I’m thrilled you have decided to get money wise with me.
I’m assuming you have come to this page to learn more about the face behind the blog so you can read my story below, but my vision for Get Money Wise is much bigger than just little old (ok not that old) me.
It’s about building a community of people who want to change their mindset about money and be surrounded by a tribe who light the FIRE in them. By FIRE I mean joining a group of people that have decided working in the rat race till their mid-sixties is something that just won’t’ do and they want to join the club of people achieving Financial Independence Retire Early.
I have set the ambitious goal of retiring from having to do any work in the corporate world by the year 2025. The best thing money can buy is time and retiring at this age will mean my two girls will still be young and we can make the most of our time together.
If there is anything I have learnt it is that you can always make more money but time on the other hand is scarce. My goal is to pay off the debt on our current loans and this will allow us to have enough passive income from the rental returns to completely replace my corporate wage.
If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, or advice on the next must have shares you won’t find it here. You also won’t see a huge focus on living a super frugal lifestyle, whilst I am all for being smart with your money and will share my top tips to save money, exhaustive lists of menu plans (ok let’s be real you won’t find any menu plans, I am a terrible cook) and using wee wipes (google it, it’s a thing!) are not for me. I have been frugal for a time but I don’t scrimp and try and save every last cent because I want to ensure my mindset is one of growth instead of going without.
My approach is to instead focus on paying down my debt and increasing my passive income or side hustle to improve my family's lifestyle and give us the freedom of choice. You will find tools, ideas and proven strategies on getting wiser with your money to build a life where you wake up each morning not dreading the day ahead.
This blog had been a slow-burning idea in the back of mind for a few years but I have been hesitant to put myself out there for fear of being judged. It’s silly really in most things I am quite a confident person (I am one of those weirdos who actually likes public speaking), but a really great mentor of mine in my corporate career planted the seed in my mind that a blog would be something I could bring a lot of passion too.
Plus I love to write, I love to learn, and in deciding to do this I took stock and realised I need to refocus on my money goals to ensure I remain accountable. I am naturally drawn to sharing my knowledge so it kind of made perfect sense.
An Aussie touch
In looking at personal finance blogs there is an abundance of American based bloggers who are absolutely inspiring but for some reason in Australia, there is far less information out there. Whether it is tall poppy syndrome or just our ‘’no worries’’ approach to life there seems to be far less openness to share our financial aspirations.
I want to change that and create a community of people that set themselves lofty goals to retire from the workforce and live a life of financial freedom whilst they are enjoying the best years of their lives. Most of the financial information available in Australia tends to be shared by the Banks who have their own agenda. They are not that interested in helping just you, the industry is set up for them to take a cut of your money.
There is a reason our Big 4 banks are among the most profitable businesses in this country. How do I know this? Because I used to work in marketing for the banks. I realised that I owed it to myself and others to help them to take action and my approach is to come from a place of authenticity. I want to keep my blog as real as possible, I am not polished, I can ramble a bit and I don’t always get things right but I have moved from dreaming about financial freedom, into moving into action to make that happen and if I can inspire you to do that also then I’ll be a happy.
So who is Cath?
So I guess that brings me to giving you a bit of info about me. So if you check out my net worth apparently me and my husband are millionaires. I like to call us the broke millionaires as whilst we may be asset rich our cash flow is pretty tragic.
I’m Cath and I live in Sydney with my husband and two young kids [Edit: We have since moved to the Mid North Coast of NSW]. I grew up in a house where money really wasn’t a topic of conversation but we never went without. My parents split as I entered into high school and I stayed with my dad and lived the life of a ‘turn-key’ kid and it was from here I learnt to become fiercely independent.
After school I found a part time job and worked on average 25 hours a week all throughout my four years of university. I walked away with a $20K HECS debt (for those in America that a bit like your student loans) and was just about to start my career in marketing.
It was around this time that my world turned upside down. I was just 20 years old and my dad at only 55 years of age passed away from a heart attack. From this life altering experience I walked away with two clear lessons.
Number one is I wanted to spend my money on experiences, accumulating stuff just didn’t seem to matter as much.
The other was that life is short and I want to retire early as I don’t want to drop dead whilst still working. Hence my goal of retiring by age 45 is so ingrained in everything I do.
A few months after this I started my first full time job in marketing on very much a low starting wage, I took the first offer they gave me and had not learnt the art of negotiation as yet. I saved more than half my income during this time and after a year I quit that job and I had enough cash to head to Europe for two months fully paid for. Travel truly is the one thing I don’t think you can never regret spending money.
A little while before I headed off to Europe I met a guy. He was kinda cool and was really funny but a bit non-committal. By the time I came home from Europe we decided to move in together and the rest so they say is history.
We lived together in a small rented one bedroom apartment and I started my next marketing job this time in the banking industry. It was quickly apparent that mine and my now husband’s money personalities were worlds apart.
He worked in a low paid hospitality job and got paid cash in hand and as a result his bank account was always overdrawn (arghhh the fees) and he had a high interest credit card and had no understanding of how interest worked.
Luckily he had the mindset of wanting to get his finances sorted he just didn’t really understand how to do so. So I was able to set our finances up in a way that meant his money actually made it to his account each week and we starting budgeting and saving.
My passion for learning
During the next three years I devoured so many books on finance and property investing and joined online forums focused on living frugally. For almost three years we lived on a really tight budget and we were able to save enough to purchase a new car, pay for our wedding and honeymoon and save enough for a 10% deposit on an apartment. This deposit amounted to saving more than half our low incomes each week.
Three months after we got married we bought our first property with a 40 year loan from a mutual bank (the only place that would take us), as we were determined to enter the market.
After working in the same entry level job for over four years a new colleague in the team I worked in, whom I owe a lot to, suggested that I had stalled in my career by giving so much of myself to the role and taken on lots more responsibility without having my income increase in proportion. This was the absolute wake up call I needed and I class this as my biggest financial mistake to date. Since then my career has only gone from strength to strength to earn a healthy six figure income [Edit: since our move I have now become a freelance copywriter and given up the six figure wage in exchange for a better lifestyle]..
The next three years we built a property portfolio by adding another property to the mix each year as well as travelling to Bali and a trip to Europe. Just as our fifth wedding anniversary rolled around our daughter was born which halted the investing as we went to a single income family for almost a year.
When I returned to work, whilst I was earning a respectable salary I was working completely insane hours and it really made me a miserable person to be around. After having our second child two years after the first was born, I again stayed home for about nine months and knew I couldn’t return to the same job.
With two kids the cost of child care alone would have had us out of pocket over $50,000! So we made the decision for me to return to work as I was the higher income earner and my husband stays with the kids.
I have finally now just landed what appears on the surface to be the perfect job. It’s close to home, a six figure salary and regular work hours but you know what, I still don’t love it! I should love it, I want to love it but I just don’t. Something in me tells me that I am destined for something different. I really want to dedicate my time to helping other people to learn to become financially independent and create passive income.
[Edit: I left that job in October 2017 and now work from home in my own copywriting and marketing business].
Since having children of my own I am more dedicated than ever to help teach kids about money as well as teaching small businesses how to work smarter.
I still have a way to go on our financial journey to independence but my mindset is right and I look forward to sharing the journey with you. I hope you can join me on the ride and I will be there with you to cheer you on. My 7 day Kick Start to Wealth challenge would be a great place to start.