Andrea’s Story

Collaborating with Adelaide Budgeting

Andrea Luhrs: How do I even begin to say how much of a difference Andrew and Alyssa have made to our lives. 6 months on and I have a home loan, no credit cards and real genuine savings in the bank. Being a single mum on one casual part time income, I didn’t think this was possible but Andrew and Alyssa showed me not only was it possible but relatively simple. With just a few changes to way I handled my money and a change in attitude, I can say my relationship with money will never be the same again. Thank you!!!

Adelaide Budgeting: Thankyou Andrea. We are so proud of you and your growth and your journey! You have been an absolute pleasure to work with and Thankyou for putting your faith in us. Thankyou for choosing Adelaide Budgeting!


Ben Gregory, Senior Mortgage Broker, Easy Approval.

6 months earlier…

Ben Gregory – Mortgage Broker (Easy Approval):

(Ben) Andrea came to me from my social media Facebook page as an online recommendation.  Andrea’s was interested in refinancing her home loan into her name solely off the back of a recent divorce.  After a few quick checks on Andrea’s file we determined that although lenders were available to help, the costs to do so would have been significant and rates would have been likely higher than the rest of the market.  The main issue we faced was that the living expenses and account conduct where out of whack and all over the place, also the result of the recent divorce.  Although Andrea was covering her expenses on a regular basis, it was being done inconsistently.  In addition to covering these expenses on a inconsistent basis, credit cards were occasionally being used to cover day to day living.  We discovered that the “inconsistencies” in spending stemmed from discretionary spending.

(Ben) Since the Banking Royal Commission, there has been a big push from lenders to make sure that ALL living expenses are accounted for. In recent times, lenders have gone to the extreme with many counting even discretionary spending as a mandatory living expense!  Discretionary spending is typically added to living expenses, for each client, after bank statements have been reviewed.

(Ben) We determined that we need another approach, to help give Andrea the best options and the best rates available, and having met with Adelaide Budgeting on numerous occasions I had an understanding of how they could help.  Over the next 6 months, Adelaide Budgeting worked closely with Andrea to ensure she was on the straight and narrow.  They developed a plan to ensure her success and worked towards the goals that Andrea and I had set in our initial consultation.

(Ben) So, what did Adelaide Budgeting do to help my client?

Introducing, Andrew Mates – Money Mentor (Adelaide Budgeting):

(Andrew) Andrea Luhrs was introduced to us, Adelaide Budgeting, by Ben Gregory of Easy Approval.  Andrea came to us under instruction from Ben, seeking to refinance her current mortgage to undertake renovations and purchase a car.  Ben also wanted to be able to show the lender being proposed “strong account conduct and capacity to the bank to meet repayments.”  These were our core objectives:  Improve cashflow, improve account conduct, work with client for refinance.

(Andrew) When we first met Andrea, she was stressed and seeking reassurance that she was doing all of the right things when it came to her budget and that the numbers were working for her, not against her.  We started our process of building and forecasting Andrea’s budget by ascertaining income source/s, and then running a thorough overview of expenses against income.  We soon discovered that Andrea had about 9 income streams coming into the household including her wage, carer payments/allowances, family tax benefits, youth allowances etc, all landing at different times throughout the month, and all over the place!  We also discovered that Andrea’s salary was inconsistent throughout the year with 40 weeks out of 52 being a higher earning bracket than that of the remaining 12.  No wonder Andrea was overwhelmed!

(Andrew) Andrea was faced with a salary that rose and fell (depending on the time of the year), and payments that landed all at different times throughout the month!  Sometimes she would have cash in her purse for purchases, whilst other times she had to rely on credit and hope that when income arrived, Andrea could pay off what was owed.  We identified very early on that consistency of income would be a great strategy for Andrea as this would mean that “no matter when your income arrived, we were able to stick to a consistent spend, each and every single week.”  Sometimes this is easier to say, and harder to implement, but the premise is simple and that is our core!

So, what did we do?

(Andrew) We gathered information on income and expenses, and planned a strategy to ensure that Andrea would succeed each week, and that the imminent need for putting food on the table to feed the family was met.  We took what income was “known” and assigned a set monetary value this to immediate expenses such as groceries and all weekly expenses (petrol, food, lifestyle etc), for each week.

(Andrew) We then had a look at Andrea’s account conduct and her ability to make sure that bills, including credit cards were all paid on time.  We did this by allocating a set monetary value, which was consistently paid into her expenses account and collated the “random” incomes throughout the month, feeding these incomes into “one” expenses account which included all of Andrea’s annual, quarterly and monthly expenses including direct debits.  This allowed all expenses to be paid from one account, and in the borrowing process allowed the lender and the mortgage broker to only have ONE account for all expenses making the process to determine “living expenses” far easier.

(Andrew) We increased Andrea’s mortgage repayments of what she was currently paying, to what the new refinanced amount would be so that when she applies for the new loan with Ben, the lender can see clearly that she has been paying this amount for the last period of time.

Our solution?

(Andrew) Knowing that Ben Gregory was working with Andrea, we needed to ensure that the loan application process is simplified for the lender and for the broker, to help make the process of lending streamline.

  • By keeping all living expenses in one account and direct debits, we were able to show all expenses to the lender in one bank statement.
  • By keeping a consistent amount of monies for groceries each week, we were able to show consistent living expenses.
  • By showing that all bills and expenses were paid on time and that Andrea had good account conduct.
  • By demonstrating that “unforeseen medical expenses” were all paid for IN CASH and not credit!

(Andrew) A typical client solution that Adelaide Budgeting develops for a single person is normally just one solution, maybe two if the client has a partner and they are on different payment frequencies.  We delivered 4 unique strategies for Andrea allowing us to achieve the following results:

  • Solution 1 – When you receive this income, you need to do this.
  • Solution 2 – When you receive this income, you need to do that.
  • Solution 3 – When you receive this income, here is your solution.
  • Solution 4 – When you receive this income, this will get you ahead.

(Andrew) All Andrea had to do was determine which pay cycle she was on, select the solution relevant to that cycle and transfer the monies allocated.  It meant that on pay day, monies in were allocated, food was on the table, account conduct was being met and that Andrea was kicking goals.  The solution became simple, stick to the plan, call us when you need us, tweak as we need to and push on with a forward focus.  Andrea did just that and kept us in the loop at all times.  We had a few challenges along the way, which is always expected as life is random and nothing is ever set and forget, but we covered all of these concerns in the budget and in all of our conversations and mentoring sessions.

(Andrew) As Ben Gregory loves to approach his clientele with a holistic approach (as do we too!), he had instructed Andrea to speak with a financial planner, and made the introduction to this planner to make sure once the loan was received that she and her family were protected.  Andrea was initially scared of the extra charges by the financial planner and advised us of this.  Our solution?  We updated the budget to reflect these extra costs and the budget supported the fees!

(Andrew) 6 months on, credit cards are paid off, a new car is in Andrea’s driveway and the refinance has been settled.  It’s only January 2020 and so far Andrea’s New Year is off to one hell of a kicker!  At our last appointment, Andrea said that her friends have even noticed her complete happiness and how much her life has changed for the better.  Andrea was even asked “have you been doing barefoot investor,” and her response was priceless “no, I have been doing something far better!”

(Andrew) We are not barefoot investor… we wear shoes… as our budget can support it!

Ben Gregory – Mortgage Broker (Easy Approval):

(Ben) 6 months on from my initial meeting with Andrea, and knowing that Andrea was working with Adelaide Budgeting, I was excited for Andrea to see what her new lending options would be. Adelaide Budgeting helped to nurture Andrea over the last 6 months and I received updates every step of the way, even when Andrea had an urgent concern, this was able to be relayed to me via Adelaide Budgeting.  It was great knowing that Andrea was receiving regular contact over the 6 months whilst her account conduct was being set back into order, and I felt safe, knowing that Andrea was in great hands!  Adelaide Budgeting provided the encouragement that was needed to ensure that Andrea did not sway from her path and her long-term goals.

(Ben) By working with Adelaide Budgeting, my client has been able to strengthen their application which was put forward.  It gave Andrea more choice from lenders and the potential of receiving much better rates, than what was on offer prior.  The result of working with Adelaide Budgeting?  Andrea has cut up her credit cards, cleared all debt from her life (including buy now-pay later services such as AfterPay), and has refinanced her own home into her OWN name hitting one of her core goals.  Andrea is now working towards developing savings, and is paying more into her mortgage above minimum repayments.  An added bonus was having a fully completed budget to provide to the bank with a loan application.  It meant that we had a quicker response from the lender as they spent less time reviewing Andrea’s accounts!

(Ben) By using Adelaide Budgeting, both my client and myself have had a much smoother process when it came to lending, and the entire process became easier.  Why wouldn’t you utilise a service that nurtures your clients and speeds up your processes?  My client received more than “just a loan,” and the personal development journey that Andrea has experienced is second to none.  My only thoughts for brokers and clients considering their options moving forward is, why wouldn’t you use Adelaide Budgeting to support you?

(Ben) Being a broker is a tough gig and working as a “one-man band” can sometimes be stressful and very full-on.  I simply do not have the time available in my day to dedicate to every client, a breakdown of their budget and then support them to build a full process, but I want to give my clients the opportunity to get ahead.  This is why I offer a holistic approach to what I do, and why I believe that a budget is essential for all clients to ensure financial success for their future.

(Ben) The systems we have as brokers such as Cashdeck or allow me to get a breakdown of how clients are spending their money but the living expenses here will generally show higher figures as they include everything.  Higher figures, for living expenses, can cause issues with servicing loans for my clients.  By working with a proven system such as Adelaide Budgeting’s it allows me to have a clear overview of my clients spending and means that I can use accurate figures representing the TRUE cost of living.  Having this extra layer of protection available to me means that I am no longer at risk of breaching my obligations and licenses.

(Ben) Adelaide Budgeting have the tools and the know how to work budgets and help clients to realise their financial dreams as a reality.  They help clients get their ship in order and provide a full budget which includes long-term goals, everyday spending, debt management and even forecasting for “what if” events in future.  When my clients use Adelaide Budgeting, they are in a far better financial position than they were prior.  I am still able to use my bank statement systems as Adelaide Budgeting’ system is independent of any other, and allows my clients to setup their accounts, in a very simple way, in line with what lenders are looking for.  I know that an Adelaide Budgeting client budget is a “true budget” not a made-up fluff piece that will put me or my clients at risk.

Andrea’s Observations 6 months on and STILL going strong!

(Andrea) In the beginning I did feel like we were going without and used the words we can’t afford it a lot, until a chat with Andrew changed my attitude to instead of “we can’t afford it,” to… I am choosing not to purchase it for a more secure tomorrow.  The emotional burden that has lifted is evident to those in my life, with friends and family saying that I no longer look like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, and in all honestly once I joined with Ben and Andrew and Alyssa I wasn’t carrying the weight alone, as I had the help of a very supportive team and no longer felt I was alone! I had the reassurance that all parties involved would all work with me until my goals were reached, and in the case of Andrew and Alyssa beyond to the next goals and then the next, until I have the skills and the confidence to go it alone.

(Andrea) Nobody could do it for me, but with the expertise, advice and support of Ben, Andrew and Alyssa I was able to walk into the future with hope and a belief that things can be better.  I am no longer living week to week, I have options for my future that I didn’t think I would ever have and the freedom that, that grants is priceless!

Was this change easy?  Well, yes and no…

(Andrea) Once I took a confronting look at my spending, I was able to recognise and accept that a lot of the money that I was spending was unnecessary and if I stopped making those random purchases wouldn’t really change our lives that much.  Maybe I had to spend more time cooking instead of take away?  Or buy less convenience foods in the shopping… but for a more secure financial future it was worth so much more!  With the right mind set anything is possible!  I don’t earn a large income but with the right budget (designed by Andrew) set around what was important to me and my family, I was able to find ways to make things doable.  I included my children in this by giving them pocket money (allowed for in the budget) and making them accountable for their spending.  If they wanted something, they had to pay for it!  This has had an enormous impact on my 11 year old who now chooses most weeks to save his pocket money for something that he really needs/wants instead of using it on a whim.

(Andrea) My 2 boys have a diagnosis of Autism and one has an intellectual disability. I have very little spare time and my children are centre for all I do. For me providing for their future was all the motivation I needed to stick to my budget and to make the necessary changes to pave the road.

(Andrea) If you think you can’t, chat with these guys, find your motivation, that one thing that means more to you than anything else, holding on to that and with time you too can have peace of mind and a solid path forward.  

Book your complimentary appointment with us today!

For more information or to arrange an appointment please contact us:

Andrew and Alyssa Mates on 0420 846 454

or via email at:

“An effective budget is knowing which numbers belong where; and what the values of these numbers are to make the magic in your life happen…”


ANDREW MATES is the director, money coach and operator of Adelaide Budgeting and has always had a keen interest in numbers and the philosophy of succeeding financially in a world full of consumerism.  Andrew is a valued member of the team and is passionate about education and empowerment around finance and providing people with the confidence to successfully manage their own finances.  Equipped with a Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking (but not a broker), Andrew and his team can work with you to create a budget plan and savings strategy that is second to none which will see you kicking goals and doing the things you want to do but never thought you could!

In between helping clients and working on strategies, Andrew also enjoys walking on the beach, playing with Lilly his Labrador and road trips with his wife Alyssa.