Mumpreneur Angela Sibley was 34-weeks pregnant with her third child when she and her husband bought their home in Sydney three years ago.

A nester at heart, Angela immediately started making their house a home, personalising through organising and styling and then she would share her genius hacks on social media.

Angela quickly amassed an online community of homemakers thanks to her budget-friendly DIY projects and so she launched Ever So Homely.

Life at home was sweet until June 2020, when Angela’s husband lost his job amidst the pandemic and they were abruptly faced with the reality of losing their home.

“It made us feel pretty sick and we were in panic mode because we didn’t know how long it was going to last,” says Angela.

As parents to six-year-old twins, Charlotte and Adelyn and three-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, Angela was worried about their financial future.

“Our kids need a roof over their heads…it was scary.”

The couple turned their panic into proactiveness and focused on where they could save money.

Angela went into panic mode when her husband lost his job during the pandemic but she quickly set a savvy savings plan in place.

Here are Angela’s tips for budgeting like a boss:
1. Assess your financial situation:

In tough times, my family and I find it really helpful to sit down and work out what our current financial and future money situations look like. It gives us the opportunity to work out how many months we can pay the mortgage for with the money we have, without looking at other options (including the worst case – selling our home).

Sitting down and laying it all out on a plan is a great tool which has helped us put our situation into perspective and decide what to do next.

2. Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep!

We have found it helpful to plan and prep our meals in advance. It’s a great way to avoid food wastage and wasting money on unused groceries. Whether it is weekly, fortnightly or monthly – think about the produce you will need from the supermarket and plan how you can make the most of it throughout the week.

For example, if you’re making a pumpkin dish, plan out how you can make the most of it with pumpkin muffins, a pumpkin salad, cheesy pumpkin puffs, pumpkin tortellini and so on.

We’ve also learnt to save some extra cash on grocery shops by bulk buying what we can and when it is available. This planning ahead also helps us stop those impulse purchases at the supermarket – another money leak of ours!

3. Immediate changes:

I’ve found some of our biggest money leaks are on unnecessary items or subscriptions such as Stan as well as takeaway coffee, getting take-way or eating out. You can make great meals for the family on a budget and will cost you half as much as it would ordering in.

You can easily make a special night of it with the family, including a date night in. Making these immediate changes, such as cutting down on non-essentials, allows us to cut down costs and avoid splurging.

4. Check-in on your home loan

While many of us have been keeping busy spring cleaning our pantries and linen cupboards, the intangible things like your home loan is just as important. Our loan is one of our largest financial commitments… so it makes sense to start there.

I highly recommend the ANZ Home Loan Check In as it helped us understand our options to achieve more certainty. Best of all it is free! It was a 15 minute consultation and then we had the information and help we needed so that our home loan is working in a way that better suits our needs.

5. Set a financial goal

Most people would overlook this simple step, but setting solid financial goals is the most important place to start. I’d recommend making the goal something that you have an emotional connection to as it can be easier when it’s something you actually want.

Once we get our finances back on track after hubby’s job loss earlier this year, we will be using a online spend tracker to help manage where our money is going.