15: Talking money with Bridie Anderson

This is the transcription of this week's podcast:

Hello, beautiful people and welcome to episode 15 of the Money Mindful Podcast.

Today's a bit of a special episode because for the first time I am doing an interview on the Money Mindful podcast. I had the pleasure of interviewing my good friend Bridie, about all things money. There are lots of gems in this episode, she talks about what she will be teaching her daughter about money, how she got into investing and her ‘can do’ attitude, how you can go about building a portfolio of three properties on your own from a nurse's wage. Pretty cool story. So without further ado, let's get into it.

Welcome, Bridie. I'm super excited to have you on the podcast. You're my first guest for 2020 and also you're the person that I've probably, apart from Louis, my partner, you're probably the person I've spoken about the most on the podcast because you are the one who inspired this whole podcast. So I really want my listeners to meet you and hear your story.

Hi Meaghan! I must say, that's all very flattering and I don't know how much of it's actually true, but it's lovely to be here talking to you about finances, investment and just my world perspective. Essentially that and it's so important. But we'll talk about it and just yeah; just make our views vocal about money and finances. But yes, thank you so much for having me.

Oh, it's my pleasure. So listen, I know you obviously, and we've spent plenty of time together and talked about money. But for our listeners’ sake, could you introduce yourself and just let us know a little bit about your investments and what got you into it in the first place?

So my investments at the moment are purely in residential real estate only. Basically, that is because that's the only investment vehicle that I've learnt about so far. So I got into it because basically I grew up hearing my dad saying to me, renting is dead money rah rah rah rah!

But funnily, enough, I'm a 'rent-vestor' and don't actually own the house that I live in and I choose to invest in places other than where I'd want to live.

So I got into it basically because I knew something deep down inside me said 'you've gotta look after yourself and while you've got a little bit of money when you're young and unencumbered, just invest it in something that's got bricks and mortar' and so that’s what kicked off my investment journey for want of the better word.

Yeah, and just so for those who are listening who might not be familiar with the term 'rent-vestor', that is when you are a property investor but you don't actually live in your own property. So you're still renting from someone else and you invest in property.

Bridie, how did you get your very first property?

Well, actually, I went halfies with my sister, so I was working as a nurse. I had been in the workforce for two years, I think, working full time as a nurse, and I was saving it bit by bit for my first property, and the opportunity came up and we decided to buy a house together because we thought, well, if we pooled, pooled our funds, then we'd obviously have a bigger bundle of money to put towards the property. And also, at the time I accessed the first home-owner’s grant, which really pushed me into getting that first property.

Were you able to do that together? Could you both access it or just one of you?

I can't remember because it was 10 years ago, and I can barely remember what I did yesterday. I think I know that the stamp duty was paid for on my half of the property. Yes, but I don't know about her half of the property, and we didn't need to know, really, because at the time we got a split loan. So both of us had 50% shares in the property. We both had a separate loan, separate entities to each other so we could operate completely independently on a financial level.

Right. So did you know that it was going to be an investment, or were you going to live in it?

I lived in it because that was part of the conditions of getting the first homeowner's grant.

Of course. Yes.

But in saying that I knew that it was going to be an investment because I didn't want to live in the location that we bought for a long period of time. I see investing as a long-term proposition, and I spent six months in that house and then I moved out, right?

And did you learn about buying houses off anyone in particular? Or how did you figure it out?

At the time, I had absolutely not a clue what I was doing. So basically, I had a short list of what I thought might have been positives to look for in an investment. I don't even know where I came up with that list, because, looking back, I would have probably done somethings a little bit different. My criteria have changed as things have moved forward.

I remember I had made an offer on the house that we ended up buying, and the real estate agent said to me, 'so how are you going with your finance?' And I said to him, 'what do you mean finance?' like, I just had absolutely no idea about any of the process, what I should be looking for, anything. It was just a throw yourself in and give it a crack kind of experience. So we changed a little bit as times gone on, because that was 10 years ago and I was in my early twenties. But I mean, I learned by doing, so any experience is a good experience because you just add to your knowledge base and then keeps moving forward.

I love that. But what do you think gave you the courage to do that? I mean not knowing, not knowing how to do it. But then you just did it anyway.

Well, I didn't want time to pass me by. Basically, I didn't know. I knew that life wouldn't be like that. Like that moment in time forever. I was single. I only had myself to look after. I've always wanted to have a family. So whether that happened earlier or later, who knows, just that? No idea. And so I thought, well, I did sort of do a few basic calculations, and I found out about all sorts of other fees and charges along the way, and somehow we got the property over the line. But I just, I've always been motivated. Just to really look after myself and I guess I’m fiercely independent. And so that really spurred me on to go. Okay, well, this is just to set yourself up. I don't know what the end goal is at the moment, but let's just get in there and have a crack. And what's the worst can happen? I end up, going broke, having to sell the property, which really wasn't that far off from where I started anyway. So what the heck? Just learn by doing, I say, but that's the point.

Yeah, well, I love that you just said that you wanted to look after yourself. And I'm just curious to know what you think about self-care when it comes to money?

Oh, so important. Self-care is so important. I've always lived by the motto. If I can't afford it, then I'm not going to buy it. Never had a credit card. That's not that I'm impulsive, but I sort of figure well, if I need to borrow $2000 or $3000 for something that I just want now, then why am I buying it? It's just stuff, you know. But in saying that I've been overseas quite a few times. We go out for nice dinners. You know, I don't, I don't splurge, but I think that's part of self-care. It's treating yourself to those things, but also being really mindful that you've got to put your money away, whether it's shares, even to start saving.

So many people just don't even save 100 bucks a week. You know, you've gotta have enough for a new pair of tyres in the bank. That's my motto. If you don't have that, then start saving now kind of thing. So basically, to me self-care and money, they go hand in hand. You know, no need to obsess about it, but just be smart about it.

Yeah, I like that. So where are you at now with your investments Bridie? If that was 10 years ago that you got that first property, do you still have that now?

No. So we sold that four years after we bought it. Our life circumstances change. So we decided to sell the asset on. That spurred me into another property. So I now own three investment properties, all on my own. All residential and the last property was purchased February of last year.

You said that you were a nurse when you got that first house, and I mean nurses earn a decent income. But, you know, they're not rolling in money and you were single at the time. So how have you been able to afford to buy those three houses?

So basically, I decided one day that I wanted to earn more money, to be completely honest, so I went back to uni and I studied in a different profession, still in the health field. And so now I have more income coming in, and that basically just gives me the ability to save money quicker and also because I have a slightly higher income.

That makes the banks look at me more favourably. So it's easier to lend money as well. Which is more to the point, because the last few years have changed dramatically in the financial field and I've actually had to alter my game plan with my investing because of that. So basically used a combination of the equity and savings.

I think that's really interesting that you said that you went back and studied to earn a high income. I was listening to a podcast recently, or was it a podcast? Anyway, I was listening to something recently. Maybe it was a lecture, and the woman was talking about how we don't ever ask young people- how much money do you actually want to earn? You know, it's all about you pick the job that you love, which, there's definitely some merit in that, but also, what kind of lifestyle do you actually wanna have? And how much money do you actually want to earn to be able to live that lifestyle? So I think that's really an interesting point that you made the conscious decision to go back and study to increase your income.

I think it's important. I didn't know what kind of lifestyle that I would think I would be happy with. So, for example, I know that I don't need an expensive car or a mansion in Toorak, they're not things that motivate me. Although if I had those things, that would be lovely. I wouldn't say no, but that's not what I'm aspiring to. I think it's okay to want to be comfortable financially. I think it's really important. I think it's really good for your mental health. I think it's good for your emotional health, but young people don't think enough about those things simply because we don't talk about it. It's not a priority to talk about. So when I started out, I did nursing and I had no real guidance from anybody, really. In my life, nobody said to me, Hey, think about what you like to do but does it make money? Nobody said that to me. So I ended up in a job that was sub $60,000 for at the highest echelon, essentially, which wasn't enough money for me. It might be enough money for somebody else, but not for me, and especially if I want to keep moving forward and accelerate by investing.

I don't look at it is wasted time in my life, but I look at it as a learning experience that I will share with anybody who asks me, especially with my daughter later, she's only eight months old, but it’s never too early.

Well, that was going to be my next question. What will you teach your daughter about money? Because I know I talked about on the podcast. It's a huge motivator for me and one of the reasons why I'm doing this podcast is a legacy for my girls to learn about money and how to manage it. And I'm interested to know what you'd like to teach your daughter about money?

I would love to teach her about money. It's okay to talk about money. Yes, yes, like that's the first thought on my mind.

That's right. You're speaking my language.

I don't know that we will speak about it over the dinner table every night, you know, but we'll definitely have regular conversations. I want it to be in the forefront of her mind, especially in the teenage years. When you know you might have a part time job. She will have some expendable income. She might want a mobile phone. Actually, I'm sure she will want a mobile phone. Teach her to know where money comes from and the value of money, you know. What does $30 of phone credit get you? And how do you make the $30? It doesn't just grow on trees, which, you know; some people grow up thinking that. Lots of adults think so as well. But I also want to teach her that she could do anything financially and especially since she's a woman, there is nothing to stop her from doing anything in her life. And I want to. I want to be a role model for her, you know, in my own little way my own little world of self taught money. But talking about it is always the first thing, I think.

Yeah, well, I think that's been one of the really powerful things that connected us. Between you and me with our relationship, how it's been so lovely that we've been able to just talk about money freely. And it's not this taboo subject that's a bit uncomfortable, like we talk numbers and really help each other with what we're doing. And I think that there's more and more opportunity for women to be doing this and sharing information and helping each other and just sharing our money stories, what we do, how we manage it, to learn from one another.

That's right, and what I love about our relationship is that we both do things a little bit differently. For example you've invested in shares and I'm yet to learn about share. So it's like it's next on my list. I'm going to buy one of the books on your website and start educating myself and even down to what to do with property. Do you use a buyer’s agent? Do you not use a buyer’s agent? What are the pros and cons? And it's just so really enlightening having those conversations with somebody, not being judged and just having an educated discussion about it. It's really refreshing for me.

Definitely yes. So, Bridie, what do you think your biggest challenges are when it comes to money?

Biggest challenges are obtaining finance for more property. Okay, at the moment. So basically, I'm on maternity leave a moment, which is awesome. I'm loving every second of this maternity thing, but it just meant that I can't make any money at the moment. But that's fine. So I only bought my last property less than a year ago, so sometimes I have to tell myself, Just take a step back and a deep breath. Just enjoy the moment. So that's another one of the experiences for me moving forward, I will be back at work and my income will be increase and hopefully in six months, another year's time. I'll be in another position to borrow some more money to buy some more property whenever that is.

But other than that, saving is always a bit of an obstacle. You know, it's really tempting, too. What? That you want a bike. Or, you know, I could justify spending $1000 on whatever it is that I want, that Yeah, I think is an obstacle. But it's always in the back of my mind.

So what do you think differentiates you, Bridie from, say, another nurse? I mean, I know you're not working as a nurse now, but what is the difference? Do you think between somebody who goes out and invests and tries to look after him or herself financially, as compared to someone who's not doing that? What is it? What's your mind set? What do you think it is that motivates you to do it or gives you the confidence to do it?

That's a really good question.

Because I think there'll be plenty of people listening right now and some who might even be nurses thinking, whoa, how did you get three properties on your own. And also, I think it's just a bit of inside information that I have. I hope you don't mind if I share this, is that I know that you have actually got these houses of your own volition. It's not that you have done this with your partner. I mean, you have a partner but you've bought three houses in your own name under your own loans. Like, how did you do it?

Well, I guess I'm highly motivated to start with. Still, I think the difference between me and another nurse or somebody with a similar income might just be exposure. Exposure to the idea that you could do it. It's not that you can't do it. It's what or who we talk to? How do we know about this? And yeah, you know what? So it is the seed to start with. To have the full process. So and then once you figured it out, okay, I think, I want to invest, then you do. That's what a lot of people stumble on. I have to invest where I live, which I think is just absolutely not true. And I don't live by that at all. I have my three properties, all in places where I  don't live. And I lived in Melbourne for 15 years. I couldn't afford to buy where I live. That was flat out one of the reasons why I actually, I bought in places where I could afford. So I think once you get past the okay, I can do this and onto the okay, this is one of the realistic options. Then it's just a matter of going through the motions, making sure your numbers stack up and then, then going for it. So having a really good mortgage broker on side has bean absolutely vital and without her, I just wouldn't move. I wouldn't be where I am today. So that's really my number one tip is, if you want to invest, is get a really good broker on side to start with. Then just discussing. Just keep talking. Keep talking. So put away as much money as you can and keep talking to the people in the industry who will push you to actually make that first purchase. So don't listen to friends and family who say you can't do it because that's absolutely not true.

Well I feel like we've covered a lot of ground today. But before we close up, you are kind of reading my mind and answering questions before I'm even asking you. But I’m just wondering if there's any advice for somebody who's listening today who hasn't started investing, but they want to, but they're not sure how to get started. Are there any, I think this is a two-part question, are there any routines that you do that have set you up for success, or is there any piece of wisdom that you think you'd like to pass on that would help somebody get started on their money management journey?

Well, the next book, your read, needs to be on something to do with managing your money. Whether it's on learning about shares or how to invest in property or whatever it is that you're interested in, whatever vehicle get reading on that, that's how I learnt most of what I know. Not that I'm an expert, but I've got 100 books I want to read, but it is a start, and it takes the deer out of the headlights.

That's a great point, isn't it? You're not an expert. I mean, none of us are. But we're doing it, and we're making money, and we're setting ourselves up for the future. You don't need to be an expert, do you?

But no, you don’t. You don't need to be an expert. When it comes to money, you just have to have some safe practices, so to make sure you don't go broke. But as far as routines go, you know, I actually think that I have any, like, financially specific routines other than I don't buy a coffee every day. So that's a non-routine, like, sort of the opposite of what the question was. And any money that I can save, I put away my saving. So not rocket science. But it’s just persistence. That's all that it is.

I mean, that's awesome. All right , well , thank you very much for coming on the show today Bridie . As you know, I've been dying to have you on for months because I wanted other people to here from everyday women just like yourself. We are just doing it for ourselves. I know that we both have partners who don't really have an interest in looking after themselves financially for whatever reason. And that's fine, because we don't let that hold us back. We just do it anyway.

That's right. You think about it. 10 years will go by. And if you haven't done anything about it, imagine what you could have done in that 10 years. That's what I think.

And then you have kids. Oh, my goodness. Well, on that note, thank you very much. And yeah, I think our listeners today will get a lot out of this. All right, bye Bridie.


And there you have it. Some great little nuggets in there. I particularly like how Bridie discussed what she would teach her daughter about money, but also how she deliberately went out and got further education so she could earn more income. That's something that we so often don't discuss or talk to our children about. Like, how much money do you actually want to earn. I mean yes. Follow your passion. Do something that you want to do but also what lifestyle do you want to have and how much money do you need to provide for that lifestyle? I think that was a really fabulous point to bring up about educating our kids in that regard.

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