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How I Saved My First $50,000 at 20

There’s a lot of financial advice floating around on how to save money.

Most of it includes things like cutting out your daily coffee, packing lunch to work or only buying items on sale. While these tips may help you temporarily save an extra $50 or $100, they are not going to help you save $50,000 or even $100,000. Plus, I find these tips don’t apply to everyone – especially if you’ve always been frugal. Who really buys a coffee every single day?

The tips I am going to share with you will fundamentally shift your money habits to help you save significant amounts of money and can be applied specifically to your situation. There’s a lot to get through so grab some snacks or a drink and settle in!

$50,000 at 20 – A bit about my background

I haven’t really earned a lot of money in my life or been given a handout like my parents buying me my first car or gifting me a home deposit.

I started working at 15 for $7 AUD/hour. I loved the independence that making my own money gave me and have been saving ever since. I chose to work full-time at 19, instead of being a full-time uni student (I did part-time night classes!).

Although it was a professional, corporate job that needed a skilled worker – I was only paid minimum wage. However, this did allow me to start earning a salary early on. This allowed me to buy my first stock at 19 and those returns have compounded every since.

Here are the strategies I used.

Budgeting

Budgeting is one of the most powerful personal finance tools. It is essentially an analysis of how you spend and earn money. Budgeting helps you set goals, targets and also identifies problems in your spending habits.

The realisations you will make could be anywhere from that you need to increase your income or perhaps need to cut down on delivery food. You need to budget to find out where you are and what steps need to be taken. See if you are spending a large amount on one category but don’t feel like you’re getting it’s “worth”, or if there is anywhere that you could cut down. You are essentially deciding where you should spend your money, what you value and what is important to you.

How Do I Budget?

There are many ways to budget such as using software like YNAB or Pocketbook. I personally prefer an excel spreadsheet, you might find that good old pen and paper works even better.

You can read more about budgeting by clicking here.

Plugging the leaks

Once you have identified what changes should be made, it’s time to manage the issues that are causing you to waste money, a.k.a “plugging the leaks”.

It’s hard for me to predict exactly what your leak is, but I’ve created a list below to help you get some ideas:

  • Spending too much on eating out, delivery – Cook at home and meal prep
  • Spending too much on rent – Get a roommate or move to a less premium area
  • Spending too much on gyms and trainers – Cancel them and work out at home
  • Spending too much on drinks/going out – Invite friends over instead of visiting a restaurant, have pre-drinks at home before visiting a bar
  • Spending too much on fashion, shoes and bags – Buy second hand, unsubscribe from email newsletters, don’t visit shopping centres or online shopping
  • Income not enough to get by – Up-skill to work towards either a higher-paid promotion or a career change, get a side hustle or second job

Self control & discipline

Once you’ve figured out where you can cut down or what changes need to be made, it’s time to implement it.

This is one of the hardest parts and it requires a lot of self control and discipline. You need to think twice about the financial decisions you make and stop chasing instant gratification. It can be really hard to stick to your budget and you may mess up sometimes, but that’s okay! Just keep trying your best. Some strategies I personally use to stop over-spending and stick to my budget are:

  • Before you buy anything that isn’t necessary – give it some time and don’t buy it right away. Even if it’s just one day, get out of the habit of buying things without a second thought
  • Start using “fun” purchases to reward yourself for reaching goals and not something you buy on a whim. Delivery food, clothes, drinks – start using them as a treat that you need to earn
  • Regularly remind yourself of your financial goals. You’ll realise your goals are more important than that instant gratification purchase!
  • Distract yourself when you feel like spending. I love shopping and can get in a “mood” to go out and spend money. In this scenario, I try to distract myself. I’ll either bake something or maybe start on a painting. It works!

Changing your mindset

If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve”

Debbie Millman

If you want to save $50,000 – you need to believe that you can do it.

You’re probably thinking “that sounds too simple” or “this doesn’t really sound like financial advice” – but, here’s the thing. If you truly believe you can achieve, your brain will actually act differently. There is real science behind this – it’s know as the growth mindset. Click here to read more about the research.

No matter how many coffees you cut out or how much you cook at home – nothing will change until you change the way you think. Believe that you can save $50,000 – visualise it in your bank account or investment portfolio. Once you trust that this is something that you can accomplish, you will work even harder to achieve it and be more motivated.

And, that’s it! These are the strategies I used to save $50,000. If you apply all of these steps to your life, you will surprise yourself at how quickly you can achieve your financial goals. Are you ready to save? Here are some of my previous blog articles:

How and Why I’m Buying an Investment Property in 2022

Although I’ve been investing for the last six years, I’ve never considered buying an investment property.

And now, I am trying to purchase a property:

I have chosen literally the most difficult way to buy a property. Yup. Maybe I am an idiot. Moving on…

Why I have never bought a house

I’ve had my own reasons for this but the three key reasons were:

Cost: Houses are expensive! From a 10-20% deposit to LMI to maintenance, owning a property was going to be a stretch in my budget.

I personally would prefer to own a house while having wiggle room in my budget. There is no point owning a house if you can’t even afford KFC the next day!

Liquidity: As a 20-something year old, I didn’t know how I felt about locking up my money in an investment. With stocks, I can always sell them and get my money within the week. However, selling a house is much more challenging. I’ve always enjoyed the freedom not owning a property gave me.

For example, I was made redundant in 2020 (thanks, COVID!) and I didn’t have a job for 4 months. As I didn’t have a large commitment like a mortgage, I was able to survive that time using my emergency fund and keeping my expenses low.

Owning a house without buying a house: With REITs, you can invest in property without buying an actual house. Kind of like stocks but for property. You can check out my article on it by clicking here.


Why I’m buying an investment property

Better financial position: After working in corporate for six years, my career has grown and so has my salary. At this stage, I am able to service a mortgage without having to eat lentils and rice everyday.

I know what I want: I’ve had time to think about what my money goals are, if I am comfortable being locked into a mortgage. I’ve decided that I am.


How I’m buying an investment property

Okay, so I’ve chosen the most difficult “pathway” to buying a home. But, here’s my plan.

Buying a property further out: I won’t be buying a house within 30 minutes of the city and that is okay. I’ll be looking at areas that have great infrastructure, amenities and growth potential. This will knock down the cost of the house.

Removing my emotions: I don’t care if the house doesn’t suit my personal taste. It doesn’t matter if I personally don’t like the layout or if the location isn’t to my taste.

All I care about is, is it a good investment, will it make me money?

This is another tactic that will help me find a better value home that I can actually afford. People with more money can buy the beautiful townhouses, not me!

Taking my time: This is a simple but a big one. I’m taking my time. I’m not rushing into a buying a property. It will take to save a deposit from scratch as I am not touching any current savings or assets. It might take a couple of years but that’s fine with me!

However, it is a balance as you’ll see in my next point:

Giving up the 20% deposit dream: I always wanted to have a 20% deposit down when buying a house. That was the dream. Why would you pay an extra LMI cost of tens of thousands of dollars when you could just be responsible and save enough? However, saving up 20% means double the years of saving. So instead of buying a home in 2 years, I would be looking at 4. I’ll give up 2 years of capital growth but over 4 years is substantial! I’ll buy with a 10% deposit, suck it up and pay LMI.

There you go, that is how and why I am buying an investment property. My focus for the next couple of years is to put my head down and save enough cash for a deposit and all the costs associated with buying a home.

I just hope I won’t be tempted to invest the cash on stocks, instead!

If you too are in the process of saving cash, here are some articles that may help:

If you have any other questions about emergency funds, feel free to send me a DM on insta @themoneymarketerblog or send me an email on themoneymarketerblog@gmail.com!

Why You Need an Emergency Fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund, you need to start working towards this right now!

You’ll never hear me say this about anything else. Invest when you feel ready, buy real estate when you have the funds. However, creating an emergency fund is the opposite.

You need an emergency fund now. Here’s why.

What is an emergency fund?

Life isn’t fair. Even with a meticulous budget, there will be unpredictable expenses.

An emergency fund is a pool of money set aside to cover any unexpected financial costs that you may encounter.

For example, I needed to cough up over $11,000 for dental work over the last 18 months. This is not an expense that I expected or budgeted for and…it was also urgent! It wasn’t a cost I could delay for future me to worry about. As I had an emergency fund ready to go, I could pay for my treatments upfront with no financial stress.

Why is an emergency fund so important?

Thankfully, because I had an emergency fund I could pay the above dental costs in full. I didn’t have to take out any loans or put it on my credit card. It also reduces the anxiety I have around very stressful situations as I know that at least I’ll be fine, financially. Sure, my teeth will hurt but my wallet won’t.

Building an emergency fund can help you deal with financial emergencies with less stress and prevents you from making poor financial decisions.

These financial decisions that we are trying to avoid are:

  • Taking out a high-interest loan to cover your emergency
  • Selling your investments at a loss because you need the funds
  • Having to put the funds on a high-interest credit card
  • Borrowing money from family and friends (I never recommend this!)

And, most importantly:

Neglecting the emergency because you don’t have the money – this may cause the problem to cost even more in the long run. Medical, dental and car issues are all areas in which not spending a small amount of money now can cause greater financial damage in the future.

Having an emergency funds not only saves you money but can also avoid a financial catastrophe.

Here are some of my other articles that will support your financial goals:

How big should my emergency fund be?

Most experts recommend that your emergency fund be be 3 – 6 months of your living expenses. So, if you spend $2,200 a month, you should have a minimum of $6,600 saved up.

That being said, this figure should be one that suits your lifestyle and needs. If you have dependants or a non-reliable income, it would make sense to save more. For myself personally, I have a 3 month emergency fund. This is as I don’t have children and make a stable and consistent salary.

Want to figure out how long it will take you to build your emergency fund? Use the savings calculator below!

Where should you store your emergency fund?

Short answer, in a high-interest bank account.

Your emergency fund should be immediately accessible, therefore should not be invested in a stock market or “stuck” anywhere such as a term deposit.

Yes, you will miss out on gains if it was invested elsewhere, but this money needs to be liquid. This will prevent you from having to sell your investments at a loss or have to withdraw them before maturity.

Find a bank account with the highest interest rate that you can find. This will ensure that your funds will not deteriorate and keep up with inflation.

Case Study

Person A: Has a $3,000 emergency to fix their rotting fence, uses their emergency fund to get it fixed and pay it off immediately.

Their $3,000 emergency cost them $3,000.

Person B: Their car engine has failed and will cost $3,000 to have it replaced. They unfortunately do not have any cash savings and are forced to put the funds on a credit card with an interest rate of 22%. If they only made the minimum repayments, it would cost them $9,314 over 21.5 years.

Their $3,000 emergency cost them $9,314.

Not only would Person B have to pay three times more for the same emergency, they would also be unable to get ahead with their savings and other financial goals as they are tied to debt for decades.

That’s all from me! Get an emergency fund.

If you have any other questions about emergency funds, feel free to send me a DM on insta @themoneymarketerblog or send me an email on themoneymarketerblog@gmail.com!

Passive Income 101: Here’s How I Pay My Bills With It

Passive income pays for my electricity, wifi, water and mobile bills without me working. How? With investing!

Okay, so I do work full-time because I still need to pay rent, buy $25 cocktails and contribute to my investment portfolio. However, as a lazy 20-something girl – I love passive income. Earning money while doing nothing is the best.

What is passive income?

Passive income refers to income that requires little work to maintain it.

In contrast, active income is one that requires a large time investment. Your full-time job for example, would be considered active income. The reason passive income is excellent is it allows you to earn more money, while investing less of your time. This means your ability to create an income is not based on the hours of your labour but rather the performance of your investments. Also, active income has a ceiling. There’s only so much money you can make based on your labour, alone – we are capped at a certain amount of hours per week. However, with investing we can scale the scope of our income substantially. Also, I’m lazy. I want to work less and rest more!

You can read more about passive income here.

How to make my passive income? Is this a scam or MLM?

People are always a bit suss when I mention passive income. And, I get it.

It’s a term that is being used by MLMs and weird scams which can put people off actual passive income. There are many legitimate ways to make a such an income. However, many of the common methods such as being a landlord and collecting rental income requires substantial capital upfront.

As I didn’t have this much money, investing a percentage of my income into the stock market every month made the most sense. For me personally, I made my money primarily off dividends and distributions from my stock market investment portfolio. I also make some bank interest which is where I store my emergency fund.

Here’s the thing, it’s no magic secret to getting rich. But, it’s a great way to boost your current income and over time, investing can be incredibly powerful.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Money Marketer. You’ve been investing for the last 6 years. Shouldn’t you have a bigger passive income stream?”

Yes, yes I should. As a long-term investor, I primarily focus on growth. This means I purchase investments that are likely to gain value in the future rather than ones that will pay me a larger dividend. I do this so I can make more money. Many of my individual stocks and commodities do not even pay a dividend. If I focused on high-dividend stocks, I could potentially double my passive income stream which is something I would like to do when I’m a bit older.

“Money Marketer. Is a couple of thousand extra a year really worth it?”

It’s easy to dismiss the power of such a small income. You can instantly earn an extra $10,000 a year with a promotion at work so does an extra $2,000 or $5,000 really matter? Yes, and I’m about to show you why!

I remember when I first started making passive income as a student, I would make $14/month in bank interest. Excited, I shared this with my friend who said “Does an extra $14 month matter? That’s not even $200 a year”. That is, until I mentioned that my bank interest was essentially buying me 3 bubble teas a month. It made my little baby passive income stream seem so much more powerful!

Rather than seeing dividends/interest as $X amount per year, assign them to a bill.

This means my passive income from this year will “pay” for my:

  • Electricity bill
  • Internet/wifi bill
  • Mobile phone bill
  • Spotify subscription
  • Water bill

I can cover all of these expenses without working, how awesome is that?! My lazy self would love for my passive income to pay for all my expenses with some spending money leftover. I wouldn’t have to work at all, haha! Hope my boss isn’t reading this.

Don’t dismiss the value of a small income stream as it can be incredibly powerful – if you just view it differently.

If you’re interested in investing in the stock market, you can check out some of my previous articles:

5 Money Tips From A Frugal Shopaholic

Do you love shopping but always find yourself spending a little too much? I totally relate.

Beauty products, home décor, bags, shoes – you name it, I love shopping! Not only do I enjoy the process but I love bringing home a beautiful piece. It’s a hobby that brings me a lot of joy.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to sacrifice your shopaholic status in order to reach your financial goals. Being frugal is not about stopping everything you enjoy just to save money. Rather, the answer is to spend more mindfully.

Here are my tips to enjoy shopping while still remaining within your budget.

1. Have a general budget

Whenever I go shopping, I keep in mind what my maximum spend is. $50? $100? $200? Even if it is an estimate, I have a figure. It’s impressive how much you’ll try to stick to the number just by having it in your mind. I personally will step aside and tally the cost of all my items on my phone calculator – I especially do this at second hand shops where I tend to get carried away because the items are so inexpensive.

Also, if you get to the checkout and you’re over the budget – don’t be afraid to put things back. I used to feel a bit awkward to tell the cashier I didn’t want something anymore after they had already scanned it.

Storytime: My mum loves custard apples. They’re not widely available here in Australia so she often doesn’t buy them for herself. One day, I came across them so I grabbed one for her, without looking at the price. The cashier scanned it as $12. Yes. $12 for one piece of fruit. At that point, I had to overcome my embarrassment and just let the cashier know that I didn’t want it anymore. Sorry, mum.

2. No Money? No Shopping.

The Money Marketer, The Money Marketer Blog
Instead of shopping, why not go for a solo picnic?

This is a simple tip that is very powerful in practice.

If you’re tight on money this month, then simply avoid going shopping. I’ve tried so many times to just “go to look but not buy anything” but seriously, it never works for me. I always end up leaving with something that although might be very pretty, I could easily live without. It also sucks to have to put something you love back. Instead, if someone asks to go shopping when I’m over my budget, I’ll ask if it’s alright with them if we go in a few weeks or so when I have my new monthly budget ready to go.

And, if you’re someone who shops as a treat to themselves, try a different “treat” method. I have a blog post on this if you’re stuck for ideas.

3. Wait 24 hours

Don’t instantly buy something just because you want it, especially if it is something you don’t need. Why? Instant gratification.

Other than spending money you don’t need, over-reliance on instant gratification causes more issues than you think and distracts you from what you actually want to achieve. In short, it affects your long-term happiness and success. It’s not only about saving money but rather not developing poor behaviours.

You can learn more about instant gratification by clicking here.

You can avoid this by simply waiting, especially with online shopping. If you see something you like, give it some time before you make that purchase – at least sleep on it but a week is even better. If you still want it, then go ahead and buy it. I find a lot of the times that after waiting, I am a lot less likely to buy the item.

One such example is one of those snack subscription boxes. I kept getting targeted ads for one which had artisanal Japanese snacks that I just couldn’t resist. I added it to my cart and just before I was going to pay, I exited the browser. After a few days, I realised I didn’t really want it that much and could just go buy snacks at my local Japanese grocery store anyway!

4. Don’t buy it just because it’s a great deal

My humble 2020 Boxing Day haul – I spent less than $50 which is nothing short of a miracle.

When you no longer buy things just because they are heavily discounted, you are officially winning in life.

I can resist normal sales. I cannot resist big sales – Black Friday, Boxing Day, anything that is over 70% off. And while, it is great to purchase items at a fraction of their RRP, if you didn’t need it – you are still wasting money.

At the time, it can feel like you’re making a big mistake if you let a deal pass by you. However, there will always be another sale. I have never felt regret from missing out on a sale but I have felt regret from buying something I did not need.

5. Re-vamp what you have

One reason we like shopping is because we are bored of what we have and are looking for something new. However, there are ways to add that excitement back in without purchasing something new.

Recently, I was getting bored of my coats and was thinking about buying new ones. Rather than doing this though, I instead changed the buttons. This may seem like a small change but it completely transformed the garments – I was excited to wear them out again. You can check out my article on this below.

If you’re getting bored of your handbag, why not change the strap?

If it is currently a leather strap, you can change it to a gold or silver chain or even one with pearls to give it a new look. Instead of buying a whole new handbag, you can do this for under $15.

Similarly, if you’re bored of your current lipstick colours, why not do some mixing? Applying two different colours on top of each other can create a whole new shade.

By doing this, you also do your part for mother nature by not creating extra waste.

With these five tips in mind, you will get closer to becoming a more mindful shopper who buys all the cute things while still maintaining an investment portfolio. It can also help us feel less guilty when we splurge.

In Practice

A great example of this in practice is one of my most recent purchases – an expensive pair of designer sunglasses. Here’s how I followed these tips:

  • Figured out that I needed a new pair as my current ones are three years old, bent out of shape and missing the nose pads
  • Realising the cost-per-wear would be low as I wear sunglasses daily
  • Making sure that this will be my only pair of sunglasses
  • Came up with a dollar amount that I would not go over
  • Not making any other significant purchases this month on my “shopping” budget
  • Didn’t buy them instantly – gave myself two days to have a think if I really wanted them
  • Purchased them from an outlet site where they were 50% off RRP
  • Googled to find promo codes, found one for an extra 15% off
  • Used a Cashback plugin to get 4% cashback on the purchase

Now, is a pair of designer sunglasses necessary? No. But, going through this process helped me become more mindful about the purchase. Shopping in this way means you only buy what you really love rather than spending money on something that is just okay.

I hope you found this article helpful, go out there and be a frugal shopper! If you have any other tips that I haven’t covered, I’d love to hear them. You can send me an email on themoneymarketerblog@gmail.com or send me a message on insta @themoneymarketerblog

3 Money Habits That Are Keeping You Poor

Do you have a decent salary but wonder where your money goes every month? It’s likely your income isn’t the problem, but rather your money habits. Even if you make a large income, it’s very challenging to create wealth if you have poor money habits. Here are 3 key actions to avoid.

1. Paying yourself last

When pay day comes around, how do you manage your money? Do you pay your bills and save what is leftover? Try to do this the other way around. Think of yourself like a bill – the most important one. Transfer money into savings before you pay for your bills or expenses. This will ensure that you are making your financial goals a priority and you’ll likely spend less if there’s less in your checking account. If it’s a tough month financially, you can always transfer this money back out of your savings.

2. Being unprepared

Not being organised with your finances can cost you. From having to take out a high-interest loan to delaying your financial goals, it pays to be prepared. If you don’t have an emergency fund, start working on this. You can read more about the benefits of emergency funds by clicking here, Why You Need an Emergency Fund.

Know when your big expenses are coming up and put money aside in advance. For example, I know I need $800+ for my car registration in August every year so I make sure to put that money aside. It is a lot easier to save for large expenses when you allow yourself enough time. This prevents significant stress but also stops you from putting that big purchase on a credit card and incurring interest.

3. Putting off investing

When you’re young, it’s easy to put off investing until you’re older. Or putting it off because you don’t have a spare $5,000 to invest. While it’s important to wait until you’re ready, don’t put it off for too long. If you wait to invest, you’ll have to spend significantly more of your own money compared to someone who started investing before you. If this is confusing, I have lots of articles for beginner investors that you can check out below:

How Do I Actually Invest Money?

What Is The Minimum Amount To Start Investing?

How Much Should I Be Investing?

5 Reasons Why People Lose Money In The Stock Market

I Spent Over $300 On a Thrift Clothing Haul

Buying items second hand is a great way to save money. Unless, you’re like me who drops $300 op shopping in one day making it not the best financial move that it is supposed to be. Whoops. Here’s my thrift clothing haul!

FYI: All prices are in AUD.

Corporate Wear

With all of us slowly going back into the office, work wear is making a comeback. I know many of us dislike corporate outfits but I for one love them. They always make me feel like a “real” adult. Also, I’ve also moved industries from construction to finance which has meant I need more professional outfits. However, business outfits are tough to shop for. They tend to be very expensive and let’s be honest, a bit ugly so it’s hard to find a balance between trendy and professional. This is what I purchased.

The Money Marketer Blog, The Money Marketer, Op Shop Haul, Thrift Haul

Grey Suit: This is the quintessential “boss lady” suit. It’s 60% wool, Italian-made, fits very well and I paid $30. This outfit had me channelling CEO energy. They say dress for the job you want, not for the job you have – right?

Black shirt: The silk-style shirt you see peeking out in both suits is part of the haul, also. It was $12.

Blue Suit: A more trendy option in comparison to the first one. This is a Zara suit and I paid $25. It’s a bit more chill so I can see myself wearing this regularly to work, especially with white sneakers.

The Money Marketer Blog, The Money Marketer, Op Shop Haul, Thrift Haul

White blazer: Before moving to Sydney, I never wore white. However it’s been growing on me lately. This white blazer is a wardrobe staple. $15, made in Turkey – I am on the hunt for a pair of off-white pants to build a chic white suit.

The Money Marketer Blog, The Money Marketer, Op Shop Haul, Thrift Haul

Cream blazer: Here’s another Zara piece. $15, made in Spain, with some really nice buttons. I love Zara work clothes because they’re on the trendy side, such as the puff shoulders on this one. I would wear this outside the office, too!

The Money Marketer Blog, The Money Marketer, Op Shop Haul, Thrift Haul

Grey dress: This was one of my favourite pieces of the haul, for one reason – the fit! Whoever designed this dress knows what a female body looks like. My pet peeve is when women’s clothes are made with no shape, like who is this being designed for? A bookcase? Anyway. This dress was $25 and made in Australia which I love. The 100% cotton make up will make it perfect for warmer days.

And, that’s all the corporate wear I purchased in this thrift clothing haul! Corporate clothes are not cheap so to get two full suits, two blazers, a dress and a blouse for $122 is incredible. All the clothes were in great condition with no stains. The only adjustment I need to make is in the grey suit where the pants are a touch too long. But, that’s an easy fix I can do on my own with some sewing.

Regular Wear

Let’s move to non-work clothes. To be honest, I have way too many regular clothes and have no reason to buy more. Did I still buy more? Yup.

The Money Marketer Blog, The Money Marketer, Op Shop Haul, Thrift Haul

Suede jacket: I am not yet in the income bracket to purchase brand-new suede so when I see suede in an op shop, I buy it! I paid $50 which is pretty expensive for a thrift piece but being 100% suede, and in great condition I felt it was worth it. Also, the jacket online has an original price of $399 (now on sale for $240) which means I got it for 80% cheaper than buying new. Not bad!

Tip: Try to avoid buying dirty second-hand suede. It is hard and expensive to clean!

The Money Marketer Blog, The Money Marketer, Op Shop Haul, Thrift Haul

Leather(?) jacket: So, there isn’t anything too special about this jacket. I am not sure if it is real leather or where it’s made but I LOVED how it fit on me. For $25, it’s a good deal.

The Money Marketer Blog, The Money Marketer, Op Shop Haul, Thrift Haul

Silk shirt: Like suede, I don’t make enough money to buy brand-new silk clothes. I also feel kind of sad when I think of the cute little silk worms working so hard for us to say “I have nothing to wear”. So, I love finding silk at op shops! This shirt is 20% silk which makes it a bit luxurious. I paid $18.

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Handbag: I was so surprised to find this Marc Jacobs handbag at the op shop! Marc Jacobs handbags range from $500 – $1k and I only paid $40 for this bad boy. And, it was in excellent condition!

I believe the reason it was donated is due to it needing a repair. The leather that holds the large strap has come undone, however I can easily fix it on my own with some hand sewing.

There you go, that’s my latest thrift clothing haul! I did buy a few more pieces such as skirts but they were a bit boring so I only kept the highlights.

Why I love thrifting

I love a good thrift clothing haul because you can have your cake, eat it too and…not get fat! You can shop regularly without killing the planet or hurting your wallet. Here are my reasons for why op shopping is the best:

Saving money: The most obvious one, buying second hand is much cheaper than buying new. If I bought all these items new, I’d be looking to spend around $1500 instead of $300. Let’s say I buy $300 of clothes twice a year. That means over 10 years I paid $6,000. But, If I bought them new it would be $30,000 over 10 years. That’s $24,000 saved on just clothes. Imagine if you added up buying second hand furniture in there, too!

Higher-quality: While thrifting, you can get high-quality pieces for fast fashion prices. You can get well-made clothes with materials such as wool, cashmere, suede, leather, linen and silk that you normally wouldn’t buy. And trust me, once you start wearing nicer clothes it is hard to wear fast fashion polyester ones. I especially dislike how hot I get in polyester but it doesn’t keep you warm! Also, fit. Cheap clothes make my body look a lot worse than it actually is, focusing on all the wrong places. Well-fitted and well-made clothes make me feel so much more confident!

Fashion fashion sucks: From not paying workers living wages to contributing to 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, the whole fast fashion industry isn’t great. So, we shouldn’t buy fast fashion and sustainable brands instead, right? Well, no – not for me. Sustainable brands are so expensive. I want to do my part for the planet but I am a regular person on a regular salary. So, buying second hand is perfect! I get to do my part in the fight against fast fashion without spending my monthly income on a coat.

My Best Thrifting Tips

If you struggle to find great pieces second-hand shopping, you can read up on my best tips here:

Thank you for making it to the end of the article! If you enjoyed it and want more, here are some cool pieces I have scored at the op shop:

All About Gold Investment

Why Invest In Gold?

Through human history, gold has often been revered as a precious commodity. However, in 2022 does it still make sense to own gold? Here are some benefits that come from investing in gold, and how to get your hands on some.

Benefits Of Gold Investment

Diversification. Gold offers excellent diversification benefits. Having multiple types of assets in your portfolio e.g. stocks, bonds, real estate helps minimise your overall risk. Think about it this way. If you only invest in stocks and the stock market crashes, you will be impacted greatly as your entire net worth will be down. However, if lets say you have gold which goes up when the stocks take a tumble, you will be better protected in the event of a downturn.

Inflation Hedge. We all know that we can’t leave our savings in a bank account forever due to inflation. Essentially, money that is not keeping up with the pace of inflation is losing its value overtime. Historically, gold’s price tends to rise when the cost of living increases. Therefore, some investors might prefer parking their funds away in gold instead of a savings account.

Other than the above, investors like to own gold for many different reasons. I personally have allocated a small percentage of my portfolio towards precious metals, especially for the diversification benefits.

Let’s say you want to start investing gold, how do you actually go about it?

How to Invest In Gold?

1. Purchasing Physical Gold

There is something about feeling, touching and holding your investment. You can purchase gold bars, coins and other items over the counter in many gold and jewellery stores. If you own gold jewellery, you can use your investments while still holding them in your portfolio. They tend to be less volatile than equities, more of a defensive asset, which may aid in minimising risk in a portfolio. Also, just from a psychological aspect as you can’t check what the exact value of the investment is constantly, you will be more at ease if price fluctuations tend to spook you.

However, there are many restraints with owning gold in this manner. It needs to be stored securely such as in a safe or safety deposit box, needs to be insured and more. You do have to account for these costs out of your total returns and it is not the most “convenient” of investments.

2. Buying into a Gold ETF

This is kind of like buying gold shares, but very easy, more diversified and cost effective. You don’t physically own any gold, but rather buy shares in a “gold fund”. This option is great as it removes a lot of the obstacles of owning gold, while giving the same returns and diversification benefits. The largest gold ETF in Australia has the stock ticker GOLD, which is cool. You don’t get to hold the shiny piece of metal but you do get a much easier investment process.

If you are unsure on how to actually buy shares in a Gold ETF, I have a guide on how to buy shares, click here. If you wanted to invest money in GOLD for example, that is the code you would input when you are making your trade.

If you have any questions, please send me a DM on insta @themoneymarketerblog or send me an email on themoneymarketerblog@gmail.com!

Splurge or Save? Here’s What I Go Cheap On And What I Spend On

We all have different priorities when it comes to spending money, here are mine!

I go “cheap” on:

  • Rent
  • Furniture
  • My car
  • Clothes
  • Travel/holidays

On the other hand, I like to “splurge” on:

  • Food
  • Shoes
  • Handbags
  • Beauty products
  • Kitchen appliances

I am one of those people that believes in “if you take care of the pounds, the pennies will take care of themselves”.

Looking at the big picture

I don’t believe in going out of my way to save an extra $5 or $10, rather I focus on the bigger picture. I prefer going “cheap” on my bigger expenses such as rent and transport. I see having to pay an extra $500 a month in rent a much bigger financial commitment than buying a $10 lipstick vs. a $40 lipstick. While it’s great to be frugal and save every dollar, I find that reducing these largest “overhead”, fixed costs result in a much more significant change. For example, I sold my car (didn’t need one anymore!) which now saves me around $400-500 a month. With the rising petrol prices, this is even more substantial. This change is enabling me to save an extra $6,000 over the year.

Furthermore, I also cheap out on travel and furniture. Most of my furniture is second-hand from thrift/op shops or…off the side of the road during hard rubbish time. I’ve managed to get some incredible pieces through this. Buying second-hand is not only great for your wallet, but you do your bit for our planet. Here are my top tips for buying used clothes.

What can I say, I love food

I spend far too much money on food and I have no intention on changing that.

I am constantly buying fresh produce and premium ingredients which all quickly adds up. If I have to choose between a $12 salad and $1 instant noodles, I will choose the salad. I find I feel a lot better physically and mentally when I eat healthy, even if it costs more – it is so worth it! Cooking is something I really enjoy as well so I often buy more bougie ingredients such as smoked salmon and saffron. I would rather FI/RE a couple of years later if it means I can eat well.

That being said, I do cook most of my meals and make my own coffee at home. This brings the cost down compared to if I bought these things. Plus, I believe your health is more important than an investment portfolio, anyway.

Let’s talk about fashion

For fashion, I mostly shop second-hand which means I can get high-quality pieces while keeping it cheap. I’ve managed to score wool and cashmere coats, well-made blouses and skirts, the list goes on. Basics can be harder to find at the op shop so I usually get these from Uniqlo. If I am after a really specific piece, I go to fast fashion as a last resort. This keeps my clothing costs down while still looking put-together.

However, I do believe in spending on shoes and handbags. These two pieces are more versatile than a shirt for example and can go with many different outfits. This makes it a more “worth” it to me to buy a higher-end piece.

In my experience, cheap handbags and shoes fall apart too quickly. This means you have to replace them more often, spending just as much or even more if you bought an expensive one in the first place. These days, I always try to buy leather and maintain my items every few months or so with leather conditioner and cleaner. I don’t have many shoes or handbags, but rather a smaller collection of higher-end pieces that I use all the time.

Money is really personal and we all have different priorities on how we spend it. I believe it’s important to spend on not only what you need but also what is important to you and what will bring you joy. There is a balance that needs to be met. We can’t take our savings and investments with us to the grave so I believe in enjoying my money while I’m around!

First State Auctions Review: Buying Jewellery From Police Raids & Bankruptcies

Whoa, whoa – buying jewellery that belonged to criminals?! Yes! Here’s my review of First State Auctions.

I didn’t even know this was a thing until I came across First State Auctions through a sponsored Facebook post. The website mentions that they are “selected as auctioneers to various Commonwealth of Australia government agencies in the sale of seized, recovered and unclaimed jewellery.

I browsed through the catalogue and my first thought were:

Wow.

Not only were the pieces beautiful, but had rare items such as Argyle pink diamonds. I was salivating while browsing the catalogue. The other aspect I noticed were the very reasonable prices. I usually purchase my fine jewellery second-hand, but these prices were even cheaper than that. They were significantly less than what you would pay at a retail jeweller.

I know what you’re thinking “Is this even legit?”. Well, I decided to buy something and try it out so I’ll waste my money instead of yours.

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Look at those stunning diamonds!

I decided to sign up and place some bids. After being outbid very quickly, I managed to actually secure a piece! I bought this beautiful 1.05ct ruby, diamond and 14k yellow gold necklace for $475. With the 20% buyer’s premium, I paid a total of $570 which included registered shipping. This necklace was new and not pre-owned which was awesome for that price.

Winning the auction was such a thrill. Is winning auctions addictive? I could totally get on it. Moving on, the process post-purchase was excellent. I was immediately emailed a confirmation of purchase and my invoice. Later, a staff member reached out to confirm my address. After that, it was shipped out within a day or so by registered mail and I was provided a tracking number. Their efficiency was awesome and made me feel very confident about my purchase.

I received my package within 4 days of purchase and here is my beautiful new ruby, diamond and gold necklace! What do you guys think is the story behind this necklace? I wonder who it belonged to.

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Looked even better than the picture! Came in a beautiful box too!
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So elegant and dainty!

First State Auctions Review: Would I do it again?

Yes! Not only do you get a great deal on beautiful fine jewellery, but it’s such a fun experience. I really enjoyed the process of browsing, bidding and of course the feeling of winning the auction.

Since the original ruby necklace, I have made two more purchases with the website. Of course, this is all after careful budgeting. Remember, fine jewellery is a luxury so it’s important to save and budget for some items. Here are some articles I’ve written that can help save you money:

Dyson Airwrap Review: Is It Worth the Money?

Here’s my Dyson Airwrap Review – with an RRP of $799, is this tool worth the money?

I bought the Airwrap so you don’t have to!

What is the Dyson Airwrap all about?

The Dyson Airwrap is an all-in-one hair styling tool. It styles hair using an “aerodynamic phenomenon” known as the Coanda effect which means hair is styled with air compared to extreme heat. The tool measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second, keeping the temperature under 150°C. This helps prevent heat damage. There is a main body which you can swap out the attachments on, kitchen-aid style. Essentially, you get multiple hair tools in one!

Why I bought the Dyson Airwrap

Before I get into my Dyson Airwrap review, here’s what made me fork out this much money for a…hair tool. Essentially, hair health. As mentioned, the Airwrap does not style hair with extreme heat. I am someone who takes great care of my hair and have avoided heat tools for years. While I love styled hair, I never felt it was “worth” damaging my hair for. But, having un-styled hair all the time kinda sucked, too. When I heard that the Dyson Airwrap significantly reduces the heat damage to hair, it was a “Take my money!” moment.

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Here’s a pic of my hair!

The other aspect was time-saving. I have a lot of hair, it’s very long and takes even longer to dry. I had heard that the hair dryer attachment dried hair in a fraction of the time of a standard hair dryer which was another selling point for me. Therefore, as you can probably tell – the actual styling wasn’t high on the agenda. I wasn’t paying this much money to have the prettiest blowout at home, I was paying it so my hair would be healthy and I would save time.

I can understand for some of us, spending $799 on a hair tool is excessive but I enjoy taking care of my hair and am happy to buy “investment” pieces that will last me a long time. My hair has taken me years and years to grow out so I’d like to keep it in great shape.

Dyson Airwrap Review

For me personally, the Dyson Airwrap has been life-changing. Let’s talk about the two key aspects I was looking for – healthy styled hair and time saving.

Healthy Hair

The Airwrap has been very kind to my hair, and although I’ve been heat styling my hair 1-2 times a week – my hair has had little to no damage. This is where the “life-changing” part comes in, as I didn’t know it was even possible to have styled hair and no damage! I have good hair days, all the time!

Blowout brush dupe

There are many duplicates/similar products in the market which I’d like to address. Before I purchased the Airwrap, I actually bought one of these. I wanted to “test” myself and see if I would actually regularly style my hair, especially since it’s something I didn’t do often.

My opinion is that the actual “blowout” result at the end is very similar. The Dyson did not deliver a much nicer style than the cheaper brush. For a few weeks, I was so excited thinking I didn’t need to buy the Airwrap anymore. However, after some time I could start seeing the damage on my hair. After a month, I started seeing more split ends, my hair was drier and overall in worse shape. So much of my hair would get pulled out and be trapped in the tool. I’d be pulling out clumps of hair after every use. I gave it away shortly after and started using the Airwrap.

If you want a tool to give you the best style, the blowout brushes are excellent. However, if hair health is your priority I would advise to be cautious with them.

Time-saving

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More hair pics…

As a time-poor person, I am always trying to make my life more efficient and maximise my time. I even did a time audit, which I’ve talked all about here. The Dyson Airwrap has delivered well on the time-saving front, helping me make better use of my time.

As mentioned, I have long, waist-length hair. From wet to styled hair, it takes me 15-20 minutes. This is a drastic reduction from standard hair tools where I used to spend closer to an hour. This is as the Airwrap dries and styles your hair at the same time cutting the time you spend on your hair in half!

Final thoughts

The Dyson Airwrap is an excellent tool. It styles your hair efficiently while keeping it healthy. Thinking of buying the Dyson Airwrap? Here’s what to keep in mind. While the price is $799, keep an eye out on sales. I purchased mine from Adore Beauty when they were having a 15% off Dyson sale. This got me just under $120 off and I paid $679 for my Dyson Airwrap. I’ve also seen Dyson offer gifts with purchases such as brushes and combs so keep your eye out for that as well.