Posts in Lifestyle
Reducing plastic, WORK IN PROGRESS
 
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I’m not really one for making grand commitments anymore (aside from marriage, that’s an exception!) so I haven’t committed to the full Plastic Free July, it feels a bit overwhelming for me right now....

That doesn’t mean I don’t care or I’m not doing anything, for me reducing plastic is an everyday work in progress kinda thing.  Every day I do what I can, nothing that overwhelms me, I don’t need more stress in my life, but I know that every bit counts.  Here’s just a few things I use day-to-day, they’re simple and have been easy for me to transition to like switching out plastic cotton buds for ones that are made of bamboo. I carry all the reusable things in my bag/car—spoons and straws, reusable coffee cup, drink bottle, bags and baskets. I love bubbly water so I invested in a sodastream machine, I also check the labels of clothing and like to choose natural fibres like linen/cotton/wool over plastic fibres like polyester and nylon.


When people ask me what they can do I always encourage them to choose two things they’re passionate about, my first two were not using plastic bags and swapping my plastic toothbrush for a bamboo alternative, and once your first two things fit seamlessly into your life then you add in another and then another.  Take it slow and let them become your normal, this isn’t a quick fix kinda thing, we’ve gotta be in it for the long haul and changing habits takes time and practice.

I also think it’s important to inspire and encourage rather than shaming or putting down others, you never know what others have going on in their lives and I like to believe we'll all there there some day.

It’s been a few  years in the making but the things I’ve adopted to reduce my plastic consumption come naturally to me now and if one day I forget I don’t beat myself up or give in, I let it slide and keep doing my best, whatever that means on that day. Be aware, be kind and start where you can.

Pai, organic skincare for sensitive skin + giveaway.
 
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Babes, there’s been a lot going on around here lately, with Mama being unwell and in hospital, our next gorgeous baby taking her sweet time, me starting work 30 hours a week plus we got our bunny, Baby Chai.  It’s fair to say I’m feeling a bit sensitive at the moment and it’s truly affecting all of me. My character, my emotions and my skin.

 

For the last few years or more I’ve been an advocate for natural, organic and ethical skincare and brands.  Something else I believe in is doing what’s good for us now, with the understanding that just as the seasons change, so does what we need.

 

Right now I need all the yoga, grounding with bare feet in nature, time with loved ones sharing laughs and something special, sensitive and caring for my skin.

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A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to Pai, a London based and made organic skincare for sensitive skin with a special ethos; to deliver the highest quality organic ingredients, that support ethical practices in all areas of their business, giving and doing the best for their customers and the planet. With a special connection to New Zealand, Pai’s name was actually born from the Māori word ‘Pai’ meaning “goodness”.

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I only share with you Babes when I truly believe in not only products but also the beliefs and values behind the brand. The more I looked into the brand the more I fell in love.  It was developed by Babe Sarah Power, who like me after a lifetime of normal, relatively resilient, skin found her skin needs had changed but she couldn’t find sensitive products that were true to their marketing of “natural” or “organic”, but instead contained synthetic and known irritants. This is when she developed Pai, an honest organic skincare range, the first to list it’s ingredients in plain English, so we know exactly what we’re putting on our skin.

 

So gorgeous darlings, it is an absolute pleasure for me to introduce to you four of my fave Pai products, tried and tested by me.  You can find the range in Life Pharmacies or online.

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Copaiba Deep Cleanse, AHA Mask

This baby is light and creamy, it glides on smoothly and isn’t too thick.  As it dries it hardens but you’re not left with a rock face tightening which is actually lovely.  The product comes with a certified 100% organic cotton cloth, made in India, which I adore.  This mask leaves your skin feeling clean and soft. I’ve been using it every few days while drinking tea and journaling.

 

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Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream

This is my hero product from the four I’ve been using. I’m normally a serum girl, but I love how this feels on my skin - this beauty is exactly what it says, it’s calming. Which is exactly what I need right now. As soon as I apply it to my face, the scent of the chamomile has an instant calming effect. I drink chamomile tea in the evenings for it’s relaxing properties and having it in my moisturiser in the morning is an absolute delight.  One pump does my whole face, neck and décolletage so I know it’s going to last. I also hear it’s one of Natalie Portman’s favourite products.

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Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Rich in beautiful essential fatty acids this product is 99% organic and with only four ingredients, in my opinion, is absolutely fab. It’s recommended to use 2-3 times a week but I’ve been using it nightly on a damp face straight after cleansing. After flying or if I’m feeling like I need a super conditioning calming boost I’ll use it with a pump of my Chamomile Day Cream. Just a couple of drops goes a long way, it’s beautiful all natural orange colour means you’ll want to let this one dry before putting on clothes.

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Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream

Yay for a natural eye cream,  just what I’ve always wanted. This one is full of gorgeous ingredients I can both pronounce and recognise. It’s 75% organic with Echium Seed CO2 Extract which soothes and refreshes skin (me right now!).  It feels so lovely each evening taking care of and placing special attention to this delicate area that is such a marker for vitality or tiredness.

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Every Pai product is tested and certified by the Organic Soil Association, the Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society – Yay!  Fab to know that they never test on animals, and also take it further by ensuring they don’t source anything from companies that do, I’m so all about this.

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Giveaway |

Thanks to the Babes at Pai I have a three products from their lovely range to gift to you.  To enter, simply comment below why you believe it’s important to be sensitive to what our skins needs.

 

Competition for NZ residents only (sorry Babes) and closes Wednesday 28th Feb, 2018 at 9pm.

Clean Sheets on Sunday and Other Bedroom Rituals
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Oh hey! Welcome to my bedroom Babes!

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My amazing fiancé built this bed for me.  I've always wanted a four post bed and while Cas and I were living in Bali this year he made it for me as a gift when I returned home.  BEST MAN EVER!

My bedroom is easily one of my favourite rooms in my house, it has been for years.  I think because since I was 15 when I moved out of my Mum's I’ve lived with other people, so my bedroom's been my absolute personal sanctuary for half my life.

 

Over the years I’ve created my own set of routines and rituals which others might find particular (maybe even a little over the top) but in them I find comfort and clarity.  I feel like it’s super important to create little rituals for yourself and your home so My Babe, here’s a few of mine. 

I hope you enjoy My Babes.

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A collection of little trinkets in my Bali jewellery box. Mala Earth mala beads and earings from the Trade Aid pus a couple of little random bits and pieces.

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The cover of a meditation book my Mum gave me, the rest of the book lives inside my bedside table.

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We made the pallet base a couple of years ago, bought some pallets off TradeMe.  Vinny spent ages taking off the extra wood then I spent hours upon hours sanding and painting it. To be honest it was such a mission, a fab DIY project but way more work than I'd anticipated. I've huge amounts of appreciation for furniture makers now.

1. Clean sheets on Sunday

I can’t tell you when this started but for the last five years (at least) I’ve changed and washed my sheets every Sunday.  For me it’s the perfect way to seal off the week, wash away all that happened and start afresh.  We actually only have two sets of sheets so I rotate them each week. I also change our duvet and vacuum the house each Sunday too. Cleaning and cleansing.

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 2. Sealing your sleep space 

 The first thing I do when I wake in the morning is draw my curtains to let in the natural light. Second to this I make my bed.  Similar to changing my sheets/bedding on Sunday this ritual feels like I’m literally closing the sleeping part of my day and preparing for my wake state.  I find simple pleasure in making my bed, it’s never a chore.  I love arranging my pillows and throws and flattening the duvet creases.  Each morning before I head to my next ritual (washing my face and scraping my tongue) I’ll take a moment to appreciate my bed for helping me rest and restore for a new day.

 

3. Tidy room, tidy mind

I’m 110% the opposite of myself as a teenager, back in the day you could hardly see the floor, oh my it was actually so bad.  I don’t know how I could even think surrounded by all that mess.  These days you’ll rarely find clothes on the floor, much to Vinny’s annoyance. Haha everytime he’s finished wearing something he’ll put it on the floor and before he knows it I would have picked it up and put it in the wash.  Or now I’ve actually created his own “not clean but not washing” basket, I highly recommend you give your partner one if you’re easily annoyed at their mess, although his things still end up on the floor sometimes…

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4. Coordinated Clothes

We’ve been waiting over a year for our landlord to put doors on our wardrobe, you know one of those things they promise they’ll do before you move in then they never get around to doing it.  So as our clothes are always in sight I find it nice to have a home for everything.  And yes our clothes are colour coordinated, I’m a geek.  Our draws are sorted into underwear, exercise clothes and comfy home clothes.  I also have a thing where I like to put empty hangers at the front of the clothes, each time I take something off the hanger I pop the empty hanger at the front.  Then next time you go to hang something up a fresh hanger is right there, perfect.

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5. Storage AKA I love baskets

Okay so I might have a basket addiction but how good are they for keeping things/plants in?  In our baskets on the top shelf of our wardrobe are our shoes and hats.  Then on Vinny’s side of the wardrobe there’s his “not washing” basket, one for chargers and cords and another is my miscellaneous basket.  I think the biggest thing when having baskets/draws that help get things out of sight is to go through them regularly and make sure they don’t become dumping grounds.  I go through my miscellaneous basket each week and get rid of things I don’t need, or put them back in their actual home - ie. hair ties back in the bathroom or scissors back in the kitchen.

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My fave piece of art by the gorgeous Hannah Jensen, they're my three mantras she painted especially for me. 

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100% cotton Logan and Mason Fitzroy White Duvet Cover Set. I also changed my winter duvet inner to a summer one  and got a mattress protecter which are beyond fab as a) this means Summer is coming and b)  the fiancé runs hot so was sweating in our winter set up.

6. Natural over synthetic

I think I picked this up from my fiancé’s family. They’re big fans of natural fibres.  Also, ever since meeting my girlfriend Anna I’d always wanted beautiful linen.  Her Mum had invested in gorgeous bedding for her and I’d dreamed of having the same.  Vinny, Cas and I used to live in a mini house on Vinny’s parents property in Grey Lynn.  The three of us lived in a one bedroom, one lounge, mini bathroom, laundry and camp style kitchen place when we first met. When we moved into our first proper home together we said we’d get a King bed so for Christmas I got us gorgeous linen sheets.  We actually ended up getting a Super King bed so I’ve been squeezing them on for over two years now.  But I digress, quality bedding that is made of natural fibres is a must as it’s breathable - This is one ritual I’ll never let go of.

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I love wearing natural materials as much as I love sleeping in them.  My dream 100% silk gown I got at the Seminyak markets in Bali, it cost me $70 for two!

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7. Plant Polishing

Oh my I actually love my plants.  I’ll always have at least one plant in my bedroom and I tend to actually rotate my plants around my house. I find this keeps things fresh and changes the space.  I water my plants every Sunday and will polish each one of their leaves once a month.  This is a lovely slow ritual I appreciate and Cas often gets involved, he’ll talk to and cuddle the plants.

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8. Setting the mood

I’m such a fan of scented candles. Normally I’ll have a couple of candles in our bedroom but I actually recently burnt out all of my candles in the house, all of them are empty. How?!  I guess this means I had been burning them all at the same time.  I love lighting candles in the evening, they help to set the mood and are a gentle signal to start settling down.

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Let's just say I love sarongs.  The black and white robe on the right is the second silk robe I got I got in Bali and the linen bag on the right I use as my camera bag.

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Cas this afternoon, just passed out on our bed amongst my 10 pillows - Vinny's always giving me a hard time when he makes the bed and "has to arrange the millions of pillows", especially when we only sleep on two. LOL. Black and white pillows from Logan and Mason and my cream one that matches my throw is Kim Soo.

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On top of our pallets is actually two Super King mattresses, we've been having quite the mattress saga in our house the last couple of years, essentially we got both of them second hand and we don't like either of them. Vinny's one is super hard, like you can feel wood and springs so we use it as the base with a valance and mine is on top but it's too freakin' plush.  If you Babes have any reasonable mattress recommendations I'd so appreciate them! 

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Woohoo you made it to the end honey! That was a bit longer than I anticipated, turns out I had lots to say.

Do you enjoy this kind of stuff My Babes, I'd love your feedback and I just love hearing from you in general, it makes my day!!

Have a fab week darlings. AL XO

GIVEAWAY | HAN Skin Care Cosmetics
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When my cookbooks and cosmetics list the same ingredients it’s a GREAT day in my books Babe!!

Quinoa, acai, pomegranate, blueberry, and cacao - Sounds delicious, right?! Like something I could turn into an amazing gluten free porridge or smoothie bowl! They're also the ingredients found in HAN skincare products. AMAZING! So good you could seriously eat them.

Gorgeous babes, HAN is a 100% naturally derived, cruelty free and affordable makeup brand that's new to NZ and I’ve been trying it out and loving it.

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Like most things in my home I’m a minimal makeup babe. So, I like to choose products consciously, things I love and will use often.

HAN (which stands for Healthy and Natural) isn’t just ‘makeup’ they’ve created skincare cosmetics that actually look after your skin. With ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E to nourish your skin. All their products use quality natural ingredients that give beautiful vibrant colours - win win!

When founder, Susan Wong, became pregnant and couldn't find any 100% natural cosmetics at an affordable price she developed HAN.  It was actually when I fell pregnant with Cas that I started to actually consider what I was putting not only in my body but on my body too. So, I’m all about the idea of using nature's colours and tones and avoiding toxic chemicals where I can.  

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They don't test on animals and nor do they use Carminic Acid (that’s the one that’s made from crushed bottles to create a red colour), instead they use cherry, pink carrot, beetroots, red quinoa and rose flower.

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I’m in love with this Golden Glow eyeshadow.  Anything golden and you’ve got me. It’s buttery and super pigmented, so lovely! I actually use it as a bronzer too! All about those multi-purpose products babes! With acai, pomegranate, blueberry, cranberry, green tea, black tea, sea kelp and shea butter I just cannot get enough.  Their other eye shadows are beautiful and earthy too!

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HAN bronzer in Maui, with cacao and coconut is stunning. This is actually darker than I would usually use but a little went such a long way on my face that I didn’t need to use that much of it and it’s easy to layer to make it darker too.  Next time I think I’ll go for Ibiza, it’s lighter with a little shimmer, all about that glow baby!

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Pressed Blush in Coral Candy, I have to say for a babe who’s all about the golden bronze this looks super bright! But, upon application it’s far more natural and is actually a beaut blush that is coloured with carrot and quinoa.

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I've been using the Cheek & Lip Tint in Coral Hibiscus on my lips and babes, I’ve literally had to stop myself from eating it, it smells BEYOND GOOD! It’s probably a little pinker than I’d normally go for but it’s SO nourishing and soothing on the lips I’ve been happily wearing it all the same.

FAVE! My must have is the Lip Gloss in Nude Rose.  It applies lovely, it’s non-sticky, and the colour is my perfect nude!

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I’m very impressed with these beautiful products. So fab that they’re made of 100% naturally derived antioxidant rich ingredients.  They’re totally affordable, cruelty free and available here in NZ - You can find HAN at selected Life Pharmacy and Unichem stores now.

Giveaway |

Thanks to the babes at HAN, I’m giving away a complete set... eyeshadow, lip & cheek tint, blush, bronzer and lip gloss.

To enter simply comment on this blog post why you’d like to try HAN. Competition closes 8pm, 29th November 2017. Good luck, AL XO

Fresh faced and fabulous
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The Facialist, City Works Depot.

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I don’t have a lot of clothes but those I do have I absolutely adore and wear often. A few of my favourite things discarded (lovingly) there on the chair.

Left to right - Mae, my lovely Saben handbag (she comes everywhere with me these days), my fav Lonely bra, Miss Crabb oversized white cotton shirt and my Yoli and Otis kimono.

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This brush. Oh my. This brush. After a luxurious face, shoulder and back massage this brush was gently guided around my face, it was utter bliss. The contrast of the massage to soft bristles was perfect. 

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I received the Tribeca Glow Ritual. Tribeca is Ashleigh’s own brand of skincare and is 100% natural, mostly organic and made to support and rebuild our skin with everything we need and nothing we don’t need.

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It felt so indulgent to slip back into bed at 10am in the morning. 

Oh and see that thing to the right of the bed, that’s a herbal steamer, it misted lavender and chamomile over my face during part of the experience. I need one of these at home, it smells amazing.

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Babes. You may have noticed I’ve been a little MIA the last couple of days.  I’ve had some big news which has really pulled me back and made me feel pretty internal.  I know it’ll all be okay and it’s totally okay not be okay all the time. This is only for a moment so I’m enjoying taking things slow and being more still.

In perfect timing I was treated to a facial at The Facialist with Ashleigh Scott, Holistic Skin Therapist and the Boss Babe behind the business.  I gotta tell ya honey the whole thing blew my mind.  I had thee most dreamy experience. I came away feeling relaxed, with fresh dewy skin and as though my soul had been given an incredible amount of care.  This last part was totally unexpected, I had no idea a facial could be so healing - It was everything I needed and more.

I experienced lovely oils and incredible smells, firm massages (you can choose your preference) and gentle brushes, warm towels and cold stones.

So we’re clear honey I was no paid to do this post, I hand on heart had the most healing experience and wanted to share it with you because as I always say, I feel like the best things come via recommendations and this, I highly recommend.  

The facial was insanely delicious but it was the whole package that made it exceptional - The stunning decor, the warm greeting, the tea, the scents, the caring touch and energy that made me feel special, secure and totally at home.

I hope you take some time for yourself today my love, take a walk, read a chapter of a book, do a home mask or relax with a cup of tea.  You deserve some time just for you. Come join me in the Self Love/Care Club. ILY Babes. AL XO

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VIDEO | Money mindset, think yourself rich
“Use positive words around money and it will start to change your mindset over time.”
— Sunniva Holt

Last time we covered budgeting and getting out of debt! I've done my budget and Babes I'm on the hunt for a job so I feel like I'm making some progress to becoming debt free and having a healthier relationship with money.

This week I chat Money Mindset with My Babe and Mindset Coach and Self Made Millionaire, @sunnivaholt.

 

9 Simple Steps To Change Your Money Mindset

  1. Identify what your money stories are and where they've come from (let's be honest, probs our parents...). "Money doesn't grow on trees", "money is the root of all evil", "rich people are arrogant" etc.  Become clear these stories, where they came from and write them down.
  2. Dismantle these beliefs. Write down as many reasons as you can for each of these stories as to why they're silly, ridiculous and unhelpful.
  3. Create your now story, let it be a beautiful relationship with money! "I'm really good with money", "money loves me", "money in the right hands can create positive power" are examples.
  4. Get leverage on yourself. Write down all of the reasons why you need and want these new money stories in your life.
  5. Catch you language. Never say "I can't afford that" or "I'm broke" because you can afford things it's just a choice where you're putting your money. Use language like "I choose not to purchase..." instead.
  6. Get really clear on what you want in your life. If you don't have a target you can't hit it. This means giving your money a home. ie. Last year I really wanted to go to Tony Robbins in Sydney I didn't have the money but as soon as I knew exactly how much I needed and what for I made it happen - YES!
  7. Money needs to trust you, it needs to know that you're good with it! Make sure you're tracking your money, take note of where you're spending - this is in our notes from our Getting outta debt video and post. Reminder don't hide from your money/debt.
  8. Stop giving money so much power. Money is just ink on paper, it's a tool, use it!
  9. We need more money in the hands of the good people so we can have a positive impact. Find examples of people in the world who have lots of money and do lots of fabulous things! Like OPRAH!
“Looking at money as a bad thing is kind of like thinking that a car is bad because a drunk driver got in the car and killed somebody. It’s not money that’s the problem, it’s the people behind it.”
— Sunniva Holt

 

My Babes, I feel like we're making progress! The more I talk about money with people the more I'm realising we are not alone. Are you enjoying these vids?

If you have any questions around our money chats please comment below and we'll add them to our list! 

 

EVENT | Soul of Money 2.0

Join me at Sunniva's event next Wednesday 8th November, 6.45-9pm. I'll be giving away a ticket on my instagram over the next couple of days so keep an eye out!

If you don't want to miss out and for more details check the event HERE.

 

(financial) Health + Happiness - always!

AL XO

VIDEO | Getting outta debt, advice from a millionaire
Start where you are. Do what you can, with what you have.
— Sunniva Holt

Babes! I'm in a little bit of trouble and I'm airing all my dirty (debt) laundry so I can help myself get clean and climb up the money tree to financial health and happiness!  Since I shared my lack of money situation I've had such a huge response from you honey's and I feel driven to help you, while I help myself!

First stop a chat with my Babe and self made millionaire, @sunnivaholt.

So it's time to own up to your money situation. I've saved and edited the little live Instagram chat we had and below I've jotted down the video notes for you, me - US! We're in this together Babe!

 

9 Simple Tips To Becoming Debt Free

  1. Get really clear where you are, stop hiding from your money/debt. DO NOT IGNORE WHAT'S GOING ON. How much debt are you in? What exactly is your money situation?
  2. Consolidate your debt onto one no interest or low interest credit card. Then cut up your credit cards.
  3. Create a budget and start tracking your money. Everyday in a spreadsheet write out what money is coming in and out. OR you could go over your bank/credit statements from the last month and review where your money is going. Become clear what you're spending your money on, what's necessary and unnecessary?
  4. Live within your means. Become clear where the fritter is, those unnecessary things you're spending on. These don't have a place in your budget when you're trying to get out of debt honey.
  5. Save at least 10% of your income! As soon as your pay comes in, have an automatic payment into your account to pay off your debt.  To ensure your saving stays on track create your weekly budget from this new balance.
  6. In your budget outline your non-negotiables. Rent, food, bills. Allow for play money, to find this figure out what brings you the most amount of joy.  Let these be special events rather than those things that have just become habits/routines. DO NOT SET A BUDGET SO LOW IT IS PAINFUL. Set it where you can comfortably live and live within that, do not go over.
  7. Review your budget/money every week.
  8. Think also about how you can expand.  How can you expand your income and Iive within your means so you are in an abundance state.
  9. Food, it's really easy to overspend on food!  Give yourself a decent amount but be clear on your food budget and stick to it.  Look at your options, go to the local food markets! I love the Grey Lynn Farmers Market, I get a huge amount of spray free veges for the week for around $34. Frozen veges, rice and oats are also awesome and cheap.

 

So there you go Babes,  just like that we'll be debt free in no time! Who's with me? On another note I'm a little embarrassed to say it but I've had that "Money, money, money, money. Money." tune in my head all day and I've just realised it's the theme song from the TV Reality show, The Apprentice, you know the one Trump did, if you're too young or need reminding you can hear it here.

Coming up Sunniva and I will talk about saving (including saving on a low income), money mindset, how to get into property, rentals, starting your own business and more.  If you have any questions around our money chats please comment below and we'll add them to our list! Who knew talking about money could be so fun!  When I get the details of Sunniva's Money Mindset event I'll share that too!

 

(financial) Health + Happiness - always!

AL XO