It’s undeniable that when things are on the up, many of us have a tendency to get swept away in the momentum and are less likely to prepare to ride the waves of life and feather our nests for the fluctuating (or down) times. Creating some strategies and taking the time to plan and prepare for all realities will hold us in good stead.

Developing awareness around our own values and how they relate to our finances is a huge part of cultivating an the abundance mindset. Maintaining a positive attitude, developing a growth mindset and building resilience greatly impact on how we approach and navigate various situations and challenges in life. Here are a few strategies to consider:

Personal Reflection: What brings you joy in your life? How could you create a lifestyle that aligns with your values and what impact do these values have on how you manage your financial life? Taking time to reflect on your core values will help clarify a framework to create some mindful money choices that align with your goals and values.

Build and Maintain an Emergency Fund: One of the best ways to prepare for leaner times is to have an emergency fun in place. Knowing you have a financial safety net can help reduce anxiety during difficult periods. This doesn’t mean you’re focusing on scarcity; it’s about being financially responsible.

Create a Budget and Stick to It: Develop a budget that reflects your financial goals and priorities. This will help you manage your resources efficiently, whether you’re in a period of abundance or facing financial challenges.

Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude for what you have have, even during lean times. Gratitude can coexist with an abundance mindset by focusing on the richness of your life beyond material wealth.

Focus on Long-Term Goals: Instead of dwelling on short-term financial setbacks, maintain a focus on a your long-term financial goals. This perspective can help you see lean times as temporary hurdles on your path to abundance.

Adopt a Growth Mindset: Embrace a growth mindset, which sees challenges and setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth. It allows you to approach lean times with a positive attitude and a belief in your ability to adapt and improve.

Diversify Your Income Streams: Explore opportunities to diversify your incomes sources, such as side hustles, investments, or developing new skills. This can help you weather financial challenges more effectively.

Practice Financial Discipline: Avoid impulsive spending during abundant times. Stick to your budget and maintain financial discipline, which will provide you with a strong foundation for leaner periods.

Seek Financial Education: That’s why we’re here! Continuously educate yourself about personal finances, investing and money management. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and feel more in control of your financial situation.

Network and Build a Support System: Build a network of friends, family, or mentors who can provide support and guidance during difficult times. Lean on your support system when needed, and offer your support in return.

Stay Mindful and Present: Maintain mindfulness practices that help you stay grounded in the present moment. This can reduce anxiety about the future and improve your overall well-being.

Remember that having an abundance mindset doesn’t mean you should ignore financial realities or neglect financial responsibility. It’s about maintaining a positive outlook and a belief that you can achieve abundance in various aspects of your life, including your finances, even during challenging times.

The Strength of the Sisterhood, Collaboration, and the Side Hustle…all walk into a bar…

A side hustle here, a side hustle there, there’s a side hustle almost everywhere!

A very Dr Seuss type opening to a very topical topic. The rise of the side hustle has been evident over the last five to ten years and boomed over the Covid pandemic. With time on their hands, many a human set up their passion projects into something more substantial while keeping the 9 to 5 so the bills could be paid – hoping with hope that the one-time hobby becomes a fully-fledged business, where they can quit the day job.

You Tube videos on how to set up the back end of websites and how to navigate the ins and outs of social media, have increased in views as have subscriptions to online courses on how to increase your followers and build engagement.

At the crux of all things side hustle, is the power of collaboration. Your net worth is in your network! There absolutely is value and merit to your knowledge, your expertise, and your worldview. But relying solely on these individual strengths will only get you so far on the path of building your side hustle.

As the saying goes “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together.” If you forge ahead on your own you could see great results, but it truly is the partnerships in your business that will help you see tremendous growth. It’s worth intentionally investing in a few key people to go along on the journey with you. Those that have the insight can fill the gaps of not knowing what you don’t know.

If you are currently sat at the starting line of the side hustle race, here are some great things to ponder on – taken from an article from The Freelance Jungle  How to collaborate effectively on a freelance side hustle – Freelance Jungle

Plan to have a plan

As boring as planning may sound, it’s essential to making sure a good idea doesn’t end up being a disaster in the making. Whether it’s about making money or working together on a passion project, a plan helps create the structure and the chance of success.

You need to vet the opportunity and set the ground rules.

Collaborating on a freelance side hustle only works if you:

1.      Have a clear vision for the undertaking. Do you both agree on where you want this to end up? If not, how different is the vision? Partnerships only get through tough times if your vision is compatible. If you don’t have that in the definition or development stage, step away from the idea and come back when you do. A vision of where this project is going will be the beacon that pulls you forward. Without it, it’s two people in the dark!

2.      Play to strengths. Coming together as parts to create a whole is about increasing your strength. But a common mistake in partnerships is having too similar a skill set and treading on each other’s toes. Or attempting stuff where you aren’t using your best talents on a regular basis. Collaboration means increased workload and more things to do. Play to your strengths and choose to work with people who expand your range of skills, not muddy them

3.      Develop a structure that allows for equality and/or proper recognition. Better outcomes come from individuals who feel free to take ownership of their stake in the freelance side hustle. Forget the committee of compromise. It only dilutes what you’re trying to do. Find a way to build alongside each other. If you can’t do that at the beginning, it will only get tougher to do as the project progresses

4.      Set goals you agree on. Small and large goals mark a successful project. So be clear about the milestones you want to reach in 3, 6- and 12-months’ time. Also be careful that you are the only person setting goals and the other person isn’t. It may mean you’re directing too much or that the person isn’t as interested as they seem

5.      Define success carefully. Outcomes give you something to aim for. What are you producing? What does a sell-out look like? What is success in your eyes? Be clear about how many social media followers you may want. Or what strategic partnerships and media opportunities you think suit the product. Understand your audience and how you want them to respond in detail

6.       Make it your business to have a strong focus on pricing and revenue. Money is the worst argument a partnership can have. And it can ruin a good partnership and take the friendship with it. We all want to make money out of our projects. Pricing should be based on research, not guesswork. And it should reflect the market, not your egos.  Knowing when and why and how and who gets paid is essential

7.      Invent a methodology that supports both your aims. Think about product delivery. Define your role within that delivery process. How you are going to work together matters as it forms the core focus of your products. Make sure you define the division of labour to ensure work gets done in a fair manner

8.      Define your launch aims. Generating cash means your freelance side hustle a sustainable idea. That won’t happen straight away and will need to have a timeline that indicates what growth looks like. Some freelancers will want to establish a product and test the market to see potential. Others will want the project to price to pay for itself straight away. Others still will be prepared to wait years for pay-off. These are not compatible scenarios and will need to be agreed on before you launch

9.      No love and passion fluff. While you establish a new partnership or product, it will take you away from your core business. This has a time and financial cost associated with it. Many a friendship hits the rocks because it’s built on the love of a person without understanding the idea in full. You can’t believe “I would love to work with you” is enough. Love, passion, and fluff are fleeting

10.   Personality helps, too.  We work differently. Complementary styles work. Complete differences in approach do not. Tread wisely. Respect each other’s working style and use it to enhance your performance. If it’s a battle of wills, it will lose its appeal pretty darn quick!

Setting up the process of collaboration

There are a couple of collaborative processes you need to have agreed and in writing before going forward:

  • Profit share– how is the money divided and paid, what is sunk back into the freelance side hustle as opposed to paid to the individuals involved etc
  • Setup costs– for example- websites, hosting, business registration, social media scheduling tools etc. If someone foots the bill and you dissolve the partnership later, you may have a lot less claim on the work than you think
  • Intellectual property– you need to register trademarks and associated IP and assign rights
  • Division of labour- many a well-intended partnership has come unstuck with one or more parties doing the majority of the work. This is why having defined roles is clear
  • Non-compete clauses– if the partnership dissolves, can you legally work in that space again? Where is the line in the sand? A basic marketing plan– this, together with your strategy plans should form the basis of the engagement
  • Success measurements– have in writing the goals you want to kick. That way you’ll know when things are and aren’t going to plan
  • Project timelines– stage the work and stick to it. There’s no easier way to lose faith in a partner than the whoosh of deadlines. Or when one person is ready to launch, and the other person is still fussing over the business documentation
  • Contracts – are a great idea as it gives you both structure and comfort. I would strongly advise against entering any kind of partnership without one. You need to outline the roles and responsibilities within the project. As well as goals, models and revenue generation model.

Yes, it sounds like I am sucking the fun out of collaboration. But the smarter way to think of it is starting it on the right foundation so you can get to the fun stuff without worries later.

Be wary of anyone who uses phrases like:

“We can work that out later”

“Planning makes me cross-eyed”

“Can’t this just be fun?”

“Let’s just see what happens”

These are the chosen phrases of someone who hasn’t thought it through properly. And they will turn into a nightmare; a rather expensive, stressful, and unproductive nightmare.

Always check with your chosen partner before you start by asking this simple question:

What do you want to get out of this project?

If they can’t answer you or the answers don’t match what you want, don’t do it. Find someone else who does. Or work on the outline until you both agree on what is happening.

Also, don’t fall for the myth that you can take a load off your current work schedule by collaborating. It’s not going to play that way. Sorry!

Knowing how you work is the key to success

  • Want to know if collaborating on a freelance side hustle or creative project is for you?
  • Write down the elements of your work you enjoy the most
  • Write down what generates the best revenue
  • Write down the opportunities you have available
  • Run them through the pros and cons in the previous lesson
  • Ask the questions you need to work out if you are on the same page re: the 10 points of collaboration I introduced you to before
  • Ask yourself if what you like to do and what makes you money would benefit from teaming up
  • Sanity check the idea. Tell a few people what you are thinking of launching. What’s their reaction?

In the most recent Femme Finance Podcast we discuss this topic in more depth. You can hear from a women led collaboration of how their business came about and their thoughts of the power of collaboration and women in business.

Good luck out there!

Check out the podcast episode here Podcast – (

ADHD Money Talk

Let’s face it, managing your finances for the average person can be boring and challenging, but what about the extra challenge for those who have ADHD?

Well first of all, what is ADHD?

ADHD is a developmental impairment of the brain’s executive functions, which are essentially the brain’s self-management system. People with ADHD may have trouble with impulse-control, focusing, and organisation.

If you think about that close friend or family member that appears to be nailing their finances, what’s the bet they are disciplined, have their eye on the prize and run their financial systems with military precision? It’s probably quite likely, so how do those of us living with these executive function challenges set ourselves up for success?

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Automate the heck out of it
  3. Talk it out
  4. Have an accountability partner
  5. Have a vision of your future

Keep it simple

Having elaborate systems and processes is not ideal for those of us who struggle with executive function. One of the key challenges for the majority of those with ADHD is being organised so the easier it is to complete the task, the more likely we are to follow through.

Automate the heck out of it

We’re also not amazing with consistency so use the tools that work for you to stick with the basics. This may be setting a recurring calendar invite to check on your budget and your own financial progress. Don’t forget that your banking app is your friend so set up those recurring automatic payments for bills, savings and let technology work for you.

Talk it out

It’s very common for those who have ADHD to be verbal processors, which just means that we need to talk out loud to learn what we think or feel about something. Having someone to bounce ideas off could be a great start to developing suggested frameworks and processes and then setting up the systems that work for you to manage your finances.

Have an accountability partner

If you’re finding it hard to follow through, recruit an accountability partner. This may be a paid professional, but it could simply be a friend, partner, colleague or parent. You could implement some systems and processes together or you could just ask your accountability buddy to check in on your progress. Most of us with ADHD won’t let someone else down, but we’re quite good at procrastinating, especially when it comes to areas of our lives that don’t fill us with passion.

Have a vision for your future

Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve in your life is a great motivation. For some of us, we like to write this down but if our big goals are scribbled in a notebook that gets tucked away in a drawer we’re going to forget what we’re looking to achieve. This is especially true of those with ADHD as we have working memory issues so we need visual ques and reminders to assist us. Why not create a vision board to remind you of what you are looking to achieve in life. This will assist with keeping on track and you’ll have some of your own pretty artwork to appreciate too.

Listen to our podcast # 26 ADHD Money Talk where Emma discusses with David De Witt some of the basis of managing finances for those who ADHD.

Money Dates & Creating Financial Wellbeing for Women

The Financial Services Council of New Zealand recently launched a fantastic campaign about inspiring financial wellbeing in women! Since we already love talking about all things finance, lifestyle and mindset we naturally took up the challenge to be involved in this great initiative.

It all starts with action and the first step is starting conversations about money so Amy & Emma jumped on board to lead the way asking and answering the 50 questions that the FSC provided to prompt some great conversations about money. There aren’t any right or wrong answers, but in a 3 part “Money Date” podcast series Amy and Emma shared their stories, experiences and views by answering the below questions.

Check out our 3 part podcast series “Money Date” (podcast # 23-25) to hear their answers to these great questions.

Thanks to FSC for the opportunity to be part of a great initiative. Find out more about their initiative here:

  1. Does what you earn affect how you feel?
  2. How much of your income do you save?
  3. Is building wealth good, bad, or morally neutral?
  4. Who taught you about money?
  5. Do you ever go to bed worried about money?
  6. Are men better investors than women?
  7. What would you change about your life if money was no object?
  8. What do the words “financial freedom” mean to you?
  9. What makes someone good with money?
  10. How many times a day do you think about money?
  11. What would you tell someone if they asked how much you get paid?
  12. What’s one thing you would tell your younger self about money?
  13. How have you gone about negotiating a pay rise?
  14. Do you think it’s easier for men to negotiate a pay rise?
  15. What’s your money superpower?
  16. What’s your money kryptonite?
  17. If your wallet could talk to you, what would it say?
  18. Is it better to pay by cash, credit card or to use buy now pay later?
  19. Is it better to live for now or save for the future?
  20. Is it more important to be paid well or do a job you love?
  21. What’s one thing you want to do differently with money this year?
  22. Which do you enjoy more: earning or spending money?
  23. Do you know how much you have in the bank right now?
  24. Could you be with someone who earns less than you?
  25. Who is the best at managing money in your household?
  26. How old do you want to be when you retire?
  27. If someone gave you $100,000, what would you do with it?
  28. What was the last big thing you bought? Was it worth it?
  29. Will more money make you happier?  Why or why not?
  30. Did your family talk about money growing up?
  31. How do you handle financial emergencies?
  32. What money lessons did you learn growing up?
  33. What do you use to help you manage your finances?
  34. Do you have a budget to help you manage your money or do you just wing it?
  35. Do you usually have money left over at the end of each pay?
  36. What is the best money tip you’ve ever been given?
  37. What would you say if someone wanted to borrow money 
 from you?
  38. Who needs to have a will?
  39. Who do you go to for help with your finances?
  40. Does life get more expensive the more you earn?
  41. How do you protect the things you value?
  42. How does taking a career break impact someone’s financial situation?
  43. How do you feel about investing in shares?
  44. What would you change about your money education?
  45. What’s the best thing about KiwiSaver for someone in your situation?
  46. Is there such a thing as good debt?
  47. Have you ever hidden a purchase?
  48. What does the prospect of retirement look like to you?
  49. How have your beliefs about money changed over the years?
  50. What’s the role of money in your life?

Book your own money date with your nearest and dearest female friend, family member or colleague and participate in this awful initiative.

How to Create a Budget

So, you have decided to take charge of where your money is going and what you are doing with it – you have some goals in mind and know the main tool to help you get there is to have a personal budget in place. A budget is a great snapshot of where your money is going, and it can help you feel more in control of your finances, and it helps to make your savings goals achievable. The trick is to figure out a way to track your financial comings and goings that works for you.

Below we have put our heads together to come up with some steps to help you create your own personal budget.

What is your Net Income?

Net Income is what is deposited into your bank account each pay day. Knowing what this amount is and what day you are paid, is the foundation of an effective budget. If you’re a freelancer, gig worker, contractor or are self-employed, make sure to keep detailed notes of your contracts and pay in order to help manage irregular income.

Categorise and Organise

Track and categorise your spending. Where is your money going? A good place to start is to list your Fixed Expenses these are the regular monthly bills such as Rent, Mortgage, Utilities, Internet, Car payments etc. Next list your Variable Expenses, these are the ones that change from month to month, such as Groceries, Petrol, Power or Gas, Phone and Entertainment. Using your bank statements and previous bills, record the average you would spend in these areas over a three month period – these amounts can now become the minimum you budget for the expense in that category.

Date and Stamp it

Its time to write down what you now know. This can be done in a budget book, A4 paper and stuck to the fridge, written in your phone, via an app or download our free budget template here Shop/Resources – (  If you want to add stickers and sparkles, do it, make it yours!!

Enter your income, your expenses, and the amounts you are going to budget for each. Ensure you also record when each bill is due so that you do not default on any payments – good account conduct goes a long way if one of your goals is to apply for finance for a home loan!

A good rule of thumb to ensure defaults don’t occur, is to set up the payments for each expense to be paid as soon as the bill arrives, or the money enters your account. Another handy tip is to have separate accounts for different groups of expenses – an account for the house utilities, an account for groceries and dining out, an account for retail and entertainment and an account for your Savings. Just double check that you don’t have fees charged on each account!

Setting Goals and Regular Reviews

Now you have documented your income and spending, you can make the necessary adjustments so that you don’t overspend and have money to put toward your goals. Are there any wants that you can cut back on or remove altogether? Is there the possibility of getting a better deal to save money with car insurance, internet provider?

Once your budget is set, it’s important to review it and your spending on a regular basis to be sure you are staying on track. Make a note in your diary or do it every pay day!

Good luck and happy budgeting!!


As we know, mindset matters – so what are some of the things we can do for ourselves in order to move from catastrophic thinking to possibility thinking? First, what is catastrophic thinking and why do some of us think in this way, as opposed to others who think in a more positive way.

Catastrophic thinking is a form of cognitive distortion which leaves some of us focusing on the negatives in life, rather than perceiving the positive aspects of life. We make mountains out of molehills, we expect the worst and fear is more likely to set in ahead of other positive emotions such as excitement when there are unknowns and uncertainty. Essentially, we overestimate the likelihood of negative events taking place and this prevents us from seeing the positives and the many other possibilities in a situation which can certainly impact on our mental wellbeing.

Some of this may be explained by our genetics and our desire to protect ourselves. It’s a throwback to our primitive human history where our ancestors had to look for danger in their environments to ensure their survival. However, in these modern times we aren’t faced with the possibility of imminent death going about our daily business but yet somehow for some of us our brains continue to recognise our more modern-day stressors with their reptilian brains.

So what can we do to train our brains to move from catastrophic thinking to focusing on the positives that already exist in our lives as well the possibilities available to us? Here are just a few tips:

  1. Acknowledge that life isn’t always rosy:  Life will always have its ups and downs and it’s important to acknowledge this. Accept that you’re going to have good days and bad days and know that its normal to have some days where you are able to reframe, refocus and find positivity in the day and others where you won’t master this, but the point is to go easy on yourself.
  2. Become aware of your thoughts: If you want to redirect your thinking, you first need to become aware of the automatic thoughts that are occurring. Where these are negative, they are called “automatic negative thoughts” and in order to make a change you need to identify the patterns. 
  3. Challenge your thoughts: Where your thoughts are ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) challenge them and ask yourself if this is a thought that is true and whether it’s adding any value to your life.
  4. Replace the ANTs with something that better serves you: Where you identify that your thoughts are irrational or untrue, replace the thought with something more positive. If you identify a repeated thought that isn’t helpful, write yourself a new and positive affirmation to train your brain to replace the irrational thought. You could write this out and put it in a prominent position that you’ll see on a regular basis. 
  5. Gratitude and appreciation: There is science to support the fact that stopping to take time to look for evidence of positive things in your life, changes your brain chemistry and literally rewires your brain. It’s a great idea to keep a gratitude or success diary to highlight all the wonderful things in your life. The act of putting pen to paper and acknowledging the positive aspects in your life will literally make you feel better!
  6. Practice self care: There are so many ways to make yourself feel better and some things may work better on different days. Why not write a list of some of your favourite go to self-care options. These could include, walking on the beach, journaling, meditation, coffee with a friend, playing with your dog, being in nature, dancing, having a hot bath or anything that generally just makes you feel good.  

Setting yourself up for success and developing a tool kit to manage your thoughts and feelings is a great act of self love. With a tool kit at the ready you can feel more in control. Whilst we’re all allowed to have ups, downs, highs and lows it’s a wonderful gift to yourself to look for ways in which you can improve the way your think and perceive the world. Afterall your thoughts and feelings are with 24/7 so it’s going to be a sweeter ride if your head space is a wonderful and supportive place from your mind to reside.

Shopping your own Wardrobe!

What does shopping your own wardrobe even mean? Let’s define that first!

Shopping your wardrobe is a coined phrase to describe creating outfits from clothing, shoes, and accessories that you already own. It can be a helpful way to make the most of your existing wardrobe without spending money on more stuff you may actually find you do not need. Talk about sustainability – that’s it right there! (Mother earth and your budget thanks you!)

If you are one of our followers that joined us during the Declutter Challenge by Femme Finance, you may now have an organised wardrobe, where what was once damaged is now mended, where it was once brimming and packed is now minimalistic, presenting you with clothing that fits and is season appropriate, ensuring your apparel is detoxed and ready to make you a fashionista dynamo!

Feel like this is something you want to try? Here are some tips and tricks to help you shop your wardrobe:

Get the app

There are a few apps out there that help you style outfits from items that you already own. Stylebook and XZ Closet are some of these. It helps you create a Virtual Closet on your phone, where you can curate outfits from your own items, helping you get organised as well as reminding you of what you already have for when you are online or in real life shopping, so you can extend on what you own instead of purchasing clothing and accessories that do not go with what you have. Head to wherever you get your apps, and you will find a bunch to scroll through.

Curate a Capsule We love a capsule wardrobe! We could scroll through those little infographics all day! This is a challenge you could set yourself – narrowing down your closet (if you haven’t already done so) can spur you into thinking creatively about what you wear each day. There are challenges like 30X30, where you prepare 30 outfits to wear each day for a month. There are also websites like Cladwell which can create a capsule wardrobe for you from your existing wardrobe, (they have a 7 day free trial on their app) Try their ‘find your Style’ quiz.

Window Shopping

Checking out what’s online or instore can help you decide what style you gravitate to, as well as help elevate what you have. Copying the styling tricks from your favourite brands is a great place for inspiration!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Photo Op

Did you put together a particularly cute outfit today? Take a photo and save it in a designated folder in your phone for when you have run out of ideas. Then there is Pinterest, our fave, our bestie! Create a folder in your profile of outfits that resonate with you, that suit your workplace and lifestyle and see if you can come up with similar combinations with the items you own.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

What more can we say to you to give this a go? Here are some benefits to shopping your own wardrobe:

  1. It keeps costs down – more money to put to other places…Paris anyone?
  • It will help you enjoy what you have – seeing what you have when your wardrobe is smaller or at least more organised, you can get more creative.
  • It can make you really look at what you have, and you appreciate your things more – changing things up can help us see what we really have, and we fall in love with what we own again.
  • You get to really home in on your personal style and create a wardrobe that is satisfying and easy to select from – when you know what you have and have less, you’re not diving through endless amounts of clothes. Getting dressed won’t consume your time you be curating with it!

Well, we don’t know about you, but we are off to download a clothing app to make fun little outfit graphics and set ourselves up with some staple outfit ideas for the working week next week! Let us know what you think of this idea and happy “shopping”.

Weekend Five – The Final Showdown

The final weekend and challenge of the Declutter Challenge by Femme Finance! We feel like it flew by! This weekend we are focusing on decluttering your finances, friends…and all importantly your car. 

Have you ever had that feeling that your physical environment is impacting on your mental wellness? Where the piles are affecting your mental focus and that sense of overwhelm is setting in due to what seems like a lack of control. This leaves you open to the option of physically improving your environment and tidying it up, putting things in order and ultimately getting that rewarding dopamine hit to remind us that we achieved something by tidying up around us. That achievement is visible and tangible to us and those around us. It leaves us with extra head space to focus on other and more important things as we are less distracted by the chaos. If you have been joining us in the Declutter Challenge, you will have first-hand knowledge of how this feels!

But what about the matters that are unseen? How do we make conscious choices about decluttering areas of our lives that may create stress, worry or anxiety that are not physically in front of us? In particular, areas such as our finances or our friendships. 


We do love to talk about all things money and finance so let’s start here. We all know that money is one of the greatest stressors in our modern world so it goes without saying that we could all benefit from decluttering our finances. Taking time to refine, revise and re-prioritise all that’s important to us in our lives and our budgets is key, but where do you start? Well, first it comes down to our values and what’s most important to us. Working with your beliefs and values, and understanding what they are, is an important first step in identifying what to prioritise when you are making personal and financial decisions in your life. From there, we can create a framework that matches with our own individual preferences and goals. 

Starting with financial decluttering, we’d suggest that you review your current expenses. A great way to do this is to check over your bank statements for the previous few months and reflect upon what you’ve spent in different categories. Do you feel good about what you see? Are there any items on your statement that make you feel regretful? These are obvious items to address. 

You could either cut these out all together or consider scaling them back if you’ve been excessive in certain areas. Becoming conscious of what has been spent, is also a great way to identify “money leaks”. Those costs that are coming out that you forgot about and are no longer adding value to your life. Those unused memberships and subscriptions are lowing hanging fruits and are as easy to cancel as an email or a phone call. If you’re like us, you enjoy spending time with your loved ones and this might include meals out, but does this need to be your go to? Would you enjoy the company or your friends and family with a walk on the beach as much as you would with a dinner out? It’s all about rethinking what the value of spending that money brings. Ditching comparisons (after all it is the thief of joy) and living with intention, is a fabulous starting point to decluttering your financial life. There might even be opportunity to increase your financial position by deciding that certain items that you own no longer serve you and the act of decluttering means you’ve now got items to sell! Cha-ching!

We do love goal setting and once you’ve reviewed your finances, it’s a great time to set some new financial goals based on your newly identified values. (Read our blog about Goal Setting here An Om Moment – ( Once you’ve established these, setting up some financial budgets and strategies to meet the goals is a key step to mindfully implementing them. This may involve setting up automatic payments, direct debits and automating your finances as much as possible to free up some head space and worry. There is something rewarding in a ‘Set and Forget (but still check)’ system.  Your goals might include debt reduction, savings, investing or even just simply spending less on items that don’t actually contribute to your happiness. We’d also encourage you to think about not only short or medium term goals, but also long term goals. If you genuinely want to be financially independent and retire early, how are you physically going to achieve it? Are your goals lofty or is there actually a path that you can take to achieve them? Being honest with yourself (and your significant other if you have one) about what’s important and what you value most, will help pave the pathway to the actions that need to be created to achieve the big values based financial goals. If being mortgage free as quickly as possible is a dream, then would you consider tiny house living? Or if you want to live in the dream home by the beach, are you prepared to work for the extra years that it will take to pay off the much higher home loan? These are the big questions to consider when setting values, decluttering and taking control of your finances. Being in control of your finances reduces stress, anxiety and helps you sleep better at night. We promise you that this time and consideration is worth the effort! (Have a browse of our FREE Finance downloadable’s here… Shop/Resources – (


Decluttering doesn’t just apply to our physical space and our finances. What about the people that we surround ourselves with? Do you think there is the option to more purposefully choose how we spend our time and with whom we spend it? Do you have friends or family members who lift you up, inspire you, make you laugh and are a pleasure to hang out with? We hope so! Contrary to that, do have other people in life who are an absolute downer? They leave your tank empty and are a drag to be around? Have you ever considered decluttering when it comes to people? 

It’s a hard concept to work with, especially with people that you’ve know for a long time. However, if the quality of your life is going to improve by “decluttering” all areas of your life, would you consider moving your boundaries when it comes to your relationships? This doesn’t need to mean cutting people out of your life completely (although it’s an option), but it may mean reducing the frequency of seeing some people or having the hard conversation with them about what you are prepared to discuss in order to keep the experience positive, when you do spend time together. It is your right to set boundaries and if these boundaries are not acceptable to these folk in your lives, they have the right to walk away too!


Now whilst this one is more in the physical realm, what would the decluttering challenge be without some mention of tidying up our acts around what is often our second most expensive asset? Our cars of course. 

We may know those people who love their cars so much that they keep it immaculate 24/7, but for many of us this is not the reality. It seemed a bit judgey but we recently read a book that alluded to the idea that you can’t be a “wealthy woman” (you can try and guess which American financial author this is) if your car looks like a garbage can. Whilst we understand that the sentiment that cleanliness is about respecting the importance of order and organisation, and we don’t disagree, we know that in reality we all lead busy lives and sometimes having an immaculate car doesn’t rank at the top of our list of priorities. We also know though, that it feels so good for the days following a good clear out, vacuum, and clean of our car. In fact, who is not inclined to declare that they’ll never let it get messy again? 

We like a plan, so here’s what we are going to do:

  1. Have rubbish bag at the ready
  2. Start from the front
  3. End in the back
  4. Vacuum

Keeping it simple!

We will leave you to mull over which of the areas needs your most immediate attention over Weekend 5 of The Decluttering Challenge by Femme Finance, and we would love to hear what your experiences are.  

This is the last challenge, and we encourage you to consider the elements of minimalism and keeping on top of the clutter be it physical, mental, or spiritual. 

Weekend Four: The Tale of the little dust bunnies

This weekend’s declutter challenge is a bit of a free for all. We do have a main focus and that is the dust collectors that cover our tabletops, counter tops and other innocent surfaces about our homes.

In addition to the dust collectors and having already decluttered (or in the process of decluttering) the main areas of the home, we will leave it up to you as to what room you want to pursue next. The kids toy room? The laundry? The office? Is the dining room a particular dumping ground in your house?

When I look about my own home, I am aware of how many piles of things I have laying around in want of a home. There are the stacks of papers that need to be filed, books that need to go back into to bookshelves, miscellaneous items that need to be sorted, stored or disposed of. I can even see where I have tried to declutter but have been interrupted or run out of time. I personally like to only have one or two things on any surface around the home as I feel it’s more visually appealing and stresses me less. But other people love to have their surfaces teeming with items that scream their personality or décor ideals, each to their fabulous self I say!

Were you aware of exactly how stressful visual clutter, and clutter in general can be? It has been scientifically proven! The direct link between excess home clutter and higher stress levels has been made in numerous studies in recent years. Our home is supposed to be our private refuge, but its value as a comforting space declines if it’s not kept in an orderly fashion.

The science behind how clutter causes you stress

study conducted by Princeton University Neuroscience researchers found that a cluttered home environment impedes your ability to focus.

When we have a hard time focusing, our mental faculties get worn down and frustration ensues, causing stress. Struggling to focus properly also inhibits our ability to be creative and to problem solve.

The Yale School of Medicine published a study that revealed some surprising results. When the study’s participants who were less inclined to throw away things were forced to part with belongings, researchers found increased activity in the areas of their brains that are associated with conflict and pain. It literally hurts some of us to part with things we own.

Findings from UCLA researchers showed that women who had an increased level of clutter in their homes also had higher levels of a stress hormone known as high cortisol. Their study also found that the tidier a home was, the happier its occupants seemed to be.

Further evidence of clutter’s negative impact on our lives

On a less scientific level, but still worth a mention, is a recent Huffington Post survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. In it, 81% of men and 87% of women expressed some level of anxiety over how organized their home was. “Worrying my home isn’t clean or organized enough” came fifth on their list of the most common stress triggers in their lives.

When you live in a cluttered home, there’s a constant feeling of guilt (even if you’re not fully aware of it) over the disorganized state of your space.

Our brains are always telling us there’s still plenty of work to be done, which makes it harder to relax.

Let’s give our brains a break and get stuck into this week’s challenge and as always – let’s make a plan.

As I’ve done previously, I will share what I am doing so you can use that as a springboard. I have decided to tackle a space that is physically in the middle of my home. It is a thoroughfare, sitting area, office and playroom all in one. Originally it was used as a Dining room but being at the south end of the house and with no view we use it as a multipurpose space. There are three bookshelves, a toy table, a wine cabinet, a rocking chair, and my desk with desk chair – a fair bit of furniture for this medium sized room.

Hers what I my plan looks like:

  1. Remove all items from surface areas
  2. Sort through these – do they have a home? Are they paper clutter and need filing or chucking? Is it an item that can be sold or donated?
  3. Rearrange bookshelves so all books are stacked in a less cluttered state (I did a cull a few months ago otherwise I would cull a few books at this point)
  4. Sort through toys. Do they all need to be out? Should I do a rotate of toys? Do I need storage solutions for the toys that are out in this room?
  5. Wipes down all surfaces including the bookshelves
  6. Vacuum carpet
  7. Observe how the furniture is arranged in this room. Is there another way to arrange things that would suit the room better and utilise the space available?
  8. Prune! Put things back, taking care to keep the look unfussy and uncluttered. Each item must have a role. Like with the plants in the garden cutting back to the essential gives us space to grow and breathe!

Below are some inspiring infographics from @arielarts found on Pinterest. Just because we are minimising what we have out on our surfaces doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and make it an inviting space:

When you are in the throes of chaos in the middle of the spare room or office or whatever space you are tackling – keep in mind the important advantages to have a decluttered space apart from the scientific ones we have mentioned above.

If you have read our blog post on Goal Setting (if you haven’t here’s the link An Om Moment – ( remember what we said about visualising the outcome if you fail to complete the goals you have set yourself within this challenge.

Here are a few attractive advantages to decluttering your spaces to keep your minimalising mindset focused:

  • Your home environment should be your greatest support system

Being clutter free means that you have a house that is under control the majority of the time. If sickness hits (there’s this pesky thing called Covid doing the rounds), if you are having a low energy period of time or you are just rushed off your feet with being a social butterfly or work activities are at a high, you have a home where the things you have in it have a role and a place and you are able to take the time for yourself without everything falling apart.

  • Freedom from chores and a Fixed Mindset

Stagnant energy goes hand in hand with a cluttered environment. Do you ever have the feeling that when you tidy your brain feels tidy? That’s the psychological effects of decluttering. In fact, clutter can be so distracting that it causes our brain to shift into multitasking mode which happens to be completely at odds with focus. The stress from this can make you feel overwhelmed leading you to procrastinate what needs to be done, making you feel helpless and creating a fixed mindset. Getting rid of all the unnecessary in your home can give you freedom. With less you can focus more. With less you have more energy. With less you have more time! If you have managed to create a workable capsule wardrobe or downsized considerable, there is less laundry to do. If you have a select few items on your surfaces, there’s is less to clean, and you can do it quicker and therefore have more time to enjoy your cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. If you have decluttered the stuff in your cupboards, be it the kitchen, bedrooms, or playroom to what really serves you, you have more space, can find things easier and less to trip up on or step over.

  • Growth of all the things

Having fewer things to be responsible for can be freeing allowing you time for yourself to focus on you and what you are wanting to get out of life. Be it more time to get in a workout, to sit and dream up a side hustle, spend time with family or friends, freedom for growth! And this can look different for different people. Then there’s the growth aspect of your finances. With spending less you have more financially. You can start making investments, pay for a course or study to get where you want to be in your career, travel, renovations, house deposit the list can go on all because you decluttered!

And with that last advantage to decluttering, we will sign off! Next week is the last challenge in The Declutter Challenge by Femme Finance and it is a bit more of a deep dive then having a cluttered countertop. We will be talking about friendships, finances and cleaning out the automobile.

Good luck with this weekend’s challenge and don’t forget to let us know how you go – we would love to hear what your experience has been!

Weekend Three: Tales from the Man Cave & Adventures from the Powder Room

Weekend Three and we are halfway through The Declutter Challenge by Femme Finance. If you have just joined us – welcome! If you have been with us form the beginning – excellent! Glad you are still here.

We thought we would throw decluttering the garage into this weekend along with the bathroom just in case there are a bunch of boxes with recently decluttered items sitting in the garage, which, let’s face it is one big dumping ground the majority of the time. For those who do not have a garage, focus on the bathroom or choose another area of your home to declutter – this is your journey of sorting and minimalising after all.

Decluttering, along with giving you clarity of mind, can prevent pests and reduce dust, mold and mildew which can trigger asthma and allergies. As well as these helpful benefits, keeping these two areas of our homes organised simply, can help with time management especially in the morning when you hit snooze a few too many times and you are then running late for work, it gives us easier access to what we own and therefore prompt us to use these things more. For this reason in the Garage we are going to use Zones – a designated area of the garage for the storage of certain items. It’s not an original concept but one that seems to work. In the bathroom look at the flow of your day, where are you when you do your make up, your hair? Where is the mirror situated? Are you left handed or right handed?

As usual let’s start with a plan!


  1. Pull everything out of cupboards and shelves, showers and baths
  2. Remove everything from all surfaces
  3. Take used towels, facecloths, hand towels, bathmats and put them in the wash
  4. Give the bathroom a clean – be as thorough as you like or leave the deep clean for another time and just give everything a once over
  5. Sort through all the items you have removed. Throw out anything expired, empty, broken etc
  6. Group items together e.g., plasters and first aid, everyday essentials, make up, skin care
  • Are any storage solutions needed?
  • Can you decant any items into a more user/environmentally friendly container?


  1. Pull everything out and group into like items e.g., Gardening, Tools, full Storage boxes, Sports gear
  2. Give everything a once over sweep out the cobwebs in the corners and the debris off the floor
  3. Sort through each item and put them into categories of donate, repair, sell and chuck
  4. Figure out what zones you want to create in your Garage
  • Are any storage solutions needed?


As we have already mentioned previously, Pinterest is our friend. We could write out all the ideas we find but you’d be reading for miles. So instead, we thought we would pop below the ideas we have used in our own spaces. Hopefully this will give you motivation and we will leave you very clever smart people, to find what best suits you and the space and budget you are working with.


There is a plethora of ideas for the bathroom space that range from wicker baskets, mesh baskets, bamboo containers to marble trays. Some of the storage ideas we have already mentioned in previous blogs for The Declutter Challenge would work here – paint a box to compliment your décor to hold your first aid kit, a bamboo lazy Susan to hold your skin care, tiered stands are a great way to introduce an aesthetic to a bathroom – never underestimate a china cake stand to make the bathroom feel more majestic! If you need more storage, consider a wood cabinet from a second hand shop or metal trolley? If you don’t have a lot of surface spaces how about using self-adhesive caddy’s and attach it to the wall to hold your everyday essentials? 3M Command does a caddy that could be suitable for this purpose.

Check back to our Instagram posts where we have a few examples of ideas that could be used as well as a few below.


With regards to garage storage, you could go the full mile and fit a full wall of cupboards, racks on the walls for bike and kayaks, integrated handy man set up with hooks and tubs with workman’s bench, pop in a mezzanine floor to store the rarely used – or perhaps that could be a long-term goal.  

Now that you have sorted all you have and know what you are putting back into your newly swept garage. Let’s talk about Zones again. Here’s what zones I will be using with a little diagram I prepared earlier:

  1. Outdoor – covers everything from tents to sporting equipment
  • Toys for Storage & Rotation – includes Nursery items we may be using again so they need to be stored and there are a few pieces of bigger equipment
  • Clothes – categorised seasonally in plastic stackable tubs
  • Tools – this includes items like lawn mower, hedge trimmer etc as well as tools of the hammer and saw type

These zones were designated in accordance to what we need access to regularly and rarely, with the ultimate goal of having the majority able to be reached, everything contained and visually looking clutter free.

It’s a pretty big job and may not be completed in one weekend but its good to have a plan of attack for when you do have the time.

If you’re feeling a bit daunted of the prospect of this weekend’s challenge, you are not alone! This garage of mine I may only get part way with so I think I will start with the easier of the two and begin with the bathroom.

Remember this is your challenge so if the garage is to be left to another day pop it on the calendar so you remember.