What do you choose to prioritise as a couple or person without children?

By Nina Steele 

Childless couple watching TVOver a week ago, I did an interview for a podcast in which I mentioned certain benefits of not having children, including the impact on finances. Money issues were always at the top of the list of issues former colleagues with children complained about, even the ones with only one child. Personally, growing up in a household where money was always an issue had a profound impact on me, and this has translated into an innate desire for financial security as an adult. That desire to not have to worry about money in the same way that my mother did, is one of the reasons why I was able to completely embrace my status as a non-parent. I knew that it would mean being financially better off.

As a couple, we have chosen to prioritise paying off our mortgage above all else. And as a result, we are on course to be mortgage free in the not-too-distant future. To make this possible, in addition to the obvious financial benefits of not having children, we have had to make some radical changes to the way we live our life. For example, I cook all our meals, except for one day in the week, when we eat ready-made Indian curry, also bought from the same supermarket where I shop for food. When we go on holiday, because we generally rent apartments, as opposed to staying in hotels, we make our own meals, as opposed to eating in restaurants. Not eating in restaurants every night, as we did once upon a time, makes our final holiday bill cheaper.

Another great money saver has been switching supermarkets. Except for a few products that I still buy at my old ‘posher’ supermarket, I now do most of my grocery shopping at Lidl, one of the discount supermarket chains. Switching supermarkets has proved the greatest money saver by far. I now spend almost half the money I used to spend on groceries.

I have to admit that choosing to live in an area that is not considered trendy, has helped a great deal, as far as our mortgage is concerned. Had we chosen to live in a trendy area with bars and restaurants, and a train station nearby, we would have been up to our necks in mortgage debt. Our choice of area has meant that the mortgage we took out was far smaller.

As a couple, we have always favoured a simple lifestyle, and by so doing, we are enjoying our life in a more peaceful and no fuss kind of way.

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