Get se­ri­ous about money

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By Bethany Rol­ston

When you have no money to spend, you soon find out that the sim­ple things in life bring you great joy.

With 2018 well un­der­way, now’s the time to get se­ri­ous about your New Year’s res­o­lu­tions.

If your goal is to be bet­ter with money, take a leaf out of Bradie Clay­don’s book.

The 47-year-old le­gal ex­ec­u­tive is con­fi­dent, well­dressed and en­er­getic. She’s also a hard-core bud­geter who buys sec­ond-hand clothes and tracks ev­ery dol­lar she spends.

In two years she and her hus­band Paul have slashed more than $450,000 of debt and dis­cov­ered it’s the sim­ple things that make them happy.

But the road hasn’t been easy or per­fect.

Three years ago Bradie and Paul, who have three chil­dren, had a mort­gage debt of $566,000.

De­spite both work­ing full­time they were mak­ing in­ter­est re­pay­ments only.

Bradie used a credit card and loved go­ing shop­ping. She would spend hun­dreds of dol­lars get­ting hair­cuts, man­i­cures and fa­cials.

She now de­scribes the life­style as “try­ing to keep up with the Jone­ses” — an end­less and dis­sat­is­fy­ing pur­suit.

But Bradie hit re­al­ity af­ter her sis­ter passed away.

“I had a heart­felt de­sire to live a sim­ple life,” she says.

“My sis­ter had taught me to stand in my truth.”

So in Jan­uary 2016 Bradie and Paul be­gan a jour­ney to­wards a debt-free and hon­est life. Their goal is to be debt-free by June 30 next year. Bradie says her only re­gret is not start­ing ear­lier.

She is full of tips on how to save more and spend less.

Face the truth

“Lay out ev­ery­thing on the ta­ble and as­sess your debts and spend­ing habits,” Bradie says.

“Make a fi­nan­cial plan and be on the same page as your part­ner.”

Bradie and Paul re­placed their ex­pen­sive cars.

They sold their rental prop­erty and un­wanted pos­ses­sions.

Re­duce spend­ing, start sav­ing

“Go through ev­ery ex­pense,” she says. “Ask for bet­ter deals on in­sur­ance, power, in­ter­net, TV.”

The cou­ple each get $50 ‘fun money’ per month. Bradie does her own fa­cials and man­i­cures and hunts for bar­gains. She now en­joys sav­ing money more than spend­ing it.

Keep it sim­ple

“Ev­ery­one wants ev­ery­thing right now but it’s im­por­tant to learn to de­lay grat­i­fi­ca­tion,” she says.

“Put shop­ping and travel on hold.

“It is more sat­is­fy­ing when you pay in cash.”

Bradie rec­om­mends mak­ing the most of free plea­sures, go­ing for a walk, watch­ing the sun­rise and swim­ming in the ocean.

■ Learn more from her blog ki­wi­girlonabud­get.com or on In­sta­gram. Bradie is shar­ing her story at the Hamil­ton Gar­dens on Fe­bru­ary 28. Event de­tails to come at www.seed­waikato.nz

Bradie Clay­don

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