Essential frugality: How to survive when you're super broke.

If you are trying to save money but have very little We promise we wont tell you to stop buying coffee. Emily the @aussiedebtfreegirl tells us her story of how she survived on $400 a fortnight as a single mum. Emily delivers practical tips on how to save money when you've got next to nothing in your bank account.


The following is a transcript taken from episode 21 of the We Talk Cents podcast. The transcript is created by AI software so it might not be perfect - please forgive any imperfections or grammatical errors.

21. We Talk Cents Episode 21

Fri, 3/5 2:30PM ‚ÄĘ 46:54


people, money, Emily, buy, living, pay, life, debt, situation, week, podcast, groceries, save, instagram, shops, dan, budget, bills, spending, pantry


Dan Jovevski, Blaize Pengilly, Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.


Blaize Pengilly  00:09

Personal Finance budgeting cash flow and investing don't have to be scary words. The We Talk Cents podcast is here to help you learn more about money and take control of your personal finances.


Blaize Pengilly  00:27

This podcast is not a financial advisor. This podcast is made for entertainment and educational purposes only. All information shared is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate for your needs and where appropriate seek professional advice from a financial advisor.


Dan Jovevski  00:45

For more information, please check it out. au/disclaimer.


Blaize Pengilly  00:51

Hello, hello, welcome to Episode 21 of We Talk Cents a podcast presented by WeMoney. I am your host Blaize a recovering spenderaholic, and we're joined by Dan Jovevski, the finance guru himself. How are you going, Dan?


Dan Jovevski  01:07

I'm doing great Blaize how you?


Blaize Pengilly  01:09

Pretty good. Dan, I'm pretty good. Today's episode I'm very excited about because we are talking about saving money if you don't have much to save. So if you're one of those people that's going Yes, I need to save money. But I'm sick of everyone telling me to stop buying coffee and make my coffee at home because even that I'm not even doing that. I need to save small amounts and I really need help out of a place where I've got very little money to begin with, then this is the episode for you. Do you remember our very first guest on episode? Dan? cast your mind back to episode one?


Dan Jovevski  01:42

I do. I do. I remember we for all the listeners of the very very first podcast recording was in a professional studio, Blaize and I record the podcast from home. And we got to speak with all the debt free girl Em and it was an absolutely amazing insight into the way that this fearless woman living in Queensland has navigated through your life through the ups and downs. And I think today's episode, guest we're going to trade on to your point buyers. Let's get rid of all the stigma around people who can't get ahead, even with a small amount. And I think Em is the absolute exemplary individual that has been through so many challenges that can help inspire us all into taking baby steps to get ahead. So I'm looking forward to it.


Blaize Pengilly  02:28

Yeah, for sure. But before we get into our chat with he aussie debt free girl, let's talk about the news. If you don't want to listen to anything other than us totally fine. skip ahead a couple of minutes. But then what in the media has caught your attention this week that money?


Dan Jovevski  02:44

 I think one of the really big bit of information was the RBA keeping rates on hold. And for those who don't know the first Tuesday of every single month the RBA gets together and talks about whether they should increase rates leave rates where they are even decreased rights. Today in Australia at the cash rate, the RBA is point 01 percent of loss on record ever in Australia's 200 year history. And the really poor thing for barossa note is that we are in a real period of time, which is unusual, typically writes sort of hovering around three to four to 5%. Mark. But this is really unprecedented in terms of where we are. And the one thing that came out of the announcement from the RBA today is they are paying extra attention on inflation. And inflation is a measure of what things are worth or assets or worth or groceries or fuel or electricity prices. And they're keeping a real eagle eye view on what's happening in particular with the property market. Because right now what we're saying Bose is that anybody who's willing and able to get a mortgage to buy a home is buying a home and we're seeing a run up in property prices in Melbourne in Sydney to other levels. For example, the median property prices sitting now as $1,061,000. My gosh, 8% a million bucks. Oh my goodness, that just that just scares me to think about who's getting mortgages that at those levels. And in Melbourne, it's a 4.2% with a median price of $130,000. So things are really heating up the property markets.


Blaize Pengilly  04:31

That's absurd. I remember being a child and going if I have a million dollars, I'll have my dream house and you know, I had an aquarium in my bedroom and I had a lift and a diving platform and I was thinking of all of these crazy things. And just to think how skewed my understanding of money was a million dollars sounds like a lot of money. But if it's just if it's the average or the median house price of a property in Sydney, that is that's unbelievable. Something In the game that caught my attention this week, Dan was, did you know that Woolworths was doing a trial of cashless stores in some cities in some stores?


Dan Jovevski  05:10

No, no, tell me more.


Blaize Pengilly  05:11

So, well, this is this really interested me because Woolies was doing cashless stores in the metro areas, since in some cities metro area. So in Melbourne and Sydney in particular, their Metro stores were not accepting cash as a form of payment. And they started in June last year. So I wonder if that was, you know, interlaced with the drive for card payments to be the only type of payments due to the spread of COVID and whatnot. But um, yeah, they decided that this week or last week, they were diction yet and allow people paying with cash to make purchases that these stores and yeah, it just I found this really fascinating. It sort of reminded me of a chat with Joel Kandiah from the history of money who's obviously really passionate about currency and money and seeing Yes, the number of cash payments has dropped significantly, especially due to COVID. But it's not become obsolete and Woolworths doing the I feel like them doing cashless stores is a little bit ahead of the time, you know, it's a little bit you can't sit with us, it's a little bit you can't shop with us unless you have a card. So interesting to see that they dropped it, and actually found some stats from alien cash spending since COVID. Started has dropped by 32%. Card spending, surprisingly, has actually dropped by 7% since COVID. Started. But do you know what's increased by 22%? Since COVID happened?


Dan Jovevski  06:34

Tell me


Blaize Pengilly  06:35

I think you can guess, Dan, what do you think what area of spending has increased? Since COVID. It's contentious


Dan Jovevski  06:45

I know what it is now, of course, of course, it is, Buy Now Pay Later


Dan Jovevski  06:51

It makes a lot of sense because we think about it if we're sitting at home and we can't go out and we want to buy stuff and we'd only be going out to the shops and we're now looking at things and you know, doing scrolling on e commerce websites. And that little logo comes up with after pay your zip or others. I think now more than ever, people have just become so habituated on thinking this is now my alternate way of paying, like it has to have one of these providers who need to go in there and actually buy something. And if it doesn't, then I'm probably not gonna buy from that merchant. So yeah, it's really fascinating. What's your take?


Blaize Pengilly  07:27

My thought is yes so we saw lots of people are ditching, their credit cards, in the last couple of years, especially since the start of COVID. I wonder if buy now pay later has become more popular because a lot of people lost their jobs had reduced hours reduced income, or people going into job seeker job keeper, which is not a huge amount of money. So I'm wondering if people were turning to buy now pay later because of the because of the payments, and that you don't have to cough, cough all the money up at once. So I wonder if that made the buy now pay later services more enticing because you don't have to pay 80 bucks once you can go 21 week 20 the next fortnight 20, the fortnight after that cetera. So yeah, interesting to see the growth. And I can't really say I'm surprised, but I was surprised to see Card Payments go down by 7%. So it's very interesting, it'll be weird to see where we are in another year. And if that if their stats have changed at all,


Dan Jovevski  08:20

my prediction is that it's here to stay. And it's only going to increase. I think the other chart that I've seen recently is the number of credit card transactions going down and then looking at the number of bipolar transactions increasing, and it's almost like a one to one offset for one less credit card transaction, you get one more binary transaction I think it is here to stay it'd be interesting to see how it all impacts in the next year and beyond.


Blaize Pengilly  08:48

Yeah, let's see how it rolls out. Now, let's get into a chat with Emily, the Ozzy debt free Gil, are you ready to learn how to save when you've got very little in the bank? Damn,


Dan Jovevski  08:58

I'm strapping myself in let's do a blaze.


Blaize Pengilly  09:03

Dan, why did you start WeMoney?


Dan Jovevski  09:08

Why do we start WeMoney? Well to it's pretty big question. Luke, look, the the little life has been in financial services professionally for the last 13 years. But I think it actually goes way before that. And this was only a realisation that I came to probably only around, I would say a year and a half ago is that my early childhood. So parents were immigrants, the classic $100 sort of story came to this country with nothing but the clothes on your back and 100 bucks in your back pocket. And then also my parents really struggle through life really up until our teens until we sort of got to high school. And some of these really sort of formative stories which I'm sure a lot of other people have gone through, like remembering going to the shops and we used to walk like 35 minutes against the shops down a hill and then I remember going up the hill. It was like an hour. Between me and my sister, my mom, and we, we carry our shopping. But the thing that the thing that that really sort of issue to my mind was, when we went to the shops, she would only go to the clearance rack to buy food. So we never actually went down the aisles, we would go get a carton of milk. And then we would go to the, to the rack that had all the discounts with all the fluro stickers on there on things sort of only with a diet lift before they went off. And I think that that's a real formative part of our daily life that sort of extended into, you know, growing up as a little kid, and then a teenager, and then sort of beyond. But it really didn't become evident until sort of recently, and having the experience of working at banks, working other financial institutions, and sort of seeing that, really, the, the, the cards are stacked against people in a lot of ways in life. And I think WeMoney is doing a little small part to make that more equitable for a lot more people. And I think, like I've always said before, the We in WeMoney is a community of people coming together and helping us all get ahead together and learn about money. I don't think there's ever going to be like a ground truth of like a individual or some guru, that, that comes from an organisation that tells you what the right thing to do is in life, I think we're all going through this really deeply personal financial journey ourselves. And the best way to learn about that is actually through other people that share their own personal stories. And then we can seek inspiration to make a difference in our life. And I call this sort of passing the baton, everything that we learn about our life in managing money, we're literally passing the baton to generations that come after us so they can improve their own financial well being and hopefully live a better life. And that really is the essence of WeMoney. Yes, there's features. Yes, there's buttons that you can click on the app. But that that's effectively what we want to create is a is a more equitable, financial future for people so they can get ahead.


Blaize Pengilly  11:56

Dan I've been here for many years now, and I didn't know that's what you're I knew you're passionate about helping people with money, which is why why we work together. But I didn't know that story about your, your parents and, you know, making ends meet when you were when you were young. So thanks for sharing was the reason we, the reason I asked is because today's episode, we are having a bit of a different focus. Because, you know, in the past, we've talked a lot about investing, and we've had loads of incredible guests with incredible investments and jaw dropping networks that are super, super enviable. But we know like, I know, not everyone's there, not everyone makes enough money to put cash aside for savings or feel like they can plan ahead. So like I get it, I've definitely been there. As you've just shared, you've been there. There's been many times when I've had to, to, you know, fill up my car with the silver coins that I've found in, in, in my ashtray. Or many times when I first moved out of home having to call my parents and rely on them for money just so I could afford groceries, because of my situation at the time. So maybe this is you. Maybe at the moment, you don't have you've got you know, $2 in your bank account. Maybe you don't have time to start a side hustle. Or maybe you've had a sudden change your circumstances. And you've got nothing in your bank account and you're having to buy groceries or dog food using afterpay. So that's why I thought we'd focus on frugal living. So if you're super broke, or even if you're making plenty of cash, I think there's always better habits or better ways of living that you can adopt to save money, live frugally, whether you're earning nothing or a lot. Today's guest to share her story is a woman on a mission to achieve financial independence. She's a 29 year old stay at home mom who's kicking some serious money goals in the debt free community. You probably recognise her from her aussie debt free go Instagram or maybe her Facebook page, YouTube channel, blog, her own podcast or even because she was the very first guest we had on our own podcast and it's lovely to have her back. Now she inspires her followers with her creative frugality and positive outlook. And she's also achieved some seriously impressive milestones in her time, including paying off over 60 k in debt in under five years. And side hustling more than $4,000 in January. She's our first ever repeat guest and it's a pleasure to have her back. So let us welcome a friend of the show, Emily that as aussie debt free girl. Hi, Emily.


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  14:43

 I'm really good. I'm really happy to be back.


Blaize Pengilly  14:47

We're so excited to have you back. I really want to try it.


Dan Jovevski  14:49

So Em the last time you joined the show you we heard your story about money. Your partner fell in love and then to find out you're in eyeballs of debts and then turning Last round can be really stupid budgeting and getting back on track and you know, paying off a huge amount of debt in five years. But what was life like for you before this? And would you mind sharing your story with us?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  15:14

Yeah. Well, my parents were middle class, upper middle class, really normal. But unfortunately, I was on learn a lot. I lived on my own from 13 until 15. And then I was kicked out at 18. So I've always managed my own money, I've always put my own goals first. And I've always understood the power of compound interest and that only I can change my situation. It really became, it really became important when I was 21. I was living with my partner for years at the time, when we found out I was nine weeks pregnant. And by 12 weeks, all of my stuff was in a storage unit. And I was couch surfing and sleeping on blowup mattresses and share houses, trying to say what little money I could to prepare for my son. And I stayed couch surfing and doing all of those things and just trying to get by on new new start, which was $400 a fortnight, which is ridiculous, until I was 36 weeks pregnant, and then I was in a women's shelter until I was 39 weeks pregnant, and I finally got a house to bring my son home to sorry. I'm a little emotional, that's weird.


Dan Jovevski  16:49

That's, Em, that's, that's a story.


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  16:55

From there, I had a small amount of savings that I had to then get a car to get all of the things that I had to prepare for a baby. And by a small amount of savings, I mean, like $600. And I think we all know that $600 when it comes to preparing and having a baby doesn't go very far. So I planned for every meal, I planned for every expense. And I really put that money to work. I was a single Mum, with my son for two years, living in a Housing Commission house, saving and making sure that there was no debt, no anything. Until my then now finance came along. And we built the rest of it together and paid off all of that debt and became the lower middle class, sort of family we are now and I see so many people struggling the way I struggled. And I see that there is no education out there, there is no help or support. And new start isn't enough to live no matter what anybody says. And as much as people think single parenting is quite a lot of money. It's not


Dan Jovevski  18:13

Em that is an absolutely amazing story. And I could only imagine what your life would have been like, as you transitioned from, you know, thinking about your life changing. I mean, even just the story around you, couch surfing while pregnant, just sent chills down my spine, thinking about how that experience would have been like for you. And then thinking about putting one foot after the other to get ahead. And I think what's really remarkable about your story and having sort of known you for a while is that the resilience that you have around when life gets you, you always seem to bounce back. And that that story is something that that I didn't know about you personally, and we want to thank you for sharing that because I think that a lot of other people around Australia go through all these situations, but they're often not talked about and the fact that you've shared that with us today I think is incredible to allow people to know You know what, a lot of people live like this. And if we're going to change the situation more people need to talk about us that's really awesome.


Blaize Pengilly  19:13

Yeah, Emily, thank you for sharing it's you know, I had it I had an inkling because you know, we've discussed in the past a little bit about what how your past was, but I had no idea that it was so intense and that would have been must have been so difficult for you. And you're pretty much I mean, with the pursuit of happiness fantastic movie that could be you move over Will Smith you the way that you've overcome such a difficult situation and now you're thriving and and you're really leading you're later in the in the debt free community. It's incredible that you, you know you've overcome so much and now you're willing to share in helping to educate others. Emily, what, how when you are in this situation when you were living off an absolute pittance. Each fortnight out, what did you do to get by what? What are some practical tips for that? If you're really struggling, you really have no money. What what are the things that you can do to make just a little bit extra money, go make your money, stretch further.


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  20:17

And know your budget, look at your spending your bills, and be ruthless. What is absolutely essential for you to live? Like diapers and wipes are essential if you have a small child or you have a baby. But is Netflix if you're really that broke is Netflix an essential public transport, making sure that you're walking and saving money wherever you can turn the lights off the walls, just those things that we all know and talk about. But then our longer options. They're just what you have to do to live. paying your bills early or on time. You can't afford a late fee, breaking those bills down to paydays and being like, Okay, how am I going to make sure that all of my bills are paid this month? How is this going to work doing the math, following others who are living frugally and who talk about it, which is a big a big thing, not a lot of people talk about it. And I'm really trying to break the sort of the stigma on that as well. And show real people doing it not nothing against the people that make you know, $130,000 a year and, you know, fly in fly out workers that make these big, big amounts of money. But showing that you can do it on 30,000 a year 40,000 50,000 20,000. So following those people, and even if just just having that sort of drip fed to you and feeling inspired and picking up things along the way can really help and reassure you, because a lot of the time it can feel crushing, the responsibility can feel just suffocating. And it helps setting clear financial goals. It can be as simple as being ahead on my bills this month, starting an emergency fund, even if it's $100, making an extra $10 this week, do your research, take advantage of rewards programs and offers and stack things in a certain way that you get the most bang for every dollar you're spending. That should be your biggest focus is that any dollar that I packed with, I want it to work really hard for me because we are working really, really hard to get ahead. hoping for the best but planning for the worst. So setting goals and making your budget strict, paying yourself first any savings even if it's $10 $5 a week, anything helps having a plan and then a backup plan and then a backup plan on that. Because things are going to go wrong. Especially when you're so close to that sort of poverty line. It's not set up for you to easily get out of it's a trap. You need to scrounge and kick and bite and fight to get out of it. Keeping a stockpile of starting a stockpile grabbing you know, two minute noodles when they're cheap. Sometimes in the beginning, I did just eat two minute noodles for a week to try and get ahead. I'm not saying do that. That's not exactly healthy. But sometimes you have to be wrong, but you've got to do. So yeah. noodle omelet is the best, search cheap and so delicious. But yeah, those are the kinds of things that you have to do you have to think about it in the beginning. But eventually it becomes your entire life, you don't think about them, you automatically turn the light off when you go into a room or leave a room. You take shorter showers, you look only for those clearance and discount items or those specials. You'll walk an extra kilometre to get a better deal.


Blaize Pengilly  23:59

Emily, you said paying yourself first was one of the things you can do what what do you mean by that?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  24:06

I mean, if you have a strict budget, making paying all of those bills, but also if I've set aside, you know, it's $10 this week that is leftover and is for me and for my goals, my savings, that $10 goes into a separate account and I don't look at it, I don't touch it. It's a last resort. That's so important. And we do talk about that with bigger amounts and just in general in the frugal and money communities. But I think it's even more important when you're living so close to that line, that that $10 can make a real difference. $10 is milk bread and a packet of eggs and with that you can feed your family if you have to.


Dan Jovevski  24:48

It's It's such a reality for most people when we when we think about it in the context of Australia. What people what I didn't actually before researching this topic is that actually one of the Australians would would be getting Living either at or below the poverty line, which is really a stark fear when you really think about Australians living in a very developed Western economy. And the fact that there's that many people around Australia that sort of go through this, I think some of the tips you've just shared, the Remley can really help people understand their situation and help them. Help them. get ahead. If you were to say, like, because I think your journey has been more around, well, has this has been a journey, right? It's been used learning and uncovering all this information along the way. Where would you recommend to people that identify with with maybe the things that you've spoken about about their current situation? What's the very first thing they do at a very practical level, to get them into this mindset, which you're in, which is living frugally sort of day by day? I think for me, I speak for myself personally, but I often feel like a spark or something to ignite me to get into this method. But where would you say that people can confer, start, Emily to get involved and get started.


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  26:02

I think a lot of people, when you're first in this situation, or when you've been living like this for so long, it can feel really hopeless, and it can feel like you, you can't see your way out, there's no light at the end of the tunnel, like you were talking about no spark. So I think the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and give yourself a little bit of grace, and that you haven't like you haven't done this, even if you have you. This is where you are, this is where you start. And this is the beginning, this is not where you're ending, you're not going to be stuck this way forever. So take a deep breath. And then I personally, if I was looking to be motivated, I would go to Instagram, I'm a very visual person. So I like to be able to just stalk and see and lurk in the background and just sort of absorb and see what works. The other thing is see what works for you. You can see hundreds of different savings challenges and different ways people do this. Just try and pick a few that seem like they work for you try them, keep it works, get rid of the rest. No one's gonna no one's gonna judge you, no one is offended, you need to work out what's the right for you. Because personal finance is just that personal. So I would find some inspiration. And then I would sit down and I would make a budget. And I mean, make a real budget, starting with you know, rent, food, the basics, and then adding the restaurant and then seeing how far your money goes and start cutting things. start comparing bills and insurances and all of that and seeing where you can get a better deal more value for your money. Really squeezing like blood from a stone.


Dan Jovevski  27:47

Yeah, that's amazing. That's so interesting. I think you know, that initial spark competencies, and they come from things like Instagram, my personal favorite actually has been your grocery hauls, and just seeing how much you save and all presented on one screen because I think a lot of people, they get so tempted to go to the shops, and they always, you know, overspend because it's very tempting to do so. And I think you're really bringing home like a lot of food, and then seeing how you can creatively create meal preps, I think that's um, that's certainly inspired me. But you're, you're totally right on your point on starting somewhere and looking at your spending, because that really is where the where the understanding and reckoning comes from, from individuals to understand how they live our sort of week to week and how they can take control of their budgets. And that's something that's we've talked about here on the show, and has been mentioned, quite quite frequently. And I think that what you just said there is absolutely the first place where people should start is looking at your own backyard and seeing where the money goes to. And then understanding how you might be able to, to save on some of these things. That's awesome.


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  28:54

It's such a fundamental and it's the easiest thing I think you can do and it gives you control you makes you feel like you're in control. And that's what you're lacking in a lot of these situations. You don't feel like you're in control, you feel like you're at the mercy of the next emergency. The next thing that's going to go wrong the next paycheque, you kind of then just going with the flow and there's nothing that's going to get you out of that other than you focusing and making a plan and I think tracking your spending is so important and from there, you could do a no spend where you could not go and get groceries for one week and see see how far you can make things go and what you really need to live and to live well.


Dan Jovevski  29:40

Before I forget Emily, this is one of the things that I was really inspired by which is shopping your own pantry.


Dan Jovevski  29:53

Tell me if this happens to you Blaize or certainly Emily, but you thought about it. I've got to get it shops, right? I've got it, I've got to go to the shops that go to the buy a lot of stuff to put into the fridge. But then when you really think about it, you haven't gone to the crevices of your pantry or opened up the cupboards and had a look at all the things that you could potentially credit deal with. Other than other than that so many times now, where we tried to play absolutely everything in the household or combinations of things before we have to go to the shops. And it serves two purposes. I'm sure Emily This is where the inspiration comes from. But the amount of meals that you can make with the things that are already in your home is just phenomenal, and avoids those two to three shops, which could be 102 $100 there, which is huge money when you when you really think about it. So that's um, that's another way that that I've that I've personally been following your journey, Emily and met a practical change in my life.


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  30:46

That's awesome. I'm so happy to have inspired you. That's why I do what I do to show people that normal, everyday people that mum around the corner, that neighbour next door can do this. And just little things that they can do that don't hurt too much.


Blaize Pengilly  31:04

Em I love your I love your shopping your own pantry as well. And if if you want to know what we're talking about, you should head to Em's Instagram, which was shared at the end, you make some incredible meals. And it reminds me of that awesome show that was on TV where a restaurant would come up to you in a shopping centre and make a meal out of whatever was in your shopping cart at the moment that he approaches you. And Emily, just in your remind me of Aristos going to your pantry and just baking something incredible out of the random things that you found in your pantry. So maybe you can have your own TV show with the rest of us in the future.


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  31:40

We'll see.


Blaize Pengilly  31:43

And I would like to know, when when you are you know, when you are super broke? Is it still important to save? And when you were in, when when you were struggling? Were you still saving? And how can you do it? If you are? If you do have such little cash flow coming in?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  32:04

Yes, it is important to save as long as you're paying your bills. And you know, you're not getting yourself into debt to do so. So I had zero debt, I made sure I never had any debt because it's it's a real slippery slope and you just get into a debt cycle where you pay off the debt. And then you're short against you have to take more debt out and that interest and all that you can't afford to pay that kind of interest. So I started saving, you know, $5 leftover from this pay $10 left over from that. Or I'm not going to go shopping this week, and I'm going to put that grocery money minus, you know, $10 manual can read into my savings. And after doing that for a year, I had 14 $100 saved, which isn't a lot when you break it down over a year. But it's what I could do. And it meant that when things did go wrong, I could then just pay myself pay for that, and then slowly re get it back up. So I'm not doing what I saw everybody else around me doing taking out advances taking out payday loans pulling things. That is it's unachievable, you can't live like that. It's designed for you to fail, especially if you're living on such a low income. It's a trap. And they feel like they couldn't avoid it. And I understand that I completely understand that. But I wanted to make sure that I could give my child the best life I possibly could. And that we could live a better life because I knew it was possible. And I was going to prove that it was possible, and show these other people around me who were trapped in this, this cycle, this sort of poverty cycle, that you can do it. And while I'm not super duper successful rolling in the catch. I feel like I've done that I've brought my family from Housing Commission and new start and single parenting and going and getting food parcels and worrying about the next bill and all of that to a place where we have money in our bank account. We can buy groceries, I can pay for school expenses. If there is an emergency tomorrow, I can cover it or very close to cover it and I have taught my children I believe that what you can do. You just have to do it yourself because no one's going to do it for you, especially if you're in that poverty situation. No one. No one wants to help us the resources just aren't there.


Blaize Pengilly  34:54

And yeah, yeah, so inspiring. Like, I'm sorry, I'm so impressed. It's So, it's so lovely talking to you, you have worked so hard, and you have been so dedicated and made so many sacrifices, to commit yourself to bringing yourself above the poverty line and doing, putting your family first and putting your son first, which is incredible. So, so well done. And I'd like to go back to the topic, or to what you just mentioned before, about avoiding the temptation to take out a payday loan or using buy now pay later products. Why? How did you avoid that temptation? And why was it important to do so if someone's listening right now thinking, I don't have enough money to get by? And maybe I'll just take out a loan or a quick loan or borrow some cash or why is it important feet? Why was it important for you to avoid that?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  35:47

Because it's, it's a complete, they're not out to help you, they're not there to help you. They know that you can't pay it back, they know that they are going to make their money on you thing. That's why they target people that are on Centrelink, people that have lost their jobs. They target you and the average payday learn interest is something ridiculous. It's something like 50% or more. It's, if you can't afford whatever it is you can't afford, how are you going to afford to pay it back plus that interest, it's they're designed for you to fail, it's they're designed for you to have to take out another one to pay off the first one. And then suddenly, you're in this deep spiral that you that you just can't survive from this is how people go bankrupt while on Centrelink. That's ridiculous. And it shouldn't be like that. But it is. And while I don't necessarily advocate for people to use after pay, I would prefer someone to use after pay if they really needed it rather than say, going getting a payday loan from cashies, or pawning something because it's not designed to help you it's designed for you to fail. I think you need to be able to build up enough that you can help yourself because nobody else is going to help you.


Dan Jovevski  37:15

That's a very good point. And the temptation for people to supplement living with debt is obviously not a not a reality that people really want to get themselves into that that's a very good and sometimes the way that people understand the situations, when it comes to needing a quick fix the temptation is always there to get yourself into a situation which can be long term and sustainable. That's a very, very good point, Emily, that you've touched on, which I think for a lot of people right now kind of considering it's almost it's almost a lifestyle for some people, some people will see that as the natural way of sort of living their lives. But when you added all the fees and interests that you've just talked about, I mean, yeah, that's that's a lot of money. That's sort of leaving your your ability to get ahead. So that is super important. You see any other bad buddy advice that you would give him that didn't work? Or do you think that should be avoided?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  38:13

I was given so much bad money advice . And I was also offered by these charities and companies to help manage my money because I was on Centrelink. And because I was you know, struggling. But when the ones that are the ones I've spoke to just basically said, there's nothing we can do for you, you don't have the income and you manage, I don't know how you manage the money, you have to do what you do. So I think that a lot of these companies, they that they're in, you got to think what they're in it for even charities. They are there to help those people that are really really overspending. They're not the people that generally are looking for this. They're the people that are looking for help and looking to get out and looking to get a better life rather than you know, buy the new PS five and buy the newest thing and buy, you know, a brand new, new Commodore and all of those things. Those aren't the people. Those are the people that they're looking to help. Those are the people that they're trying to change. But they're not the people that are looking for help. It's a lot of it is debt can is financing a lifestyle that you can't afford. And if you're on Centrelink you need to be you know, living on a Centrelink budget and living a Centrelink lifestyle, rather than, you know trying to live a champagne lifestyle and to be a budget because that that gap in the middle has to be covered somewhere. And if you're using those schemes, payday loans, giant collarbones, getting a brand new, a new car when you're on Centrelink, those things just aren't in the cards. You need to look at your situation realistically. And remember that if you're borrowing money to cover those expenses, you're robbing your future self, you're robbing that person in five years, who could have been in a much better situation without all of that debt and all of that interest, because that interest, you pay interest on that interest, and you pay interest on those fees. And even if you have the best intentions at all, I'm just going to put it in for a week and then you know, pay it off, and I'll never do it again. No, you're setting a precedent, you're, you're showing yourself and giving yourself the easy way out.


Blaize Pengilly  40:37

Emily, you are serving a reality check here. Not the not the payday check that we're looking for the reality check, but it's right. And it's something you mentioned goes to saying Dan has mentioned multiple times it's getting yourself into debt? Is robbing your future self. So if what might feel might seem good? Or or what might seem necessary or good for right now can really be affecting your future self? And do you want to be putting yourself in a situation that you might end up worse for wear? Or worse off? Because of your decisions today?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  41:13

Exactly. Compound Interest works both ways.


Blaize Pengilly  41:16

Before we wrap up, I would love to understand how important is mindset? And how do you keep so positive?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  41:25

Well, if I'm not going to be positive, and I'm not going to do it, no one's going to do it for me. So I'm just doing everything I can to take care of my family and to teach them to be better and to make it so that my daughter and my son are never in the position that I was in.


Blaize Pengilly  41:42

And that is such a fantastic answer. And I know this is a podcast, so no one can see our faces. But like you said, no one else is gonna do it for you. You've got to do it yourself. Dan and I both got a massive grin on our face. So I think we're both in complete agreeance with you. They're right in.


Dan Jovevski  41:57

Absolutely. Spot on. I think your message Emily has been about self empowerment, inspiring other people to then make it a reality so they can change their lives. And I think that's what we all need is a spark of inspiration that we talked about at the top of the episode on just getting involved. Everything starts off with that initial spark falling in love with a romantic partner getting inspired about a hobby, doing anything in life, start somewhere. And I think your positive attitude that you bring Emily is enough for anybody to be inspired around taking control their own their own their own situations, which is absolutely awesome. where can our listeners find out more about you?


Emily - Aussiedebtfreegirl.  42:35

The main place I am on the internet is Instagram. I'm there every day I post pretty much every day. I'm on YouTube. I'm on Facebook. If you just Google aussie debt free girl you'll probably find me.


Blaize Pengilly  42:49

Awesome. Emily, thank you so much for joining us once again, friend of the show of We Talk Cents podcast. It was a pleasure to have you back and thank you so much for being so open and raw with us about such a difficult topic and and yeah, we really appreciate you joining us and sharing your story and inspiring us and our listeners. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you and see you next week.


Dan Jovevski  43:16

If anything about today's episode with Emily put up any strong emotions and you feel like you need to get help from somebody. We've left some links in the show notes on how you can access things like Lifeline, other support networks to get you through a situation that you might be in.


Dan Jovevski  43:37

This podcast is produced by WeMoney. Blaize, What are some of the things you've seen recently the WeMoney app that's caught your eye?


Blaize Pengilly  43:42

Well, one of the functions I actually really like about the app is the WeMoney community which is essentially Instagram but for money. So people share you know that finance tips and hacks or if they've got a really good deal lately, your ways that they save on money. And I actually made a post recently because I'm going to a wedding in a couple weeks time and I need to get accommodation and a dress and you know all the sorts of things that come with going being a wedding guest. So I posted in the community asking for advice. And someone actually reached out to me personally and gave me their tips on buying clothes because I'm obviously really tempted, you know, I'm a recovering spender, like, I really want to buy something new, but I know I shouldn't because it's not really aligning with my money goals. If I'm buying a dress that I can weigh oneself, you know, so yeah, someone reached out in the community and said this is the list they go through when they're tempted to buy clothes. Number one, can you wear it to work? Now I work remotely so I can wear whatever I would like to work but I don't know if this beautiful pink silk dress that I'm really tempted to buy is the most appropriate for work. So that's our first question. The second question she asks herself, is it vacation only clothing which you still can't wear to work? And you know what I would say this is the dress that I want is vacation only clothing. I could still wear it to work because I work remote but I probably wouldn't So I'm going to say there's no. Three, is there anything else you should be spending your money on? And I think this is the decider question for me, because I still, like I really want to buy this dress, then don't get me wrong, I really want to but asking yourself that question, is there anything else you should be spending your money on? And realising Yes, you know what I'm trying to save. Because I think I want to buy a house in the near future. I think you know, the money that could go on this dress could actually have a much better impact for my financial goals. If I saved it borrowed a dress from a friend and put that money towards a deposit instead. So that's a benefit I got out of the way when he community and personally I guess love it. It's a really great place to share thoughts, ideas, and get really helpful advice like that, because now I have a checklist to go through when I'm making purchases.


Dan Jovevski  45:52

That is absolutely incredible. And that's so amazing that that community spirit of people sharing the hints and tips has practically paid off for you. That is awesome news.


Blaize Pengilly  46:02

That's awesome. As I'm sure you know, listening WeMoney does sponsor this podcast, it is produced by WeMoney. So if you'd like to give the free finance app a go, you can get it in all the regular places you don't like apps. And if you use the referral code podcast, that's PODCAST You'll even get $5 on sign up.


Dan Jovevski  46:24

Thanks for listening to the Talk Cents podcast, we back again for another instalment of money news.


Blaize Pengilly  46:29

Don't forget, if you'd like to take control of your finances or get up a full picture of your financial health. You can download the free WeMoney app and I'll even check a link to it in the show notes. So you can check it out.


Dan Jovevski  46:39

And if you want to get in touch with us, but absolutely anything feedback about the show guests that you want to see on or any topics that you want us to cover. Hit us up on Instagram at @getwemoney.


Blaize Pengilly  46:48

Thanks so much for tuning in. We will be back next week. Have a good one. See ya.


The author is not a financial advisor and the information provided is general in nature and was prepared for information purposes only. This article should not be considered to constitute financial advice. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on this article as the basis for making an investment, financial or other decision. This information does not take into account your investment objectives, particular needs or financial situation.

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