Every second article you read in the news these days is either about:
- How we’re all screwed because we all complain about the cost of housing while we stuff ourselves full of avocado toast; or
- Some guy who built a property portfolio of 120 houses by his 26th birthday.
The former fails to mention that foregoing a $20 breakfast will not magically allow you to afford a house deposit. The latter fails to mention that Mr Property is mortgaged up to his eyeballs and the second that interest rates rise, he is going to be in a world of pain.
It can be exhausting to read “financial” articles like these. If that’s the extent of your exposure to finance-related information (because you mentally switch off the moment that you hear the words “Wall Street” on the news), as is the case with many of us, it’s no wonder that getting rich – or even financially comfortable – can seem like an insurmountable challenge.
How exactly does information like this help anyone who wants to know how to get money, keep money, and grow money?
Most of us fall roughly into one of the following broad categories:
- Every month is a financial struggle. No matter how much we earn, it all seems to disappear into a black hole consisting of a combination of debt, which never seems to go away no matter how much you chip away at it, and “wait, I could have sworn that my account still had a few bucks left?”;
- Ends are being met but only just, so that nothing is being saved – or, if you are managing to save, this ends up being burnt away due to an unhappy surprise. Life is either not entirely what you had in mind (“How come they can afford everything in their Instagram pictures and I can’t?”) or looks nice and shiny from the outside, but scratch the surface and all may not be what it seems (AKA the person with the aforementioned Instagram account); or
- You are financially comfortable, whether or not your income is spectacularly high. You save steadily, invest regularly, live within your means while still enjoying life, and you may even retire early.
It can be a surprise to many to hear that the third option exists. If that’s you, then sit down and buckle up for the next part: even people with normal (or even below average) salaries are card carrying members of this club.
Sure, you say. But those people don’t live in my city where housing prices are extortionate. They don’t work where I do, which requires a lengthy commute in my very nice car, which is what I need for a comfortable commute – and I’ll finish paying off the loan one day, I guess. Or they’re obviously cheap and I don’t want to live as miserably as they do, as I’d rather spend my time enjoying life and not penny pinching.
Guess what? There are 31-year-olds who live in one of the top ten most expensive cities in the world, with a normal salary, who have travelled to over fifty countries, and who have a six-figure investment portfolio, none of which came from the Bank of Mum and Dad. In fact, you’re currently reading the words of one of them.
I’m not a financial advisor, nor have I achieved this through being a trust fund baby (I wish). I’m someone who has read up on the information that’s out there and made some informed decisions on how to utilise my money in a way that means I don’t have to struggle.
Even better: I’m on track to retire before I turn 40. I’m not there yet, but I’m certainly closer than I was a few years ago.
It’s also become clear to me that the vast majority of people are not aware of what this entails. I’ve been told: “The stock market is for people in suits yelling at each other” or “The only way to invest is to buy as many properties as possible using equity” (see: Mr Property at the top of this page) or “There’s no way I can save anything on this salary”.
None of these are true, but they’re all things that I’ve heard people say at one stage or another – usually when I’m being the life of the party and explaining what an index fund is. I’m really fun, I promise.
In all seriousness, the reason that I started this site was because I found myself explaining these things to people over and over again and realised that perhaps people outside of my friend circle would also benefit from this information.
There is no magic, get rich quick scheme. I’m not going to tell you how to pull a winning lottery ticket out of a hat (although there is a magic trick that will blow your mind) (hello, click bait). What I am going to help you with is how to make your own informed decisions on how you want to live your life, that involve living comfortably while still living.
Essentially, to paraphrase myself (narcissistic, much?): how to get more money, how to keep more money, and how to grow more money.
Nothing that I am saying here is original. In fact, quite the opposite: these strategies have been found to work time and time again.
If you have already done your homework, this blog may not be for you. But if you find yourself Googling “How to get rich” or wondering where the hell your money has gone at the end of the month and how you’re ever going to get through an infinite number of work weeks for the rest of your life with nothing to show for it, perhaps I can help.
So, in the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson…