Spenders, Spoilers, Spring Cleaners and Superstars.
Which one are you?
A couple I met with in the early months of my broking career, were telling me while seated in their newly built patio and barbie area that they ‘didn’t know where their money went…’
I asked them about the cost of the patio and barbie, the ski boat collecting dust and the ‘lastest’ 96 inch plasma TV. ‘You don’t know where your money goes?’
I don’t want to sound condescending, but these are the conversations I have on a regular basis with most people out there who are keen to get ahead but don’t know what the hell they’re doing wrong. I want to help people by giving them the tools and knowhow to get ahead.
I’ve created the following financial personas based on the people I’ve met over the previous six years. They don’t cover all types of Aussie financial personas, just the types I deal with and those that come to me for guidance. Which one are you?
People like this earn around $100,000–$150,000 combined, have a couple of kids that are not dependent, some may or may not be at home. Everything they earn goes out the door.
They have no savings and have been overspending their entire lives fuelling their lifestyles by drawing the equity capital out of their homes. They have no investments. They have a bit of super, but nothing substantial and they’ve earnt too much to expect anything much from the Government in retirement. They aren’t interested in learning about money, so instead they spend their time worrying about it. For these people, ignorance is not bliss. The most common thing I hear from a Spender is, ‘We earn good money, but we just don’t know where it goes!’.
These are your higher earners. Doctors, legal people, small businesspeople and sole traders, corporate types, highly paid people with a spending habit to match. These guys earn north of $250,000 combined and have nothing to show for it. They’ve got some equity in their home but no other real wealth. Their mortgage balances would make your jaw drop. They drive nice new cars, holiday regularly and lavishly, they live in the best areas of town. They have hefty credit card limits, often multiple accounts, often with large outstanding balances. They’re called spoilers because they spoil themselves and their kids. They feel because they are highly paid and ‘work hard’, they are entitled to spend like celebrities. A look at their Instagram page shows an enviable lifestyle keeping up with the Joneses or even being the Joneses, but deep down they’re stressed out of their eyeballs. They keep themselves extra busy driving their kids around for sports, going here, going there, having ‘something on’ and never care to make the time to address the horrid financial mess they’ve been sweeping under the rug for years.
The most common things I hear Spoilers say are: (laughing) ‘We make plenty of money, we’ll get the mortgage under control at some point’, (laughing) ‘We’re going to Hawaii for our anniversary then we’re back for a week and taking the kids to Bali, then school starts. It’s a really busy time.’ or, my favourite, ‘our novated lease ends next month so we’re busy trying to choose a new car as it will be cheaper to buy a new one’. Hmmm. Okay.
I love dealing with Spoilers as they’re positive people, but jeezus, do they make me tear my hair out! They whinge because they think they’re always working, but the penny hasn’t dropped: they could invest their money and in a relatively short amount of time reach a point where they can wind back their hours and days, and eventually live off a fat passive income. When you go to heaven, God gives us passive income. Maybe your kids earn a passive income? Maybe you should make them work for it? Just a thought.
This is my favourite group. These guys are organised. They’ve got plans and they are committed to them. They are financially well educated, often self-educated, they pay for good advice and think that’s one of the best investments they can make. These people pay off their mortgages as if their lives depend on it. They actively manage their debt. They spend their time looking for ways to invest their money, not spend it, or they save hard. They might have a side hustle and they keep that money too. They are humble but they live well. Most of them are well on track to a comfortable retirement with income from multiple sources. They’re loving life. They don’t have much financial stress except wondering what to do with all their money. Money has become more of a game they’ve learned to enjoy out of necessity. I’d say these people earn upwards of $150,000 combined (but not always, sometimes less), in all types of work. They keep the vast majority of what they earn because they crush their mortgages, save and invest.
One younger dude I met recently, who was around 37 years old, had invested more than $300,000 outside of super, owned his $800,000 home outright, has half-paid an investment property and goes on awesome fishing trips regularly. And he did this on a salary of $140,000. Killing it. Another older couple around the 55-year mark has paid their $1.5m home off, bought a block in Margaret River, subdivided and built a second townhouse and now rent them out for around $90,000 per year. Plus, they have way more than $500,000 invested, excluding super. All their retirement income is set up and ready to go without needing to touch their super. I LOVE dealing with these people!
Finally, up where the air is thin, we have the millionaires and multi-millionaires. When I deal with these people, I’m quickly introduced to their accountant and other advisers. They make and invest huge sums of money. They drive old Mercs and Beemers. They don’t like spending money but at the weekends they might fire up their own jet-powered helicopters or planes and fly them to their wineries ‘down south’. Their houses are old but in the most expensive areas. They work their arses off, in fact their work is their life. These people own large businesses, law practices, professional services firms, sit on boards and shoot the breeze with their head honcho pals. They don’t do long lunches because they’ve got more work to do. They carry little or no nondeductible debt and if they do, it’s for a reason. They employ lots of people. They teach you lots of interesting stuff and say things you don’t quite understand. They are the nicest, most hospitable and interesting people you’re likely to meet, notwithstanding their intimidating riches. You might know some of their surnames but most of them stay well clear of the limelight. They’re unrecognisable on the street and leave the flashy clothes and the ostentatious name brand accoutrements to the Spoilers. It’s rare territory. It’s these Superstars from whom I’ve learned much about money.
So, where do you sit? If you’re a Superstar or Spring Cleaner, keep up the good work. If you’re a Spender or Spoiler and you want to crush your mortgage and set yourself up, it’s time to make some changes.
If you want someone who knows what they’re doing to help guide you forward you can start by booking a quick call with me =>HERE