKitty. I’m Eliza, and I’ve only recently begun to meet my money. I’m 34 and just a regular average Irish thirty-something. What exactly is that though?

Well I’m married with 2 kids, a mortgage, a cat, a Volkswagen Passat, a lawnmower etc.. Up until a month ago, I have literally been gliding through my financial life. That’s not to say I have not budgeted, planned, saved, penny-pinched and enjoyed the fulfillment having some spending power because of a decent income. I suppose I had only been vaguely aware that there was an alternative financial path available – the path of smart financial saving and investing those savings-  but it seemed shrouded in mystery and never spoken about – the realm only of those driving fancy SUVs  with dark tinted windows.

Ok, stereotypes aside, the truth is simply this – I knew nothing about investing, I thought I was being smart with money but I was doing things like:

-Throwing out lots of waste food

-Giving clothes to second hand stores because I just didn’t *like* them anymore

-Getting takeaway food 3 times a week

-Not looking at price stickers in the supermarket

-Walk past ‘sale rails’ in stores simply because they were messy and hard to go through.

-Buying lunch and coffees everyday at work

And lots more along this vein, I think you get the picture.

The truth is, I had a very good wage as an IT professional and combined with my husband’s, we had a lot of disposable income. All we wanted at that time was a house, and we saved with this in mind. The truth is though that we wasted an awful lot of money. If I could give myself a giant kick up the arse now I would. If we had been diligently saving and investing, living frugally and not wastefully, we would be in a much better position now.

So, where are we now?

Well 8 months ago, I left my job with voluntary redundancy. We saved two thirds. From the remainder, we shared some with family and took a *relatively* small sum each for ‘our last big treats’. We then apportioned out an amount to cover 2 years of monthly supplements to Mr. Kitty’s wage so I could stay home for a couple of years while the kids are small (both under 5), according to our now lower monthly budget. Here we are 10 months later and that 2 years of supplement was gone after 6 months because we didn’t actually adjust our spending.

Ah, what fools we have been. Now the 2 year stay-at-home plan is in jeopardy. We are going to have to buckle down to get it to work.

All this got me thinking that there has to be a smarter way to live, and I started to look into how I could get my money working for me. Flashbacks to my Leaving Cert business class (thanks Mr. Leahy) about banks, interest and stocks and shares made me realize I hadn’t really thought about this stuff seriously in almost half my life. I decided it’s time to meet my money properly.  Instead of just seeing the paper and coins in my hand as spending power for here and now, to find ways to save it, to live frugally, to learn how to invest it and to get it working for our future.

After reading a few retirement and frugal living blogs it’s now clear that a smarter financial path is open to to every single individual who earns or owns money, regardless of how much that is. Not only that, but I’ve been walking around with my eyes shut to all the financial opportunities around me and to how much I really need to learn to secure my, my husband’s and my children’s future.

Meet your money

I’ve started this blog with a desire to pass on what I’m learning on my route to financial independence with the hope of being able to retire early, so that anyone like me who has come late to the party can speed through some of the lessons I’ve been learning so that you too can meet your money and get it working for you. It’s my hope that we can learn and share together on this blog to help everyone improve their financial situation. Then we might all have more than some cash in the kitty.

Are you already financially savvy? Or like me, getting on that road and have learnings to share? Please comment any tips you have below!

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