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0 to 100k by @brokefromboba

Hi There! My name is Jodie and I’m the human behind @brokefromboba. I was 22 years old when I achieved a net worth of over 100k – and I started from nothing.

I grew up in a family of four with humble beginnings. My Dad was a refugee fleeing war, and my Mum was an immigrant who came to Australia to learn English. When my sister and I were born, we survived on a single income where my Mum worked less than a minimum wage almost every day of the week, and my Dad was the stay at home parent who looked after us.

As a single income household, the focus was on saving and having enough to get through each day. Despite money being a heated topic of debate, financial literacy wasn’t something that was taught, nor was it understood.

Here’s my money story of how I built my financial literacy and net worth.

$0 (2014)

I finished year 12, didn’t get the ATAR I wanted, and got rejected from the course I wanted to pursue at uni. Life after high school is off to a great start.

I wanted to prove my worth so I applied for every retail job that had positions available. I applied for at least fifteen roles – and I was rejected for every single one.

$7,400 (2015)

After a heap of rejections, I finally received some happy news. The course I was initially rejected from now has open positions, and I will be accepted to the course. The bonus with this course was that it was a scholarship, so I will receive regular fortnightly payments throughout my degree!

I was also eligible for Youth Allowance, a government support payment, where I also received regular fortnightly payments. Most of the money I received was used to pay the cost of my uni degree, transport, food and other purchases (e.g. clothes).

$11,400 (2016)

Starting off the year with great news where I successfully got into an internship in Japan – and it’s partially funded by my university and host company!

It’s my first time ever travelling overseas so I wanted to ensure I had enough money to splurge here and there for the month I was staying there. I worked casually for around a month and used that money with my savings to fund the trip.

It was this trip that sparked my interest in finances because it was my first time ever having a savings goal. I also got into a relationship whilst on this internship, which meant I wanted to save more for dates. Towards the end of the year, I secured a summer internship and worked for a few months over the break for some extra money and work experience.

$21,800 (2017)

It’s my last year of university, and I was frantically applying for numerous graduate programs to secure a role for next year. After a few rejections, I was lucky to have successfully gotten a graduate position into the first company I applied for. Soon after, my Mum received fractures to her ribs due to her personal trainer, and had to take time off work. This meant our family temporarily lost our single source of income. This was an eye-opener and motivated me to find ways to make money and to build my financial literacy. To build my financial literacy, I picked up my first personal finance book, The BareFoot Investor.

By becoming more educated, I made a few financial related decisions and habits such as:

  • Diverting all my savings into a high interest savings account
  • Cancelled my insurance in my superannuation account (not the best long term decision, but in the short term, it stopped my balance from being decreased by insurance premiums)
  • Got into a habit of reviewing my finances every month to stay on top of my financial health

I also set a side hustle of selling items online to get some extra money on the side.

$55,400 (2018)

I graduated from university and started my first full time position! It was my first time earning an actual salary and with some good financial habits built from the year before, I was able to save most of it.

During the beginning of the year, my Mum got injured the second time at her workplace, and broke her forearm which meant she couldn’t go to work again. I also started noticing how fragile my Mum is, and how the years of intense work has worn her out. In addition to her injuries, she had a lot of body aches and experienced sharp pain walking up the stairs back home. From this, I knew that it’s not ideal for my Mum to keep living at our current place, so I put down a 10% deposit for an off the plan apartment that’s better suited for my Mum.

Throughout the year, I continued the side hustle of selling items online, and also started a new side hustle of doing private tutoring on the weekends/after work which generated another source of income. I also started micro-investing in spaceship to dip my toes into investing.

$106k (2019)

Continued my existing side hustles and good financial habits. A notable change from this year was reviewing my superannuation account and realising that it was underperforming. I then did some research and switched to a better performing super fund.

Around the end of this year, I stopped my side hustles as I was getting burnt out and wanted some time to look after myself.

$130K (2020)

This was a big year for my financial health and marked the huge leap in my net worth. I wrapped up the graduate program and received my first promotion and pay rise, which saw my salary increase by around 10k.

I also read my second personal finance book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, which prompted me to start “investing” in the share market (I was probably more so gambling at this point because I was buying fomo stocks with little to no research).

My off the plan property was also due for settlement, so I took out my mortgage and became a homeowner! The property became a huge asset which bumped up my net worth to surpass the 100k almost immediately.

Although the property is under my name, it is really for my Mum. From a financial point of view, this isn’t ideal as I could rent it out to earn more money. However, the goal of this property and why I saved in the first place was to give a comfortable place for my Mum to live in. Financially savvy? Nope. But is it worth it? Yes – my Mum’s happiness is priceless.

Full disclosure. My $0 to $100k story does not include any money that my family gave me (which I do include in my Instagram posts).

What’s next?

In 2021, I invested in my education and upskilled to get another promotion at work, and increased my salary again by around 10k. Financial literacy is now a passion of mine, and I started @brokefromboba to share my experience and financial journey. I’m hoping to continue educating myself on all things finance, and start building passive sources of income, through a side hustle, investing or purchasing an investment property.

Final Words, Disclosures and Tips

  • Don’t compare yourself. Everyone’s financial journey and situation is different. I was in a fortunate situation where I was able to live with my parents to save on living costs, and also receive a scholarship to cover my bachelors degree. These two factors undoubtedly played a huge factor in helping me build my net worth.
  • Time and health is priceless. Although money is important, I regret prioritising my side hustles over my loved ones and health. I lost sight of why I was doing this all in the first place, and burnt myself out in the process.
  • Know your why. When I didn’t have a goal, I didn’t care about my finances. Once I set a vision of where I want to go, I was motivated and kept myself accountable to take the steps to get there.
Written by @brokefromboba
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Published by @MrMoneyPlant
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