My name is Bhrett and my money journey has been what id say – a rollercoaster! ?
I started my first job when I was 15, have worked multiple jobs – mainly in hospitality and retail and I currently work for a bank – almost 8 years. I’ve worked in accounts, credit cards, personal loans, retention, mortgage lending and now our broker department. I have found I am far better with money now, since I have been working in the finance industry and as I have been working in and around like minded people.
A little bit about me before I deep dive!
I am 33, divorced, and co-parent 50/50 with two kids. My partner and I are currently rent vesting, with the hopes of buying a property together to live in next year. Fingers crossed! I am also a domestic violence survivor – helping women is a huge passion of mine – especially what I’ve been through.
And as you can guess from the name on Instagram– I love tattoos!!
The first 100k | between 2019 and 2020
I am better at paying off debts than saving. Saving up for things is something I’m working on. I have only been tracking our net worth since July this year. Crazy enough – since we combined everything in January 2021 – to my last update 31.10.2021 – we are at $715, 000 net worth ( $1,436,118 less debts $720, 356)
We are very top heavy on property equity with 2 investment properties, so will use the cheat codes (gamer reference!) by borrowing money to use some equity next year when we buy a house and borrow as much as we can to invest more in etfs or a managed fund – so that money can compound away, while we thrash a mountain of debt!
Negative net wealth | between 2006-2019
I recall when I was 18, I wanted a cool car. I got a lipstick red, Celica with pop up lights. I loved that car but it wasn’t practical. I got a small personal loan, and paid a tiny bit more than the personal loan repayments. I remember upgrading to a nicer car, however much bigger loan repayments, but the trade in didn’t pay out the car loan. I remember getting my stimulus from good old K rudd, ( if any of you older millenials remember!!)
I thought hey, I can go blast this cash. OR! Pay off this damn personal loan and get on with life. So that’s what I did. Credit cards are a whole other ball game. I have never really been great with them, buying so much stuff I don’t need. I remember getting one when we got furniture, ( pre bank job) and I asked for a lower limit, and the lady who was loading it up, basically made me feel bad “ oh I have to redo the whhhhooollle thhhing “ and it would take a while blah blah. So we ended up just doing it. Then I spent it on clothes and god knows what and huge interest payments then ensued. I paid it off over a little while – maybe a few months and cut it up and got rid of it. I have had a few since – but I’d rather not have one and pay cash.
There really needs to be far more education around interest and debt, and paying things off quickly. Or – old school – save up for it! Rather than credit cards and after pay.
The amount of money I have wasted on things I don’t even have anymore…. I don’t even want to think about it.
I remember wanting to “keep up with the joneses” and buying this outrageous diamond when I was a manager of a local jewellery shop. “I deserve it “ I’d tell myself. I got a good bonus and cost price of 1 carat stones. Over 10k by the time id bought the side stones and a custom mount. Cost me a lot to ensure – and I honestly rarely wore it. I ended up selling it in 2019 to pay off my car loan. Got $5500 and definitely regret my original choice. I am very much more conscious of buying things now. I wish I was better with money but hey, I have learnt some lessons along the way. Don’t buy huge diamonds!!!!! It’s not worth it or the monthly premium to insure it.
Around that time, (2012) we got married and bought a house the next year. We purchased a house – that I just took over in my name in May!!!!! – with a ONE PERCENT DEPOSIT!
Yes – we got stamp duty waived and a $15 k first home owners grant. But – around 16k in LMI, then we refinanced around 2 years later – we made back the 8k in lmi that time in the difference in the rates. But still. Ouch.
Again, this purchase, it was prior to my bank job. I am only just now with the property boom seeing some great growth there. It dropped in value at one stage, we had small kids, a car loan, then I moved out and separated from my husband, so we had this big debt – plus issues with tenancy. The hot water system broke, about 2 weeks after I moved out. I cried, we just didn’t have the spare money. Thankfully they let us pay that bill off. We had a lot of issues after that, 2 different real estates, I got some fees back, and pre covid I decided, f this, I’ll do it myself. I knew I could do a better job. We even tried selling at one point too. I am now so damn glad we couldn’t sell.
The tenants are great, no dramas or issues and I am collecting full rent and no fees to lazy agents! Plus its really starting to move in value.
Sometimes things happen for a reason
Sometimes things happen for a reason! My partner and I were looking to buy a third investment property this year. Again, issues, found out that there were things that were not council approved, and other things, we tried to get a price reduction – and no go. Seller wouldn’t budge. Funnily enough it still for sale! In this market. But – with that happening, and anxiety and stress around more debt, we decided to look into alternate options. We put more into crypto, and opened a brokerage account. We have around $20k since June this year invested outside property and super. Which is great I think, seeing as we have large debts and rent and everything else in-between. The flow on effect of me opening my account with pearler, I found the online fire community. I read barefoot investor somewhere around 2018, started making better habits, sold things to pay off debt. So I was already kind of on the FIRE path, I just didn’t realise there was this whole, supportive, uplifting community. Only wish I’d made a page and found it sooner! Again things happen for a reason – and even though we missed out on this house – we are still on this amazing path – with already such a huge amount of net wealth at 33 and 34. I also went back to part time work in January due to my mental health – so seeing what just a short amount of time can achieve – only makes me more motivated to crush the next 10 years of building wealth and paying off debt as quick as we can – while travelling and having fun with our kids on adventures – and also being able to give back and re distribute wealth to others. I have found in personal life, apart from a few colleagues at work – my friends and family don’t discuss superannuation, stocks, investing, paying off debt quickly ect. It’s all after pay, maxed out credit cards and basically negative attitudes towards building wealth, retiring early and having more time to be able to live the life you want.
I am so grateful to this community – and all the great things that have come from it so far. The main thing is the most beautiful connections I’ve made with some amazing women – who constantly lift each other up.
So glad to be a part of it.
Here’s to next chapter – of buying more properties, building a great portfolio, cracking one million net worth, seeing a financial planner, less work and more adventures.