Investing your savings is one of the most important things you have to do.
But most people seem to have a block around getting started.
They save up some money but they don't lock it away, so eventually they spend it.
Let’s explore why that is and how you can break that horrible save-spend cycle.
I’m an Aussie and I want to own my own house, like most of the Australians I know.
To do that I’m going to need something like a $100,000 to $200,000 deposit right?
But how do I go from a big fat zero to $100,000 in the bank without spending it along the way?
I believe this is a major obstacle for millions of Australians. So in this article, I want to share with you how I am doing it in the hope that it will give you a path to do the same.
So let’s begin!
Everyone CAN save a decent amount of money. But most don’t.
Q) Why is that?
A) They save it and then they spend it. (which isn’t really saving it at all when it come down to it)
Mostly it’s because they tend to keep it as cash in the bank where it’s too easy to spend when the times get tough, or some cool thing crosses their path that they "just must have!"
So how can you change that so you keep the money you work so hard to earn and save?
You can lock it away in some kind of investment that can’t be spent at the pub or while in a vulnerable mood. In other words, maybe convert it from cash into something else as soon as possible.
But for most, the sheer act of investing in something is a little outside of their comfort zone, and therefore it simply doesn't happen!
So in this article I'll show you how I stash my savings, locking-it-away and out of temptation, so that I actually get to keep it.
I’m not going to tell you how to invest and become rich. No, that’s not my message here.
What I want to explore here is a few easy ways you can put your money out of reach so that you don’t spend it.
I'm not an adviser. Far from it! I was just sick of getting to $10k and then spending it every time. For well over a decade that was the most I could save!
I just believe that putting your savings into cool things while you save for a house deposit (for example) is a much more fun and interesting way to hold the money for the short to mid term while you grow your bank balance to what you need.
The first thing I did was to go and buy some gold and silver.
Because that way I couldn’t simply spend it on a rainy day or on a silly temptation.
I spent a few hours researching the Australian market to find out who was a reputable supplier. The last thing I wanted was to buy a scam piece of copper that was wrapped in gold! (See China billion dollar fake gold scam)
I discovered that in Australia there were two good suppliers:
Turns out that ABC Bullion has a store at Level 6 of 88 Pitt Street, Sydney that I could go and visit. I was nervous when I went there. It was my first time converting my hard earned cash into bullion so I went in with my eyes open and asked a lot of questions.
They have a full shop of gold and silver products. All behind bullet proof screens and high tech security (of course).
I bought an ounce of gold and a kilo of silver for around $2,500 at the time. I walked out of there with what truly felt like magical pirate money! It was so exciting!
Now it’s important to note that I’d also watched dozens of YouTube videos on gold and silver first. Some of my favorite experts are:
So I’d done my research and found a reputable supplier. I was ready to take action!
Was I nervous? You bet!
Was it exciting? You bet!
Was I happy I made that move with my money? You bet!
It’s since gone up at least 20% so it turns out it was a great investment for me.
GOLD AND SILVER SUMMARY:
Not everyone can consider crypto an ‘investment’ as such. There's a lot of speculation and volatility around crypto, so you really have to do your study before you can (or should at all) get into the crypto game.
For me, I spent many months studying the industry and learned what it is, how it works and who to trust when it comes to ideas on what to buy.
My 3 favorite experts are:
Once I had done enough study to be confident enough to put some of my hard earned money into crypto, then here the steps I took:
1. I signed up to SWYFTX. (Note: That is my affiliate link)
SWYFTX is an exchange where you can buy crypto. It’s not the biggest, but it works well in Australia. The biggest exchange is Binance or Coinbase. But with them, you can’t withdraw your money down into an Australian bank account. So although they are big, they might not be the best for you.
So, I signed up to SWYFTX and was asked to upload a photo of my drivers licence as ID and connect it to my bank account.
Once that was done, I was ready to go crypto shopping!
I bought Bitcoin and Etherum as these two were the one I had learned the most about and I understood what I was investing in. I think that’s really important, especially in shares and crypto. If you just buy it because the graph looks good or because you’ve heard others talk about it, then sometimes that’s a recipe for failure…
I believe I know what Bitcoin is going to do for the world. And I believe I know how Etherium is going to be used. That’s why I buy them. Not because the graph is going up or because I heard a friend saying it’s a good idea.
All exchanges have fees involved. There are also fees in sending crypto. As always, do your research before investing in anything!
2. I picked and installed a wallet
I use Exodus. It’s one of the most well trusted and it’s super secure. It also works on my phone and computer, so it’s nice to have access on both.
Similar to SWYFTX, you have to provide an ID and verify yourself.
Once ready, you can send the crypto you buy in SWYFTX across to the secure wallet. Think of it like buying gold at a shop and then putting it in a safe in your house. Except this time it’s all digital so the safe is on your phone!
3. I sent the crypto from SWYFTX to my secure wallet
Look for the section in each asset to send from SWYFTX. This will ask you for your wallet address. Find that in your wallet and copy / paste it in.
There’s no point in me going into detail here, but it’s not too hard to figure out.
You can always click here for and book me in for a private session if you want to get started fast.
BUYING CRYPTO SUMMARY:
This is my weak spot. I’ve only recently started in the share market. And once again, I studied it for months before getting started.
I kept it simple and just opened a trading account in my NAB banking. Super simple to do and pretty instant.
So many people lose money in shares. It’s a game played by the smartest people in the world, so trying to buy and sell at the right time, like with crypto is usually a losing strategy.
So for me, I just buy stuff I know about and hold it. (ref Buy and hold vs day trading)
For you, maybe speaking to someone in your family who you trust and who has many years experience is a good idea.
For me, putting money into shares was more about learning how to do it, than about trying to make a million bucks with the best moves.
It’s all about your risk appetite after all… If you have money to lose, then shares can be a very fast training environment!
Two of my favorite YouTubers for shares are:
Remember that there are fees with buying shares. I learned this the hard way one day when I bought $100 worth of shares on a whim - only to find out that the trade cost me about $25 to do.
I spent $100 and got $75 worth of shares (which went down the next day!)
But hey, like I said above, I’m not doing this to make a million bucks overnight. I’m in to learn how it works and to stash the cash away from temptations.
BUYING SHARES SUMMARY:
I like to go to the USA for Burning Man every year.
Currently the Aussie dollar is strong against the US dollar. So for me, I bought a couple of thousand bucks worth of USD on my traveler card.
I know there are smarter ways to buy foreign currency, but I don’t have the desire to get all that involved.
My NAB traveler card is loaded with NZD, USD and Thai Baht. It’s kind of an investment for me, only because they are the destinations I have on my radar when they open the world again, so I figured I may as well put some money in there while the AUD is somewhat strong against them.
Would I call that an investment? Hmmm… probably not.
But I’d rather have stuff like that than too much cash just sitting in my boring old bank account earning practically zero interest.
BUYING FOREIGN CURRENCY SUMMARY:
If you genuinely know what any of the above are, then you’re probably reading this article for amusement or because you’re bored.
These things are for people who have plenty of experience up their sleeve if you ask me.
I don’t go there at all.
And like I’ve mentioned a few times already. This article isn’t about trying to get rich quick. It’s about some simple places you can store your money while you save for something bigger like your first property
Play with these advanced toys at your own risk.
From what I hear, they eat people like me for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day!
BUYING ADVANCED STUFF SUMMARY:
For me, this is the primary goal.
I’ve owned an investment property before and I made an amazing profit from it.
I still own one property outright and I love knowing that if I had to, I could move in there and live rent free.
I love living in Bondi, but my property is in Queensland. My next investment property will not be in Bondi either. The thought of having a million dollar mortgage hanging over my head does not appeal to me at all.
My preference is to have a $100,000 deposit and to borrow maybe $200,000 more to have positively geared property that pays itself off.
Some people like to borrow big and use things like negative gearing to offset their tax. I’m more in line with Robert Kyosaki’s approach: to invest in income producing assets that (in theory) go up in value while paying me some money each week.
My strategy is to add money to each of the above asset classes (investments) according to my investment pie, and then to eventually sell them (or part of them at least) to have the deposit I need to buy the property.
When it comes to Australian property, here’s a few of the people I follow:
Oh and just to be clear on one thing; when it comes to the property market, the last thing I follow is the mainstream media.
They have their own agenda and I have zero trust that they have my personal best interests in mind. Call me a conspiracy nut if you like, but have a listen to Martin North for a bit and make up your own mind.
It's also very important to remember that although you're often told that property is a sure bet, statistically speaking, it very often isn't.
Even in the boom market of 2019, 9% of properties lost money. We're heading into a very tough property market, so please don't take the bait of the main stream and think that "just getting into the market" is all you need to do.
It can and often does go very badly for a lot of good meaning people. As with all investments: Study, study, study!
So in summary, here’s the overall strategy I am using:
My intention is to cash in most or at least half of my portfolio of gold, silver, crypto, shares and cash. That will suffice as my deposit.
From that point on I'll go straight back to the regular contributions and build that investment pie right back up again. Holding the money in those fun and safe (ish) places while I work on and pay off the property.
This is my vision for my finances for the years ahead.
How about you? Do you have a strategy that you can share below?
What are your thoughts on how I'm doing it? Agree? Disagree?
I'd love to know!
NOTE: The SWYFTX link is my affiliate link. And SWYFTX is also the only exchange I use every day.
This information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal financial situation. It is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute formal financial advice. You should always seek personal financial advice that is tailored to your specific needs.