I have recently been asked on social media how my financial journey started. In this article I’ll give you a brief timeline of my journey, where I am at now and five key recommendations for young people starting off their journey.
Part time income, quietly saving: Palmerston North, New Zealand – 1998-2006
Throughout High School I worked various part time jobs and saved for university, it was always my intention to go to university. My Aunt recalls babysitting me as a young child and when she asked me what I was doing one day, I told her I was writing my assignments.
I started working when I was 11 with a pamphlet run I did until I was 16. After that I worked in a radiology clinic part time for a year and then for an insurance company part time for a year before working full time at Kmart in the few months before I went to university. Throughout High School the majority of my salary was banked and by the time I started I had managed to save just over $10K.
University: Wellington, New Zealand – 2006-2011
My studies were partially funded by me, partially by a scholarship and my fees were largely covered by my parents. I am extremely grateful for the work and sacrifice that both of them put in to make this possible for me.
At university the goal was to simply keep my head above water, I worked several different jobs during five years of full time study to fund my living costs to complete my three degrees; I worked at Michael Hill Jewellers, in insurance as a Claims Manager, as a Tutor, looking after children, as a research assistant and at the Student Association. I borrowed living costs in my first year of university as I only worked in my holidays. I managed without adding these costs to my loan after my first year from working part time during university, working full time during my breaks and budgeting and living frugally.
I lived in a series of expensive, cold, damp, un-insulated housing…
After I finished my thesis in May 2011 I decided I wanted to move to Australia. I knew pay was a lot higher in Australia and rent was about the same but what you got was a lot nicer. Jobs were few and far between in New Zealand because of the Financial Economic Crisis and I was lucky to get a job working in insurance claims for $37K a year. I was living in Wellington, New Zealand at the time with my partner at the time and our rent was high, $500 between us a fortnight for a very small one bedroom apartment. We managed to save $10,000 between June and October 2011 to make the move over the ditch to Brisbane, Australia.
The Big Move to Brisbane: Australia – October 2011
Not long after I moved to Brisbane my partner of five years and I broke up.
My goals were firmly set on international travel after what had been a very long time studying. My wages were almost $20K higher in Brisbane as well as having superannuation on top of that. I met my now good friend, Rachael, when I moved into a room in the apartment she was renting in January 2012. I slept on a mattress on the ground for 10 months with my only other furniture being a bedside table and a lamp with my bigger plan of international travel.
I managed my first trip in May 2012 with my good friend Sonja across to Vietnam. I quit my job and left for a bigger trip across New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia and Europe in October 2012.
Upon my return to Brisbane I obtained an entry level administrative role at a big university and over 18 months in the department I paid off $10K of debt, saved about $20K and started my fourth degree (my department funded this).
I got a promotion in 2015 and moved up two salary levels. I didn’t really save in 2015 and 2016. I did a few trips internationally as I had a sick family member in New Zealand and I spent quite a lot of money on consumer items.
When things got real: January 2017
Last year with turning 30 things got very real for me as to what I wanted for myself in my 30s.
During my 20s I had believed it was ‘impossible to buy a house and service a mortgage on my own and therefore I needed to wait to meet a man to buy a house.’
I changed my mind on what I had previously believed: I decided that I didn’t want to wait to meet a man to own a house. I didn’t want to hit my 40th birthday still renting. I decided to work hard toward achieving the dream on my own. Because who knows if or when I will meet someone, at least if I work towards a plan I will have my own place which will ultimately provide me with more freedom and choice.
Where am I now and what am I working towards: March 2018-December 2018
The goal is a 20% deposit, $60-$80K, on a basic unit within the 10km radius of Brisbane city.
I don’t own a car and love East Brisbane for the ease of getting around the place on my bicycle and the culture of my community. At the moment have my eyes set on a 2 bed, 1-2 bath older unit in a small complex in Morningside, Norman Park, Bulimba, Coorparoo and surrounds.
In 2017 I managed to save 33% of my after tax income and put $18.3K towards my house.
The goal is to $60K. At the moment I am saving 36% of my net income towards my house deposit. I post a pretty regular photo journal about my day to day progress over on Instagram. There is a great following for people on the same journey over there mainly using the #debtfreecommunity hashtag and I find it really inspirational to read about different stories, tips and progress of other people. It makes me feel less alone in my journey toward my house deposit. In fact, the reason I have posted up this information is because one of the women I met on Instagram recently tagged me in a post going around our community about where my financial journey started.
What my top tips are for young people with a big financial goal
- You can do it, start today: I have spent over $100K on rent over the last 12 years from when I moved out of home when I was 18. I could already be servicing a mortgage with housemates to help me pay it off sooner.
- Shake off the narratives that journalists love to spread regarding millennials: you carve out your own destiny. I follow many online bloggers, podcasts and social media accounts that prove that a different narrative, you just got to find your new people.
- If you are at School start working and saving: have a percentage of what you save towards something long term that you do not touch
- If you are at University work during your degree and live within your means
How did your financial journey start?
The Economiss is a single, female, millennial on a mission to buy her first home in Australia. A Kiwi by birth, she jumped over the ditch after she finished her tertiary qualifications in search of employment. The narratives quite often showing up online overshadowed her thoughts of buying a house alone changed in 2017 The Economiss started super charging her finances and saved over 30% of her after tax income towards her house deposit as well as cash flowing four overseas trips. In 2018 The Economiss decided to create a new narrative and share her journey saving 36% of her after tax income for a $60,000 house deposit by December 2018. Do you have some tips to share or want to be featured on the blog, please get in touch!