Get Smart With Money


Financial makeover

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Friday 14 February 2014

Everyone loves to watch a good makeover (Biggest Loser, Beauty & the Geek … need we go on). But it got us thinking, how easy is it to give yourself a makeover of the financial kind?

It’s easy to think that financial freedom can only be achieved by people in the know or by those with a nice pay packet. But in our experience that’s certainly not the case.

So for this week’s article, Moneygirl co-founder Nina thought she’d share her own financial makeover story with you.

It was completely by accident that I became interested in investing when on a rainy day 12 years ago I ducked into a bookshop to escape from the downpour. Walking down the aisles, a finance book caught my eye so I picked it up and started to flick through. I’d never read a book about money before, but this one didn’t seem too dry and in fact sounded quite interesting, so I paid for it and left.


Reading it later that night was a revelation. Suddenly I realised that all I needed to do was to make a few changes and I’d never have to worry about money again. I realised that my financial future was firmly in my own hands.


While I didn’t have any credit card debit to worry about (or a nasty beard and coke bottle glasses like one of our geeks) I only started with a couple of thousand dollars in the bank and an average wage.


After setting up a managed fundwith just $1,000 and committing to make monthly deposits of $200 via direct debit, within the space of three years the balance had grown to $20,000 (luckily, the fund did very well over those three years). I’d also saved enough for a deposit on a little apartment in the inner city.


It wasn’t pain free and it did mean that I had to make sacrifices along the way. But it was well worth it and the fact that I was able to do it on my own gave me a great sense of satisfaction. In many ways, buying that book 12 years ago changed my life. Now I have a couple of properties under my belt and other investments too, but importantly, the confidence to know that I’m setting myself up for a rosy financial future.

If you’re interested in reading about other women’s stories you’ll find more in our … ahem … pertinently-titled book Money Makeover.



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17 Nov 2010 at 10:38 am

Can you tell me which book Nina read to get her advice?

21 Nov 2010 at 12:58 pm

Sure can – it was The Wealthy Barber by Canadian author David Chilton, written in 1989. It’s a bit cheesy but easy to read (and now apparently Canada’s best selling book). One of the key messages it has is to save 10% of your earnings and invest for long term growth.

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