I saw an interesting story on A Current Affair last night where a woman was the only child of a wealthy man, had inherited $12 million, but was unable to access it as she hadn’t met the dying Dad’s conditions to access the money which were:
1/ To get a job, any job at all and to keep it
2/ To contribute to society in a positive way
I think these are great and reasonable conditions to receive an inheritance of any amount, but the woman on the show did not seem to think so! She chose instead to claim she had no choice but to live in a very average house, in a very average area, in relative squalor (even if you live in a simple house I reckon you can keep it tidy and clean!) and years on, she still refuses to get a job much to the dismay of her cousins and other family! 😳 Talk about playing the victim. Unbelievable!
This got me thinking about how so many people are crying poor right now with increases in rents, mortgages and inflation ($12 lettuces etc.) and stuff I see some of our kids, their friends and their parents doing which keep them being poor, whether they have a lot to start or not and how much worse it is going to get for them if they don’t start taking some responsibility for their finances (and get some financial literacy on board).
Just to be clear before we get into it, I didn’t have any privileged position or head start myself. I grew up in a very average house in a very average street in a very average area. We had mostly second hand clothes, definitely second hand furniture, second hand cars and second hand bikes. I had 3 jobs by the time I was 14 and throughout high school I paid my own bus money and lunch money. Or generally made it. I also fundraised like crazy to pay for the sports I played. Which were expensive. I also went through a separation in 2017 which gave me a -$600k start point. Not the easiest position to be in!
When it comes to money, we all know it’s all about choices, and these days we all have so many great choices including apps, online platforms and solutions to earn more money, even if our skills and time are limited. I believe there are plenty of ways literally anybody can work to get themselves in a better position. If they want to be that is.
Here’s some things I see poor people, and people destined to be perpetually poor doing constantly (which they could change so easily!!)
I share this with you in the spirit of assisting those who want to be helped fight the inflation and the sad stories. Feel free to share it on if you find it useful.
– Never saving a dollar per pay check – it doesn’t matter what you earn, it’s what you do with it. You should ideally save 30% of your take home, whatever that is. Even 10% is better than nothing! Most online banks these days allow you to set a goal and then watch your savings weekly. It’s very satisfying. So do it!
– Having no idea where their bank account/s are at – Use @finder.au app which can help you track your progress with savings, budget, stay on top of your credit score and compare all the services you have to get better deals ie car insurance, home insurance, mobile plans etc. You can even invest in crypto on here!
– Having no personal or household budget which they review and update regularly – Lots of good apps here to help. @buddy_budget has lots of good reviews. @getpocketbook also quite good.
– Not setting up all your big bills on monthly auto debit to cash flow it – I’m talking your electricity, your rates, your water. Work out what the last quarter was, divide it by 3, set up an automatic payment into the bPay and enjoy getting a bill for zero dollars each quarter!
– Buying a new car – In my mind, there’s never really a need. The moment you drive it out of the lot you lose money. Always buy second hand (but a good reliable) car. And never ever get finance from the car dealership. Their interest rates are horrendous. You’ll pay a lot more than you have to.
– Using lots of Afterpay, Zippay & other Buy Now / Pay Later – We live in a world of buy now, pay later, but f you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. You’ll live in a world of perpetual interest and debt. It’s hard to dig yourself out of it.
– Relying on Credit Cards to live the high life – Similarly if you can’t afford it now, don’t put it on the credit card unless it is some essential emergency like a new washing machine, a car breakdown, a medical emergency or similar. If you have already got into credit card debt, get out of it by shopping around for no interest or low interest options. See Finder for a handy credit card comparison.
– Renting not owning property – Whilst I completely appreciate the property market is crazy, if you do the steps above to start with and save, in many cases you only need 10-15% of the value of a property to buy, and the cost of the repayments (even with interest rates going up) are likely far less than the rent. Getting any extra spaces rented out in @airbnb (a room) or @spacer (rent out a garage or storage shed!) or @hipcamp (rent out land for people to pitch a tent or park an RV) and get extra money coming in!
– Buying expensive labels or excessive amounts of clothes or personal items for yourself or the kids – I see so many parents doing this for their kids, and kids doing it with what little they do earn and it’s just crazy. Talk about wasting money. If you have to buy labels for yourself or the kids, buy only what you/they need (not 10 label jumpers for example!) and be creative about it. Get labels from shops like TK Maxx or Costco to get them at 1/2 or 1/3 of the price. Sell labels you do have for cash on Facebook Marketplace or other online marketplaces for fashion (lots of them).
– Buying Uber Eats too often (or at all) and watch the food shopping bill! You can save hundreds here. Shop at your local market for fruit and vege. Local butchers often have deals or meat. Use apps like @wiselist if you have to go to the Conglomerates for items (Aldi is often cheaper than Cole’s and Woolworths too). Cut your weekly shopping down from $350 a week to under $200. And put what you save into savings or invest it.
– Not investing – Use apps like @raiz to round up your spare change and do some investing without any prior knowledge. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your savings bank up.
– Timely one here – going to the wrong people for your tax return – If it were me I would never go to the tax people in the middle of plazas/malls like ITP, Q Tax and HR Block. They will do your tax in a very basic way and you’ll likely not get anywhere near back what you would if you got it done by someone who is more highly trained.
– Relying on welfare money or one small wage – If your wage is low and limited, increase what you earn by getting a second job or creating a second income. As a really simple example, go on @airtasker and offer your skills to people in your area for anything from cleaning to sewing, admin and more. You can say yes if you have the energy and no if you don’t. How good is that?! Do some Uber eats deliveries. As a one off hit, sell some stuff you don’t need on Marketplace. Have a garage sale. All very accessible stuff.
– Staying with the same bank on a bad interest rate and not fixing – Commbank’s Unloan and Pepper who have some pretty good interest rates if you need to swap out. And it’s probably a good idea to fix.
I could go on but if you do even half of these things you’ll be richer. Oh and it goes without saying that you do need to work. At least part time (more likely full time). And keep working. You’ll always be poor if you’re reliant on welfare payments. So get off that.
There are currently more jobs on Seek than there ever have been for 25 years. Right now, she says, there are more than 235,000 jobs advertised on the site: a 50.7% increase compared to March 2019, the year before the pandemic took hold, and a 32.2% increase on this time last year. Your chances are especially strong if you work in one of the industries advertising the highest volume of jobs: healthcare and medical, hospitality and tourism, and manufacturing, transport and logistics. Trades and services, the industry with the most demand, has more than 25,000 roles advertised.
So get out there, make it happen, download some apps and happy saving!