About Money Can Buy Me Happiness
This site exists to help everyday people find ways to save more money, pay down debt, increase income and live their best financial life.
To help this mission, my advice and tips have been quoted extensively in many reputable online publications, including but not limited to:
- Readers Digest
- Discover Bank
- Rockstar Finance
- Lifehacker Australia and Lifehacker International
- Well Kept Wallet
About Emma Healey
My name is Emma and I am determined to find a version of financial freedom that works for my family.
Simply put, I want enough money to have the freedom to choose what I do with my time. I want to be home with my kids when they are sick. I want to spend school holidays making memories. I also want to do fulfilling work and build a chunky retirement stash.
Basically, I want it all.
Now, in 2019, I think I’ve finally found the balance I’ve worked towards since becoming a mum. To succeed at this is ironic, considering just how bad I was with money before I had kids.
I’ll never forget the low point of my financial life. Sitting in my accountant’s office as he told me just how much I owed in tax. I had been working as a contractor for a Sydney employer without putting any money away to pay for tax at the end of the year. I’d spent it all.
I had to apply for a personal loan to pay my tax bill because I had no savings. On top of this, I had credit cards and a store card with hefty balances.
This experience was the kick in the bum I needed to get my life in order. I quickly got to work increasing my income in as many ways as I could. I made extra money tending bar at concerts, I babysat my boss’ kids, I got a weekend retail job and worked late night shopping shifts after my 9-5 ended. I did market research and online surveys when I was at home. I worked 7 days a week and took every opportunity to earn more.
At the same time I started to realise that not spending $10 on a takeaway Thai for dinner was the same as earning $10, and a damn sight easier! I embraced frugal living and started to actually enjoy a simpler life (which was a huge deal for a spender like me).
As time went on, I convinced my partner to save with me. We became a money-saving team, and together we were able to fund lots of travel (and still travel a lot, even with kids).
When I was approximately five hundred weeks pregnant (at least, that’s how it felt) I read Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Work Week and I was hooked.
I was about to start a dialled down version of a remote gig, with my employer allowing me to work remotely from home for 10 hours a week during the first year of my baby’s life.
To think I could continue to do that from anywhere in the world was mind-blowing. I tested out the concept on a family holiday to the Gold Coast. I sat out on the balcony of the apartment my family had rented during a video chat with my colleague in Sydney. He had no idea I was not in my apartment. The wicked excitement of it filled my head with new ideas.
Within a year, I was travelling in Mexico and earning AUD. I was working 20 hours a week and making more than enough to cover a comfortable life for my family. Best of all, I was working on my terms and at times that suited my family. I started to take on clients as a virtual assistant (specialising in marketing) to grow my income. This work, plus our solid savings stash, covered 6 months living in Spain.
To say I’m hooked on remote working is an understatement. It’s completely transformed my life. I can now afford to take my kids on holidays whenever we want and not need to worry about getting annual leave approved.
I’m a stay at home mum, yet I earn more now than I did in my corporate marketing role (minus the daycare bill of $126 a day).
I started this blog to share what I’ve learned in this journey. If you’re interested in doing the same, I’d love for you to follow along.