Budgeting Debt Free Community Interviews

Debt Free Community Interviews: Kim

Welcome to the another of my Debt Free Community series interviews. This week I am featuring the lovely Kim from The Economiss. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do! If you’d like to be featured let me know.


Q: Welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m Kimberly, ‘The Economiss’. I’m a single, millennial woman with a goal of financial independence. I moved to Australia in 2011 after I finished my thesis and found it hard to get a good paying job in New Zealand.

I’m a Learning Designer by trade and run a website on the side about my journey to Financial Independence.

I love red wine, flat whites, brunch, cycling, yoga, slow travel and podcasts.I am an expert at making homemade pizza, particularly the base!

Q: What is your current financial situation?

I am single, employed, debt free and saving for my first house deposit. It’s my goal to have a $60K deposit saved by the end of 2018.

Q: Where did you start with your journey and where are you today?

I had saved about $30,000 before I went travelling for six months and came back to Brisbane with $1000 in the bank.

I haven’t been that good at saving the last few years and have ramped up my progress in 2017 and 2018. I was about $10,000 in credit card debt in 2013 when I started at my current organisation:

  • In January 2015 I had managed to pay off the debt and save $12,036
  • In January 2016 I had managed to save about $8,000 bringing my savings total up to $20,007
  • In January 2017 I went back in progress starting the year at $19,309 in savings this was when I decided in my head I was going to save for a house
  • This year it is my goal to reach January 2019 with my $60,000 deposit in the bank


Q: What was your turning point or your reason for getting so serious about savings?

What is really driving me towards the path of FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) is the nature of the economy and job market in Australia. I have been on a series of short contracts since I have been here and there do not seem to be a lot of permanent jobs

My thoughts are if I have a paid off house I will have more security to choose to do the things I want to do in life.

Q: What did you do to help save so much money?

I started tracking every single expense through the Spending Tracker app – this has been incredibly powerful to me to see the black and white of my spending into categories. I’m a massive numbers nerd and I love how I have been able to export these into excel and look at in further depth. You can download the app here.

I am an avid podcast listener and I listen to podcasts everyday. For me it has been podcasts like The Dave Ramsey show, ChooseFI, Paula Pant, The Pineapple Project, Aussie Firebug and the Mad Fientist.

I found the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram and so many blogs through there! I am constantly inspired!

I am continually reading new self help and finance books for help and inspiration and review one a month on my site.

Q: Have you had any particular setbacks during this journey? If so, What did you do to overcome these?

In 2011 I finished my thesis and after completing three degrees, accruing $47,000 of debt and getting an A grade for my thesis I could not get a job in my field of study. It was heart breaking after so much time studying to go into administration on a salary of $37,500 a year while still paying $250 a week rent to share a tiny one bedroom apartment. Looking back I wouldn’t have changed it. It was the driver that forced me to move to Brisbane and have a better life and opportunities.

Working from October 2011 – September 2012 allowed me to save $30,000 to do the backpacking trip I had always dreamed of. I went to Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Laos, England, Scotland and France and really enjoyed the months of slow travel.

Upon returning to Brisbane I started a stepping stone job in May 2013 that led me to another degree (Education) and a career and job I really enjoy, Learning Design.

Q: Where do you see your financial situation in 5 years time?

In five years my dream would be to be living with a man I have met in an actual house we have purchased together and potentially having a baby. We would be having my unit as an investment unit. I would be working as a Teaching and Learning Consultant and a freelance writer. I would see my family in New Zealand regularly.

If I am on my own I will be living in my house that I purchased and having paid off a significant amount. I will be living alone, travelling regularly, and my friends and family come and regularly stay in my spare room. I would be working as a Teaching and Learning Consultant and freelance writer.

Q: What advice would you give a beginner on their debt free journey?

Get started! Track your expenses for a few weeks to get your head around things, write up your budget and always plan to pay yourself first.

theeconomiss4.PNGQ: Do you have anything else to add?

My main piece of advice for young people is to start now and to start putting a regular amount away. I have been sounding like a broken record recently to my 20 year old cousins but I truly believe the sooner you get on the property ladder the better as all your rent money is going into your mortgage. I have paid an average of $13,000 a year in rent since I was 18, I’m 31 at the end of this month so that’s about $156,000 in rent – yikes, if I had focused sooner that figure could have been on my mortgage plus what my housemates were paying!

Q: Where can we find you?

You can find me on the social links below:

editor instagram

*Icons designed by Freepik from Flaticon

If you’d like to be featured in the next post let me know! Comment below or send me a message on my contact page.

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