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Family Finance – how to get ahead on a middle income with kids

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In this episode, Terry chats with Leigh aka Family Finance of YouTube. Together they discuss the ins and outs of supercharging savings for a family earning a middle income with multiple children and a mortgage. If you’ve been looking for some inspiration or even a bit of a kick up the butt, this episode is for you.

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Hi guys, this is Terry and I’m excited to introduce you to another special guest for today’s episode.  A couple of months ago, a lady called Lee. Who’s also known as family finance on YouTube. Reached out to us and started a conversation on Instagram. And if you don’t know Lee, she produces fantastic educational clips on a YouTube channel, family finance, and she’s a teacher. So there were contents really well structured to the point.

if you’re more of a visual learner, you might find that her style is very effective for you.  And lucky Ozzy Firebug Lee shares her journey and her insights on the road to what she calls slow file.  But what’s different about her is that she speaks very squarely to those who like her started saving and investing a little bit later than most.

And Lena partner and middle income earners. She owns 55 K. He takes home 65 K from his business. And they have all the costs and complexities that come with being a young family with multiple kids and a mortgage. But despite all that, they still manage to consistently keep their costs down and say more every year.

And by our own estimate leads around 10 years away from scaling right back in terms of work or even retiring.  So when she reached out to have a chat, we both thought it would be a really good idea to record the conversation and share it as a podcast episode.  So in this episode, we talk about the big life moment that suddenly made her take a personal finances more seriously.

We talk about how money is managed in the family, finance home, and their biggest mistakes and challenges. They’ve confronted together as a family.  She also shares her secret for keeping their living costs and below 5.5 K a month and had delayed spending is very different from actually saving. And she also talks about how she changed her mind about investing.

And what you do differently if she had a time again.  So if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration and maybe even a bit of a kick up the butt, this episode is for you. And I really hope you enjoy it.

Terry: Lee, it’s great to have you on the show.

Leigh: Happy to be here.

Terry: It’s been, Oh, look, it’s probably been two or three months of going back and forth. Hasn’t it? Because you’ve got a family and heaps of family commitments. I’ve got a family and, we’ve really struggled to sync up our calendars, right?

Leigh: Yes. And I’m very happy that we’ve finally been able to make it work.

Terry: you’ve been a big supporter of the podcast and that’s how we first met. You started to reach out and you send us a few comments, but how did you first, stumble across what we were doing?

Leigh: Very random. I think that I was actually.

Searching Ozzy Firebag hashtags. And I came across your Instagram posts where you had a podcast with him. So I was like, awesome, because I love artsy Altify bucks. So I’m like, I’m going to go listen to this. And I was like, this podcast is awesome. And I’m just been listening to everything and yeah, just love it.

Terry: I’m really glad you did reach out because since then, you’ve been on a bit of a journey yourself, haven’t you like you’ve started a YouTube channel. You’ve been putting out those videos, getting a lot of traction too. I can see it. I saw that you’ve been, you were thinking that it would take you at least 12 months to get to a point where you become like a, is it like a YouTube partner?

Is that right?

Leigh: Yeah. I dunno. Can you call me YouTube for now? Because

Terry: I think we’re about to be able to call you a YouTuber. Are

Leigh: we. Yeah,  it’s crazy. It just blows my mind because I procrastinate. Like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve had so many ideas and so many things I haven’t followed through on and I just started this and  I just can’t believe how well it’s going. And I’m just so happy with it.

Terry: So what was different about this project? Made you want to follow through cause you haven’t been really consistent, your videos, they’re really educational because you are a teacher. so you do a great job of putting for these concepts, really simple language, presenting it in a way that’s very straightforward and easy to process. So what do you think it was about this particular project that stuck for you?

Leigh: I think I just had an aha moment where I am a teacher  and I love teaching, but there was still something within me within personal finance that I just wanted to do or find something where  that could be my work.

And I just asked one day, I don’t know what it was. I just realized that what I love most every day is tinkering with my spreadsheets, doing projections, looking at investments. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m like, this is what I like to do. This is my passion.  I’ve read books about find your passion and you’ll never work a day.

And I’ve just always been thinking, what is it? What can I do? I do love teaching, but I’m really obsessed with personal finance and budgeting and saving money. and then I think I heard a podcast with Aussie Firebug and YouTube, and  He said anyone can do this. there’s nothing special about me.

And I thought, maybe I can. So I gave it a go and I honestly expected no one to watch my first video and. It wasn’t perfect. And I was okay with that because I didn’t think anyone would watch it. And for a while there, it was my most popular video. Yeah. I was like, come on everybody. Can we please stop watching that line?

I didn’t want to take it down.

Terry: That’s exact same with Al’s like here first podcast.  I listened back to it, Oh God, that’s horrible. But it’s the most listened.

Leigh: Can I know I, had to go back to that one the other day to  copier, image that I used in that video for another one.

I was like, this is not great.

Terry: Hey, what’s your first friend.

Leigh: Yeah, but you don’t realize how far you’ve come too. I think they’ve gotten better. There’s still work to go back. Yeah,

Terry: no, they definitely have.

 But. Before we get into, why don’t you just take me back a little bit, because I know you’re, this YouTube personality now.

but it wasn’t always that way for you. Wasn’t it. And I know you talk about barefoot investor, and reading that book as a bit of a catalyst. But before that, like where were you at, in your life with teaching and what were your ideas about money?

Leigh: I’m always been a saver. I think I just learned that off my mom and. I just didn’t have any direction or plan. And it’s funny because I didn’t start to take things seriously till we had our first baby. And I think that’s crazy. It’s when you go on reduced income that you think, Oh, I better start managing my money when it should be the other way around when you’re earning more. And that’s when it’s more powerful to make your money work for you.

Terry: Hindsight is such a great thing. I think about twenties. I was like, Oh my God, how easy was that?

Leigh: Yes. I know. So we did save money. I don’t know how much, but I just knew I was saving money. And then I read the barefoot investor and it was the fire extinguisher 20%. He said, if you want to get anywhere, you need to be saving and investing 20% of your money. And I was like, Oh, So I was like, okay. I said to my husband, got to save and invest 20% of our money. And then, so that’s the path I was on. And then I was in the Facebook group for the barefoot investor and I just, went down that rabbit hole and then someone mentioned fire in there and they actually mentioned Ozzie fly bug.

And then I started listening to his stuff and I was like, wow. Okay. No, not 20%. It’s gotta be more than 20%. Okay. we wanna retire early or have financial independence earlier. So then I went. All right now, we’re going to try and say more than 20%. And it’s just crazy because now we earn less than we probably ever have, and we save more than we ever have.

And  I think that’s such a great thing to know, isn’t it? That it’s not actually about what you’re earning. look, you can’t be earning nothing. You need to be able to earn enough to pay the bills, but for most people, we have enough discretionary income to be able to save good amounts of money consistently.

It’s just that, if you don’t have that really specific targeting and, something you’re reaching for, it’s just so easy. Just not to isn’t it. And even like you said before, you are a saver, but where did it all go? You saved it and spent it, right?

Yeah. So I had a realization that it’s not actually savings if you actually end up spending it.

Yeah. Oh, I saved 10,000. I say 15,000, but then you go on a holiday. it’s not savings. It’s just delayed spending. 

Terry: that is a great point, because you can say that and you can trick yourself and say yeah, almost over, but actually keeping any money and that’s what a saver does. Keep money

Leigh: now. I don’t call it savings. I call it growth. So yeah, no confusion. that’s to grow our money.

Terry: And have you always been the person in your house that  runs the finances takes a lead in that space?

Leigh: Oh yeah. I’d say I’m the saver. My husband’s a spender.

Terry: talk me through that.

Leigh: I think it’s actually a good, because we then get a bit of a balance because I can go a bit extreme sometimes and he likes to spend money. So we’ve got that balance happening, trying to anyway,

Terry: and is it just you managing it?

Do you predominantly take on most of that responsibility or do you guys do it together?

Leigh: No, I just manage it and he doesn’t even have access to

Terry: that. It works for you guys.

So coming into the relationship and, obviously, partnering up, getting married, all those kind of things.

How do you reconcile some of those differences in the early days? Did you find it hard to,  find that balance that you talked about


Leigh: I’m not sure. Cause I think. We still were saving was still saving. So I wasn’t too worried about it, but it wasn’t until I started. Thinking about opportunity costs.

So yeah, we could be saving more this week would be, planning for the future. And if we save this amount, instead of spending it, or, this is how much more we’ll have down the track. So it was that realization. Yeah. He’s pretty much on board now, so he’s fine. And the only thing we both really value is holidays.

So we do spend money on holidays. Yep. And really that’s the main thing. We do have a good balance and he does even me out.

Terry: Yes. Yeah. That’s good. And, how often do you guys get away? Do you travel domestically or overseas or?

Leigh: we haven’t been traveling lightly, so we have a holiday booked for Christmas.

we want to go overseas, but we have a, nearly two year old. So we’re nearly at that point where we’re starting to look beyond and thinking, Hey,  we’ll be able to go overseas saying because there’s no way I’d be taking our one year old traveling overseas. So I don’t think our four year old’s been overseas either.

Terry: I think there are a lot of people placing a lot more value on travel now than they ever have.

Leigh: You don’t realize you don’t realize till it’s taken away.

Terry: Hey, you’re in Queensland. I mean like a military lockdown in Victoria, we’re living very different lives.

Leigh: Yeah. I couldn’t handle that.

Terry: It’s Fred spade and really unreal, really difficult down here for a lot of people. fortunately enough for me, I’m in a regional space, so it hasn’t been as strict as in Melbourne, but, it’s definitely had a huge impact on our weight loss.

But coming back to what we were talking about before, when you think about how you were with money before you  you talked about how you were a saver, but you would spend it, what were some of the things that you were doing then not mistakes, but just, I guess things you were maybe ignorant of that , you’re more educated on now that kind of make you cringe.

Leigh: I always look back and think I always had an interest in investing and I just never. Dated. So that’s something I regret. I always had an interest in, my uncle was talking, about Commonwealth bank shares.

So I was like saying how much money they made. And I was like, that’s awesome. And I was thinking that time was passed. They made that money. the stock had gone up that time and passed and I was just interested. And then if I had a boy, I probably would’ve made so much money, but I just had this interest, but I never.

Never went forward with it. And I just don’t know why, but finally have, I just think maybe it’s the age we’re in with technology and information is just so much more available now that I’ve stumbled across the investing and that’s our plan of attack.

Terry: So did you think maybe that it was really complex and maybe not something that you could get your head around?

Leigh: Yeah. I just thought it was, this complicated thing, but it really isn’t.

Terry: Yeah. I had like a number in my head that I needed to get to before I would even contemplate the thought, I was like, Oh, you’re rich. And then you go and get invested. And  I’m thinking about that now.

I’m like, that’s a bit backwards I’m going to wait till I’ve got 200 grand in the bank and then I’m going to go and invest.

Leigh: Yeah, that’s right. And I think. We did overspend on things because we just, we had the money, we had it saved, we didn’t have a problem with that. So I think there’s a things we overspend on that we probably didn’t need to. But that time side now we’ve worked it all out. Yeah. Can’t go back. Unfortunately,

Terry: you can’t, you can only learn your lessons and you definitely have, so I wouldn’t feel bad about that. yeah. He said that the moment everything changed for you wasn’t necessarily right in the bed from vessels, having your first kid.

what do you think it was about that sort of really made you shift your thinking around.

Leigh: made me feel old. So I had to grow up. I had to sort things out, but I think it was good non reduced income. So I was going on maternity leave for 12 months and then I’d be returning back to work part-time.

So I had to work out our budget and had to know what we could afford or not. And then I think then there’s that other layer where. You have another person that you have to look after. So you need to plan for them and set up a future for them as well. It’s not just you now,

Terry: I a hundred percent have great. and I haven’t actually seen this from you, but are you investing for your kids right now as well?

Leigh: We’ve set up accounts. So I’ve set up monitor trust accounts. but I’m just building up their savings first in a, just a normal account. It’s 3.5% we are building out their savings, but we don’t put money away.

That’s just birthday money. And. bits and pieces here. So the purpose of that, isn’t just to give them, a nest egg or a heap of money. It’s really just to show them how money builds up over time and then invest it and then watch that money grow over time. So it’s not a huge amount. So I’m trying to wait till we have a thousand dollars saved for the boys before we invest it.

So it’s not up to that. Yep. And I do have a video about it. So we were thinking about investing in AFI. It has the small share price, and it also has the data WSP where, cause there’ll be in my name. So instead of the dividends being taxed on your income, that the WSP gives you the dividends. Just as bonus dividends.

And then I thought we could maybe have a party every time they get a bonus dividend.

Terry: Oh, that’s a good idea.

Leigh: Yeah. A bonus share. Yeah. And just to get them involved that way.

Terry: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. that was my next question. Was, did, do you have a deliberate plan around how you teach your kids about money or is it something you really would just want to show them?

by your example,

Leigh: I think show by example, it’s a bit hard at the moment and we don’t give them pocket money. I think they just don’t understand yet. Although my four year old did a little bit of work for my husband the other day. And. He gave him some money and he said, what do you want to do with it?

And I said, Oh, this could be a good opportunity to have a chat. And, my husband was saying things he could buy with it. And I said, Oh yeah. Or you could say man, and you could save it off and, do something with it later, once you have more. And his response was he wanted to buy beer for debt.

Terry: Oh, dad’s got it. conditioned.

Leigh: That was, I was found it hilarious. So we’re just not there yet. We’re not there yet.

Terry: He has done a fantastic job of conditioning, that little fella.

Leigh: So I’m like, no, we’re not there for those chats. Yeah. Yeah, he wants, so he’s got the give part down, Pat.

Terry: Yes, he does. He definitely does.

Leigh: Yeah.

Terry: what about when you started, on this process, you talked about how it was, the barefoot investor and then getting exposed to some of the firebox staff, going down that wormhole, was it all books and podcasts, or did you have anyone in your life that, that you consulted on a frequent basis as well, that helped you to figure out and filter information for me?

So one of the hardest things, when people come into the space is like showing them what to focus on and what not to focus on so much information isn’t there. it was there someone like that for you? Was there. Other mentors as well.

Leigh: For me, I was mostly in books and podcasts, and that’s why I really enjoyed making  family finance, Instagram, and the YouTube, because now I have people I can talk to with all this stuff.

And it’s great. We’ve got this little community happening that we can talk about these things. Cause I really. Really didn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off or talk to about these things. And sometimes I think people look at me a bit strange, bring up some of my ideas. So I just don’t say anything.

Terry: Yes.

That’s not uncommon. Isn’t it. You start nerding out about something and someone’s

Leigh: Oh, pull back.

Terry: Yeah. so it was mainly books for you then. I’m interested in are now is like a long, the way that you yeah. You’ve been on, you’ve obviously made some fantastic progress. If you haven’t already checked out family finance, YouTube channel, you’ll see that, Lee posts, regular updates in terms of her progress and how she’s going.

you would be tempted to look at that and say, Oh, how easy is this been? But I am sure that’s not the case. I’m sure you guys have come up against them challenges. And some complex situations you’ve had to handle and face. Can you tell us a bit about a couple of those clearly ones that have come at you guys.

And what did you do to overcome that sort of that challenge?

Leigh: great question. I think we’ve had years where we saved more obviously, and then years when we’ve saved less for us owning our homes, being expensive, we’ve had to spend a fair bit on home repairs and some things that we’ve had to spend on that you can’t even see. That they’ve added value. And the stock market obviously has had its ups and downs where things have gone down a lot.

And in the start of my investing journey, I invested in things I should not have and lost money, but they were great learning experiences. So I lost money there. Our biggest money mistake was my husband’s unit that we sold. We took a loss of $50,000 on that one. Yep. But we had to do that to get the house that we’re in now.

And we had to take that loss and we’re grateful now we didn’t want to sell a unit, but we had to sell it. If we wanted to get a house in a two bedroom unit, wasn’t going to be big enough for our family. So that’s probably our biggest thing that happened to us was taking that loss on that unit.

But we needed to get into this place.

Terry: how have you managed to roll with the punches? like you talked about, some early losses in the share market. What I see a lot of the time is we have such a low tolerance for failure when it comes to money.

A lot of people without flip on one end of the pendulum and then to the other, which is, I’m all in or I’m all out. Whereas for you, it looks like you’ve been able to. Yeah, like I said, roll with the punches file forward a little bit. Learn, keep moving. What’s the secret for you in terms of, I guess it’s being nasty yourself and, sticking with the path.

Leigh: I think all these things just build up over time. It’s a bit like risk tolerance for me, it’s all been built up over time. So there probably was times, especially in those early days with those losses and.

Where I just did have to take a breath and recoup. And then even in March with the market fall, I should have been investing aggressively, but I was, I had to take a breath and then I did start investing, but these are all learning experiences along the way. And then next time I will have this experience to draw upon when I invest, when this happens again.

So these are the small steps that have happened to me. That have helped me to do that and to just build that confidence up over time. So that’s like everyone talks about the market crash and how bad it was that I consider it a really great learning experience.

Terry: Absolutely.  we’re going to see.

Probably two or three, maybe even four more in our lifetime. And, for me it was the greatest gut check because you can call yourself an investor, but when shit hits the fan in that way, if you are the first one to the door, you’re not an investor. Yeah. And I had a lot of people, talking to me and saying, here you get your money out type thing.

And I’m like, look, this is going to happen again and again, and this is your first opportunity, to ride the wave here and know that it’s fine. And so take the opportunity. so for me, it’s almost like a vaccination, right? we’ve seen the first one.

I was invested for probably three or four years before this crash. I’m happy to say that, when it did go down, I put heaps of money in. I went and that’s really good for me to know. I’m not saying that was easy. That was actually petrifying. and. To be honest, I had a lump sum I was going to put in, and I actually have it put half in one day.

And then the next day I said, what are you doing? Put the next half in? so yeah, I think these are all experiences and I love what you said there around you just see these little hiccups as steps that you can learn from it, moving forward, moving on and up. I definitely think that’s the way to go with this stuff for me. I always consider those mistakes as education. Some of the biggest mistakes that I made early days where education, I could have paid a course for that, but I learned it in a much more visceral way, by doing it in real life.

Leigh: Yeah. And that’s the thing, like my mistakes, my worst ones, I wasn’t investing a huge amount.

So it was okay. And that was the learning experience I’ve had and then that’s build upon and build up on and now I’m investing more. And I’ve got those experiences to draw back from. Yep. And now it’s everything’s okay. It’s fine. Just keep investing. I’m actually started just to dollar cost average, and it has been the best thing for me.

Terry: what were you doing before you were building it up and then putting it in.

Leigh: So we had emergency fund that we’ll building up as well. And we finally hit the amount that we wanted in there, but each month I was deciding whether or not to put money in the emergency fund or invest it. So I was always watching the market, trying to decide what to do.

And then once our emergency fund was fully funded, I decided that maybe we should dollar cost average because. This isn’t good for me. And it’s just been the best thing. some days I forget that I haven’t checked my stock market portfolio, which is crazy because I was checking it multiple times a day.

Terry: Oh, that’s not correlated with good financial decisions.

Leigh: And I was getting too caught up in it. And now I can’t wait for the 15th of the month to make my purchase. Like I just get so excited. Yeah. And I don’t know what the ups and downs of being a few days before, like the half a percent I should have bought that day on. Now I should have bought the net or maybe I should wait the next day. I haven’t been checking it to know that I should’ve been buying those days or not. It’s his thing, the best thing.

Terry: And do you have it set up as an automatic transfer that just happens or do you intentionally make the transfer?

Leigh: No. So I still need to decide which ETF I’m going to buy. Which last month was, which was my biggest decision in which, and I was like, no stick to the plan.

Terry: Oh, okay. Cause you’ve got to, yeah. You need to balance out. Yeah.

Leigh: Yeah. So I needed to buy an international ETF and I didn’t want it.


Terry: Yep. Okay.

Leigh: But I did. I did. So we’ll see what happens. No, you’re not thinking the next month. You’re not thinking the next two months. You’re thinking 20 years down the track in 20 years time. This ETF that you’ve bought is going to be worth more. Yup.

Terry: Yep. Definitely.

Leigh: we hope so.

Which will be

Terry: yes, we

Leigh: do. But that’s the plan, I got to stop thinking one day tomorrow might be down. I’ll wait till tomorrow might be down. I’ve stopped that.

Terry: Yeah, definitely. So tell us a bit more about where you are right now. We know you’re in a place where you can invest consistently. you’ve got your regular updates on the YouTube channel there, but. In terms of how far off you would say you are from retiring or at least scaling back a lot from a work perspective that thought you reckon you are off that

Leigh: my projections are 10 years that I’m scaled back at the moment. My husband definitely isn’t. Yeah. I’m scared back at the moment. Cause I only work a five day fortnight and then I’m working on YouTube as well. So I say I’m probably on the slow fire path as it is, so yeah. I will continue to work like this, but my husband really needs to scale back. So we’re pretty much saying that he could retire in 10 years. When I went on maternity leave, I realized that I enjoy working.

Yep. And when I’m on school holidays, the first day back, I was like, this is great. I just love being back at work. So I actually really do enjoy it. So I think I’ll always work. I just don’t want to work full time, but we should have enough for financial independence in 10 years.

Terry: Yeah. And what does it like to know that. You don’t actually have to work full time if you don’t want to right now, because of the way you manage your money, what’s it like to just know that it’s still fine. We’re still going to be hitting our goals. We’re still on track and trajectory is good. We’re happy with that. It’s

Leigh: great. And the best thing is having a low cost of living. Yeah. I always say to my husband, so our cost of living probably is 65,000 this year. But if you took off childcare, it’d be 55. I said, you don’t have to work. If you don’t want to work, we couldn’t really live off my wage on that 55 a year. that’s just the beauty of having a lower cost of living.

Terry: and what’s your secret for keeping it so low? I think I saw it on one of those videos. It’s 4,000 a month or something. Is  that right?

Leigh: I think no, it’s about up to 5,000, some months, five and a half, but I do say, some people do need to remember that my husband is self-employed so our cars and a few costs, business costs.

So not that you should ever compare with anyone, but we don’t have vehicle costs. Or phone calls or internet costs. Yeah, I think I’m just a bit ruthless with, I think it’s those expenses that are just coming out of your account. I’m not too worried about spending money on things that we want and we value cause that’s important, but it’s all those things that just add up in your budget that. Aren’t really necessary and then analyzing each one of them. So I went through every expense we have and I got better deals. I reduce them or just got rid of them and it makes a huge impact.

Terry: And you seem to do that pretty regularly by the looks of it. Don’t you all the time. How many times a year do you think you’d do that? Like a bit of an audit and go through and strip everything back.

Leigh: I think probably quarterly. I will just have a look. So recently I actually signed up for a gym, so I need to redo our budgets. So I will just go back then and just double check everything where if there is, can I reduce this still?

Do we need it? Can I ring for a better deal? But I’m pretty much can’t take anything else.

Terry: but you don’t feel like you’re necessarily to Prague and your cells, Because you said before, you will prioritize and put money aside and fund holidays because that’s what you both value.

Leigh: Yeah.  I just think I’m at a place now where I don’t buy stuff. Yeah. I that’s it. I have everything I need. Apart from replacing clothing or, things with the boys or, getting a new dress or things  that I might need, or, clothes are worn out. We have everything we need.

We don’t need anything else.

Terry: Yeah.

Leigh: So I think that’s it for us. We spend money on going out. We go do things on the weekend. But we’re not buying stuff. And I’m actually probably a little bit of a minimalist, so I don’t like clutter. It stresses me out. I don’t like mess. So that helps. 

Terry: in terms of, what you just said there around you don’t buy stuff. what are the big, the big traps in terms of stuff, do you think that people, our age. tend to get into with buying stuff.

Leigh: I think that it’s that impulse buying and that need it now attitude. So I definitely work on delayed gratification. There’s stuff that I have wanted for more than 12 months. I wanted a Garmin watch. I’d been wanting a Garmin watch for so long, and then I just waited and I finally bought it. Cause I knew I wanted, I knew I valued it. And I do, but I think it’s so easy now to impulse buy there’s targeted marketing, you search something on the internet and then every ad is that for two weeks, hopefully

Terry: I’ll probably get ads from some sort of fire related products and services after this because we’re talking and there’s a computer around.

Leigh: I know it’s crazy. So we’re thinking about, selling. So my husband was talking about regrowing, some of the tiles and no joke. I had an ad for tile regrounding

Terry: yeah. Yeah, it’s crazy. Isn’t it? It’s not,

it’s insane. So

what’s your secret for giving yourself that time and, I guess battling that urge,

Leigh: I think it’s. Giving yourself a timeframe. So it doesn’t need to be 12 months like me. It might be 48 hours. It might be a week. but giving yourself a timeframe and if you still want it, then buy it. but most of the time you’ve either forgotten about it or there’s something else that you’ve decided you want.

It’s just, I think it’s, yeah. I think it’s built in as well. It’s the Hunter gatherer. You just want to sometimes go out and gather things.

Terry: Yeah, no, it is, like your primitive brain doesn’t give a damn about tomorrow. We’ve got today. So yeah,  definitely, we’re hard wired that way, but I think, I agree. I do think that you can, I guess harness our instincts a little bit and point them towards our names. just by being a bit smarter. And for me like Laura of laziness is the biggest one. for me, I’m like, how do I cut it off at the source? How do I cut off those temptations at the source?

how do I unfollow unfriend, anyone, or anything that you know, is marketing to me in that way? at the wrong times, for the wrong thing. For me, I think that’s a big one. And then yet that definitely giving yourself that time to wait. I’m a bit lucky as well. I’ll I will wait a year before I go and buy some more clothes much to my wife’s disdain.

but I think it does help because it’s just, it’s so easy to spend money on things like that.

Leigh: Isn’t it?

Terry: and What’s the biggest thing you’ve changed your mind about. With regards to money, something that you thought  very struggling. One way about that. You’ve completely done a back flip on.

Leigh: It’s probably two answers in one. One was that investing is risky and the second one is I’ll save for retirement later. I got time. I got time to save for a time and later.

Terry:  And if you could go back and give yourself a pep talk, let’s say you go back. five years. Is that the right timeframe?

Leigh: Yep.

Terry: If you could go back five years and give yourself a pep talk, what exactly would you say to yourself?

Leigh: so five years.

Terry: Yeah,

Leigh: probably say that you will achieve things that you’ll never imagine that you’ll be able to achieve and you’ll be able to do things you’ve never imagined. And that’s just come from opening up my mind really and learning everything that I can really about investing and money. And every year I’m blown away by how much we save and it’s grown each year. most years, some years went down and I set a goal and I’m like, that’s a bit, that’s a bit hard.

We won’t get there, but we do. Yeah. And then the next year, and if you would have told me that five years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. that’s how much we’d say, because it’s a lot of money to me now. And to me, five years ago, that was not even imaginable. it’s too much money for me to even imagine back then, and now I’m investing it in the stock market and that would have blown my mind even more.

Terry: So the message is basically, you don’t even know this, but you’ve already got this.

Leigh: Yeah. and you can achieve things that you never would have thought if you would have taught me, I had this YouTube channel, I would not have believed you either. And I’ve just put myself out there.

This has got to step out of your comfort zone.

Terry: and what are maybe three of the best resources, the most impactful resources that you would recommend to somebody who is in that position that you’re four or five years ago,

Leigh: are they fire? Bug podcast started for me and then YouTube also. So that’s why it started the channel, but I don’t watch regular TV anymore. So we’ve got YouTube on our normal TV and that’s what I watch. I just searched things of interest. Anything I can learn anything on there. It doesn’t have to be personal finance.

You can learn so much. So I barely watch normal TV anymore. So YouTube being the other one. And I think there’s been some finance books too, that have really just followed on from what I’ve learned as well. Probably motivated money by Peter Thornhill is probably one of those for me. Yep. And that’s probably the three.

Terry: Yeah. I love what you said that too, around watching YouTube and not watching TV. I can definitely vouch for that. probably about 10 years ago, I was living with a mate, in Melbourne and we moved in together. We had this  Mexican standoff. We had most things, but we didn’t have a TV and they didn’t want a boss and I didn’t want to buy it. So we just didn’t buy one. And it was crazy what I learned that year and what we’re able to do  with that time. It’s actually unbelievable.

Leigh: It’s insane. So with my channel, I spend nine hours a week on it, and I feel like I haven’t lost anything because the only thing that’s happened is I don’t watch TV at night anymore.

Yeah, that’s it. So it’s an hour and 15 a day that I make myself do I have to break it down? Otherwise it gets away on me. And  I put the news on for five minutes in the morning and I might put it on in the afternoon and that’s about it. And the only thing I’m missing is. Things that I used to watch, from seven 30, like bachelor or bachelorette or, house rules, I’m missing that stuff. Which so I haven’t actually lost anything to be honest. what have I learned from that? Nothing. Yeah.

Terry: The property goes up every 10 years and it’s the best asset.

Yeah. And you spend all this money on a renovation, but you get it all gifted. Yeah.


 So  tell me just a little bit more before we wrap up around why you did decide to start a YouTube channel.

Leigh: We spoke about it earlier, how  I was following a bit of a passion project, but my reasoning behind it all was. I was reading all this fire content and watching a lot of YouTube and this absorbing as much information as I caught. And I just felt like it wasn’t a hundred percent relatable.

Terry: Yeah.

Leigh: And I was trying to find some unrelatable or trying to find information. I was like, hang on a minute, you are relatable. I’m sure there’s people exactly like you in the same situation, because there’s nothing special about us. And that’s why I decided to create the channel because we’re middle income earners.

We are paying childcare fees. We feel like we started investing later and. We don’t want to go down the path of trying to earn huge incomes and retiring in, a short amount of time. We want to find that balance of spending time with our kids and also trying to build up some savings and invest.

And I just thought, maybe some other people might be able to relate to this. And I often get comments nearly all the time when people reach out to me and they just say your channel, everything you talk about is. Is that us. Yeah. And it’s just so relatable. So I was like, perfect. That’s exactly why I haven’t made the channel.

Terry: No, I think it’s great as well, just because I think there’s this idea that, all of this stuff’s really idealistic, but if you’ve got a family and you’ve got a busy life and that sort of stuff, you just don’t have the time for this. It’s just not possible. You just have to grind your way out of this hazy  period of your life.

And there may be one day in the future. You’ll get on top of your money life. and I think that’s such a dangerous narrative. So I love the fact that  you’re pretty much exactly that person  in that spot  and you don’t allow that to hold you back. and you’re not on exorbitant incomes, but you still managed to save, very consistently, really good amounts.

And it definitely, putting yourself in a position where. You’re going to have choices or you’ve got choices right now that are available to you that most people will never have because of that. so yeah, I think it’s great. I’d love to see more of this content coming out from you because it’s really valuable.

Leigh: Thank you. I’m just going to keep going every week, trying to get these videos out there.

Terry: Hey, thanks so much for coming on. It’s been really good to get to know you better. I definitely hope we can keep in touch. it’s really good for us to have more and more people in our network as well. and I guess people on the same page too. before we do wrap up just, for our listeners, where else can they find you?

Leigh: So I’m new to my channel. Just family finance. If you search that, you should come across it. Hopefully if the algorithm’s working for me but you can also find me on Instagram and then I’ll have my link to my YouTube on there as well, family finance under school, and then Facebook as well.

So I post more on Instagram, less on Facebook. So it depends what you,

Terry: yep. Excellent. Thanks again, for coming on late has been a real pleasure from my point of view and, I, we can get to know each other better.

Leigh: Awesome. Love chatting about these sort of things.