This post is based on an interview we conducted with Boris in October 2019.
Real Money Talk is our series where we interview Australians from all walks of life about their personal finances. The views expressed are those of the interviewees, based on their experiences with money, and as such are not necessarily representative of Spaceship's views.
We have changed the name of the interviewee for their privacy, but it’s worth noting that the interviewee works at Spaceship.
Where do you live? Inner West, Sydney.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m your typical millennial who’s all about tech and travel. I am a super organised person, so keeping on top of my finances has always been a big thing for me. I’ve also been an avid collector of frequent flyer points the past few years, which has net me a couple of round the world trips in business class thanks to credit card churning! These trips often involve feeding my passion for Disney.
What is your current net worth?
How does it break down?
Super: $75,000 (including the maximum First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) contribution)
Any debts? (including HELP from Uni)
$29,000 HELP debt from my two degrees
How did you accumulate your net worth?
Living at home and saving hard! My mum has been very generous, which has allowed me to be able to save a fair amount of my income whilst also being able to enjoy myself with holidays and new iPhones, etc. (Thanks mum!) Honestly though, budgeting is everything if you want to increase the amount of money you have access to. Would recommend.
Tell us a bit about your career:
I’ve had a pretty unconventional career path. I studied an undergrad in psych and then another undergrad in design. My roles have involved account management and relationship building in a number of sectors including retail, hospitality, community welfare, social work, and now finance. I’m one of those people who loves to try new things, so I can definitely say I’ve done that!
Do you have income sources outside of your job? If so, how much do you earn from each and how did you develop them?
Not yet! But watch this space. Need to put that design degree to work after all.
What is your savings rate? And how has it changed over time?
I aim to save a minimum of 50% each pay. This sometimes pushes 60%. I was even more aggressive than this when I was younger, but adult life, hey.
Do you have a budget?
Sure do! Wouldn’t function without it in fact. My pay is automatically transferred to the right accounts for bills, savings, investing and spending as soon as it hits my account. Automating this kind of thing is life changing. In saying that, I’m flexible enough that I don’t punish myself if the budget isn’t always 100% perfect.
How much do you spend per year?
As much as my spending bucket allows me to!
Do you make purchase decisions carefully, or are you loose with your money?
Most of my large purchases relate to holidays honestly, which I feel like I deserve. I try not to eat out too much and rarely drink, all so I can buy other things I might want. It’s a happy medium for me. I’m definitely not averse to blowing the budget slightly if something calls for it though. Why work if you can’t live?
How is your work-life balance?
I’ve always been a huge believer in work/life balance. No one congratulates you for all those extra hours you did at work when you’re dead. Plus, why work hard if you can’t enjoy yourself?
What is your favourite thing to spend money on?
Trips to Disneyland. Don’t judge!
How do you invest?
I’m relatively risk averse but have my investments in a diversified ETF at the moment. I use Selfwealth to manage this. I also have an investment plan with Spaceship.
What has been your best investment?
I would say I’m still pretty new to investing, so we’ll see what happens.
How are you building wealth?
Saving, saving, saving. Which hopefully turns into more investing in the near future.
What are your main roadblocks? And how are you addressing them?
The voice in the back of my head that tells me I should buy a property. Also the risk associated with investing in the short term. I guess you could say this relates to commitment…
Do you have a target net worth you want?
Enough to live comfortably, whatever that looks like in the future. I think $500,000 is my goal for the next 10 years.
When did you make your first significant behavioural shift towards wealth building?
I would say my mid-twenties. Once I had finished my second degree, I really started to commit to savings and dip my toe into investing. My career started relatively late, so I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job at diving right into wealth building!
If you could start again, what would you do differently?
Invest sooner. All those returns I could have had are now gone but they very likely could have helped with a property purchase. Also, turn your passion into a lucrative side hustle. I watch all these people making bank on their YouTube videos and Instagram feeds about Disney and think that could’ve been me.
What mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from?
Don’t let negative market moves spook you. Ride the wave.
How are you learning about building wealth?
Mainly online! I’ve always been pretty organised, which has helped with budgeting but the investing stuff was always a bigger beast that I wasn’t ready to tackle. My new workplace has been great at learning more about investing too!