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Budgeting helped Jen & Marcel take charge of their finances and keep up with mortgage repayments

Jen & Marcel
Jen & Marcel

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I had good intentions about paying off my mortgage quickly, but had nothing in place to help me achieve that

I sought Phil's budgeting advice about a year and a half ago, when I had to buy a new car. My mortgage at that time had just come to the place where I was paying more off the principal than the interest each month and I was not happy about having to increase it again.

Before putting a budget in place, I'd lived quite chaotically financially. I had good intentions about paying off my mortgage quickly, but had nothing in place to help me achieve that. All my income went into one pool of funds. When there was plenty in the pool I was generous, made extra mortgage repayments and spent freely, taking no account of upcoming expenses. But year after year, I'd hit the same period where car registration and insurance, rates and home and contents insurance, plus the regular utilities and mortgage repayments, fell due one after the other, and I was never prepared. I avoided opening any mail that looked like it was potentially a bill.

Budgeting has meant that doesn't happen any more. I never fear a bill arriving because I know the money is there to take care of it. Within a year, my mortgage was back to its pre-car level. I know that within three years I can finish paying it off. If I decide I'm prepared to sacrifice some of my other goals, like having an overseas holiday in the next year, I have the opportunity to pay off the mortgage even more quickly.

I find meeting with Phil on a monthly basis, not only gives me the opportunity to discuss any issues or difficulties, but keeps me accountable as well. Phil is a great motivator, and after each meeting I feel refreshed in my goals and inspired to get even more involved in a budgeting lifestyle. Rather than finding budgeting restrictive, as I thought I might, I've found a great sense of freedom.

February 2008