Kimberly Dobson has revealed how she saved over $20,000 in a year, something she once believed was impossible.
The Kiwi-born, Aussie-based blogger pens under the name The Economiss, giving others tips on saving. However she says that wasn't always the case, believing during her 20s she "needed to wait to meet a man to buy a house".
"It wasn't 'avo toast' calling my name - it was trips overseas, shopping, flat whites, red wine and acai bowls," she writes, noting that the lifestyle soon came to catch up with her finances.
"I came to the realisation that I needed to fund and work towards my own deposit. I pulled out my phone on the plane and started writing out my expenditure on my notes app and planning out a budget.
"What began as a conversation has led to a lifestyle and mindset change when it comes to money."
She says research and inspiration were key - listening to financial podcasts and asking people around her for advice. Dobson also drew up a budget and reviewed it every fortnight.
"I've made an electronic account for each expense, I divvy out the money to my different accounts (or electronic envelopes) each fortnight saving for health, trips, bike maintenance, gifts, charity, beauty and so on," she says.
She also tracked her spending in an app, and cut up all but one of her credit cards as "paying cash through a debit card helps you feel the burn of your purchases."
In a more drastic move, in July she sold all her furniture and belongings, and began boarding at her friend's house. That still cost $510 a fortnight including bills.
"It really helped me pull in my budget and focus on my bigger goal," she says.
Dobson says meal prep is a major key, managing to get her grocery budget down to a mere $40 a week.
"I make a menu plan and make all my weekly meals on a Sunday," she explained.
"I eat pretty similar food during the week - I make smoothies for breakfast and I cook two different meals a week for dinner and lunch, which I then box up and freeze."
There are some essentials that she says she didn't cut, including health insurance, haircuts, yoga classes and waxing every four weeks.
Notably, Dobson says she didn't cut brunch or cafe coffees.
"I love brunch so, so much. To me there is nothing better than brunch in the weekend; I'd rather do brunch than dinner any day."
Dobson says she's now on her way to saving a $60-$80,000 house deposit and a three-month emergency fund.
"Once I buy I aim to keep on track and to put the money I currently save and put on rent on my mortgage to pay it off as quickly as possible."
You can read Dobson's full list of top tips on her website.