A 30-year-old marketing executive who had less than $1,000 to her name and lived paycheck to paycheck has revealed how she managed to save $80,000 in just 36 months by investing, and her secrets to helping you on top of your money.
Sara Ocean, from Sydney, said she was a “financial mess” for much of her 20s and looked “feared” at her bank account.
However, this all changed after she completed an online financial education program when her finances hit rock bottom.
Since then, Sara says she’s learned that investing isn’t just for “rich old men in suits” — and now she wants to show that young women can make money too.
A 30-year-old marketing executive with less than $1,000 to her name and living paycheck to paycheck, revealed how she managed to save $80k in 36 months (Sara Ocean pictured)
Sara Ocean (pictured), from Sydney, said she was a ‘financial mess’ for much of her 20s and ‘feared’ looking at her bank account – until she learned how best to invest
According to Sara, her attitude to money in her twenties was not good, like many young women:
“I grew up in a household where, like many, financial education was nothing, and money was not something to be talked about, especially with your children,” Sara told FEMAIL.
“As an adult, the only two things I knew about money were how to earn it and how to spend it.”
The money would just come in, and then… I don’t know where it went. I had no control or view of it
The 30-year-old said by the time she was in her mid-20s, she had “practically no money, no savings and nothing to show for my years of working and earning.”
“I made a lot of mistakes with my money, but the main two were a lack of knowledge about where my money was going and the lack of a system to take control of my finances and dictate my spending,” Sara said.
“The money would just come in, and then… I don’t know where it went. I had no control or view of it.’
Sara (pictured) explained that she started researching investing and how to get started when she discovered SkilledSmart’s online financial education program, Mastering Money.
After hitting rock bottom with her finances and realizing she couldn’t save at all, Sara began researching investing and how to get started.
She tripped over SkilledSmart’s online financial education program, Mastering Money.
SkilledSmart is a financial education platform for adults to learn about money and personal finance, founded by Paridhi Jain after she realized most Australians could not afford a financial advisor.
The Mastering Money online program covers all fundamental financial planning topics, including budgeting, investing, retirement, and more.
“SkilledSmart’s Mastering Money program was really the starting point for my money journey,” remembers Sara.
“It took away the emotional fear and insecurity about cash and gave me the drive to get an education and take action.”
Sara’s top tips for getting started with investing
1. Don’t think too much about it, take action: It’s easy to get stuck in a state of ‘analysis through paralysis’ with the overwhelming amount of information out there. But just getting started is half the battle. “Real change comes from taking action, not just consuming a lot of information,” Sara said.
2. Choose your ‘entries’: This means who you surround yourself with and the content you consume. Be sure to follow the advice of those who have fruit on the tree. Sara actively seeks out the kind of mentors who will help her achieve her goals.
3. Take Small Steps: Sara said what worked for her last year focused on taking “small steps.” “At first I focused on saving more, being more aware of my spending,” Sara said. “Over time, as I paid off my debts and built up my savings, I started investing more.” Even though this may not feel like much, Sara said it adds up over time and keeps you from getting overwhelmed by focusing on the fine print, rather than obsessing over a big goal that seems unattainable.
About two and a half years later, Sara (pictured) has invested in stocks and ETFs, and since then her net worth has grown to $80,000 plus
Through the program, the 30-year-old learned how to be aware of the investment decisions she was making, and she also learned to do her own research before listening to “random people on the Internet.”
“The program simply broke down the different investment options and helped me understand more about the thinking behind investing and the different options I had,” Sara said.
Within six months, Sara had paid off $5,000 in debt, started saving, and started making additional contributions to her super fund.
About two and a half years later, she has invested in stocks and ETFs and since then her net worth has grown to over $80,000.
“My main goal now is to increase my cash flow,” Sara said.
“My husband and I are going to start a family soon, and continuous cash flow is very important to us.
She added: “I keep learning how to create a secondary income so that I have the freedom to work because I want to, not because I have to.”
Finally, Sara said that starting your financial journey can be “confrontational and daunting,” but it can be helpful to find people and mentors who will support you and who you can count on.
“A shared problem is a problem cut in half,” she said.
“Facebook finance groups, mentorship, education and accountability groups have an amazing positive impact on your finances and life in general.”
For more information about SkilledSmart, click here.