For many, moving to a larger, more expensive home when the cost of living is constantly increasing might not seem smart. Here is why we did it and how we made the move easier.
Moving With 4 Kids
Firstly, moving with 4 kids is full on. Fortunately, the older two are teenagers so can pack their own rooms and help a little. However, with this move, Mr Aspiring Millionaire was working in another state so Ms Aspiring Millionaire (me) did it all.
Cleaning, sorting, listing things for sale, packing the house while juggling work and the 4 kids including the toddler (18months) and baby (4months) with their check ups and vaccinations thrown in. Plus assisting the older kids still with sports, music, engineering, jobs and all the other things they do and represent the school in.
It was intense, exhausting, overwhelming and not something we’d do again. In fact, the hope is we do not move until we buy here in Australia (properties we own are overseas).
Why Move to a Bigger House Right Now?
Living with 4 kids in a tiny loft style townhouse is not doable for long. The home we were in was in our ideal location, perfect for the time we needed it but it has no backyard and the toddler has taken to daredevil stunts everywhere.
It was no longer safe with him and we couldn’t make suitable adjustments. Our lease was up and we always knew at the end of this lease, we would be moving.
We spent 2 years in that home, had 2 babies there, Mr Aspiring Millionaire finished his commercial diving qualifications after getting residency etc. By living in a tiny place with super cheap rent for the area we were able top achieve other goals.
With those things achieved, it was time to move.
Our Home Requirements
When looking, we had a list of what we wanted including a minimum of 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large backyard, under a specific amount per week and within 1km of the school, shops etc.
After months of looking, we secured the home we really wanted. As soon as we saw it, we knew it was the right one for us and we were approved the day after we applied.
Given the current rental market, we were shocked since so many get rejected repeatedly, for months before securing a property. For us, we had applied for a few others and did get a few rejections, some were for sale at the same time and sold hence the rejection. Overall, we felt confident we would secure the right property at the right time and we did.
We Need an Office
One of the biggest needs was an office. With studying and working from home, having a space where we can go to focus has been on the list of requirements for a while.
Previously, having an office made work a lot easier, faster and more lucrative for me. We did what we needed to recently but now the time has come for a proper home office set up again and we know it will have a significant impact on our income.
Moving and Setting up on a Budget
It is amazing what you can get for free or super cheap. Our home came with the type of fridge we wanted, already plumbed in. Plus a spare fridge, chest freezer, lawn mower and a pool table.
Since we are moving from such a small home to a large one, we needed to move some of our belongings and buy more. We sold off probably half our items because when we looked on Facebook Martketplace, they were easy and often free to replace instead of move.
The main things we wanted to keep were our mattresses, memory items, all the kids things and a few items of furniture. After getting a few quotes from removalists, the price for moving our belongings was about the price of one of our mattresses, so completely worth it.
Buying/picking up things on Facebook means we have almost everything we want for next to nothing. The only thing I was adamant about buying new was the washing machine. I had such issues with the one we had that was second hand, I wanted a new one. Plus a bigger one due to the size of the family now.
Tips for Moving Frugally
Get quotes from removalists. You might be surprised how cheap it can be. Take into account the cost of your time to pack a truck, drive it to the location, unpack etc. Not just the cost of hiring the truck or trailer to move your things.
Consider if you really need to move everything you own. Sell off anything you can, especially those things you have not used in ages.
Take the time to compare all your services when connecting and disconnecting. Some companies offer amazing sign up deals, others will offer bonuses to stay with them when you move.
Budget for more than you think you need to. Connection and disconnection fees, food because you are likely to spend more while doing this, insurance, bond cleaners etc. The list is long
Clean yourself if you can. Not all real estates allow this, however, my cleaning has always been better than any bond clean I have paid for. This time I had to pay for a bond cleaner and used one with excellent reviews. However, they didn’t do it properly so had to go back which is the first time I have ever had that issue.
With luxury lifestyles pushed in our faces all the time, it is easy to assume the super wealthy have an incredible lifestyle and to crave it. Often, we blow a lot of money keeping up with others or producing and Insta perfect lifestyle.
We all know these lifestyles are mostly unrealistic but it doesn’t stop us striving for it or thinking it is what we want. So if a champagne lifestyle is what you want but feels out of your budget, here are some tips.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links to books we love.
Decide What You Really Want
What about that lifestyle do you want? Is it the clothes, the shoes, the bags, the cars, the travel, owning a boat or the freedom to spend on whatever you want whenever you want?
Often, when we look a bit deeper, the things we really want aren’t what everyone else has. But if you do really want those specific things, there are ways to make it happen. It’s easier if you are super clear on what you want though.
In the Aspiring Millionaire home, we want freedom. The freedom to travel when we want, go everywhere, own a boat and sail around the world, dive, hike and experience life. We want to spend this time with our family, create great memories and do the things we want.
Secondary to that, is a specific home we want and a few cars. Mostly, it is a fun lifestyle we want and live.
It’s not bad to want these things. All you need to do is create a plan to make it happen and go for it. We Should All Be Millionaires shows you how and why.
Look for Ways to get it for Free
Now you know what you want, how can you get it for free? Competitions are one way, provided you check they are legit. Lots of people have tried becoming influencers to get free stuff, without realising the work they’d need to do and how to be a good influencers.
Check for loyalty programs which might offer the products as a reward or enable you to get things for free. This applies especially to travel. With numerous credit cards offering travel points and other ways to travel hack, you can travel for free.
Since travel is a priority for us, I went into tourism marketing so we got paid to travel. Mr Aspiring Millionaire does photography so we can create packages for clients. We both dive, have kids and can provide unique perspectives because of our backgrounds.
Going out with our family and experiences are important so we have looked for free fun such as hiking and the beach, festivals and events that are in our area and make time for these.
How can you Make Money from it?
Whether you get it for free or not, why not think about how you can make money from it? Being an influencer is one way but not the only way. Freelance writing where you pitch articles to magazines and websites about it is one option.
I’ve travelled various parts of Asia, Europe and the South Pacific as a travel writer. Trips were all paid for and I made money from articles I wrote. Plus on most trips, I secured other clients and ongoing work which enabled me to make even more.
Another option is to rent out your place and car while you travel. Or even if you want to live in a specific area, can you do it in a group home or by renting out a room? With a specific type of car, you might be able to rent it out either through share programs or if it is top end to photographers and media for use in their images or video.
Learn Delayed Gratification
Right at this point, you have a limited income (but that can change) so you need to be realistic. Delayed gratification is how you do it. Decide what you want, learn about the law of attraction then put it out there. Instead of buying everything you want immediately or going into debt, you will acquire the lifestyle you want through other means.
Write everything you see that you want on a list. In 30 days, if you still want the things on that list then you can move them to your vision board or work out a way to afford them by budgeting for them. If not, remove them from the list.
Law of Attraction
I am a huge believer in the law of attraction but I don’t believe it is simply about thinking and hoping. You need to take some action, however, you’ll be surprised at what can come.
Most of the trips I wanted came through using the law of attraction. I healed from an abusive marriage and met my now partner through it. Smaller things such as getting paid to get my dive certification, go horse riding or winning awards as well.
I worked out what I wanted, created a vision board, put it out there and jumped on opportunities as they came up.
How do you use the Law of Attraction?
Firstly, learn about it. Unleash Your Inner Money Babe and Lucky Bitch are two great books to get you started. Both have great exercises you can do to open your mind about your options and use the law of attraction.
Facebook groups, podcasts, YouTube and Instagram are full of resources for the Law of Attraction. The more you learn and apply the easier it becomes and the more your life will shift from beer budget to champagne lifestyle.
For us, meditation, visualisation, a vision board and regular discussions with each other have helped. Mr Aspiring Millionaire and I spend time visiting land we want and picturing it. We discuss our dream home in Vanuatu (we have the property picked and the whole family talk about it as if it is already ours). These little habits and lifestyle tweaks have enabled us to be focused and have opportunities others don’t.
Find A Balance
Too often people completely deprive themselves for the future they want and completely miss living in the present. Or they go the other way, blowing everything right now as if they don’t need to save for tomorrow.
Once you decide what you want, create a plan to get there and a plan to live your life now. We could save and invest faster if we gave up certain things others view as luxuries such as occasional dinners out, family activities and travel.
However, our kids are only young once. Family members have passed away young. Life is for living. So find ways to do what you want within your budget or for free and do them. Live your life while saving and investing for your future.
How to do you live on a beer budget when you have champagne tastes?
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What is the Best way to Become a Millionaire?
The best way is the one you can stick to. Only you know how comfortable you are with risky investments vs saving regularly into a high interest savings account. If high risk investments terrify you, then your path to financial freedom or millionaire status might take longer but you will feel better about it.
Can Anyone be a Millionaire or Financially Free?
The path to being a millionaire or being financially free is different for everyone. Honestly, while so many people say anyone can do it there is a huge difference between how easy it is and how possible it is depending on so many factors. Background, upbringing, education, knowledge, where you live, health, family considerations and more all impact your capacity to be financially free or become a millionaire.
Mr Aspiring Millionaire is Ni-Vanuatu (native to Vanuatu) and grew up there, surrounded by poverty. Ms Aspiring Millionaire is a Caucasian Australian from a relatively middle-class background but we had numerous wealthy friends and family, well above our level.
The reality is, financial freedom for Ms Aspiring Millionaire was always realistic and going to happen. Financial freedom to Mr Aspiring Millionaire seemed unrealistic because of his background but it was what he wanted.
Saving to be Financially Free or a Millionaire
One way to become a millionaire or financially free is through saving. Simply putting a specific amount aside each week or each time you get paid and putting it in a high interest account.
This is probably the safest but also the slowest and not the best investment as far as most people are concerned. Having $1,000,000 in cash might feel good but if that money isn’t making money then it’s not really the same as having a million in income generating assets. The interest made with this money sitting in the bank is minimal compared to how much you can make with it in other ways.
It is the lowest risk method though and for some, it feels best.
Investing in Shares to be Financially Free or a Millionaire
The preferred method for many in the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community or who follow that. Shares have statistically outperformed the property market and while it does go up and down, the value, especially with ‘blue-chip’ shares or indexed funds has been solid.
Warren Buffet made his wealth this way, as have many others. It requires less effort than running a business or property and still returns an income you can live off in later years if you invest enough.
A good way to experiment with shares to see if you like it is through micro-investing. You’ll get a feel for how comfortable you are with the ups and downs without having huge amounts invested.
However, if you want to invest more, there are other platforms which are better to invest through such as Vanguard.
Real Estate to Become Financially Free or a Millionaire
This was my original plan back when I was a teenager. I even tried to get my dad to go guarantor on a mortgage when I was 13. Not surprisingly, despite my thorough plan, he said no. He is more risk-averse than I am. If my 13-year-old came to me with a plan right now, I would consider it.
I owned a house in Sydney during my first marriage which was a rental for a few years. My tenants trashed it and while I had some good times with it, overall, it wasn’t a great experience. But I also hadn’t planned to be a landlord with that home.
Buying a property specifically as a rental is extremely different to buying for yourself. I’ll go into more detail in future articles.
Currently, my partner has a couple of properties overseas through inheritance. They are basic and rented to locals. Our future plans are to develop those plans, in the way the family had always wanted to but didn’t have the finances There are also 3 other properties we have rights to but we have not moved on those yet.
Real Estate Options
To become a millionaire through real estate you can become a landlord and grow your portfolio. Alternatively, there is flipping – where you buy an old home, fix it up and resell it. This was extremely popular for the past decade. Both options come with risks and real estate is not as liquid as shares should you need the cash for any reason.
Businesses for Financial Freedom or to be a Millioniare
This was how I had a net worth of $1,000,000 by the time I was 30. Due to a long, expensive custody battle, I had to sell off things and was no longer a millionaire.
Business is how most millionaires I know have done it. Either by founding a business themselves or buying one and growing it. Everything from building to pharmacies, wineries to tourism companies have been used to create this wealth.
Personally, I love business but I know it’s not for everyone. Our aim is to have a combination of savings, shares, real estate and businesses. It is what we have currently and will continue to grow.
What other options do you know of or are you pursuing for financial freedom and millionaire status?
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Time is Money because Money can buy you Time
Most of us feel we are pulled in multiple directions all the time. Balancing work, family, health, finances and other commitments can seem almost impossible. We have a limited amount of time so how can we decide what is worth our time and how do we reject things that aren’t how we want to spend out time?
How to Put a Price on Your Time
Deciding what your time is worth is more than picking an hourly rate for work or your services. Everything you do takes away from something else so you need to use your time wisely. Do you really want to spend all your time chasing money and never seeing your family?
For us, family comes first. This means, I have passed on a lot of money at times because it was not worth my time. My time is valuable. I want to enjoy my life anf ensure I spend it doing what I love. So how do you put a price on your time?
How to Determine Work Value
If you work in a job, your salary is set by your boss usually. This does not mean you can’t negotiate though. Before you are hired negotiate for a higher rate if you believe you are worth it. Try for extra vacation time or other benefits if they won’t budge on the actual cash amount. There are numerous ways to get more for what you do.
As an employee, don’t wait for them to give you a pay rise, seek it out. Prove you are worth it and deserve a rise. No business will pay you more than they have to sooner than they have to. Look out for yourself and get the pay you deserve.
Also, discuss wages. Check your contract as more companies are putting clauses in employment contracts to ban the discussion of wages. Open discussion of wages ensures people get paid properly.
How to Determine Self Employment Value
Do not undersell or underprice yourself. Being self employed means you need to calculate in taxes, retirement, holiday and other leave, the cost of running business, your time and skills. Too many people undercharge because something is easy to them. People are hiring you and paying you because you have what they need. Your skills and knowledge are valuable.
For self employment, it is preferable to charge per project, not per hour. One of the reasons being as you get better, you get faster. If you’re charging per hour this will mean you are doing more work in a shorter time frame so making less money per project as you grow. This does not make sense!
But some like an hourly rate to use as a base to work out a per project rate. If you choose to do this, use the formula below but as you get faster at your work and better, double then triple your rates and keep moving up.
Formula for Self Employment Rates
1. Work out how much you want to earn a year. E.g. $100,000.
2. Add retirement, tax, business expenses such as site hosting, insurance, design, advertising, courses and events you want to participate in, self-care etc. This likely brings your $100,000 up to $150,000.
3. Work out how many days you will be working and it’s not 365. Start with the 365 days in a year. Remove weekends (104 days), public holidays (11 in Australia), holidays (20 days if going for the 4-week standard) and sick leave (10 days is standard, however, allow more if needed). This brings you down to 220 days.
4. Work out how many hours a day you can actually work. Most mums I know have school hours only, this means 5.5 hours max (after school drop off and pick up) or 1,210 hours a year for the 220 days they can work.
5. Divide $150,000 by 1,210 hours and you get $123.96 per hour. Let’s round that up to $125
6. Charge accordingly! If you charge $200 for an article that takes you 1 hour to write, you are in front and that is great. If you are charging $200 for an article that takes you 3 hours to write, you are behind. However, if your goal is less or you can work more hours this changes.
Time Vs Money
What do you want more of, time or money? In our family, we have specific goals both for time with family and activities we enjoy as well as the income we want for that lifestyle. Finding that balance can be tricky but it is worth it.
One thing that helped us, when we wanted to buy some random thing, we’d calculate how much time it would cost. Using the hourly rate about for our time or our hourly wage, it is easy to see how much something truly costs. For example, we went through a stage where we blew a lot of money on takeaway. When we added it up, it was hours of work wasted PLUS more than the cost of a weekly dive which we had not been doing because we didn’t feel we could afford it.
Our spending did not match our values or desire for life. Seeing how much time we wasted working to pay for that junk hit home. Next time you go to waste money, calculate how long you have to work to pay for it and what else it is taking away from.
How To Say No
No is a complete sentence. Too many people struggle to say no. Even if they do say no, they feel they need to provide reasons why. You don’t owe anyone a reason. It’s your life and if you don’t want to do it, don’t. Within reason of course. If you work and your boss tells you to do something you can’t really tell them no without a reason.
Stop doing everything for everyone. Stop saying yes to all the extra things you don’t want to do and take your life back.
Think About the Life you Want
One of the best things we did to help us change our habits and value time more was to truly think about the life we wanted. We have 4 kids and want them to have great memories. Diving, travel, hiking, experiences and fun are important to us. Every week we have a family activity and we do date night.
Our dream home in Vanuatu is chosen as are our businesses and other elements of our ideal life. Images of these specific things are on our devices and walls. Constant reminders of why we do what we do and what we want in life enable us to make better decisions.
For us, it is about living in the moment, enjoying family time and creating memories while establishing wealth to help our kids and all our family back in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
What about you? Time vs Money, how do you manage it? What do you want your life to look like?
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