Is Expensive Makeup Worth It? Your Cheat Sheet On Where To Spend

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 who charge obscene amounts for bad 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 $65 on it. However, some of my favourite beauty brand that offer excellent value are Morphe, Essence and Australis.

So, is expensive makeup worth it?

Not always. It depends on the brand and product!

Also, 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.

As mentioned, 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. Look, I usually think “designer” brand makeup is a waste money but I did enjoy this 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 “cheaper” than a $20 one that needs to be replaced

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.

We spend an average of $528 a year on delivery food

While getting food delivered is so fun, it can be pricey. Did you know that Australians spend on average $528 a year on delivery? Other than the cost, I find that delivery food doesn’t always meet expectations. Food arrives lukewarm, drink has spilled and let’s be honest – it isn’t the most healthy option.

While I love a bit of Ubereats after a long week, I have been making an active effort to cook more at home to save my budget and health.

I find that often I will get delivery food not necessarily because I want it, but because I too tired, lazy or don’t have enough ingredients to cook.

That’s why it is important to have meal ideas ready to go that you can throw together fas, with ingredients you already have and for little money.

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.

Cheap Meal Idea #1: Fried Rice

This is one of my favourite meals to throw together in literally five minutes.

I start by stir-frying literally whatever veggies are in my fridge which could be anything from mushrooms to carrots. Sometimes I have no vegetables so the only thing that gets stir-fried is garlic, which totally works.

I then will add leftover rice with some soy sauce, black pepper chilli flakes. Throw in an egg for extra protein and you have an awesome meal ready in no time.

The best part about fried rice is that you only really need rice and oil, everything else is extra.

I’ve made it without soy sauce when I ran out, with twiggy sticks as a protein instead of eggs and other odd variations – and it has always worked! But seriously, try my twiggy sticks fried rice sometime, it is really good.

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.

Like fried rice, omelettes only really have one essential ingredient, eggs.

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

All these people who make stock from scratch make soup seem intimidating, but I promise you it can be made easy. My hack? Stock cubes. Yes, they are high in sodium but soup is so easy when you use them.

Soup can be easy. Add some stock cubes to boiling water, add some vegetables with seasoning and you have a delicious, wholesome meal within 10 minutes.

What I also love about soup is that you can add anything to it, just like fried rice and omelettes. You can add tofu, noodles, pasta or even meat which makes it so versatile and easy. I added noodles, bok choy and wontons to chicken broth to make a “struggle wonton soup” which honestly, was really good!

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I present to you…my struggle wonton soup…

Another great one is pumpkin soup, a bit more work but still pretty simple. 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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My homemade pumpkin 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. A bonus cheap meal idea which I have often is miso soup with leftover rice, so easy and fast.

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), then throw it in the air fryer.

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

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.

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Doesn’t that look like an actual meal?

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 or throwing in some cooked pasta for extra substance.

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

Pantry staples

As mentioned earlier, I used to often get delivery because I didn’t have the ingredients to cook – here is where pantry staples come in.

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.

I’ve also written an article on how you can save money when grocery shopping:

Do you still have 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!

How To Save Money in 2022 (5 Handy Tips!)

How do you save money in 2022? Read on for my 5 key tips.

Happy New Year to my readers! I hope you had a great holiday and feel recharged and motivated – I certainly do. Let’s get ready to make 2022 a great year for our finances. With than in mind, here’s how to save money, my top 5 tips!

1. How to save money – start by writing down your money goals

By writing down your goals, you will be 10 times more successful than those without goals.

Writing down your goals is a simple yet effective way to achieve them. Try to get specific about saving money:

  • What are you trying to save for?
  • What is the exact amount?
  • When do you want to save this by?
  • How much do you need to save per month?

Break it down.

Let’s take one of my own goals for example. I’d like to save some money to travel. To turn this into a goal, it would something like:

I would like to save $6,000 by October 2021 for a trip to Asia. This means I need to save $600 a month for 10 months.

Why is goal setting so important?

I always emphasise the importance of writing down goals and here’s why. According to a Harvard Business Study:

  • 83% of the population does not have goals
  • 14% have a plan in mind, but are unwritten goals
  • 3% have goals written down
  • The 17% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without!

Taking five minutes out of your day to write down some goals can make a bigger impact on your finances than you think.

2. Have a budget (of some kind!)

Without watching what you eat, it’s challenging to lose weight. In the same way, it’s difficult to save money without a budget. Yes, it can be done – but it is tough!

The reason for this is that budgets give us a clear picture of our financial situation. How much are we making? How much are we spending? How much are we saving? Keeping track of your money allows you to answer many of these questions. When you know where your money is going, you are in control. It is only then we can start making meaningful changes to our finances.

An easy way to get started is with a budget planner. Money smart has an excellent free budget planner that takes around 20 minutes to complete, check it out:

3. Have the right mindset

It can be very tempting to blow our budgets.

I often succumb to shopping – beauty and fashion sales always have me spending more than I would have liked. A strategy that has kept me from overspending is comparing it to my savings goal. I usually ask myself:

“I can spend $50 on this item, or I can put $50 towards my Asia trip – what would I prefer? What would make me happier?”

I find framing it like that to be more beneficial. You aren’t “depriving” yourself of buying something, rather choosing to prioritise your savings goal. Don’t be afraid to remind yourself of that goal consistently to ensure you stay within your budget.

4. Combine your subscriptions

We all know to cancel unused memberships to save money.

However, one new strategy you may have not used yet is combining memberships. For example if you have a Netflix and Stan membership, only pay for one and find a family/friend who will pay for the other. Then exchange logins and you have access to both services for one price.

I have organised this set up recently with a few friends and it has worked really well. I pay for a unique subscription that not many people have so I can use it as a bargaining tool to access other services for free. To make this a truly impactful tip, transfer the money you would have spent on an membership to your savings account, instead.

5. Treat your savings like a bill

If you prefer a hands-off approach, this is the perfect tip for you.

Think of your savings goal like a bill such as rent or electricity. After writing down your goals, you’ll know exactly how much money you will need to put aside. You can then set up an automatic transfer every time you get paid. For example, I get paid monthly so I would set up an automatic transfer of $600 every month on pay day.

Not only does this tip make things easy, it also ensures the savings goal is prioritised. I love the quote “Don’t save after spending, but spend after saving”.

With these 5 tips, you’ll be on track to achieve your savings goals in 2022. I’d love to know what you are trying to save for this year, send me a message on insta @themoneymarketerblog or feel free to contact me here.

8 Finance Tips Everyone In Their 20s Should Know in 2022

Your 20s financial habits can be incredibly powerful.

Not only can you build life-long positive financial habits, but also take advantage of compounding through investing. Here are 8 tips that everyone in their 20s should know!

1. Develop a valuable skill (that makes you money!)

This is one of the most important things to set yourself up for life. Get really, really good at something that people will pay for. This will ensure that you will always be able to find work, get paid highly for working relatively lower hours and always be in demand. Some of the most in-demand skills right now are:

  • Digital Marketing (this is what I’ve gone with!)
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Blockchain
  • UX Design
  • Cloud Computing
  • Business Analysis

2. Develop specific financial goals

If you haven’t sat down and figured out what your financial goals are, I highly recommend you do so. Why? 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without!

Your goals don’t have to be super specific, just knowing that you’d like a car within the next year is good enough. I’d also urge you to think about what is important to you personally and not just follow in your parents or peers footsteps. For example, if you really have no interest in buying a house – then, don’t!

3. Don’t blow all your savings on travelling

Just to clarify, I am not saying don’t travel! Travel is a valuable experience and I think it’s well worth the money. However, do not spend all of it on travelling.

Throughout uni, I met so many young people who had $30,000 – $50,000 in savings that they worked years for – just to blow every cent on travel. If you’re thinking of doing the same, I urge you to put 10% of these funds aside either in long-term savings or to invest. That $5,000 you invest in the stock market at 20 will be worth $50,000 by the time you’re 50, even if you invested nothing after that.

4. Learn how to cook

Cooking at home not only helps your finances, but is also an important life skill!

It can help cut down work lunches in the form of meal prepping and avoids those lazy delivery food purchases. You don’t need to be a chef – just learn 5 or so easy and delicious recipes.

Tip: Not sure what you can make with your random ingredients? Use Supercook! You can input everything in your kitchen on the website, and it spits out recipes that you can make! It is a fun way to try something new without having to buy extra groceries.

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5. Buy a second hand vehicle (if possible)

Most new cars are horrible financial decisions – especially for young people.

When buying your first car, I urge you to buy something suitable, reliable and second hand. Try to save up for it in cash and avoid getting a car loan if possible. A vehicle can be a money pit that is really hard to recover from, so be careful. I have written an entire article on this topic, so be sure to check out the link below.

6. Know your worth

In the workplace, know what your market value is.

We’re all worth something. Person A might be worth $110/hour, Person B might be worth $22/hour. Find out your value. How much should you be getting paid? Ensure that you are getting paid a fair amount and negotiate at interviews and workplace reviews.

Too many exceptional and skilled young people are underpaid and overworked simply because they do not know their worth. And, if they do – they are not willing to fight for it. To create financial success, only accept what you believe is a fair pay. Time is just as important as money and do not waste your time on a company that will not pay you fairly.

Tip: You can check the average salary for an industry using

7. Start budgeting

Start budgeting in some capacity.

You don’t need a meticulous excel spreadsheet or have to track every cent. Just have a good idea of your income and expenses. Know how much you are spending on what category, and know when you need to stop. The below article goes into budgeting in a lot more detail.

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8. Become knowledgeable about investing

Although this is the last point on the list, it is one of the most powerful.

Your 20s are the most powerful time to start investing – do not think of it is as something “adult” that you’re going to put off until your 30s and 40s. When you invest money for decades, you take advantage of compounding. If you started investing at 40, you’d have to invest eight times as much to have a similar portfolio value. Let me show you.

Person A:

  • Starts investing at 20
  • Starts with $5,000
  • Contributes $100 a week
  • Portfolio at 50 years old: $705,201
  • Made profit of $544,201

Person B:

  • Starts investing at 40
  • Starts with $20,000
  • Contributes $825 a week
  • Portfolio at 50 years old: $700,946
  • Made profit of $251,946
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What Is The Minimum Amount To Start Investing?

The minimum amount to start investing

Interested in investing but not sure what the minimum amount is? Technically, the minimum amount to start investing is $500.

That is the lowest amount that you can choose for a first trade on the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange). However, there are a few things to consider before you go ahead and make this first purchase.

Brokerage fees

Ever wondered why larger amounts like $5,000 or $10,000 are recommended to start investing rather than $500? This is due to brokerage fees.

When you buy or sell a stock, you pay a fee to do so. This fee can vary greatly (especially if you make a very large trade), however it is usually around $19.95. This means that:

  • If you buy $500 of shares, brokerage will represent just under 4% of your investment
  • If you buy $5,000 of shares, brokerage will represent only 0.4% of your investment

This means, the less you invest the more your shares would have to grow in value to cover brokerage costs. This doesn’t mean you need to save up $5,000 to start investing but rather, keep brokerage costs in mind when you are making a smaller trade.

I’ve written a detailed guide on how to buy shares in Australia, have a read by clicking here.

How To Invest For Less Than $500

You can still invest even if you don’t have a spare $500 lying around.

Micro-investing is a way to invest small amounts like $5 or even your pocket change. With consistent contributions and time in the market, you can still accumulate a pretty sizeable investment portfolio. It is a great option for new investors who are perhaps uncomfortable with investing large amounts or find the stock market quite intimidating.

Raiz Invest and Spaceship are two popular ones, however I would highly recommend doing your own research and seeing what platform is right for you. Two key areas to look at are investment returns and fees.

Make sure that the platform will actually make you money but also that they are not overcharging you. For example, if the investment return is 3% a year with high risk, that is very poor. You may as well put your money in a bank account instead which offers 3% interest and very little risk.

Do your own research

Do a lot of research to figure out what investment method is right for you. Saving up a large amount of money is hard in itself. Having to then invest it in the market for the first time can really scary! If you are more comfortable with making a smaller $500 trade, then go for it!

Investing consistently can have awesome results. Here’s how I pay for a lot of my bills with passive income from the stock market.

Why Working From Home Is Making Me Reconsider Early Retirement

Since I’ve started working from home, I have also started to reconsider retiring early.

I am fiercely passionate about the FIRE movement and have been actively working towards this for years. FIRE stands for financial independence, retire early and is all about setting yourself up financially so you have the choice to retire earlier than the standard age of 60+. This has been one of my key motivators for budgeting, saving, investing, increasing my income and all things related to improving your personal finances.

However, I have now started to reconsider.

Why I decided to start pursuing FIRE

For a long time, I worked hard for one goal – getting a “big girl” marketing job. I knew I wanted to get into marketing in high school so I did a relevant degree, did unpaid internships, part-time gigs before finally landing my first salaried marketing job at a large corporate. I was 19.

I thought that was it, I made it.

I could now start working on awesome projects and build my career while having enough money to spend on my hobbies, going out with my family and friends etc. I was done, right? Wrong! I quickly realised that I couldn’t do this for another 40 odd years. Why?

I felt that I no longer had control over time.

Realising full-time work wasn’t for me

I quickly realised that full-time work is not just 9am – 5pm. It is the time you get ready in the morning. The time you spend commuting between home and work. The time you take to prepare your lunch. The time spent on the weekend catching up from chores that you couldn’t get to during the weekdays. And, working in marketing, I was involved with running events outside of work hours including multi-day conferences, sometimes in different states. Full-time work made me feel like time was slipping away, and I wasn’t able to spend time doing what I actually wanted to.

This is when I decided to do some research and came across the FIRE movement. It was exactly in line with my thoughts. I wanted control of my time. I wanted to be able to spend my time with my family and friends, painting and doing yoga, sleeping 8 hours a night and retiring early would let me do that. This is when I started researching into the stock market, playing around with portfolio calculators before finally making my first stock purchase.

I started to invest not to be rich, but for freedom. Freedom over my time.

Fast forward to today

Slowly moving up the career ranks, I’ve now quadrupled my salary from that first corporate job. However, the whole time things kept getting worse. Until recently, I had still being feeling massively time-poor. I even did a time audit to help maximise my time and documented the process, you can read all about it by clicking here.

In university, I had a pretty busy schedule. I worked throughout my studies and even had a portion where I worked and studied full-time thanks to night classes. Even though I had less time than when I had a corporate job, I never felt trapped for time.

Perhaps, because I knew there was an end. Once I graduated, it would be over. However, when working full-time, you know that it will last for decades.

The turning point

However, since I started WFH (working from home), I feel I am once again in control of my time. No commuting means I get to sleep my full 8 hours every night (sometimes, more!). I don’t have to worry about what I am taking for lunch and snacks everyday because I can spend a couple of minutes in my kitchen whipping up lunch.

The funny thing is, I am actually working more hours. I’m more productive. I no longer feel pressed to finish exactly at 5pm and am happy to keep working away from the comfort from my own home. Working an extra 2 hours in the office was a pretty big deal. However, with WFH I can hang out on my couch and get the work done from the comfort of my own home.

I also used to struggle to find the time to exercise. I’d get home from work at around 6pm, I’d then rush into my workout clothes and head out. Even getting in 30 minutes a day was a challenge. These days, it is so easy for me to exercise. With no commute time, I can fit in a workout before or after work with ease.

I’ve been feeling this way for the last month, but I am not sure if I want to FIRE anymore. All these new changes that remote work brought is making a substantial difference in my mental health and is drastically improving my quality of life.

WFH has removed a lot of the reasons I was chasing financial independence.

All I ever wanted from FIRE, I now have.

Am I going to abandon the FIRE movement?

Certainly not! I’d still love to give my future self the choice to work. I am still on track to FIRE in my mid-30s so if I don’t end up fully retiring, I’d love to do work less days a week or start a business.

I also know that WFH might not be here to stay in 5, 10, 15 years and it makes sense to be prepared in case our world changes.

I’d love to hear any thoughts for those of you pursuing financial independence. Has the pandemic and WFH culture changed your investment strategy? How so?

Send me an email on or send me a message on Instagram @themoneymarketerblog!

Can Investing Make You Rich?

Short answer, yes – it can!

“Can investing make you rich?”

This was one of the first questions I had when I started my financial journey. When I first started getting into investing, it was so confusing. There seemed to be people becoming millionaires from the stock market and making a full-time income out of trading stocks. I often wondered, was this do-able for the average person?

I felt that a lot of time these “investors” made more money from selling courses on how to invest rather than the investing itself. Looking around, I also saw that a lot of “boss babes” and “entrepreneurs” who claimed they quit their 9-5 to pursue business were just a part of a multi-level marketing scheme.

So, is investing a legitimate way to create wealth?

Here’s the good news. Investing is a legitimate way to become a millionaire. I started investing five years ago and not only will I become a millionaire in my 30s (while earning an average income), but currently my passive income stream pays for many of my bills including:

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

I know “passive income stream” has become a bit of a buzz word, but what does this actually mean? When you go and work a job, you are creating “active” income. This is income where you need to perform labour. If you don’t perform this labour, you don’t get paid. However, passive income is about creating an income without having to actively earn it. It’s all about making money while you sleep.

This might sound too good to be true, but it really isn’t. Have you ever heard the saying “money makes money”? It really is true. By investing, no matter if it is real estate or the stock market you are putting your money to “work” for you. Therefore, your passive income or portfolio growth isn’t money magically appearing out of thin air. It’s income that your money makes for you.

You may be thinking that this sounds amazing. However, while it is simple – it’s not easy. Here are some things to keep in mind that a lot of these “millionaire investors” won’t tell you.  

Making money through investing takes time

Unless you’re a stock-picking genius, making a lot of money through investing takes time. It takes literal years before you start seeing decent returns. It took me over five years of budgeting, saving and investing to build the passive income stream I have today. Don’t let this dishearten you, especially if you are in your 20s and 30s. Starting now will ensure that you will be able to build substantial wealth in the future. Having time to invest is a luxury that can make you millions.

However, this does mean you need to start ASAP. Even if it’s $5 or $10 into a micro-investing app, just starting will mean you can take advantage of one of the biggest secrets to making money – time.

I’ve met a lot of young people who put off investing, saying it’s something they’ll worry about when they are older. But, by doing this they are missing out on decades of gains. Even if you make more money in the future and are able to invest more, your portfolio will struggle to catch up with an investor that invests a lot less, but started over 20 years ago.

And here’s the thing, you don’t need to wait until you’re a literal grandma to start enjoying the work you have put in. Even though I am only in my mid-20s, I have built a passive income stream that already pays for many of my bills. Even if I never contributed to my portfolio again and blew every pay check, it will still automatically grow to a million dollar portfolio before I turn 50. Building this financial foundation was not easy but now it allows me to relax and put my time and energy towards other things than money. For those of you who have been broke know how insanely stressful it is to always be worrying about money and bills – not having this burden is a wonderful feeling!

You need money to start investing

Here’s a bit of bad news.

You do actually need money to start investing. And, if you want to build a large passive income stream or see a large return – you need to invest a lot. However, this doesn’t need to be $10,000 or $20,000. As previously mentioned, you can start with a smaller amount. Instead, it is important to invest consistently and be disciplined enough to grow your portfolio every month.

Even investing $50 a week, will amount to over $326,000 in 30 years. This means this investor made over $248,000 of passive income. What needs to be noted is that this portfolio was contributed to consistently e.g. every week $50 was invested and it was given time, over 30 years.  

Investment Portfolio Worth investing $50 weekly the money marketer blog themoneymarketerblog australia finance blog

Now, what if this investor had a higher disposable income and could contribute $500 a week? The results get kind of crazy. The investor would make just under $2.5 million in passive income.

Investment Portfolio Worth investing $500 weekly the money marketer blog themoneymarketerblog australia finance blog

Therefore, the first step to investing is saving in some format. Before you start investing, I think it’s a good idea to have an emergency fund that will cover your expenses for 3 – 6 months just in case something happens.

Here are some of my previous articles that will help you with saving:

You can play around with the investment calculator I have used here:

What Do I Actually Invest In?

You may be wondering, why won’t she tell me what to invest it?!

I get it.

When I started investing, I was reading all these articles but I couldn’t figure out what to invest in. Here’s the thing, since I’m not a financial planner I unfortunately can’t tell you!

What you invest in depends on many factors and to get started I would start by thinking about:

  • Risk tolerance – how much risk would you be willing to take?
  • Investment horizon – how long are you planning to invest your money for?
  • Interest – Are you interested in real estate, stocks or maybe even precious metals?

Two of my favourite companies that offer investment products in Australia are Vanguard and Betashares, you can check them below:

I also post publicly about what I invest in, so make sure to check out my Instagram if you’re interested by clicking here.

Can investing make you rich?

To wrap it all up – can investing make you rich? Yes!

Starting early, investing often and being disciplined financially will put you on the path to build wealth. I hope this article has helped you navigate the intimidating world of investing a little bit better and as always if you have any questions, you can shoot me a message by clicking here.

5 Frugal Habits That Transformed My Life

Building wealth requires a focus on frugal living, frugal habits and prioritising what is really important to you. This is not the same as being cheap or stingy! Being frugal means spending money on what you place value on. 

We all know to bring lunch from home, make coffee at work and have pre-drinks before a night out. But, what habits will truly make a big impact?

Here are some of my frugal habits that have completely transformed the way I live in life.

Top 5 frugal habits

  1. Switching to free or low cost hobbies. I used to enjoy Melbourne’s wonderful dining scene at least three times a week. My wallet did not. Now on my weekends, I enjoy doing yoga in the mountains, knitting while chatting to a friend, painting and even recently went back to the local library to start reading again. Yes, your library card stops working if you haven’t used it in six years.  “Free” hobbies can be just as if not more enjoyable than more costly ones, so why not try something new this weekend? 
  1. Stopping buying things new. Save the planet, save your wallet. If I need something, I will never go out and purchase it brand new from a store. I will see if I can make it, borrow it or purchase it second hand. This includes my car, furniture, kitchenware, jewellery and yes, all my clothes. Did you know that Fast fashion is second only to oil as the world’s largest polluter? Yikes, I think I’ll stick to my local op shops. 
  1. Develop skills. I taught myself skills that interested me, which also could save me money. I cut my own hair, grow my own herbs, thread my own eyebrows and can do a thing or two with a sewing machine. Still learning everyday, I am constantly trying to develop new skills. That being said, do go to a professional when you need to. I tried to service my own car, and let’s just say – I’ll leave that to my mechanic. 
  1. Look before you spend. Before embracing the frugal lifestyle, I would choose restaurants and events oh a whim. Now, if I am about to have a meal in the area, want my annual massage – I’ll hop onto Groupon and see if there are any deals I can take advantage of. It is always worth it to take an extra minute to search for deals online before making a purchase. 

Sign up to Groupon: 

  1. Using cash back and promo code services. My online shoppers, this one’s for you. Did you know that there are services that give you a small percentage back on all your online purchases? I personally use Honey and Shopback as they both cover different websites. While the percentage amounts are small, it is an easy way to get cash for items that you were going to buy anyway, such as groceries or contacts.

Honey is an awesome service, that is a two in one. It allows for a plugin to be installed to your browser and searches the web for coupons. I used to manually hunt for coupon codes on Google but not anymore, thanks to Honey. I spend $300 on contacts annually and use Honey to find promo codes while also getting a small percentage of cashback. It is automatic so you don’t have to remember to use it, either.

And, here’s my secret for ultimate frugality. Shopback gives cash back on Groupon. Which means getting even more cash back on products and services that are heavily discounted. Can’t beat that.

What are some frugal habits that have changed your life?

I Tried Fixing My Time-Poor Situation – Here’s What I Found Out

Anyone else always feel like they never have enough time?

From consistently having to turn family and friends down for hangouts to not touching projects for months, I knew I had a time problem.

While I’m all about saving money and building wealth, I never really focused on my time. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I haven’t had enough hours in the day to do what I actually want.

This didn’t make sense to me because I’m very productive. I have a standard 40 hour job, no kids and some pretty low commitment side projects.

So, why did I feel so time poor?

Figuring out where my time actually goes

To start this off, I noted down for a week where my time was going. Even if I hung out on the couch for 20 minutes, I added that to the relaxation category. I included everything – from commuting, housework etc. To be honest, I was expecting to see that I was wasting a lot of time – watching TikToks, browsing social media, online shopping etc. However, I was shocked to learn that this was not the case at all.

In fact, I spent most of my time on a category that I never expected.

The breakdown

It’s no surprise that the largest “time” category was sleeping at 35% followed by work at 30%. I included my full-time job, side business and blog in this category as it was all “productive”. These main categories I couldn’t really cut down so the remaining third was the most important.

The third-largest category was the real surprise. I spend 12% of my time on what I call “life admin” or chores. This category includes cooking, cleaning, laundry, buying groceries, visiting the post office etc. I spend 20 hours a week doing this.

Before plotting it out like this, I really had no idea it was that much time. No wonder I feel so time poor, that’s just under 3 hours a day. A big part of this is cooking – I cook nearly all my meals from scratch, daily. I’ve tried meal prepping but it isn’t for me – I enjoy fresh food. I thought this was great considering I save so much money but I didn’t even think of the time. I understand that cooking all your own meals as a family makes sense, but as a solo girl it’s pretty different.

Even if it is a quick recipe, I spend at least an hour on prepping ingredients, cooking the meal and of course the clean up.

Making a change

With this information in mind, I knew that something had to change.

I made the realisation that my time was too valuable to spend on cooking and cleaning. I decided that it’s okay to not cook everyday. As a young professional who is focused on building marketable skills, developing a career and consistently saving and investing – I had other activities to do that would be a better use of my time.

A few days ago, instead of cooking dinner, I bought a meal for $8 and spent that time exercising followed by a business call for one of my side projects. I effectively “spent” $8 to get an hour back and I used that in a more productive way.

Cutting down further

The other method I tried to cut down the life admin/chores section was grocery shopping. I found that I was having to do more grocery shops than normal simply because of weight. Embarrassing to admit, but I would buy 1 – 2 potatoes at a time simply because I struggled carrying heavy items (I have ZERO muscles, just an FYI).

To cut this down, I decided to do a big delivery grocery shop. I’m talking bags of rice, canned tomatoes, potatoes, onions, entire box of soft drink cans. It hurt to pay the $15 delivery but wow, was it worth it! It took the grown delivery man four trips back to van to bring all my groceries to my door, I can’t even imagine how long it would have taken me! As it was a large order, it saved me so much time – driving to the shops, picking everything out, driving back and then hauling it up to my house. Instead, I spent 10 or so minutes making the order online.

Hold on – dryers are a thing?!

I am now officially a dryer person.

I never used a dryer for my clothes as it’s free to dry them outside. Growing up in an immigrant household, our clothes dryer just sat in the garage gathering dust. Having to pay $2 extra to use one, not including the $2 – $5 in energy consumption didn’t make much sense. However, air-drying is such a pain in Melbourne winter. With the sun always disappearing and spontaneous rain it was a real chore to figure out the optimal time to do laundry.

There were many occasions where I took the time to hang up all my clothes, only to rush back to take them down before they were soaked. It also took forever for them to dry when it was a colder day. One week, it was going to rain daily so I decided to give the dryer a go. And wow, what a time-saver!

Being able to do laundry whenever I wanted regardless of the weather was such a luxury, plus I saved so much time from not having to hang the clothes up. From the washing machine, to the dryer, to my wardrobe. So fast and easy – I’m never looking back.

Doing these actions have helped cut down this life admin/chores category by 6 hours per week.

Being time-stingy

Before this audit, I gave my time away very freely.

If someone came 45 minutes late, I’d let it slide. I’d spend two hours working on a friend’s resume for free. I’d go to a random party for four hours just because I was invited. If a friend wanted to stay over two hours past my bedtime, I’d let it happen.

However, I have realised that I need to be stingy with my time. I can’t freely give it away anymore.

After this experience, I now see my time as a resource. I only go to events that I truly see value in and I avoid wasting even 10 or 15 minutes. I’ve seen this a lot with my full-time job. If I left at 5pm or 5.20pm it wasn’t a big deal to me – however, now it is! Even doing this three days a week meant I was giving work an extra hour of my time. Also, I don’t tolerate lateness anymore.

Being mindful & final thoughts

This has truly been an eye-opening exercise.

One of my biggest key takeaways is that I am simply more mindful of my time. I only put my time towards activities that I really value and if something doesn’t serve me, I won’t do it.

I have also learned that it is okay to spend money to buy time. When I was a broke uni student, it made sense to try to save every cent and disregard the time it took to save said cent. However, as a working professional on a full-time salary, I don’t need to spend time just to save money. Ordering delivery food is okay. Using a clothes dryer is okay. Getting groceries delivered to my door is okay.

This experience has fundamentally shifted how I see time and I recommend trying this out for yourself if you haven’t already.