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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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Stock Investing: How To Buy a Share in Australia

Want to start your journey with stock investing? Great!

I am going to purchase some shares today and take you through the step-by-step process. Keep in mind that this is a very basic guide and is certainly not inclusive of all options and steps that one can take.

In Australia, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is Australia’s Primary Securities Exchange, with over 2,000 companies. I’ll be focusing on this today. They have created a guide of common terms which I would highly recommend checking out here.

How to start stock investing

1. You need to get signed up with a share broker

In order to purchase a share, you will need to use a share broker to purchase these on your behalf. There are many different types available, but I will be focusing on online brokers as they are affordable, quick and easy. This will allow you to start stock investing.

The big 4 banks have their own versions of the service which I find the most convenient to use. There are cheaper options out there too, just do your research and figure out which one is right for you. I use Westpac as it is my primary bank. They charge a brokerage fee to make a transaction on your behalf and you have to pay this fee every time you buy or sell a stock. For the big banks, it is around the $20 mark but I’ve seen this as low as $9.95.

You can sign up to these services online within a few minutes. You will be given a Holder Identification Number (HIN). This number is documented in the CHESS register, which is used by the ASX to confirm holdings. Make sure you take note of this and keep it in a safe, private place.

When this is all done, you will have access to the trading platform. With Westpac’s service, you are given a “cash investment account” that works as a bank account to transfer funds to invest.

2. Find out the ASX code of the units you want

In Australia, all stocks on the ASX have a code which corresponds with the company. For example, Westpac’s code is WBC and Qantas code is QAN. You can find these easily with a quick Google search.

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Today, I am going to purchase some units from a fund called Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF. The stock code for this is VDHG. Just an FYI, I am not recommending this as a purchase, it just happens to aligns with my personal goals, objectives and investment horizon.

This is what your online broker homepage will look like:

Ruba Khan The Money Marketer

3. Figure out the quantities you want to purchase

When you purchase a stock, you purchase it in units. If stock price A costs $100 and you have $10,000 to invest, you would purchase 100 units. The minimum amount you can purchase is $500. However, the price of a stock changes constantly, so you can google your stock code to get a rough idea of what the current price is.

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Today, I am going to purchase around $20,000 of VDHG stock. The current market price for VDHG is $57 – $58, so I will be purchasing 349 units, which will cost me $21.95 in brokerage fees. 

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4. Make your purchase

At this stage, you should have signed up with an online broker, know the stock code and quantity you wish to purchase.

The ASX is open from 10am to 4pm (AEST), Monday to Friday. It is possible to add, cancel and amend orders outside of normal hours but it will not be executed until the market is open. 

Start by transferring the investment funds into your brokerage account. With Westpac, I transferred $20,000 to my Cash Investment Account from my everyday spending account. This is easy, similar to just transferring money out to a savings account. This money won’t be taken out today – I will go into this in more detail in the final step.

Ruba Khan The Money Marketer

Logging into my online broker, I clicked the “place order” section under Share Orders.

Ruba Khan The Money Marketer

I input the order type as “Buy”, ASX code as VDHG, number of units (349) and I will tick the “At Market” price and expiry as “Good for Day”. 

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Then, I clicked “Proceed”, “Submit Order” and then see the below screen.

Ruba Khan The Money Marketer

Once my order has been executed, I will receive an email confirming all details of the trade.

Ruba Khan The Money Marketer

5. Paying for your shares

Share settlement occurs two business days after the transaction (T + 2). This means that the money won’t be taken out of my account to pay for this until this settlement date. As these funds are automatically taken from the account, I always have my funds ready to go the day I make the trade so I don’t have to worry about it on the settlement date.

It is up to you how often you check your portfolio. Some investors like to check it daily or even multiple times a day, however that would stress me out! Therefore, I check it once a month or whenever I am about to make a trade.

And, that’s it! You are officially a share investor and have kicked off your journey into stock investing. If you have any issues or questions, shoot me an email on themoneymarketerblog@gmail.com or send me a DM on my insta @themoneymarketerblog. 

If you are unsure what any terms means, check out ASX’s guide of common terms here.

If you’re looking for more information in relation to stock investing, here are some of my other articles around this:

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

Passive income pays for my electricity, wifi, water and mobile bill as well as my car insurance and Spotify 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 this income is excellent is it allows you to earn more money, while investing less of your time. You can read more about passive income here.

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

It’s a shame that the term 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 require 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 from my stock market investment portfolio. I also make some bank interest which is where I store my 12 month emergency fund.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Money Marketer. You’ve been investing for the last 5 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
  • Car insurance

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:

Is Expensive Makeup Worth It?

For those of us who love makeup, it can be hard to figure out if it is worth it to buy a more expensive item.

As a makeup connoisseur for the last decade, I think that it really depends! There are unfortunately a LOT of brands out there who charge obscene amounts for poor-performing products. There’s also brands who charge next to nothing with incredible, high-quality products. Therefore, I use both expensive makeup and cheap makeup products. I love my Estee Lauder foundation and WILL spend $64 on it. However, some of my favourite beauty brand that offer excellent value are Morphe, Essence and Australis.

So, is expensive makeup worth it?

It really is about experimentation and research – trying product samples, reading reviews and blog posts. Not making any impulse purchases, especially if you are new to makeup. It is such a disappointment spending a lot of money on a product only for it to perform poorly.

That being said, I find that the product itself matters a great deal too. I’ve made a cheat sheet to help you decide on if you should buy an expensive or cheap version of an item.

Expensive makeup products that ARE worth it:

Foundation: Expensive foundation makes a big difference. I always struggle to find my exact colour match in cheaper foundations, they are always a little off. In addition, cheaper foundation don’t give you that “airbrushed” finish and doesn’t last throughout the entire day. Yes, I have tried popular cheap foundations but they aren’t half as good as the bougie ones. If you have clear skin, you can get away with an inexpensive one but I have lots of scarring and pigmentation that needs to be covered up!

Concealer: Great concealers are worth it. Cheaper concealers either won’t give you the coverage you need or they will be too cakey. I also struggle to find concealers that suit my skin as a POC. With expensive concealers, a little goes a long way and you don’t have to buy them as often.

Eyeshadow: Eyeshadows last a very long time. I have eyeshadow palettes from five years ago (okay, maybe I should get rid of them) that I still use regularly. It makes sense to spend a bit more money on a makeup item that will last you years, think of it as an investment. Cheap eyeshadows tend to lack pigmentation and have fall-out which messes up your makeup. I recommend investing in one high-quality eyeshadow palette that will be your best friend. This palette is one of my favourites.

Blush & Bronzer: Similar to eyeshadow, blush and bronzer are two makeup items that can last a long time. I’ve only finished two blushes in my life, and I’ve been wearing makeup for over ten years! High-quality blushes and bronzers are more pigmented so a little goes a long way and the finish is much smoother. I splurged and purchased this Chanel powder to use as a bronzer. After using it everyday for a year, I have finally made a dent. Even with daily use, it will last me another 1 – 2 years. Yes, a $90 blush is a lot, but if it lasts you for three years it is more “worth” it.

Okay, before I ruin your budget – not all expensive makeup is worth it! Here are products I recommend saving on.

Makeup that you can save on:

Liquid eyeliner: My favourite liquid eyeliner is easy to use, stays on all day and has a strong black pigment. And, it’s only $5! I’ve used expensive eyeliner that cost five times more and I find my cheaper one performs better. Save yourself some cash and buy a cheap liquid eyeliner.

Mascara: Expensive mascara is not worth it to me as you have to replace a mascara every three months. Not replacing it can cause eye irritations and infections, ouch! Look, I am a frugal girl. I am not going to throw away a $40 mascara every three months! That’s a $160 a year. Therefore, I recommend the cheap route. My mascara costs $8 and it is fantastic. I also have no guilt tossing it out every three months.

Lipstick: There is a LOT of excellent inexpensive lipstick out there. My favourite ones are from Morphe which are $15. They have great colours and last all day. You usually have one foundation or one bronzer but you never have just one lipstick. It makes sense to go cheaper for items you need multiple of. Buying expensive lipsticks can add up quick especially if you want to build a collection of colours. And, the bougie ones aren’t much better than the cheaper ones.

Fake Eyelashes: Okay, this isn’t strictly makeup but I wanted to add it in. Cheap fake eyelashes are the best! My favourite ones from Daiso cost $2.80, I just use them with Ardell lash glue. I even re-use them. My tip? Look for eyelashes with thin bands. This will make them look less “cheap”, and more natural. They are also much easier to put on and aren’t as uncomfortable.

Think about cost per year

Here’s my final tip that I touched on. Rather than seeing the cost of a product upfront, take a long-term view. How much will the product cost you per year? How many times will you use it? Spend more on products that you will use more often and ones that will last you longer. Let’s put this into practice with a mascara and my Chanel bronzer.

  • “Expensive” bronzer: $92, will last 3 years. Cost per year $30.67
  • Cheaper” Mascara: $17, will last 3 months. Cost per year $68

Therefore, looking at this way – you save more money in the long run by buying the bronzer even though it costs more.

Here is a cheat sheet I put together. Save the image on your phone and refer to it next time you’re out shopping!

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That’s it! You now know if expensive makeup is worth it. If you’re someone who uses makeup regularly, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you agree with my list? Or have a different opinion? Leave a comment below!

Are Vitamix Blenders Worth It? $600 Blender Review

Is a Vitamix worth the money?

Are Vitamix blenders worth it? Six years ago, I made the big decision to buy a Vitamix.

Even after a sale, it ended up costing $595. Yes, I spent that much money on a blender. Is that insane? Maybe. However, after six years I believe I can give a solid review into if it was worth the high price tag.

Why I decided to get a bougie blender

My family used to purchase cheap blenders that cost around $50 and they would always break within a year, it was so frustrating. We even tried getting “nicer” blenders at the $100 mark which didn’t work out well, either. Basically, I wanted a blender that wouldn’t fall apart in 12 months. I decided enough was enough and I was happy to invest in a top of the line blender.

All about Vitamix

I had heard great things about the Vitamix brand – from friends and the internet alike. Their blenders are supposedly focused on high-performance, boasting “incredible processing speeds”. From smoothies to soups, I had the impression that this machine would be one that lasts. At the time, the particular model I was looking at (this one) also came with an impressive seven year manufacturer warranty in case anything happened to the machine.

Now, the model I bought (S30) looks like it’s discontinued, but what attracted me was that it was much smaller than some of the standard Vitamix blenders. This came with a “smaller” price tag, too. It was $800+ at the time, however the white model was discounted to $595 which is how I snagged a discount. It came with the machine, a blending jug, tamper, two extra blending cups and a really nice cook book.

I figured rather than spending $50-100 every year on a new blender that would kill itself as soon as I put ice in, I should just get a great one. Doing the math, I figured if the Vitamix lasts me 10 years, it will be the same price as buying a cheap one every year. But, I’d be getting a higher quality experience while reducing waste.

My review of the Vitamix Blender

So, the big question – are Vitamix Blenders worth it? Wow, has the Vitamix delivered! I have abused this poor thing the last six years and it has not acted up even once. I use it for a range of things such as making smoothies, cocktails, batters, sauces and soups. When I run out of breadcrumbs, I’ll throw in a slice of bread in the blender to make a fresh batch. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a smoothie out since my purchase, knowing I can make an awesome one at home.

Things like blending ice can be a struggle for many standard machines, however the Vitamix has successfully passed every test that I have put it through. I even blended whole spices for a masala chai mix and it actually blended them into a fine powder (with some help from the tamper!).

When I bought my Vitamix blender, I still lived at home. So, when I moved out I naturally took my Vitamix with me. The funny thing is, my mum immediately purchased her own Vitamix for the household once I left! That’s a good review on its own, right?

Are Vitamix Blenders Worth It?

Yes! In my opinion, the Vitamix blender was worth the money. I use it multiple times a week and it has helped tremendously with cooking and making drinks. It solved the main “issue” I had of blenders breaking down annually and has been going strong.

Even after six years, it is still running very well and I’ve heard that they can last for up to thirty years! That sounds a little crazy, but I’ll keep you updated on how mine goes, I would love for it to last as long as possible. If it lasts thirty years, it would cost me only $19.83 a year!

That being said, it is an expensive item. I’d say if you’re someone who doesn’t use a blender more than once a week, you won’t get as much value out of such a pricey one. Also, if you’re interested in a Vitamix but don’t like the price tags there are a few alternative options. There are many refurbished and second hand Vitamix out there at much lower prices, a testament to how long they last!

However, I have plenty of articles on saving money if you need some support saving for a Vitamix. Here are my recommendations:

7 Cheap Meal Ideas From a Lazy Girl

Who knew that such a big part of being an adult would be trying to decide what to eat for dinner each night? Here are some cheap meal ideas to help you out.

It can be so tough working all day, coming home exhausted only to have to make a meal from scratch. It can make those delivery services seem oh, so tempting. However, did you know that Australians spend on average $528 a year on delivery? I usually find that after ordering delivery, the lukewarm, overpriced food often leaves me feeling disappointed. They’re usually not the best for you, either.

Cheap Meal Ideas

Here are some cheap meal ideas that I, a self-professed lazy girl loves making. Some of these cheap meals are healthy, especially if you throw in veggies and go easy on the oil. There are no exact measurements because truthfully, I eyeball everything. It somehow always works out. Also, here’s how to save money on your next grocery shop.

Cheap Meal Idea #1: Fried Rice

This is one of my favourite meals to throw together in literally five minutes. I stir-fry whatever veggies are in my fridge which could be anything from mushrooms to carrots. I then will add leftover rice and prepare the seasoning. I usually will mix soy sauce with fresh garlic, brown sugar and vinegar as a “sauce”. Throw in an egg for extra protein and you have an awesome meal ready in no time.

Cheap Meal Idea #2: Omelettes

Who says omelettes are a breakfast-only food? I regularly make them for dinner as they are so damn easy. You can add pretty much anything from cheese, meat, veggies, and it turns into a wholesome meal. I love throwing in feta and tomatoes…or whatever is in my fridge. Spring onion is always great. You can eat them with toast or salad to turn it into a more substantial meal.

Cheap Meal Idea #3: Soup

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My homemade pumpkin soup

Soup can seem like an intimidating meal to make if you’re a beginner cook but it is so easy!

I like to use stock cubes and throw in tofu, zucchini, and some noodles for a quick noodle soup. Throwing in some frozen dumplings and you have what I call “struggle wonton soup” which is decent (surprisingly).

Another great one is pumpkin soup. I simply boil some pumpkin in chicken stock, add butter, cumin, black pepper and blend it together with a hand mixer. Another bonus of soup is that it lasts forever in the fridge. I love toasting some crusty bread in butter to have with it.

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I present to you…my struggle wonton soup…


If you enjoy miso soup, I recommend grabbing a pack from your local Asian grocery. It takes a minute to prepare and is a great addition to many meals. I love having miso soup with a stir fry or with some rice, it adds a lot to the meal while being cheap and easy.

Cheap Meal Idea #4: Roast chicken

If you spend an extra minute or so marinating, you can create a great roast chicken meal. I like to throw a chicken breast in some olive oil, paprika, garlic and oregano and let it marinate (for only around ten minutes as I am usually unprepared). I then throw it into the oven and add some cheese on top for the last few minutes of cooking. Eat it with a side salad and you have a quick and easy meal. I’ve been experimenting with this a lot lately and have learned in order to make this a delicious meal rather than a dry mess is to not overcook it. At all.

Cheap Meal Idea #5: Vegetable muffins

This is my go-to recipe when I have not been grocery shopping in a while. To make vegetable muffins, I usually change the recipe based on what I have at the time. The basic ingredients are flour and milk – I then add any veggies on hand such as frozen peas, corn or red capsicum, carrot and make it into a dough. Cheddar is also a great addition to this. I’ll then throw in oregano, red chilli flakes and separate the dough into a muffin tray. I make this “recipe” differently every time and it always comes together at the end.

Cheap Meal Idea #6: Upgraded instant noodles

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Doesn’t that look like an actual meal?

We all love instant noodles – migoreng, anyone? So delicious, cheap and fast. The problem is that they often aren’t great for you and aren’t quite enough for a main meal. This is where “upgrading” comes in by adding extra ingredients.

My favourite method is to throw a fried egg on top but I also like adding bok choy, sliced beef or onions. It adds much more substance to the meal as well as extra nutrition. This is also a great way to use instant noodles that you don’t like. Just throw out the seasoning and add your own ingredients and flavourings.

I recently bought these noodles that were far too spicy – no delicious flavour, just numbing chilli. I used the noodles themselves to make stir-fried noodles, noodle soups it and turned out great!

Cheap Meal Idea #7: Salad

I know what you’re thinking but hear me out. Salad is the best lazy meal. I like getting a bag of greens such as spinach and rocket and adding in some olives, cucumber, tomatoes and smoked salmon (when I’m feeling fancy). Tofu or canned tuna are also great suggestions for a “I need protein but am too lazy to cook” option. You don’t have to cook anything, only a couple of dishes get dirty and can be ready in five minutes. I love adding some balsamic vinegar or squeezing some lemon on top.

Plus, you can also binge on dessert later because you were healthy and had a salad…

Pantry staples

Not only are these meal ideas easy and perfect for the lazy cook but a lot of them are also affordable. If you always have pantry staples on hand, you can often make multiple meals and won’t order delivery just because you didn’t grocery shop. Some pantry staples to always have on hand are:

  • Rice
  • Onions
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Noodles
  • Stock cubes (chicken/beef/vegetable)

I would also recommend having lots of seasonings, here are my recommendations:

  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Red chilli flakes
  • Soy sauce

These staples last a long time and can be used to make meals in their own right – I personally prefer adding vegetables or meat as I like to enjoy my life.

No idea what to make?

Let’s say none of my cheap meal ideas took your fancy. If you have a handful of ingredients but no ideas to make them into an actual meal, check out Supercook. It is a free tool that I have been using regularly for years when I am stuck for ideas. You input the ingredients you have and it spits out recipes after scouring the internet. This is also a great way to try new recipes. With the help of Supercook, I made potato croquettes the other day – something I would never think of making and it turned out delicious.

That’s all from me! What are some lazy meal ideas that you like cooking? Let me know as I am always looking for new ideas!