At the young age of 25, Zhoe is adulting harder than most.
She works as a marketing manager (a job she loves), has clear life goals and her finances sorted. Like, really sorted. Zhoe saves 20% of her take-home pay, which is more than double what most Aussies save.
Zhoe started investing with Clover four months ago, and hasn’t missed a monthly deposit. We wanted to know the secret behind her approach to money.
Zhoe, how did you become so financially responsible at age 25?
I guess the main thing was having the value of savings instilled in me as a child. My parents were always frugal. They taught me to always save a portion of whatever money I got. I was a Dollarmite too… they totally gamified saving money! That was a really cute and fun way to learn about money early.
As I got older, it’s actually become more challenging to be wise with money. Yes, you earn more money and have more disposable income, but you also have more freedom, and travel more, and life gets more exciting — so there’s more temptation to spend.
Are there any systems you use to save or budget?
Yeah, my advice is to be really smart about how you set up your accounts. That’s the main thing that saves me. I have four accounts — they all have a specific role:
- Transactions: For regular spending, like lunch or bills
- Short term savings: For things like holidays, or a new pair of shoes
- Long term savings: My emergency fund
- Investments: The money I have in Clover
My pay goes into my transactions account. Then, on the very same day I get paid, I split it up into the other accounts. It’s mostly automated now, so I barely notice it. But it makes saving money really easy.
Honestly, I’ve never stuck to a budget. I’ve tried six times, and it just doesn’t work for me. The way I “budget”, if you can call it that, is by automatically moving money into my other accounts.
I have really clear goals, so I know if I go below a certain amount in my short term savings account, I need to pull back on spending a bit.
So, why did you start investing?
It was a bit of a process. When I learned that the interest rate on my savings was below inflation, I realised my savings were actually going backwards. So I started doing research to learn more about investing.
How did you end up choosing Clover? Did you look at other options?
Yeah, I looked into two other options — a different financial advice company, and doing it myself.
With the other company, I signed up online, and then a salesperson called me. They had a really high minimum investment, and only offered support for people who invested more than like $100,000. I felt like a pleb, so I ended up not going with them. I didn’t realise it then, but their fees are three times higher than Clover. So I’m glad I bailed!
So then I started trading on the ANZ platform. I bought a lot of books, and learned more about how investing works. As a person coming from a non-financial background, I put a lot of work into understanding shares and investing. If you’re going to do it by yourself, you have to take full responsibility, so you better pay attention! Everytime I logged in I thought, “Should I hold or should I buy?”
I did an analysis of the time I spent, and the stress it caused, and decided it would be better to use Clover.
What do you think about Clover so far?
I gave you a five star review on Google! Yeah, it’s a perfect service for me. It was simple to open an account, and the team was really patient and helpful with my questions. It’s a nice feeling to log in and see my balance going up.
What do you recommend to other people in their 20’s who are thinking about money and investing?
Look, money is a really personal thing so it’s hard to say since everyone is so different. One thing I will say is that educating and researching would be vital for anyone. Before investing, I read several books and did a lot of research online from YouTube to third party reviews.
The other thing that helps me with money in general is talking about it with friends. Most people don’t talk about money because they’re in debt or they feel embarrassed about their financial situation. It’s also considered taboo. But with my group of friends, we’re really open and transparent about our financial goals and how we invest. This way, we are able to help each other and keep each other accountable.
If you decide to try Clover and open an account, you’ll get three months’ free investing!
Thanks for sharing your story Zhoe!
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