Budgeting To Financial Independence: Speaking of Cents

Budgeting To Financial Independence: Speaking of Cents

Everyone achieves FI (financial independence) in various ways. I am always curious of how other people reach FI, that’s when I found Nadia. Nadia is the owner and writer of Speaking of Cents where she blogs about being a mommy while budgeting to financial independence.

Tell Us About Yourself

My name is Nadia Malik and I am the owner and blogger at Speaking of Cents. I live in Texas with my husband and 3 beautiful girls. I have been out of the work force since my first kid was born so I am an official full-time mom.

How did you discover budgeting and what steps are you taking to pursue it?

I had worked all my life before having kids and tried to continue even after my first born but my husband had a traveling job so it was not easy. Being a stay at home parent was hard at first, but as the time passed by, I realized it’s awesome that I can spend most of my time with my baby. Money got tight when we went from double to a single earner. I always think it was around that time I started thinking about financial independence. I actually never had time to think how money can be stretched and it was just coming and going from our accounts.

I made it a mission to find creative ways to make the best of our income and I can proudly say that I have made it work for our family. I never went back to work but managed everything with a family which has grown to 5 members now. We managed to pay off our house, we have no credit card debt and we have almost paid off our car too. We successfully did two major moves in the last 5 years and still held on to our savings.

As the time passed, it became more evident to me that every single person should understand what Financial Independence is and how it can be achieved. Just surviving your day to day will never get you towards Financial Independence. It needs a bigger plan and long-term thinking.

What are some major tips and tricks you use that others might not know? 

These are the rules that I follow religiously, and I assure you that they have helped me in achieving Financial Independence.

  • I am a big advocate for “NO IMPULSE BUYING”.

  • I would never buy anything unless it is on sale or promotion. If nothing, I would find a coupon. Paying full price has never made sense to me.

  • I have a set budget for everything. When I say everything, I literally mean everything. It goes for everything including clothing, grocery, big ticket items even travel.

  • I have always kept my phone and internet plan to the basic one.

  • Never had cable, still don’t have it.

  • Never paid a dime in dry cleaning.

How does budgeting fit into your life? 

We have lived in Canada for few years and it was not cheap to live in a city like Toronto. Being in an expensive city motivated me even more to work harder on saving money. I kept looking for ways to save money and actually found many. I don’t think it affected my Financial Independence journey too much as we were able to own a fully paid off house when we left the country.

What is your ultimate goal or where do you see yourself once you reach your major milestones? 

I have achieved many of my Financial Independence goals and now I am just trying to spread the information that I have gathered over the years to all the people who are struggling financially right now. More importantly, I really want to help the stay at home moms who have sacrificed their careers for the well-being of their kids. If I can make it with 3 kids and one income, I am sure they can do it too. They just need a little guidance and encouragement. That’s the reason I have created my blog and I am hoping it will change the direction of many families in a positive way.

Do you have any advice for those pursuing FI? What would you tell yourself when first starting this journey? 

My advice for those who are pursuing FI is not a big lecture by any means. Don’t complicate it with something that is big and impossible. There is a very simple way to do it. Make a plan and Stick to it. I can break it down in small steps for you:

  • Make a list of your income and expenses.

  • You need to have a budget for everything in exact amounts.

  • Emergency fund is a must.

  • Commit to it and stay away from the things that distract you from your goal.

If you follow through, you will definitely be successful sooner than later. The path might feel difficult at times but the achievement is big and long lasting so keep your eyes on the prize. Do visit my website (Speaking of Cents) for the great information on managing your finances successfully.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? 

My hope is to become a source of guidance for my readers. The road to Financial Independence is something everybody needs to pay attention to. If my audience gets inspired and start this journey after reading my articles, it would make me a really happy person. There is one more thing, I dream of going back to Orlando ☺.

I do hope you learned from Nadia that FI is achievable as long as you are realistic and honest about your goals as well as your present state with finances. I really enjoyed working with Nadia and I do encourage you all to follow her journey at Speaking of Cents.


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