Hi, I'm Boganvillia.
I have 3 kids and am 41. My partner and I have about $560k mortgage (including maxed out $60K LOC) on a $1M house, and full time jobs at $75k and $95k. On the plus side though, no c/c debt, and we own one mid-2000s hatchback outright for which we paid cash at the time of purchase.
I was a single parent a while back and acquired some good financial skills during that time, but have had some lifestyle inflation since. Partly as a result of that experience, I am all on board with the moral and social rectitude of Mustachianism.
Looking forward to being part of this online community :)
So, an update: 2 months in, here is my progress:
1) Monthly phone plan: switched from $65 down to $16
2) Superannuation: contacted the minor one of my two providers and changed investment strategy, and also corrected the rate it was wrongly being taxed (the default rate they apply is too high for my income, and there's a 'snooze, you lose' policy about advising the provider of correct tax rates). I pay reasonably close attention to my main super fund already, so that one's all fine.
3) Have advertised for a boarder. When we have someone in, that will bring in $250/wk tax free: $13K p.a. We could actually free up a second bedroom - which would mean $26,000 a year gross! And say, $20,000 net. BUT means putting the toddlers in the same room and one is a poor sleeper and I don't know if we are badass enough to disrupt our sleep. Are we?
4) Plan to contact the kids' superannuation fund and switch their strategies to aggressive, seeing as the kids won't be allowed to touch it for 50-60 years anyway.
5) I wrote to my brother letting him know that we owe so much on the mortgage, and we have such an ambitious early retirement target (within 9 years), that there'll be no bought presents from us for this decade. But also that we love them all nonetheless :) Will widen this message across the rest of our family over through the course of this year as birthdays etc com up.
6) We are both taking our lunches to work and have stopped buying takeaway coffees: $2k annually saved.
7) Are looking at ways to reduce our child care bill.
8) Have switched power companies. Unfortunately at the mention of power companies I fall asleep so my partner has handled this one, but I am given to believe that yes, we are saving.
9) Have halved our water bill through handwatering (or not watering!) the garden and taking navy showers.
10) Our weekly grocery bill is currently $280 for a family five plus hangers on (nanny, guests, etc). This is the next main opportunity. I have contacted a business-to-business supermarket - a wholesaler, essentially - who've said they'll let me shop there without being a cardholder, such as businesses are entitled to be. They've got a whole bunch of bulk products. That should help. I've also tried to buy on ebay some second hand cloth nappies but wasn't successful last time - will give it another go.
11) Siphoning off $50/week into a savings a/c - by May we will have set up an account on an online trading platform and I'll have researched the companies in which we will at that time initially invest our first little lump sum.