The concept itself contradicts the notion of ‘saving’ as a whole I know but, I think we may have stumbled upon another way to save more in the long run by spending a bit of money up front. Although, not an entirely new idea by us. People have been spending in order to save forever. I mean, solar panels are one way people spend money to save in the long run.
Here’s what we are currently working on spending and saving.
How’d We Get Here
The past couple months we’ve been in the tireless process of selling our first home and buying/moving into our forever family home. To say it was a stressful process would be an understatement.
Now that we are finally settled into our new home and can somewhat relax, enjoying the milestone we’ve reached we could do a couple things.
- Accept that we have a higher mortgage and move on
- Assess our budget and see what costs can be reduced to continue living comfortably
Accepting Our New, Higher Mortgage
We were lucky enough to have made a sizable return on the sale of our property that allowed us to clear all our first mortgage and personal loan debts before signing up for a second mortgage on the new house.
Doing so has actually saved us money to start off. Even though our overall debt is now higher, our total debt repayments are now lower since we only pay 1 loan (1 interest rate) instead of 3.
The personal loan debts we paid off had been hanging over our heads for almost a decade. To have paid them out and said goodbye to them was a fantastic feeling by the way!
Back to the point, now we have a larger mortgage, albeit with lower repayments our living expenses have actually been reduced. Every week we now have more money to put towards savings, and to be honest more money to have fun with our family!
So accepting our new higher mortgage isn’t entirely a bad idea. We are paying less, saving more.
Assessing Our Budget And See What Costs Can Be Reduced
With a new house comes new expenses. We had lived in our last property for 6+ years. We knew exactly how much it cost to run and exactly how much we would spend every pay cycle on the upkeep. A new house, with more space than our last means it will cost more to upkeep.
To compare, our last house was a small 3 bedroom that was perfect for Steph and I living together. With the arrival of our Twin boys last April it began to feel as though we needed much more space for our family to grow. Hence the upsize.
There’s ducted air conditioning in our new house and we have no idea how much that costs to run, the garage has an automatic door, not to mention many more lights to turn on and off. So without even adding more appliances the new place will cost more for electricity.
Assessing our budget before we are blindsided by the power bill will allow us to accommodate the rise in living expenses (I’m fast becoming addicted to keeping our house at a certain temperature).
Assessing The Budget
We do this periodically as it stands, however with a big change like this we need to do it straight away.
First thing to do is rewrite all of our expenses. Even if they are already in a word doc, I’ve rewrote them all down on paper. This part will help my budgeting brain determine what I need and what I don’t.
Boom, there it is. As I’m writing them out I see the expense that is much more of a luxury than a necessity. The Gym.
Between the 2 of us we spend roughly $2,500 a year on our gym memberships! When we look at it annually we see how much we can potentially save by cutting that expense.
This is also where we’re going to find the extra money in our budget to accommodate the added expense of maintaining our lifestyle in our new home. Cutting that expense can also go towards our next big savings adventure which will be solar panels on our home.
Why Cut It Now
We have both made our health and fitness a high priority in our lives for many years now both with healthy eating and going to the gym daily. Fitness is a very important aspect in our lives so cutting gym memberships isn’t a decision we take lightly.
The first thought I had was ‘am I really going to start working out at a park at 5am everyday instead of the gym?’ realistically speaking, probably not. The change needs to be made to be able to maintain our lifestyle as well as cutting the expense. Which means I need to set up the same atmosphere as at the gym. Whilst keeping in mind of the goal, spending and saving.
Our new home has a double garage, more space than we need for storage so I’m going to set up a home gym. That’s right, the trusty ole home gym is going to save the day here.
Of course when you really think about it, it’s absolutely free to be fit. There’s endless amounts of resources online and just in our local area we can use to remain fit for free. But the comfort and atmosphere at a gym often keep us motivated to keep that habit.
So I’m going to spend money here, it won’t be cheap. In the past I’ve had a space at home to create a home gym using everyday items as an alternative to going to the gym. A Backup option if you will. Not this time. This time around we’re setting up a home gym that will have gym quality equipment in our garage, complete with rubber flooring.
Scouring the marketplaces in search of commercial grade equipment is one thing. The art of the barter is another. I managed to get everything we needed, our entire gym set up for a little over $1,000.
That’s right Frugal Folk, I spent $1,000+ on gym gear! Don’t hate me. I have an explanation!
How We Are Spending And Saving
Let’s do the maths here before you throw us into frugal exile.
The cost of our gym memberships amounts to $2,500 per year right?
The cost to set up a kick ass home gym has come to $1,100. A one off cost.
It will take us 5.28 months to recoup the funds spent on setting up our home gym. After which we will have a savings of $208.33 per month!
So after the time it takes us to recoup the initial set up costs ($1,100) we will be saving that $208.33 a month. $2,500 a year! These savings are going towards our sinking fund where we will begin saving towards those solar panels.
That’s how we are spending and saving