Welcome back to The Australian Blogger Interview Series.
We noticed the Australian personal finance community growing, mostly through our interactions on Twitter and we wanted to continue to foster this great camaraderie. We’ve reached out to as many Australian personal finance bloggers as we could and asked them to participate in our interview series. If you have any favourite Australian personal finance bloggers, tell us about them in the comments below and we’ll invite them to participate.
Next up: Miss Money Box
- Tell us a little bit about yourself- approximate age, job description, background, location etc.
I’m in my 30s but I’ve been interested in making and growing money since I was a child. I was running a successful cottage industry selling hand-painted terracotta pots to classmates by the age of 12. Thanks to my dad, I was introduced to daily buy and sell movements on the stock exchange in my early teens. I’ve had a varied professional career, with roles in education, finance journalism, research and now marketing. I have been living in Sydney for nearly ten years, but I’m originally from New Zealand.
- How did you get into blogging about personal finance? Was there someone (another blogger perhaps) or something that inspired you to start blogging?
I began Miss Money Box in earnest in July 2016. However, I’ve been thinking about starting a personal finance blog, aimed specifically at women, since about 2010. For whatever reason, mostly linked to imposter syndrome, it took me seven years to finally do it.
- What are your financial goals? Are you aiming for FIRE or something else?
I’m not aiming at early retirement particularly, though I think it would be nice. I’m mostly aiming to live comfortably in retirement and not have to worry about money like my grandparents did.
- What has been your financial journey? Did you start with a pile of debt? How have your finances progressed throughout the years?
I hate debt and have (mostly) always lived within my means. I paid off my student loan as quickly as I could. I don’t own a credit card. I have basically saved, invested, saved more and invested more throughout my working life.
- Do you advocate shares or property to build financial independence? Or both? Why?
I like the share market. It’s fun, a bit risky and doesn’t require the commitment that home ownership does. I’m sure in Sydney there’s probably still money to be made in joining the investment property bandwagon, but the stress of having to deal with tenants, maintenance, real estate, tax and insurance costs is enough to steer me back online to my brokerage account.
- What is your personal investing strategy? Have you ever changed or reconsidered your strategy? Why?
Buy a diverse range of shares, invest in index funds, salary sacrifice into superannuation. That pretty much covers it. It’s only been over the last year or so that I’ve gotten into Exchange Traded Funds, which I wish I’d known about long ago.
- What do you think the biggest challenge is for Australians seeking financial independence?
I think women in particular face major challenges with financial independence – mostly through lack of knowledge, motivation to learn or feeling locked-out of the finance industry. I started Miss Money Box in order to explain in general terms what women’s options are, specifically around investment and superannuation. I think there is a real mansplaining of personal finance by the industry that drastically needs to change.
- Who has inspired you the most in your journey toward financial independence?
My Dad. You can read all about him in my first ever blog post.
- Which do you think is more powerful: frugality or higher earnings? Why?
I’m a big advocate of living within my means, but I also like to enjoy life and spend my money on doing fun things. I think there are pros and cons to both.
- Has there been anything about becoming a blogger that you didn’t expect (good or bad)?
The absolute best thing is hearing stories from readers and friends who have read my blog and put what I’ve written into practice. It’s the reason I write Miss Money Box and my number one motivation for continuing to do so.
- What do you plan to do in retirement (whether early or on time)?
Travel. Sleep. Eat. Do moderate exercise to counter the copious amounts of sleeping and eating.
- What’s your biggest splurge?
I don’t own a house or a car and the most expensive item I probably own is my bed. I spend most of my spare money on travelling because I think life is too short to not experience all that the world has to offer.
- Do people in your real life know about your blog? If so, what do they think? If not, why not?
Mostly, yes. My friends and colleagues are super supportive and seem to really be interested in the content I’m writing. It makes me so happy and I’m really grateful for their support, blog post suggestions and general interest in what I am doing.
- What’s your number one piece of advice for those interested in financial independence?
Educate yourself. It’s an investment in your financial future.
Thanks so much for being an interviewee Miss Money Box! We look forward to sharing more interviews with you soon!
Do you like the idea of an interview series? Who are your favourite Australian personal finance bloggers?