- Image from She's On The Money Instagram (someone with better eyesight might be able to make out the OG penmanship).
Money is ... oh so many describing words.
So, I decided to gather some information on my Instagram stories to see where we're all at and what we're doing with it.
I hope you can find some comfort, inspiration and helpful advice! There are SO many interesting topics covered that you might not usually talk about.
Plenty of recommendations towards the end too!
PS. This might look like a long blog, but it is still a quick read - lots of big images!
To give you an idea of the people participating, here is a snapshot of my Instagram audience. I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that you probably fit in there somewhere ;).
51% 25-34yrs old
21% 18-24yrs old
19% 35-44yrs old
Let's get to it. Below are all of the results and at times I expand on the question / poll afterwards. Enjoy!
This result shocked me a little. I have had Elle Fit Active since 2014 so having both personal and business expenses is the norm for me. A lot of my close friends are also self employed. Turns out this only makes up for just over 10% of people!
Other? Common answers were:
- Supporting pets
- Supporting siblings
- Supporting parents
- Single parent supporting child/ren
- Live at home with family support
- Couple with both separate AND joint accounts for shared expenses
To all the single parents supporting children, I hope you know that this is a FAMILY too - whatever your family looks like. You are doing an absolutely incredible job!
A special mention to those that are supporting siblings and parents! Some people are required to grow up very quickly. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You are doing so well!
I thought this was an interesting result too! With 80-90% of people currently employed by someone else only 57% would say this is their ideal situation.
I have friends that absolutely LOVE being an employee.
And others, like me, that can't imagine ever working for someone else again (I'm a terrible employee unless it's for my own company :p).
So many variables come into play when answering a question like this! Especially the TYPE of work you do.
My bookkeeper has set up automatic weekly bank transfers for GST, Super and PAYG (I have separate online saver accounts for each). I didn't have this set up for a long time (only referred to XERO) and found this too stressful / too many surprises / never knew where things were at.
Now it's so refreshing to have the exact amount of $ set aside in a separate online savings account for when these are due.
My advice would be to constantly ask your bookkeeper and accountant what you can do better and how you can be more organised. It can be tricky to ask questions when you don't know what questions to ask. I've found questions like 'what would you do if this was your business' or 'what are your other clients doing' to be beneficial.
Some answers for other:
- Set aside 30% of every invoice
- Put money aside monthly
- Still figuring it out
- Everything... but forgot about Super!
- High interest savings account for Tax - put 25% of each week's earnings in there
- Only pay myself 50% of what I bring in - other 50% covers taxes / expenses
- Small side hustle that doesn't make enough to worry about tax yet.
- And PROFIT! Profit First is a really interesting book and concept.
Whilst I was at university and on Centrelink (youth allowance for students) I lived week to week as many do - for about 6 years! Your potential earnings are very limited due to the strict arrangement so this chapter of life is usually survival mode. Just enough for rent and food (barely). Not much else.
When I finally started earning my own money with Elle Fit Active it was nice to enjoy the extra income and treat myself to things I had worked for (but had gone without for many years).
At this time I had no idea what a 'money story' was. After 6 years of having nothing left over at the end of each week I was definitely familiar with spending everything I earned. This meant spending money I unknowingly should have set aside for GST, Super and Tax.
I QUICKLY learnt from that mistake.
The reason I share this is because it is important to acknowledge what chapter of life you might be in. Some allow room for savings, some don't at all.
When your situation changes it's important to be educated on what that means to you personally but also with financial obligations.
I'd highly recommend The Barefoot Investor regardless of what chapter you might be in. This book helped me organise my personal accounts and I feel much more secure having an emergency 'Fire Extinguisher' account as well as savings.
I have also found that having a vision board with photos of things I'd like to experience plastered over my office wall is very helpful to keep me on track with saving. If I don't have a goal to work towards, I tend to spend it.. on food ;).
For personal expenses I use the Barefoot Investor method to know what I can spend / save each week.
For business expenses I track absolutely everything with excel spreadsheets and have calendars for weekly, fortnightly, monthly and yearly payments.
My account balance was my only reference point for a while - for both business and personal. As my situation is quite complex this wasn't healthy or easy to manage - lots of surprises and I always felt like I was chasing my tail.
If you find this stressful I'd highly recommend becoming aware of every $ coming in and going out. Get a bookkeeper to help set up your business accounts so your account balance is a true picture of the money you have - Profit First is a great book for this!
Definitely check subscriptions too - Netflix, apps etc. They might seem like nothing but together they can add up very quickly!
Food is something I can easily spend a lot on. Some people love being in the kitchen. Not I... I love delicious food but sometimes I struggle to get creative and add flavour so I'll buy it from someone that knows how :p.
Doing a weekly shop on a Sunday and meal prepping helps me a lot. If I know I have food at home that might go off, the guilt usually stops me buying a meal out.
I enjoyed getting Hello Fresh for a while and cooking with Sam each night. We would order enough for lunches the next day too which was great.
Being gluten and dairy free means the money I spend on food is always healthy but certainly more expensive to usual take away.
My belief? We have one life. I want tasty food :p.
This answer surprised me too! Especially considering the majority of people are on predictable and capped incomes.
I had a business credit card for a while which was helpful for a period but it soon became stressful. The benefit of earning points was certainly outweighed by the stress it caused me.
I decided to pay it off and chop it up and have felt much more peaceful since then.
Highly recommend reading The Barefoot Investor in regards to this topic as I know a lot of people can quickly get caught out with fees.
Having multiple online savers with automatic transfers has been a game changer for me! Both personally (Barefoot Investor style) and in business (Profit First style).
Our bank balance is usually our only reference point. If this can be split up to show exactly what you have for expenses, savings, splurging and emergency money you can use your bank balance as a healthy reference point. HIGHLY recommend. This has made life a lot easier and more peaceful for me.
Some answers for 'other':
- Through a financial advisor - very diversified
- In my Dad's company listed on ASX
- We did - sold them have more of a house deposit
- Long term interest accounts
- Only in the business at the moment
Money stories are very interesting and it's great to hear more and more people chatting about them.
We usually inherit our money story from our parents or the people we spend most time with.
There are so many different versions of this story - they are incredibly personal.
I had a lot of recommendations for the 'She's On The Money' podcast. They have a couple of episodes relating to money stories.
Peta Kelly's book 'Earth is Hiring' also has some great guidance on identifying and updating your money story.
The way you answered this question can be closely related to your money story. We have the power to change our story which can help when situations change.
Not a surprising result... but quite sad. Understanding money and learning how to manage it unfortunately falls into the 'self help' or 'help yourself' section when really it should be embedded in education. It's never too late to become more educated though and with so many books and podcasts available the power is ours!
Whether you have a lot of money or a limited amount, managing it can be stressful.
Life will always throw surprises at us so the best we can do is be aware and educated.
- It's important to acknowledge our money story and decide if it needs upgrading - because ultimately we act on our beliefs.
- Become aware of our income and expenses to make sure we are not spending more than we are earning.
- Set up emergency funds for a rainy day.
- Be as educated as possible - especially in regards to loans and credit cards and anything that might catch us off guard.
The more we can be in control, the easier it can be to cruise along.
This comes from someone who had no idea how to manage money but quickly realised they didn't have a choice but to be all over it!
I almost didn't include the final option 'got it for free (from family / won it etc)' but remembered my parents helped with our first car (my sister had it first then it was passed onto me). Good old 'Festie' the Ford Festiva. Plastered with a Ripcurl sticker across the back window to make it ... beachy.
Had a couple of funny messages ;).
In summary, almost 50% of people saved and paid up front for the car they have now and spent anywhere up to $10,000. I had a lot of messages from people saying they spent a lot less than $10k. Those that took out a loan were generally buying a car worth up to $25,000. And close to 60% put savings towards the car rather than taking out a full loan.
My experience with car loans / advice:
After having cars through the business I'd much prefer to save and pay up front now. A lot of people throw around the idea that it's a tax deduction but in reality it's still your hard earned money that you're choosing to spend on a car (something that depreciates very quickly).
It's much easier to sign a contract for any sum of money and get the car straight away than it is to save up and make the decision on how to spend it.
Car loans can quickly catch you out and unfortunately it's something a lot of us need to learn 'through the pocket' ie. learn for ourselves and potentially lose money before realising.
With so many cars to choose from, I now value reliability, affordable servicing / parts and whether or not it is PRACTICAL for my lifestyle. I never thought I'd be one to rave about vans or 4WDs but if I can't sleep in it, carry my surfboards or have the potential to explore off road spots it isn't as appealing to me.
Do as much research as possible before committing to a car or car loan. Always choose something that you can afford easily even if your financial situation were to change.
And finally, if you're going to buy a kombi... make sure you have a lovely mechanic :p.
Mum had no idea that I was writing this blog but just sent through a photo of my favourite car so far...
Most popular recommendations:
- PODCAST: She's On The Money + FB community
- PODCAST: My Millennial Money
- BOOK: I Will Teach You To Be Rich
- BOOK: You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero
- BOOK: Money by Tony Robbins
- BOOK: The Barefoot Investor
- BOOK: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- BOOK: Profit First (personal fave for business)
- BOOK: The E Myth Revisited (personal fave for business)
- Dave Ramsey's work
- INSTAGRAM: The Budget Mom
- INSTAGRAM: #debtfreecommunity
- APP: You Need A Budget
- Watch docos on minimalism
- When buying an investment property buy cheaper than you can afford
- Track everything + WHAT you spend it on
- Always put bill money aside so when the bill arrives you aren't stressing
That's a wrap! I hope you found these answers interesting and helpful in some way. Thanks so much to everyone that participated! I really loved putting this together for you.
Finances can be overwhelming so ... BABY STEPS. Focus on one thing at a time and work towards making everything as easy as possible for you.
Lots of love!