Hello, and welcome to season one episode, one of the Irish home show, your guide to Ireland’s homes and property. I’m your host, Ben Thompson, the friendliest estate agent. When I’m not selling homes for my clients, I’m also doing a lot of work to help inform buyers and sellers, renters, and landlords about the Irish homes and property.
For years, I’ve been writing at my online magazine, Irish home.ae. And last year I wrote and published the first ever Irish home buyers journal, a guide to taking you through the steps to buying your first home.
This podcast is the centerpiece in a ton of new educational guides, articles, and resources for aspiring home buyers and hopeful home movers.
Each week. The Irish home show is bringing you a variety of news and stories. Fun. In depth, explainers and expert guest interviews on various aspects around the Irish home
You’re joining us at the start of season one, where we are gonna be focused on the house buying process in Ireland. Each week we’ll be tackling a topic on the journey to buy your first or your future home
from saving a deposit to applying for a mortgage to house hunting, to going set agreed, and finally getting those keys by the end of the next 10 episodes, we’ll have a complete guide to buying your next.
This week, we are starting at the very beginning of almost everyone’s house buying journey savings. First up I’m me running through our savings. 1 0 1 explainer, a guide to what you need to save and why, when you’re looking to buy a. Then I’m gonna be talking to the brilliant Cal Galvan. AKA misses smart money about your money mindset and how to prepare good habits for saving for a deposit.
After I’ve spoken to her, we’re gonna be running through some really fun features I have at the end of the show,
📍 we take our flight of fancy through what’s out there on the housing market, in our features in out and 📍 away and new home versus old.
Finally, we’ll finish up the show with some latest news that is important for you to know.
So stick around for the end of the show. If you’re listening to the podcast, I urge you to go find our social media, to see some of the videos and the visuals around each show.
You’ll find us on Instagram at Irish home magazine, and this whole show will also be on YouTube, just search for Irish home magazine, and I’ll include all the links in the show notes.
In the meantime, please subscribe to the Irish home show wherever you listen to podcasts. So you can get each of our episodes next week in your feed.
Are you ready? Then? Let’s get started on your home buying. 📍
📍 Welcome to our explainer section each week, I’m gonna spend just five minutes explaining one part of the house buying process. This week, we are talking 📍 savings 1 0 1. I’m gonna give you a brief overview of why we’re saving towards a house, what that money’s needed for how much you’re gonna need.
And some of the schemes out there that may help you in that process.
Most people when buying a house are gonna 📍 fund most of the purchase price with a mortgage, but you’re also gonna have to provide some cash on your own. This is known as a deposit or your equity stake.
Let’s think of a fictional couple just to illustrate the point. Chris and Kira are hoping to buy a house. The property prices in their area, average around 350,000 for that price, perhaps they get a inner city, two bed apartment, or a suburban three bed semi detached, or perhaps they could live outside of the city and get aids, detached family home.
Now, the first thing they’re gonna need is a deposit that needs to be at least 10% of the value of the house. Central bank rules. Stipulate that a first time buyer can only borrow up to 90% of the value of a home. This is designed to stop first time buyers overleveraging and taking too much debt.
And it also protects the banks from overing. So any first time buyer here buying a 350,000 Euro house is going to need 35,000 euros in cash. if you’re a second time buyer, unfortunately, the rule is 80 20. You have to have 20% of the value of the home to buy the property. And only up to 80% of the value can be a.
I know it feels frustrating, especially when you’re trying to afford ever increasing house prices, but it’s probably best that this scheme has been in place for almost a decade. Otherwise house prices would’ve probably got even more out of control.
The second major cost is your purchase costs that is mostly made up of two major things, stamp duty, which is a tax payable to revenue. Now it’s 1% on the value of the purchase price of the property up to 1 million Euro. On any purchase over a million euros. Every extra Euro is taxed at 2%
it used to be up to 9%. So we’re quite happy that it’s only at one or 2% of the moment. The second major cost is gonna be your solicitor’s fees. They are your major professional fees that you need to pay when you’re buying a home. Typically that could be anywhere between 1200 or 1500 euros for an average property.
Uh, it could be two or 3000 euros. If it’s a more complicated or a more expensive property. On top of that, there’s usually extra searches that might be an extra 500 or a thousand euros after this. There’s a couple of little bits and extra surveyors Savannahs usually cost around 500 euros. That’s an essential part of the process to make sure you are buying a house that is solid and is not gonna have major issues that you can’t see on the.
Finally, if you are getting a mortgage, the bank are gonna require a valuer, goes out to the house to have a look at it, make sure it’s there and make sure it’s worth the value that you are paying for it. That could be an extra 150 euros that you have to pay. So let’s look at the figures for our couple Chris and Kira.
They’re buying a house worth 350,000 euros. They need a deposit of 35,000 euros. That’s 10% of the purchase price. Their purchasing costs are gonna add up to probably around 6,000 euros that’s solicitors fees coming to about 2000 stamp duty would be 1% of the purchase price. So three and a half thousand euros survey, 500 valuation, 150 all in all.
Then to buy a house of 350,000 euros, they’re gonna need cash in their bank of around 41,000 Euro. Now many buyers are very fortunate that they have help from family to fund their purchase of a property. Almost 50% of buyers at the moment are using bank of mom and dad as their main funding source for their. However, you may have the 40 or so thousand euros sitting in your bank account.
Ready to go? That doesn’t mean you don’t need to save. When we come onto mortgages in the next couple of weeks, we’ll explain that the mortgage banks still need to see your ability to save. Cuz that shows you have the ability to repay the mortgage to them in the. So even if you have the full cash amount, you need ready to go in the bank, you probably need to be saving for about six months prior to applying for your mortgage, just to prove that you can afford the repayments.
Don’t worry if you’re renting, that will also count two, because obviously once you’ve bought a house, you won’t be renting anymore. So if you are spending a thousand euros a month, that will be taken into account as something that would go towards a repayment capacity. Finally. It does feel like a daunting amount of money to be able to save up.
There are a couple of government schemes that are designed to help out. First time buyers in particular, one is the help buy scheme, which will fund up to 30,000 euros of a deposit. The second is a new one. The first home shared equity scheme, which will fund up to 30% of the value of the home. You can use both together.
However, they’re only applicable on new build homes. They will not apply to buying a secondhand. I’ll come onto these in more detail in later explainers in the next couple of weeks
That’s your explainer about savings coming up next, I’m talking to Cal Galvan, Mrs. Smart money about money, mindset and preparing good financial habits for saving money towards a home.
Next week, I’m gonna be talking about savings again, in our explainer. I’m gonna go into more practical details about how to budget your money, how to save, where to save. And we are gonna be talking to Smoy her of at Irish budgeting on Instagram. She has blown up in the last year with practical tips and really good explainers about how to budget carefully.
Now let’s get on to our interview this week with Cal gall.
So welcome this week, I’m talking to Kel Galavan. She is Mrs. Smart money your will see her on Instagram. And she is a money saving expert who got out of her own position of debt and is now teaching other people to do the same ke how are you? Hi, I’m great. And it’s great to be on here today then.
Thank you for having me. Oh, you it’s a pleasure. Well, I’m so excited to have you as our first guest. Um, as you know, you know, this first season is gonna be talking through mostly from the perspective of someone trying to buy their, probably their first home. Uh, and we’re working our way through and the, the first step for most people will be savings and getting people on the right track to think about getting a mortgage, even think about being able to buy a house is to have a savings for a deposit ready to go. Um, so we’re gonna start talking about that. You are the expert on that and you do some brilliant stuff on your Instagram, uh, and on all your, on your websites and stuff like that. So tell me, how did you get into becoming this expert?
Oh, goodness. My poor story. It was, you could, you could sum it up by saying accident, uh, life but like, I think a lot of people out there will understand where I’m coming from because I would’ve started off not having a clue about money, making all the mistakes that everybody makes.
Sure. Yeah. That we all learn the hard way. And my heart goes out to people now who are trying to save for deposit. It’s not easy. It’s absolutely not easy. No. Especially in, in this current market. Yeah. Oh, it’s, it’s really turned on its head because like, my story started when things were flipped, 180, when you could literally walk in and you got a mortgage, but the problem with that is nobody explained to you. Now I signed on the line. I know that nobody explained it to you, what a mortgage was and if you weren’t ready for it, and there was a hundred percent mortgages and this kind of thing. And like, it was in a way it was like the wild west of mortgages. And I remember getting my mortgage, but delighted by myself, bought a house off the plans.
Didn’t see the house for another year. Like you could have two or three houses, really, if you wanted it, but you didn’t understand. Yeah. Yeah, but you didn’t understand that you had to pay that money back. So when recession hit in and this is sometimes kind of for younger people coming up and you might kinda look back and go, oh, well you could get the money.
But now when you flip it 180 it’s you’re trying to save this money. People now, and they’re trying to get the money together to get on this property ladder. It’s the same thing, but it’s flipped.
You’re in this impossible position and it can be, it can be tough, but it’s not impossible.
Yeah, it’s worth discussing actually, you know, now back then they would lend to anyone. Now we have been under much stricter central bank of Ireland rules for the last almost 10 years or so, where you have to have, uh, a certain amount of deposit.
First time buyers will have to have 10% of the value of the house. Uh, and lenders are under a strict, uh, criteria. They’ll only lend you. The rule of thumb is about three and a half times. Your income. It may, there are a few exceptions that will take that up to four or four and a half. Um, but in general it has been a much more carefully restricted market, which have probably been good thing. Uh, house prices have increased a huge amount in the last 10 years, almost double, but they probably would’ve been worse if it wasn’t for, for these restrictions. So yeah, young people have a different challenge now instead of being, having money thrown at them that they might not be, have to afford they’re almost having to over prove that they can afford a house that the mortgage might be less than the rent they’re paying at the moment.
And for anybody who is saving up for a deposit for house, like don’t lose heart. Don’t give up on it, keep building it, keep building your time will come. And when it comes to kind of a saving mindset and, and I hope this will help some people is that if you truly want this home, this home, that’s gonna be your forever home. Not an investment home, not a, not an extra home. Just your forever home.
Focus on that. That is going to be the thing that’s gonna drive you forward. You will get it. It might take a bit longer, but when you’re making financial decisions with your money coming in, just think, do I want this home, or do I want this impulse purchase? Or do I want this instant gratification now?
And I’m kind of jumping in a little bit deep, straight away, but when it comes, no, that’s great to that kind of mindset. It is thinking about what do you value over and above everything. So that’s That’s a good place for us to, to, to jump in on. And your, a lot of your, your thinking is, is mindfulness.
And you’ve written the book on it, mindful money, uh, which we’ll talk about more in a bit. Um, it’s actually important. I think a lot of people are you’re under pressure to save and a lot of what they are feeling is. Do I have to live this completely frugal life and cut off everything. I have no fun. I have no joy.
Um, or, but I like the way you have phrased that. Uh, you’ve allowed people to think about that in a different way. Uh, you talk about it as mindful spending. Tell me a bit about that.
Yes. And actually you, you use a brilliant word there and frugal frugality. My personal ethos is not about deprivation. It is not about frugality.
It is about spending money where you get value. Okay. And I’m gonna give some, give you a practical idea of where this, what this looks like. Cause it’s all nice to be esoteric and stuff, but it is important to be practical. Cause money is practical and it’s a skill like everything else. So if you have, you’re working hard for your income, you have been trained, you’ve qualified, you’ve had time experience.
You’ve good bosses, bad bosses, all that sort of thing. You give so much to your company. And as a result, they give you a paycheck mm-hmm and that paycheck has to be used to pay your bills, pay electricity, go on holidays, save your deposit, get your groceries. But nobody teaches you really how to do that. So for somebody who is readily new to budgeting, or they’re not fully sure what to do, something that’s really handy. Figuring out where your money’s going. So when I say that I’m gonna, uh, have a quick chat about a money audit and a money.
Audit’s a really simple way of budgeting if you’re not into the paper budgeting, and if you’re not Excel and, and sitting down and going through all these things is not your thing. This is a really simple way of finding money that you maybe didn’t know you had. Okay. And then you can channel that towards your, your.
So, and a money audit, very simple. You have your income and you have your expenses. Now, anybody who is saving, who doesn’t want to go down the full on deprivation, who wants to have a balance in their life, I would highly recommend you work out what your expenses are per month. and you can do this by getting a bank statement one or two bank statements and literally running down, like, what’s your rent?
What’s your ESB. What’s what are these bills that you have to have these, the essentials that you can’t change? They don’t vary particularly. Yeah. You have to pay them just to keep your life ticking over yeah. You work out what they are and you look at your income and you know, what your income is coming in.
It’s usually on your pay slip and you go, okay, well, what’s the gap. What’s the difference between the two of those. And that’s the. That you can save, but once you find what that gap is, you might kind of go, do you know what I’m doing better than I thought might offend the Lord. I thought which, which is a really empowering thing.
Cause you have the numbers now and you can see, so don’t be totally afraid of doing this, but on the other side, you go, well, you know what? I’d love a bit more wiggle room here. That’s when you do your money audit and the money audit is you take your same sheet, your same bag statement, and you run down through it, but you get three highlight.
You have your green highlighter, your Amber highlighter, yellow highlighter. Add your right highlighter. Like see your face, like see where this is going right now. Yeah, this is, but this, see this as a game. Okay. Absolutely. See it as a game down, reading state is definitely. Yeah. Okay. It’s not necessarily high on everybody’s list on hobbies, but this is definitely worth doing.
And the business worth doing is you get your green highlighter, you go down through it and you have the bills that you have no wiggle room on, but they bring value. They’re very important. And I would include in this, like if you’re, if there’s a particular subscription that you use a lot that you love and you you’d really miss it, if it was gone, keep that in green.
We’re not gonna cut out all the good things outta life, but do keep the things that you have to have in your. In your life to keep everything going. So they’re your greens. Then you have your ambers, your ambers are the things where you kinda go. Okay. Could we do a bit better on that? I could really negotiate that a little bit.
Yeah. I could maybe, you know, work on the grocery a little bit. They’re your Amber things where you could without massive effort, put them into green, make them a bit better. Okay. And then there’s the reds. The reds are the eyeopener ones and we all know the reds. Cause they’re the ones where we look at our statement and go, what is that?
I have no idea what that is. Don’t remember doing that. What was that about? The reds are the ones where we kind of go, Ugh, but the reality is the reds are the ones that, where it’s, where money wasn’t spent wisely. It’s the impulse spending. It’s a spending. We forget mm-hmm, it’s a spending that usually ends up in landfill about six months time.
That’s I get it. It’s a it’s AAU or the, uh, you know, the online shopping late night or something like that. Or it may not be big things. It may be lots of little things. Once you’ve highlighted a couple of pages in, in green Amber and read, you suddenly say like what these, you know, 20 Euro here, five Euro here, and you realize it quickly adds up.
And that might be the, the weekly takeaway or the, uh, the coffees or something like that. Or the lunch that you could have brought from home. And those quickly add up. And you realize that could be a few thousand, a. Absolutely. And quite often there’ll be things in the mix there that you would’ve forgotten about.
So there could be a subscription you signed up for and it was a free trial and it just kept rolling. Mm-hmm yeah. And you a couple of those in a month, and let’s say, let’s pretend it was 10 Euro a month and you have two or three of those, like that’s several hundred Euro that you didn’t even notice are maybe put much mass on.
Yes. Until now, until now you realize. I want a home. I want more out of life and I would sooner have that 10 year old month going towards my deposit for my home than to a company that I don’t get value from. Cause I’m not using it. . And so what you do then is you give yourself little jobs and you just go right this week, I’m gonna cancel these three subscriptions or this week I’m gonna renegotiate MYB or, and just little small steps like that.
And you’ll be surprised the amount of money that you can free up month on month. And by cutting those expenses, you’re not cutting out your life. You’re not having deprivation ality. It’s just cutting out the things that don’t really matter to you at the end of the. Yeah, I think I like the way you, you, you phrase it as, you know, you, you are waiting, uh, where your money is going.
You know, what is this worth? Is this worth me having a, the enjoyment of a takeaway on Friday night or something like that, or is the, the value, the, the benefit I’m gonna get from getting a house in a year or two’s time, is that combined better than all those little instances and really be mindful about where you’re putting your money, uh, and what the greater goal is.
Yes. And once you do that over time, and I would recommend people would do this, ideally at least once a year. But if you, if you’re new to it, I’d say like nearly every month, I I’d do it nearly most weeks at this stage, but it gets faster and faster as you do it. It, it gets really, really fast and you just go, oh goodness.
Yeah, we need to cancel that subscription. Oh goodness. Do you know what? Didn’t have to do that top up shop. That was food in the fridge and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can loosen up 10, 20, a hundred Euro. A week a month, whatever, uh, all that money. If you channel it towards your deposit for your house or whatever it is you need to do to get your, all your ducks in a row for that.
If would feel so good, you’ll be so happy when you look at your next couple of statements, you go, you know what, that’s nearly all green, a few ambers. I can deal with that. And it puts you back in the driver’s seat. And it’s amazing the difference. Cause you see somebody who’s saving for a house who’s in control of it versus somebody who doesn’t necessarily isn’t ready for the full mindset of it yet.
Huge difference in their confidence and, and their belief in getting the home as. Yeah, I see. Um, I, I talk to online a lot of first time buyers who are out there saving and, um, they send me, sometimes they send me screenshots of, of, um, from their buyers journal of the pages. You know, we have some great fill in pages.
There you fill in your, uh, your monthly savings or whatever it is, and then build up, uh, there’s a little sort of chart you can color in and shows you go. And some of the things they send me are incredible. The amount of saving, you know, you can feel sort. Highlight as you go and people send me screenshots of this, cause this is my favorite page.
And people fill it in all with different colors and things like that, or shade it in nicely. And people send me these and they’re fantastic. And I’m just blown away by how focused, uh, some people are it’s usually, it’s usually, it’s a part, a couple it’s normally the girl and, uh, and they can be phenomenal.
And a lot of ’em now. They’re they’re undergoing hardship. They’re maybe living at home with parents and saving on rent, uh, or, you know, they’re living super frugally, not eating out. And, you know, they’re just having a, a blitz for six months or 12 months, whatever it is. Um, but they’re putting away incredible amounts of money.
Um, especially as a couple, I know for single buyers, it’s much, much harder both in terms of being able to save and also getting a mortgage. But with couples sometimes, you know, they’re spending, you know, we’re saving all of one person’s income, completely going into savings and, and sometimes they’ve saved an incredible amount in just a year.
I just dunno how they. They’re very focused. That’s where you gotta be, I guess. But actually even just using your journal there, I was looking at it, the fact of, of taking the time to color it in, to track the stuff that reinforces in your mind, what you want and where you’re going. And if you do that regularly enough, you won’t get distracted by the impulse of things, because you know, this is what I want more than anything else.
. That’s why we wanted to have a physical journal there because it actually, you can track it on a spreadsheet and that sort of thing, but actually seeing it in your hands and coloring in with pencil or pen or highlighted by yourself really makes a difference. Now, these days it has got better things like Revolut accounts, where you can, you can quite quickly see where the money’s coming in and you can deposit little amounts here and there.
Or do little top ups and stuff like that. It’s very clever. And I think it almost gamifies the, the savings routine and there’s other apps that do that as well. Um, but this is a nice sort of old school physical way that you can see it. And I does, I do think it helps, you know, if you’re, if you’re sort of starting here, you, you know, it looks less insurmountable.
If you’re halfway up, you feel like, look how far I’ve come and, uh, look how much I have to go. And that gives you motivation to get to the next sort of level or to get all the way to the top. So, no, I think all those little things do help people, um, just keep focused and, uh, keep going with it because.
Tempting to, to get halfway. And you feel like it’s, you’ve, you’ve lived a frugal life for six months and it’s, it’s very tough, but you know, pu push through and you’ll get there. You absolutely will. And even if the journey takes a little bit longer than what you’d like it to. just keep moving forward and don’t underestimate the power of the small things done.
Well, the 20 Euro save on a takeaway, the getting rid of a subscription, the renegotiating electricity don’t underestimate that because each of those add up and that put aside compounds and that’s what gets you your result? That’s a really good point. Okay. So, uh, you, you, um, you came outta the book only a couple years ago.
Now you in 2019 really set yourself on this path. Uh, tell me about where you were then and what you did in that year to really get yourself in a better position. The yes, I did a no spender. there. I’m hearing this all the time. Now it’s a bit more popular. It sounds terrifying, but tell me a bit more it’s do you know what it goes back to?
What do you want most out of life? So back in 2018, like I had been in my job for 16 years. I had my masters and all that sort of thing, and I really enjoyed what I did, but I noticed during that time that I was spending more and more time away from the. Yeah. And I kind of went after a while. Yes. I was bringing in money and yes, look, things were very, I’m very, very fortunate and very lucky, but I found that my kids’ childhood was passing me by and I wasn’t around to see it.
And I remember like one week in particular, that I hadn’t seen my kids awake at all. I was gone so early in the morning and I’m included the weekend here. I was gone so early in the morning. And by the time I came back, they were in bed. So I, all I was seeing was their like cute little sweaty heads in the bed.
you know, giving ’em a little pick on their foreheads or whatever, but they wouldn’t have seen me. And I like, this is, this is not what I wanted out of life. I, I loved working and I loved my job, but I, I, I wanted to be around for my kids. So it scared the living S out of me, I have always worked from being very, very young.
I’m a Rexford girl. So would’ve picked strawberries from the ages of four and five and worked the whole up along. I would’ve always had my own income and thought of not having that scared me and the thought of leaving a job. I worked for 16 years, scared me even more, but I knew that if I didn’t do this, if I didn’t step back in some shape or form, I would regret it for the rest of my.
So I took a big deep breath shed loads of tears. Cause the fear that was in me doing this was just, yes, it was, it was fearful. But I handed in my notice scariest thing I ever, ever did. Oh, imagine. Yeah. And I thought right, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to make the income that we did have work as hard as it possibly could.
And for that, I thought I was gonna do a no spend. And the low spend year was a life changer. A game changer for us. The short version is I wrote out a manifestor for myself. I love my rules. I love my structure. My background is science. So it, the nerd part of me does come through every day. And again , but I said, dunno if I had a set of rules, not super strict rules, but you probably call ’em more guidelines.
Okay. But that I would stick to throughout the year and just to see how it would go. I had nothing to lose. In one way, everything to gain. I was gonna get this year with the kids and then I think I might go back to work or whatever. So over the year I decided, right, I was gonna give up alcohol, me personally, I, I stopped buying clothes.
We stopped eating out. Um, I, we, I decided I was gonna try and cut our food, but in half, which we ended up doing, which I couldn’t believe. Cuz that’s incredible. Yeah. So you, you, you, you, you say you have a target of a hundred Euro a week, uh, which would be under, you know, about 5,000 for a year, which seems, uh, with a family of four seems undoable.
It’s I thought it was a stretch. Um, and it did to be fair. It did take me a little while to get into it, but it, it forced me to get very structured in how I shop. So like I had one, uh, big shop, like once a week and then I’d keep a little money back for a topup during the week we all run outta milk. We all run.
It’s always bread, milk, all that sort of stuff. Exactly. Exactly. And I got much better at, um, just cooking meals from scratch and getting the most outta meals. But one of the big things that helped me save money with the shopping was looking at my food waste. Believe it or not. Right. And walking backwards from there.
So a big, like the money audit that look at the money that, that isn’t bringing you the value. I was looking at my bin and I was kind of going well, what’s going into it. So I stopped buying lettuce for the whole year because I realized we bought it because you should be healthier turns. Nobody actually liked it.
No, it ended up in the bin a week later. Yeah. Yeah. It turns out they all love broccoli. Yes. They love broccoli. Great, babe. I was delighted. They love broccoli. So I, I just buy broccoli and not buy lettuce. I mean, have carrots and tomato and all instead, but it took me that time to slow down and realize, what do we love eating?
What can we cook from scratch and, and just, and just take it from there and get very discipline and structured in, in how I did. So that was the, that was the food then with our, uh, kind of discretionary spending. So days out and stuff where we might have gone to the cinnamon, things like that before mm-hmm, we focus more on parks and going to festivals, and there’s a lot of free things.
If you look on Facebook or event, right. There’s family things, you can do picnics, little frying plan, little camper stove. You have picnics anywhere in the world with little and too. And just off you go, and just mix that in with your food. I think that’s one thing with COVID we’ve learned to do very well.
Cause everything was closed. It was at parks, beaches, bring your own picnic and that sort of thing. I think I’ve carried that on because I think as the world has opened up again, everything is, everything is busy. There are people everywhere and I’m just preferring to find a nice quiet playground or Woodland walk or something like that, where I Don’s pay to get in, cuz everything is expensive and there’s no other people most of the time.
Absolutely. And like, we are so lucky in Ireland in some ways, like we had the, you know, all the O PW sites, all these castles and gardens. And even if you do pain, it’s a couple of Euro and you get a whole day out. Like we, we are very lucky that way, but it’s just to get that little bit organized, bring your picnic with you.
The kids they’ll play anywhere. They’ll go outta your, and just throw on Wey boots and Ray jackets. So that’s just as much fun in a different way, but even if you do want to go to cinnamon and stuff, you just mix it in with days that are no spend days and no spend days. They’re just days where you don’t spend money except on your groceries or essential bills.
And you mix those in and you’ll be surprised how much money stays in your account. When you look at it from, from that point of view, what can I do? That’s fun today that doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of. And do you find that these habits or habits that you’ve continued, uh, even after you, you focus on the no spend year?
I don’t think anyone’s gonna keep doing that forever and ever, but I, you probably end up with a much more, um, careful sense, mindful sense of where your money’s going and carry that on in certain areas afterwards. Yes. I, I do remember coming up to new year’s Eve at the end of the year, and I had been thinking, oh, I’m gonna be wishing for new year’s Eve.
So I can just get back to me, pop, publish the champagne cos after a year and no booze. Yeah, exactly. But as it turns out, no, I was quite happy it, and, and even when I woke up new year’s morning and I could buy clothes again, I could do all those things. I didn’t, I actually didn’t but actually, sorry, that’s a slight little, I bought a pack of organic cotton, bamboo socks. I deal were the nicest socks I have ever had my entire life. Cause I’d run outta socks theory at this stage. And I learned to appreciate quality soft socks. Yeah. There is something just gorgeous about that, but it made me understand that fast fashion isn’t necessarily all it’s cut out to be because during that year, since I couldn’t buy clothes, all.
Less expensive clothes. They kind of fell apart and they wore through. Yeah. Whereas the things that I had that were maybe a better quality, I still have them today. And it’s really made me learn that just buying fewer things and quite often buying secondhand or inure secondhand stores, you’d be surprised which you can pick up for little money.
Really good quality stuff. That’s great. Tip. Yeah. Fantastic.
Now I liked in your book as well. You have, um, you, you have sort of seven habits that you, I think you must have learned from this year, and then you carry, we should say for before we finish the no spend year, but you saved how much in the one year, just over 27 and a half thousand Euro, we cut out.
That’s incredible by, and you, uh, you had quit, you had quit your job. So that was only off one income. Yeah. Incredible. But we caught our outgoings by 20 just, oh, just under 27 and half thousand Euro. So yeah. And that was everything that was the cover across the board from food. You name it, but we didn’t miss out on anything like no.
Oh. And as well, um, one big thing that just come up, a lot of people kind of say, well, what about holidays? We did the same holiday in 2019 during the no spend year, as we did in 2018 to the same self cater accommodation to the same, it was by a beach the same, pretty much the same week. Exactly the same, but it cost us nearly half because we had the picnics.
We didn’t eat out as much. Right. We didn’t get the take away coffee so much. We made the coffees. So you can still do the same sort of trip. But if you just do it the right way, um, you can still save a huge amount of money. Yeah. Okay. That’s absolutely. We’ve, we’ve been the same. I don’t think we, we haven’t had a foreign holiday for about the eight years.
I think we go to England every year to see my family, but then, you know, we went to cork for three days. One year we went to, to an Airbnb, we went to a small hotel in Galway. Another year. This year we may go to Dar or something like that. And we’ve explored the island and say, stayed cheaply. Been frugal, bought our food in Tescos or whatever locally and made our own picnics rather than eating out all the time.
And it’s done a world of good. It’s been a wonder. Yeah. And they’ve been, the kids love it. The kids still go on. This tiny little hotel pool that we were at in Galway, which is the smallest thing, uh, about the size of my desk here. Uh, but they still go on about it, how they loved it. So anyway, they, they don’t have expensive tastes.
Thank God. no, they just, it’s just something different, a new environment. That’s it. Kids will play anywhere. So they will, and it’s, you know, yourself the best times you’ve had in your life. It’s the company that you’ve had. It’s not necessarily how you’ve spent. Absolutely. Perfect. Well, I want, I wanted to get onto, uh, some bits in your books.
I don’t wanna go through it all. Cause I wanna save that for people who should go out and buy it because, uh, if you starting out on your savings journey and you really want someone to, uh, help focus your mindset, I really, I think it’s worth picking up as well as following account online. But your, your habits there, I’m interested in the, in the first, first couple, um, your first one.
Pay yourself first. This is something that I think comes up a lot with savers. Um, talk me through that and how that can apply for someone who is trying to put away money for a mortgage for a deposit. Yes. So pay yourself first. It is a game changer when it comes to saving, it is an absolute game changer, but there’s a mindset shift attached to it.
So, and what that looks like is, um, traditionally we get our paycheck in and we have all these bills going out and you have all these things to pay out and then life happens and there’s weddings in Christmases and birthdays and all this, we have to get this, that, and the other, you rock up the end of the month and you’re gonna wanna save what’s left.
Yeah, exactly. The problem is when you get there, there’s not necessarily a huge lift of the account. There’s save at all. Mm, no, but pay yourself first flips that on its head. And what it does is you get. The next bill is you. And it’s the, it’s an interesting one, because most of us, we’re not used to putting ourselves at the center of our money.
We’re nearly afraid and we push it out to everybody else. But this puts you at the center of your money and it’s paying yourself for your month’s job. Well done, because if you rock up the end the month with no savings, you’ve essentially worked that month for free. Because you’ve nothing to show for it for yourself.
You haven’t progressed anywhere further, especially if you’ve ever gone. Exactly. Which is kind of a sobering thought when you consider how many late nights people work, how many hours they put in. Yeah. If you don’t save and put money into a pension or to savings or whatever that month you have essentially worked for free.
So with, um, pay yourself first, it means putting money aside before you even pay your bills, like treat your money as if it was the most essential bill possible. That might sound a little bit unnerving when you’re starting it, but if it starts small, like even if it’s just 50, 20 or something like that, but just put it aside, get the practice in place.
It’s a great habit to get into. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, start small and build and, okay, perfect. So you can set a goal and if someone’s looking to save, as I said there, you know, we try and encourage people to set a goal. Maybe it’s 50, maybe it’s 250, something like that, you know, put that away first and then all your bills go out after that.
So, you know, that’s gone. Yeah. And there’s no hoping whatever’s left over at the end of the month. Cuz most of us will have. Very little leftover at the end of the month. Um, that’s a great tip. I think that was really important for our savings. Yeah. And, and the beauty of this as well, Ben is that once you pay yourself first and have it as a set amount, right.
Don’t have it as, as everything that you, you kind of had in the gap, but once you pay your bills, what’s left over that’s guilt free, go have fun money. that’s a good point. Yeah, absolutely. and just enjoy it. Just enjoy what is left there and don’t even think about it, whatever it is. If you wanna take away, get it.
If you want, you know, the nice pair of jeans, get it. And because you have to have something to we’re humans, we like our bit of I gratification. Sure, sure. And this is a great way of making sure you’re securing your future. You’re keeping your roof over your head. And you’re having that bit of fun. That’s just yours.
Yeah. You can go and spend that on clothes or nights of the cinema or night out, something like that. Knowing safely that you’ve put away their money, that you’ve set your goal for. And you’ve put that aside and you can actually mindfully spend this money without regrets, without worrying, or I should have, yes, I should have stuck that in savings as well.
No, look, you’ve done that. You’ve done your savings for the month. You paid yourself first and you can now go and enjoy. Brilliant. Exactly, exactly. That’s where the balance comes in. And that, that also makes it doable month on month and month, year on year on year. And you can do this for the rest of your life and it just works.
Perfect. I did. Now one other one I wanted to ask you there, uh, a lot of, a lot of, um, savings and money experts talk about having an emergency fund. You know, all these, all these shows they say, look put thousand away or something like that. You don’t like to call it an emergency fund. You what you call it, something.
Yes, I call it a rainy day fund. And the reason I call it rain day fund is I know when I was younger and I didn’t know much about money and I’d hear this word emergency fund, and I would think you would nearly have to have a zombie apocalypse before you dip into it. So I was like, we’re gonna have a zombie apocalypse probably well, or, or a pandemic or anything like that.
No, a pandemic. Yep. Um, so I, I just found the phrase rainy day fund helped me to save and it helped me to save because in Ireland, It’s gonna rain. You don’t know when it’s gonna rain. You don’t know how long the rain will last or how heavy the rain is gonna be, but it’s going to rain. So you need your rain coach.
You need your umbrella. And that’s what your rain day fund is because inevitably an appliance is gonna break. The car is gonna pack it in there’s. Something is going to happen, that she suddenly had this big deal landing on your plate. It’s it’s the unexpected expected surprises of life. And that’s what your rainy day fund is fur and anybody who kind of finds it a bit more difficult to get their head around an emergency fund.
Just think having this money aside in your rainy day fund for when it inevitably does rain, it’s easier to put that money away because you know, your car is gonna be. Need to be changed the next by of time, or, you know, that the fridge has been around for way very more decades, but it needs to have been around for, and if you need to change it, some you’ve name you’ve named the exact two things that are ignoring, or my mind at the moment, my car is in the garage at the, as we speak and the fridge is making a funny sound.
So, yeah, you’re absolutely right. Um, and, and actually it’s really important for, for savers who are looking to my house and the next step on the journey is to get a mortgage. Um, I see a lot of people asking questions in, in, so the groups and, and forums that I. Contribute to, um, you know, what, if something breaks down, what if I need to spend money on this?
Uh, can I take it out of my savings fund? And sometime that is a big no-no with mortgage brokers at all the banks, they say, look, don’t ever touch that fund. If you looks like you’re dipping in and out of that, or for say one month, your usual, a thousand euros are gonna save in there, doesn’t go in there because you’ve spent it on a, repairing a car or something like that.
Um, you know, avoid that with all costs because the bank sees that as a gap, um, or a problem and why you’ve taken out. If you can keep that saving, you’ve done it at the beginning of the month and the fridge breaks or whatever it is, if you don’t dip into that, but you have that rainy day fund to dip into, you can keep your record clean with your savings account.
That’s the one, the bank or the mortgage broker, or the lender are gonna be focused on. If you can keep that, keep consistent with that. You have that rainy day fund there, which you can use without worrying about, and you can rebuild it and refill it later. That seems to be a really good tip. Absolutely.
And for somebody, if somebody’s saving for a deposit, chances are, they’re either renting or they’re living with family or something like that. So you probably don’t need a massive rainy day fund, but you just need to think, okay, what do I have in my life that. Is gonna cost me money. So, and I don’t wanna touch my home deposit and it might just be, okay, look, don’t need to worry about appliances, just the edge, because that’s the landlords, whatever.
Uh, but the car usually costs me this amount of money. When I get it done, I need to keep it taken over till we get this mortgage approval. So I’ll need that extra. 600 a thousand. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be’s car because you’re probably, you’re probably hanging onto a car it’s a little bit too old, a little bit too tired because you can’t go and get another car loan before you get the mortgage loan, cuz that would ruin your credit rating and you’d have that extra bills going out.
So you’re holding onto the car just to eek it through. And so hope, you know, hopefully after you get the mortgage and you moved in, you can probably go and get a credit union loan or a different car loan and upgrade your car. A lot of people do, but yeah, it’s normally the car that goes sort of a week before your mortgage application.
And what do we. And you don’t need that stress in your life. No, you absolutely. Don’t. So having that bit of money and I know it can be tough cause you’re trying to build up your deposit as much as possible, but think of the protection, this is giving you, it’s keeping the car on the road, it’s keeping your record clean and you trust me when you get to the house, there’s gonna be a use for this really day fund.
There’s gonna be plenty of things that you’re gonna need to, to do the house and all that kind of thing. But if you can, and it doesn’t have a huge amount of. Have that separately there. And then when you are in your house, have a look around and go, okay, well, what is coming down the line? Because you’re gonna have different expenses and different bills, but your re day fund, just think of those things, the unexpected expected things you have coming down the line, and that’s what you need that for.
Brilliant. That’s great. Well, I recommend the book. It’s fantastic. Uh, and really will help people on the start of the journey or any part of the journey, even if they have a house and they’re, you know, they’re, they’re looking to put stuff away for pensions or, uh, you know, savings and that sort of thing.
It’s definitely worth looking at. Um, you, you are, obviously, you’re very active on Instagram, uh, and, uh, and you reach a lot of people there. You’re also, you have courses and things like that. How else are you helping people who are looking for help? Yes. So my main day job, I suppose, best way to put it is I’m a money mindset coach.
And I coach people to get in the right head space with money. I teach ’em how to just get rid of all the negative beliefs and all of that. And then I give them systems that they can manage their money with nice and easily rinse and repeat so that you can just for the rest of your life, be confident with money, feel that you’re willing to handle money, have the skill of money, and then the systems that go with it.
And that’s mainly what I do, but I do have courses. I do have the book and I am on social media, quite a. Brilliant. I think I probably need to, to, to, to get on your books and, uh, and start getting some coaching from me, myself. Um, well, Ken, it’s been great. I really appreciate you coming on talking to that. I think it’s gonna be really helpful for people just in the start of their journey.
Uh, where can people find you if they wanna reach out to you? Yes. So Instagram at Mrs. Smart money HQ. You’ll find me on LinkedIn at Kel Galvan and at my website. Uh, Mrs. Smart money dot. Totally. Perfect. That’s great. Kel, thank you for so much coming on today and I hope to we’ll have you back another time to talk about another topic and, uh, and keep helping people.
All right. Have a great day, Ben.
Thanks for staying tuned. Now, in our last couple of segments, we have a fun feature where we are comparing properties on the market and where they are located or what type of property they are. We call this in, out and away and also new home. Versus old home. It actually comes out of a couple of sections in the Irish home buyers journal, where we, uh, just take you through an exercise to think about why do I want a secondhand home or a new home, or do I want to be in a house that is in town, on the edge of town?
Or perhaps can I get away and get something better value for money or in a nicer location? each week. We are picking a few properties on the market and we are gonna compare them all at the same price range. And I want you to go to my social media at Irish home magazine and tell me which one you would choose
so this week on, in, out and away, we have taken the price range of 350,000 euros. 📍 We’re looking at a property in rings, end a house in valley bra, and then a house out in.
First, we are looking at 73 rings, end park. This is a traditional Dublin red brick worker’s cottage. It’s actually two story you can see from the skies, but you can see from the aerial photo there right over the back is the P and O ferries. This is right on the river Ify right in the center of rings end Dublin four inside the ground floor is just a single open plan room.
Living room and kitchen with a tiny courtyard garden and looks like upstairs to dormed bedrooms. That’s our Inn for 350,000 euros.
Uh, out on the suburbs is bat bra bat. Bra is a really nice area. This is actually a sale that we have, and, it’s, , an area, a lot of Exco houses that 📍 are being done up.
This one hasn’t been it’s a three bed semi. , ex-co house, , for 330,000 euros. , it needs a bit of work, but could be scrubbed up really nicely. It has, , a car parking bay and a side patches Finally away. This is six gleam Mount on the edge of WLO town. This is a three bed 📍 semi detached house in beautiful condition inside lovely gray interiors, uh, has been modernized and done up it’s Semit detached with off street parking with lovely big south facing back garden.
This is also on the market for 350,000. So, which would you choose the inner city? Two bed red brick terrace in the middle of town on the edge of 📍 Dublin. In B bra or the three bed semi out of 📍 town in the heart of county Wicklow, you go to our social media and tell us which one you would choose. Our second part of the feature is new home versus old home. Here, 📍 we compare a new built home in a particular town with a secondhand home in the same town, uh, for roughly the same price range, just to see what you can get for the same value for money. Today, we are going to a lovely town called Lismore, which is in can Waterford, but it’s on the cork border.
This looks like a lovely old market town and there’s a new home scheme called the mills, just being built on. Skirts of the town, a three bed semi in the mills will set you back 295,000 euros.
These are beautifully finished stone fronted houses with beautiful open plan interiors and fitted kitchens already with large island units And what looked like a marble surface, these houses are practically, practically complete apart from just your choice of flooring and they have beautiful tile bathrooms and nice size back gardens. now for our old home, we found this beautiful old house in the town center on chapel street, which was obviously a shop on the ground floor originally, but has been converted into a fine family home.
Again, it’s priced at 295,000. Whereas the new bill was a two rated. This is only a D one, uh, but it has been nicely modernized inside with beautiful, modern kitchen, small, but perfectly comfortable living room. Uh, some of the bathrooms have been done in a shabby chic style, uh, and there are plentiful bedroom.
Up through the three stories of this house. It has a largest courtyard garden, but it is in the center of 📍 town compared to the other one, which is on the suburbs.
So, which would you choose the, a rated new build on the outskirts of town or the refurbished period home in the heart of the town center, go to our social media and comment below, or click on one of the poll buttons to choose. 📍
Finally, we’re gonna finish a show with three items of the news that you should know. The first is an article from the Irish examiner written by oh, McGee. 📍 Inflation is everywhere we look, but we can control some things.
Owen has some really positive ideas about cutting your costs. The main two being switching energy supplier, which everyone should be doing on a regular basis to see if they can get the best rate, even when they are putting up the rates. And secondly, switching your mortgage lender, if you’re on a variable rate or still on a long term tracker now would be the time to switch. There are some excellent value fixed term mortgages out there for longer term periods, 5, 10, 15, 20 years. Uh, it’s worth talking to a mortgage broker and having a look at.
📍 that takes us to our second article this from breaking news dot E homeowners urge act now to avoid mortgage repayment hikes, and again, on the same theme, Martina Hennessy from Donald, do a E we’re talking to her in episode three. Uh, she has said don’t wait till next year. Now is the time to lock your mortgage in to a fixed rate mortgage before rate increases. Go up again.
📍 Finally the third article from the journal.ie house prices likely to increase in coming month, despite significant increase in supply. Now I think this might seem quite out of date in a few weeks time. Let’s just see where things are going. Certainly the house price rate of increase. Is continuing to rise, but a lot more slowly than it was in the last year.
They expect a significant supply to come online, and demand to keep up with that. But we may quite quickly find that with interest rate rises, demand, slips away. And I know builders are finding it increasingly difficult to complete sites and that might also slow down as well. So let’s hold on and see what is.
That’s your news for the week. Thanks very much for everyone who tuned in this week to the whole show. Uh, next episode we are talking to Smoy about savings. I’m gonna be going into more detail about practical steps for you. If you’re starting to save your mortgage, if you want to get a copy of the Irish 📍 home buyers journal, then please do go to our website, Irish home DOE you can order one there members use our discount codes show to get free shipping.
Uh, 📍 you can also go to our social media at Irish home. I’d love to see you there, and you can respond to some of our segments on their own videos there. And please, please leave a five star review on wherever you’re listening to your podcast.
It really helps us show grow and reach more people that hope we can help find their next home all the best I’ve been Ben Thompson. This has been the Irish home show. I look forward to seeing you next week and, uh, listen to the next episode. It’ll be out in your feed. 📍 📍 📍 📍