25: Wonder Woman’s Guide To Money with Natasha Janssens

Written by a working mum of two, the Wonder Woman's Guide to Money addresses the plight of the modern-day 'Wonder Woman' and helps her shift the way she feels about money forever by providing the tools, strategies and insight to take control of her financial future.

The growing pressure on today's woman to 'do it all' is immense.  She has a career, runs the household and is the primary caregiver of her children, while still being held to outdated standards about her appearance and role in society.  Moreover, despite being the primary household spenders, research has found that women tend to shy away from money matters and tend to have less financial confidence than men.  Despite increasing gender equality and closing the gender pay gap, progress is slow, and in some respects, non-existent.  In fact, a recent UBS study found that millennial women- more than any other generation - are leaving investing and financial planning decisions to their husbands and partners.  A decision that can leave many women in very vulnerable positions when things don't go to plan.

Natasha Janssens is a powerhouse of achievement and a wealth of knowledge.  She shares this wealth of knowledge with us on the show today.

Learn the basics for getting started managing your money

Investing in shares explained

Bill smoothing and so much more.

You don't want to miss this.  Tune in to listen to the podcast on the player above or read the transcript below.


Meaghan Smith 0:20

Hello beautiful people and welcome to Episode 25 of the money mindful podcast. Wow, have I got a jam packed episode for you today? It's a bit longer than usual. So we're just going to get straight into it. Okay, today on the show, I welcome Natasha Janssens as my guest of honour. Natasha is a powerhouse of achievement and a wealth of knowledge. Pardon the pun, sorry, not sorry. She's an award winning financial planner and accountant, a mortgage broker, founder of Woman With Cents and author. I think We can safely conclude she knows a thing or two about money and looking after ourselves financially. Natasha's book Wonder Woman's Guide to Money, is also the feature book for book club this month. Welcome, Natasha, I am thrilled to have you on the show to share your expertise.

Natasha Janssens 1:21
Thank you so much for having me. I'm really looking forward to our chat.

Meaghan Smith 1:25
Fantastic Well, perhaps for those who don't know you, could you start by letting our audience know a little bit about you, like what was your journey to becoming a financial expert that you are?

Natasha Janssens 1:36
Yeah, so I despite my accent, I'm actually not an Ozzy. Well, I am now but I came to Australia as an 18 year old refugee. I fled a war zone, separated from my family and ended up in Australia so I literally had to build my life up from the ground up. I wasn't eligible for HECS I wasn't eligible for Centrelink and life in Australia is very different to the way it is in my hometown, which is the old Yugoslavia. So there was a lot around financial management, you know, being just having turned 18 that, as most teenagers, you know, wouldn't really know about how to manage their money. But on top of that, you know, I had to deal with being in a different country, different tax systems, you know, we didn't have credit cards and mortgages and all that sort of stuff, you know, back then, in my hometown, so it was a really steep learning curve. So I started my career in Australia as an accountant, I always had a flair for numbers, and I loved strategy and analysis. And over the years of being a tax accountant, I started to notice that a lot of my clients were really disengaged with their finances. You know, even those that had accumulated some element of wealth and, you know, had investments, they really didn't understand them. They didn't understand, you know, their home loan structure, you know, there was so much that they just, you know, weren't taking advantage of them. And then at the same time, there was the whole issue around trust around financial advice, affordability of financial advice. You know, I deal with young people who said, you know, we earn high incomes, but we don't know how to take the next step. And there was, you know, this was a few years ago now, thankfully, things are changing, but there were, at the time, there wasn't really any finance practices that were able to help them. You know, everyone would say, well, when you have $50,000 to invest come and have a chat. And they're like, Well, my question is, how do I get that? $50,000? How do I get to that point? And so I thought, well, rather than you know, complain about how the system is broken, I'm gonna step in and do something about it. So obviously, with so much red tape around, you know, I had to become a licenced financial adviser, which I went and did. I also became a licenced mortgage broker because I wanted my clients to be able to have a place where they could go to learn, first of all, without any fear that someone is going to push something onto them, you know, had a hidden agenda wants to sell you, you know, some dodgy investment but also just to be able to have that one holistic conversation without having to go and talk to three financial experts you know, your accountant will say, well I can talk to you about the tax implications about the offset account but I can't discuss with you your borrowing capacity and how that ties in with your mortgage. So then you go to your mortgage broker who says, Well, I can talk to you about x y&z but this stuff you need to talk to a financial planner, and by the end people are so overwhelmed and confused, you know, who do I ask what like, where do I go? So I thought, you know what, let's just I'm going to become a one stop shop for that. I'm going to, you know, get licenced to the nth degree and just make sure that there's at least one resource where you can turn to to get all of those questions answered and get pointed in the right direction. So that's sort of how I came up with the idea of what I wanted to do. Women With Cents wasn't created until a couple of years into my journey because Murphy's law says that, as soon as you decide to start your own business, you will get pregnant which is what happened. And but really it was, I'm such a believer in things happening for a reason and had that not happened and had my son not been born when he was, I think my business would be very different today. But Nicholas was born in 2014. And back then, those Facebook groups were just starting to become a thing. And what I noticed was that so many women are returning to their mother's groups for financial advice or to go oh well, we saw financial advisor, but I don't know, you know, what do you think he told us X Y & Z and because finances as you know, so heavily male dominated? You know, there's no qualified experts hanging out in these groups to sort of go in and actually that's factually incorrect, you know? And I thought, okay, so with their input, I said, Let's go and take this into another forum. Let's create a group that's specifically for mums to talk about money. Back then the group was known as Mummy Matters. It doesn't exist anymore, but we thought all you know, Money Matters for mums. And then we started doing little workshops in Canberra like on a Sunday afternoon, we booked out a cafe we had a girl do arts and crafts with the kids. So, you know, mums could still come even if they had no one to look after their kiddies. And you know, once a month, we'd have a chat about mortgages or super or whatever. And it just started to grow from there. I had women from interstates say I'm not a mum, but you know, how do I join this? Can I buy your slides? Like where how do we become a part of this? And I thought, Okay, well, you know, there's clearly a demand for this. Let's now go and take this online and make it Australia wide. And that was when Women With Cents was created in 2016. And yeah, it's just sort of been growing from there. It is great to see.

Meaghan Smith 6:39
Oh, my goodness, Natasha, the listeners can't see me right now. But I have the biggest grin on my face, because I'm just looking at you just in complete admiration. There's so many things I want to talk about from what you've just said. But the very first thing please tell us. So you came here as a refugee and the next thing you're doing an accounting course at university with no Austudy or anything like that, how Natasha impart your wisdom on this place because I am literally sitting here in awe just going what a legend. I mean, wow, it's incredible.

Natasha Janssens 7:18
Thank you. But do you know what it's something that everyone is capable of? And often when I discuss the psychology of money I talk about I don't know if you remember from school learning about Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

Meaghan Smith 7:31

Natasha Janssens 7:31
So for those who aren't familiar, so Maslow was a psychologist who in the 1940s, was really interested in what motivates human beings. And he was in particular, I think, looking at it from a workforce work, workforce point of view. But basically, what he found really translates to the way we are with money in any case, which is that we are motivated by the pursuit of fulfilling our needs, and those needs form in a bit of a hierarchy. So as soon as we have that basic needs met, which is food and shelter. Next we're seeking security then comes you know, love and relationships, then we want a sense of accomplishment. And then at the top of that pyramid is a sense of fulfilment. And so really, for me at that point, I needed safety and security. You know, I was in pursuit of becoming an Australian citizen, and I was willing to do whatever it took to go and do that I wasn't, I had no social life, all I was doing because I also couldn't afford to fail a unit at school. Because if I did that, then my visa would be revoked and you know, I'd be shipped back home. So I basically, it's amazing how resourceful you can be when you have to be so obviously studying a lot and working a lot. There's no time to spend any money. But I was living in places, obviously, you know, 18 years ago, rents were very different, but I still remember I'd find places to share with someone and in the end, my rent would be like $50 a week and you know, when it's just you, you don't really need to be spending much on food. I didn't go out, I wasn't drinking, you know, any of that stuff. And I just made it work and I pursued it, it ended up taking me eight years in the end before I got citizenship. So because I actually started off with studying a diploma in software development, because when when I first came here, it was enough to get a TAFE diploma to get residency. But by the time I finished that TAFE diploma, the rules had changed. And it was no longer enough. So I then went on to study a Bachelor of Business because I was really interested in business and then it turned out, that wasn't going to be enough to get me citizenship anyway. So then I went, well, I already work in account at an accounting firm, is the Bachelor of Commerce going to do the trick? answer was yes, I then went and did a double degree and did a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce. And yeah, well sort of working in studying along the way, but it's just an example of, you know, how much you can achieve when you're really really determined because I went on from that to you know, Having my career take off and any more money than I ever earnt before. But I also started accumulating debt like it was going out of fashion. And I looked back on it a few years later and went, isn't that interesting? And it's like, well, what happened there? Because it's not like I didn't know how to budget, I was still the same person. I didn't suddenly forget how you go and do a budget. I'm like, Well, what was that all about? And that's sort of a lot of what I teach my clients about is that really, we shouldn't be allowing our circumstances or our income levels to dictate what is possible for us. I mean, me coming to Australia and literally had better odds of winning the lotto. My dad would set me aside every day and go forget about going to Australia it is not going to happen. Read my lips, there is no chance and I still managed to make it happen and I still managed to pay my way even through a HECS degree just by being able to you know, cut back on spending and just working, you know, I'd have share and you know, there were times where I had living arrangements where, you know, people would have like their downstairs sort of guest room or whatever it is. And I'd go we'll look in exchange, I'll clean the house and I'll get free rent. So there's so much stuff that you can do you I had clients who were low income earners, I managed to buy their house because despite having two kids and a baby on the way, guess what they house sat for two years, how many people with a young family would already go on with never find a place it'd be too hard, you know? Well, they manage to do it. And you know, without having to pay rent for two years. Presto there is your deposit. So there's so much more we can do. And that's why I'm so fascinated about even just the psychology of money, as well as you know, knowing what to do with that money once once you've accumulated it.

Meaghan Smith
I love it. It's amazing what yeah, you said it before what you can achieve when you you set your mind to it. If there's if there's a will, there's a way. One of the questions that I wanted to ask you was, Why is it so important, especially for women to be financially educated? And I'm playing the devil's advocate a bit because I know my listeners are really intelligent women, and I know you are as well. But if our partners handle the money, and they make good money, what's the problem?

Natasha Janssens
Hmm. So, I often talk about that every woman today we are, you are the modern day Wonder Woman. You know, we're working, we're looking after the kids. We're looking after the household we have so much on our plate. And so because we have been conditioned to look after everyone else's needs before our own, and to prioritise the urgent over the important, the urgent being, hey, the kids need school lunches and you know, what are we having for dinner tonight and all of that, what it means that something has to give and for women so often that something is financial management because hey, things like super, that's far off into the future. You know, that's not something no one's picking at you today to go, Hey, look after your super what's happening now. So it's easy to go, you know what I'm exhausted. I'm going to think about that tomorrow. And I'm going to delegate. You know, I'll look after the day to day spending, and I'm going to delegate the big picture stuff to hubby. That's me being empowered, and I'm delegating awesome. The problem with that is that it really puts you in a vulnerable position when things don't go according to plan. That's the biggie. Hubby could get hit by a truck tomorrow, God forbid and be hospitalised permanently disabled. You could separate and get a divorce, he could die, any number of things can happen. And what happens then is that these women find themselves in a situation where yesterday everything was okay. And suddenly I found find out that well first of all, I don't even know where all of our money is. What what assets do we have, like where where do I go or maybe, hey, someone was actually hiding money or maybe there were debts, you know, being accumulated in my name. I see a lot of women being, you know, even sort of through tax advice, which doesn't necessarily take the gendered lens where, you know, hubby might have a business, but then his wife has been, you know, put on as a director of the company or something like that, and you don't even realise the potential ramifications of all of that. So that's why I'm so passionate about getting women just to pay more attention to this stuff. So you can delegate that's fine. But you still need to be jointly making a decision, you still need to be aware of what's going on. Think of it very much as being a CEO of a large organisation. You're not going to be everywhere doing everything, but if that CEO doesn't have their finger on the pulse, well, then a lot of things can go askew.

Meaghan Smith 14:51
You won me over in the book completely and totally when I read I know it's in the start somewhat. One of the The first few chapters, where talked about the mental workload of a woman in the home. And you just touch touching on that there where I see myself in my own home as the project manager. I manage everything that happens in the home. I'm on top of anything that's going on with school with the kids or daycare or organising bills and outings, family things, even Christmas presents all that sort of stuff. And you talked about how this mental workload is something that often our partners just have no awareness of, or don't have that and that's perhaps a barrier to taking on additional things when it comes to money.

Natasha Janssens 15:55
Absolutely, yeah. So look, and it's something that everyone struggles with to this day. I still struggle with it. And it's something that it just takes a conscious effort for us to recognise and then step away from it. So my husband and I, we've been together coming on 18 years now. So we've had, you know, we've seen each other through a lot, you know, job loss and health issues and, you know, children now and all that. So, we've shifted and changed and learned a lot about each other and about joint financial management over the years. But, you know, even to this day, I have to work on letting go of the guilt if I'm not always the one doing the housework. I mean, now it's fantastic. Like, my son will say, Mom, get out of daddy's kitchen, you know, and it's, you know, I don't remember the last time I had to think about you know, what's for dinner. I didn't have to think about oh hey, we're about to run low on nappies. I need to grab some on the way home. You know, and and still, there were things that I would do to this day, you know, take on like making sure that kids are vaccinated, you know, school holiday programme planning and all that sort of stuff. And and I've had to learn to continue to sort of speak up because I go, Okay, well, I adjust my work schedule so I can look after the kids. So they're not always in full time childcare. So, you know, then I can't be everywhere at once. You know, when I'm at work, I don't have time to be trying to, you know, organise vaccinations and school holiday programmes and all the rest. So, and hubby is more than happy to chip in. But sometimes they're just not even aware. It's invisible, because we just take everything on. So I've had to learn and go, do you know what this last summer was the best because I was so busy in December and I went, I don't even have time to think about it. Can you sort out what's happening with the kids over summer? Thank you. And then he came back to me is like, all right, Nick has tennis on Tuesdays, he's got this on this day is on like, Oh, thank goodness that's been done and sorted. So but it really it takes a lot of effort and conscious awareness to make sure that you stop yourself in your tracks and you actually speak up ask for help. And the hard thing is letting go that perfectionism because as women if you think about every magazine since the you know, start of magazines, has been about how to be the perfect housewife had had the perfect home. So we have been conditioned to have these impossible standards in our minds and then we expect that, you know, okay, well, my hubby is gonna do the laundry or make dinner, then it has to be at that level. And then we're like all but it's not going to be done right. So I'm as well just, you know, by the time I tell you how to do it, I may as well do it myself. And it's like, no, I really had to. I remember the first few times I was like, Oh my God, he's sorting the laundry in the long run way. And I'm like, no, no. And do you know what? It's fine the laundry to this day like, hey, he doesn't sort lights from darks. It all gets put together. It's been fine. Like it really hasn't made a difference but I you know, was having a coronary trying not to sort of intervene and that's the big part is let other people help. And then back off. Like just it doesn't matter how it gets done, your new mantra is done is better than perfect. And go and enjoy your freedom.

Meaghan Smith 19:11
To those listening, I really hope you heard that. And if not, go back 30 seconds because Natasha has hit the nail on the head, you have to be able to speak up for yourself and say to your partner, you need to take charge of this or let's split up what we're doing. Because there's an element of you actually have to take responsibility for what you're taking responsibility for. Like if you're taking on all the household duties. You can't blame your partner for that. Because I mean, hey, if my partner started doing everything, I'd be like, whoo, great, go ahead. But also at the same time, you do have to step back. I cringe when I will pass the clothesline sometimes and the clothes aren't hanging in the correct way. I think that I think they're actually going to dry efficiently. But it's like, walk away back away. It's okay. The clothes are hanging on the line. That will be fine. I'll be fine. So some good advice there. Now moving on, I know that there is going to be someone listening today who does not feel very confident about money. And, you know, they're not even sure how to start saving it or manage it, let alone start investing. So can you give this person some advice on what to look at first? What should they start with?

Natasha Janssens 20:39
Okay, so the first part, I think would be and it may surprise you, but I want you to start off just by doing a little bit of daydreaming and actually start thinking about what is it that you want to be creating? What is your dream life? What is something that you want to be changing today? Maybe in an ideal world, you'd be working doing a different job, maybe you would be living somewhere else, maybe you would be working fewer hours. And the reason that I say that is because so many people come to me and whether that's about investing or about saving, they're coming with a scattergun approach. There's no real sort of reason behind why they're doing it apart from feeling like it's something they should be doing. And I always liken it to, you know, eating better or exercising because it's something that I should be doing. I'm never very good at sticking with it when it's something I should be doing. But guess what, when I wanted to look amazing for my wedding, hey, suddenly, I'm happy to eat healthily doesn't matter. And when I wanted to have a healthy pregnancy, and my doctor said to me, if you are going to have like, a healthy pregnancy, you have to cut out dairy and chocolates and gluten and all that stuff that you love that has to go. And normally I would be like, Oh my god, I can't go without that stuff. But you know, for the sake of my pregnancy You know what was not a problem. So you need to have that motivating reason and a clear goal that you're working towards, and then you can start to break it down. So then when you've got your clear goal, you've set a time frame for yourself. And don't be afraid it doesn't matter say be ambitious go look in two years time, this is what I want to achieve, hey, if you achieve it in three or four years time, that's still awesome. But you know, give yourself that starting point there and then break that figure down into you know, weekly dollar amounts. So you know, if in three years time you want to have saved a certain amount of money, or you want to be living somewhere else, then you tell the Okay, well, what is it that I need in order to be doing that? put together this alright, so this is my dollar figure, and I broken it down for the week. And then we start looking at how do we set up our cash flow. Now in the background while you're doing all of this, because you said investing and those sorts of topics are of interest to you down the track. I want you to start taking an interest in it. Read as many finance books as you can join the so many finance Facebook groups do what you're doing now listening to this podcast, listen to other podcasts, you know, occasionally flick through the Financial Review. Because financial management so often it feels like it's a foreign language. And the way to become comfortable with a foreign language is just to expose yourself to it more and more. But if you start learning about investments at the point where you're like I have 50 grand to invest, then it's going to be too overwhelming. But if you're along the way, as you're working towards that goal, starting to learn about bits and pieces, then it's going to be super, super easy. So we've got we've got our goal. In the meantime, we're taking an interest in financial matters. And now we're just going to break it down to how we're going to get them. This is the way we set up our banking and it's worked really well I've tried lots of different things over the years, but this keeps us in check the best. First of all, is we have one account into both into which both of our salaries go into and out of which all of the bills and the mortgage payments. If you're renting rent comes out of, what a lot of people don't realise is you can actually put all of your bills on a payment plan. And that's known as Bill Smoothing. So you can do it with your energy bills, you can do it with your rates. So rather than having a bill come in quarterly, or six monthly, or yearly, you have split it up so that on a fortnightly or monthly basis, you're paying all of it. Now this is going to do two things. One is it's going to make it really easy for you to budget because you know exactly what your living expenses are, what the locked in stuff is. And the other thing is it's going to remove the potential for overspend because people forget about certain bills. Or you know, if our energy bill is coming every quarter, hey, it may feel as though we've got this extra cash in the bank account now. And we psychology psychologically why that we're going to want to spend it. But in actual fact, what happens then in three months time we've spent those savings now it's going on the credit card and it starts to sort of become a vicious spiral. So during this and having the bill smoothing really eliminates all of that. And then you go okay with the amount that's left? Oh yes, I have my goal. So I'm treating that treat, think of it as a tax, think of it as a bill, whatever you whatever name you want to attach to it, but it's a non negotiable. So making sure that that comes out of your account on a regular basis as well. And then with the amount left, depending on whether you're getting paid monthly or fortnightly you go okay, this is what is there to see us through until next payday. This is to cover groceries, this is to cover birthday parties, this is to cover engagement gifts, this is to cover dry cleaning, impulsive, retail therapy, date, night, petrol, all that sort of stuff. And what I do then is I go okay, there's a certain amount of money we've now got, that has to last us four weeks. So I split it into a weekly amount and it's a weekly transfer into a second account and That's the only account that I use is a, it's an ING Visa Debit Card, and we just go, it has to fit in with that. So hey, if I want to go and spend on this really nice outfit, well, maybe we're cooking more basic meals this week, or something else. And it's a really good thing because it's going to get you communicating with each other. And it's also going to get you in the habit of compromising, which is something that we have sort of forgotten how to do because we're in, you know, live in the age of credit cards and easy credit. And it's sort of like, well, I don't have to compromise, I can just go and do X, which makes it really easy to sort of get back into debt. So this is teaching us on a daily basis to learn again, about how to prioritise and how to make choices. Well, okay, maybe this week, I have to go without my takeaway coffee because I want to have enough money to go buy that gift or buy that shirt. and away you go. And that's the easiest way it's going to mean you're going to limit yourself from getting into debt. You're gonna be communicating more with your partner and compromising day to day and what it is that you want. Your bills will be taken care of there goes that life admin, you don't have to sit at the computer every single time so click and pay that. It's like it just goes, the paperwork has just vanished from my desk. It's just working seamlessly. So yeah, those are my main tips for how to get started.

Meaghan Smith 27:15
So the bills smoothing, this is something I actually haven't tried. So I'm interested to talk more about this because we do a budget and then I put the money into a separate account, and it's just sitting there. And when the bill comes up, we pay the bill out of that account. But the question that I've got for you, is, what happens about overpaying bills? You know, what's is do we end up getting caught up with? We've just paid all this money into bills, but we don't actually owe that much money on them. How do you manage that aspect of it?

Natasha Janssens 27:51
No. So look, there's a few things so things like your rates, you know, your home and contents, insurance, all that that's a set amount and it's a very basic formula, and it's something that you've arranged with that provider. And they'll just go and direct debit, right? So that's what you're not manually direct debiting there, in most cases, they're just able to direct debit you and sort that out. The only one that I found where there can be variation is with your gas and electricity. So the company will actually analyse your bill over the year based on what your usage has been. And then it's just they send you the bill and they apply the credit. And often even if there's a shortfall fall, they just go look, there's no need to pay because you've got another director coming out next month, and it keeps going. But even if you have overpaid, and I say that with inverted commas, and that credit then goes to your next account. And if it should happen, that it's continually starting to increase, then you know, you would be able to request a refund, but in most cases, what they will do is just each year they'll revisit what your usage has been and they'll just adjust your direct debits accordingly. So that then you know, you use up that overpayment.

Meaghan Smith 29:01
I see. So it's not something where myself as the bill payer sets up something at my end, I actually contact the service like the phone company or so forth and say, I want you to take out money every fortnight to pay for my bills, and then you make that arrangement with them, and they take out a certain amount.

Natasha Janssens 29:21
That's right. So just set it up as a payment plan. So, you know, for us, we do it monthly. So some of those things we haven't even had to make specific arrangements for because hey, we pay the internet monthly, and, and all that sort of stuff, you know, home contents insurance, it's really easy to go and pay monthly. And I know some people they go, but if I pay it annually, then you know, I'll save that one month or I might get a 10% discount. But it depends on how disciplined you are with money. But if you're finding that you have, you know, issues around credit card, debt and money sort of moving all over the place. Do you know what? I'd rather for us, it's like I'll just pay that extra 10% on mixing occasion because we're actually saving more in other ways by working it in this way. So and it's minimising, I see women in particular, we're really good at complicating things. I remember one client she had like 30 like line items in a spreadsheet. She had so many different like bank accounts and money was moving here. And then I'm a clever accountant and I was even there going, what's happening? How much time do you spend doing this each month? She's like, Oh, you know about an hour. I'm like, there's an hour you can spend doing anything else. So you know, again, I'm a big fan of just yeah, that automation and simplification, but yeah, the first thing is just make a call. The only thing that we have to do manually is paying the rego. Everything else we have been able to set it up so that it's just automatically direct debited by the provider.

Meaghan Smith 30:51
Well, there you go. Ladies, Bill Smoothing. We need to look into this. This is some hot advice coming straight off the press. Tasha, who is a financial advisor. Okay, so we're talking to a qualified person here. All right, so what about somebody who has paid off their debt and they're ready to invest? What should they be investing in? And why? Hmm?

Natasha Janssens 31:17
So again, it first comes up with getting really clear on why you're investing, right? What's your timeframe? What is it that you're wanting to achieve, so that you can then start to plan it out. Because you know, if you want money to access in five to seven years, putting it in an investment property may not be the best idea for you, you know, if you want to have flexibility, so that some of that money you can use to you know, go to Europe for your cousin's wedding or whatever, then it's like, again, having that clarity is actually going to help you know, what investments are appropriate for you and which ones aren't. So you know, Australia Land built on property and buying an investment property is usually everyone's, you know, go to. But what they don't think about is actually all of the risks that are associated with property. Now, at the moment, there's so much volatility around that, you know, again, there's a lot of pressure to pick the right property in the right area, there was a time and this is sort of where people are confusing luck with what wise sort of investment strategy because it wasn't all that long ago, where you could take a blind stab in the dark and pick any property, it could have been an apartment doesn't matter where it was, and it would have made you money. And now we're starting to sort of learn the hard way. Well, actually, there's things that can impact how well that property does, you know, units across the board or not, it's been years and there's just zero growth in it. So you then you know, you need to be aware of that. So this is where the strategy comes into it. Because if you're wanting to make a profit, investing in a unit, probably not the wisest idea because it doesn't look like in the near future, there's any capital growth happening. If your strategy on the other hand is to go and find something in an area that has high rental demand that you're going to pay it off as quickly as possible and create a passive income stream, then you go okay, now I've got greater clarity on what sort of units that I want to look at. Because I'm going to want to look at something that by the time I've paid off the body, corporate and all of those other expenses, I'm actually getting enough money back in my pocket to make that return and risk worthwhile. So can you start to see now how having that clarity around what you want is going to help actually eliminate the options that aren't right for you. So that's just using property as an example. If you are just starting to invest, I think looking at taking advantage of technology and looking at things like index funds is a really really good idea because it's, uh, it's transparent, it's really easy to trade. And it gives you a lot of that diversification, you know, with a click of a button. There's also cool apps that you can play around with, like the Raiz app, which used to be called Acorns. That's a really cool thing to use, just from the point of view of putting your loose change in the share market. And just getting familiar with how all of that works. Now, you know, whether or not to use Raiz as a platform, because what raises is really an investment platform. The next comes, you know, what investment options you have chosen? And that's sort of where, if you're considering is Raiz right for me, you really want to look at how you're wanting to invest. And after a certain point, you may actually find that it's more cost effective to invest that money in that same way, but doing it directly yourself rather than using an intermediary platform. But certainly, you know, it if you're looking at, you know, having building up 500 bucks or using it as a way of speeding up your emergency saving builder, that can be a really cool thing to sort of tinker tinker around with as well.

Meaghan Smith 35:12
I'll put a link in the show notes to that app for those people listening. And also, I think you made a circle back to a point that you made much earlier in our conversation about starting to familiarise yourself with finance early on in the piece before you're ready to invest because I'm fairly certain that we a few people who just listened to the last minute or so what you said, and I have no idea what you're talking about. That way other people nodding their head going Oh, yeah, of course, of course. But, and I think that's the thing that we need to ease our way into it. And you can do that by reading books like our book for this month's book. Natasha's book, Wonder Woman's Guide to Money, right these kinds of books. There's, there's a lot out there now other kind of educational stepping stones that you can take to get yourself going. Because there is a lot involved with investing. And I think that there's a lot of myths and people think they know information. I mean, I have shares, and I'm investing for the long term. But I just had somebody talking to me about that I should be checking them and I'm thinking hang on a minute, you don't even have shares. And this is a long term investment. And I think the worst thing I can do right now is check on them because they've probably dropped and I don't want to be tempted to panic and be like, Oh my goodness, my, my index fund is just halved been valuable or whatever I'm, I'm actually steering. totally clear of looking at it because I don't plan to access those funds for at least another 12 years. So I'm, I'm stepping right back. And this is the kind of thing that I hear in conversation about ways to deal with money, but it's actually coming from a place where it's an uneducated perspective. And I don't mean that in a unkind way. I just mean that, you know, you need to find out about things first before you start making decisions about it.

Natasha Janssens 37:27
Absolutely. And look, and one of my biggest tips for people when they're investing is do not invest in something that you do not understand. So go and ask as many questions there is no such thing as a stupid question. In fact, the devil is in the detail. If you still don't understand how it works, then it's not the investment for you. Because what's going to happen is you're forever going to be anxious about it, you're going to be second guessing your decision. Should I have trusted that person? Was this the right thing for me? And then chances are that you're going to pull out at the worst possible time and you touched on. That's right, we had the markets crash. You know what, last week now, gosh, time is flying quickly. And a lot of people are, for example, scared and missing in the share market because they don't actually understand how that works. And if you don't mind, I'd like to take a moment just to explain that a little bit just to help put it in context. And what we saw at the moment with the toilet paper gate is a really good example with that. So essentially, what you have is when you're buying shares in a company, you're, you know, you're buying part ownership in that business. And what you're getting for that is the rights to a share of those profits. Okay? And that's essentially and in an ideal landscape, the way sort of that sort of ratio between, you know, the earnings of the company and the profit that you're getting that's sort of going to determine that ideal share price, in very, very basic sort of terms. What happens then is that you have a lot of people who are not actually long term investors and not a long term partner in this business. What they are is speculators. They're people who have bought that share with the hope of making a quick buck. And they are the people there, they're driving their share prices, because they're in the market, going and trading based on Oh my god, you know, we've now got coronavirus. We think all these businesses, everyone's gonna, their profits are going to go down and all this is going to happen and I'm going to go and sell. Then there's other people who are seeing that because there's so much stock being put in the market. You know, we look at basics of economics prices, supply and demand. They then go, oh my goodness, I've got shares in that company and look at that it's going down and I'm going to lose all that money. But what I want you to realise that this is no different than the people that are going in creating a false shortage of toilet paper because they've just gone and bought it and then we have all these people that are going and buying toilet paper. They don't even know why they're doing it. They just go I've seen on the news. The shortage of toilet paper and everyone's buying it. So I'm going to go and do it. And we have the exact same thing happening in the share market. Now, if you keep your head cool, and you go, you know what I realise that that's just some outside noise, it's not actually going to affect me. And you don't go rushing out to stockpile toilet paper and you don't go rushing out to sell your shares. You know what, in a week's time it blows over. And hey, the toilet paper is back in stock, the share price is more returning to its long term norm and that's why we say just hold on to it for the long term. Because long term those little blips of you and I thinking what's going to happen with that share price, you know, we can't sustain that forever over time that's going to smooth out and go away. So you're absolutely right. Do not look at the shares. Because the fact that you and I think that hey, I don't know CBA profits may drop in their share price will be worthless. That doesn't actually changed the business of Commonwealth Bank does it this still going on about their jobs? They're not you know, closing shop tomorrow because what you and I are expecting is going to happen with their price. So learn to differentiate between the business that you bought into, and the speculation that's driving that share price to sort of bounce around on a short term. Does that sort of make sense?

Meaghan Smith 41:15
Ah, absolutely. And yeah, I think too, and you make a good point in the book is, you mentioned that what a lot of people do is in actual fact really risky without realising it's taking risk, and that is that they go out and buy shares, but they buy them in one company. Can you explain why that's risky?

Natasha Janssens 41:38
Yeah. So basically, when you look at what, you know, the experience investors do experience investors, what is it that they know that the rest of us don't? Well, they know that there's no way to predict the future. They know that there's no guarantees and no way of telling how a particular investment is going to work. So that best way that they can grow their money but register is, is to put their money in lots of different places, which means you don't just put all your money in one investment property, you don't just put all your money in one company, you know, buying those shares. And you want to be putting your money in as many different places as you can. So that then this gives you a few things, it gives you the power that if you need to withdraw some of that money, you go, okay, well, I'm going to I now have choice, I'm not going to sell my shares in that particular company. Because at the moment, I'm actually going to make a loss if I do that. And remember, all of those gains and losses that are happening, that's all theoretical, that's all on paper until you actually go and sell it. The fact that I may think that your home is worth less today than it was yesterday. That only makes a difference to you if you actually go and sell it, and otherwise it doesn't matter. So investing in lots of different places, it will give you that control over going I will pull my money out of this particular investment because I've made a profit there. And I'm happy to tap out of that. And also, it's just going to give you that level of protection so that you are not. And this is sort of tying back again to one of the risks with property, there's so much pressure. If you only invest in that one investment, there's so much pressure to get it right. There's so much stress that anytime something doesn't go your way, you go, well, actually, if I just go in and miss a lot of different buckets, overall, sure, some of them may be losses and some of them may be duds. Okay. But overall, odds are that I'm going to get it right more than I'm going to get it wrong.

Meaghan Smith 43:41
That's right.So just wrapping up, Natasha. I actually feel like I could sit here and talk to you all day, but I'm looking at the time and I'm conscious that I like to keep these episodes short because I know a lot of women who are listening are busy and they want to get it, listen to it and move on to what the next thing But before I let you go, I would just like to finish with, is there something that you do personally with your finances that you'd be happy to share with us that you think would be a value for our listeners to hear? Or is there a final piece of information that we haven't covered? Something juicy that we've just we've got to cover before we end the show.

Natasha Janssens 44:23
Okay, so what I do with our finances. Look, the biggest thing was what I shared before about the way that we change the way we manage our bank accounts made a huge difference because we used to overspend without doing anything lavish, and we used to wonder where our money went. So implementing that stuff around and treating your saving goal as a bill, having bull smoothing and then giving yourself a set, weekly limit of what to spend on whatever you choose. And that really simplified things and made sure that we stayed, you know, in the green as opposed to overspending. Other than that, you know, what we do is we invest in lots of different places my husband, you know, he and I are sort of having a little bit of a quiet context contest at the moment because he's practising doing day trading, because he, you know, thinks that he might be able to do better with that. So he's playing around with a pool of money, you know, doing that. And, and then we've got, you know, long term investments, we had property, I've now actually pulled out of our property investments. So, you know, we've got now home, but the investment properties are gone. And, and we've got a couple of investment bonds, which I also talked about in the book, which are there for each of our kids so that we've got those long term saving plans in place for them. And then the rest, I've taken a very high risk approach to the rest is being invested in in women with sense from that point of view and looking at, you know, growing this business further, so, you know, you have to be, you know, in some cases, you know, it may seem that I'm going against my own advice, but you need to be able to know how much risk You can afford to take and what your backup is. So at the moment, you know, we're going in a very high risk sort of strategy. But we also have a lot of emergency savings and things sitting there in the backup as well that allow us to be able to go and take that high risk approach. And, you know, we've had quite a bit of experience doing what we do. So we know what to look out for, from that point of view. So and the thing we haven't spoken about is just going to a couple of simple things to keep on top of your super. And there's a really cool new platform called Super Rewards that you can check out, which is basically if you go and shop online, check this out. You get super contributions. So it's like flybuys, but for your super. So you go and do your grocery shopping online, and you get dollar credits and they actually transfer physical money into your superannuation for you. So and that has been devised by a very clever lady who has done this so that we can look at ways of trying to reduce that super gap, you know, because we know the system isn't quite set up for women, we take up a lot of time out of the workforce. And we need to be able to do something and financial education is great. But there needs to be practical things that you can do to grow your super. So go and check out Super Rewards, go and call your super fund, make sure that the money's going in there. If you've got multiple super accounts, have a look at that as well. But do be careful that you don't lose any valuable life insurance that you've got in there. So I discussed all of that a lot more in the book, as well. And, and yeah, and otherwise just yet take more of an interest. You know, as I said, if you delegate that's great, but make sure you have your finger on the pulse and that you know, sort of where your money is and what's going on.

Meaghan Smith 47:45
Fantastic. I actually think I could have you on the show another five times just cover all the other aspects of looking after ourselves financially because we just had the tiniest tip of the iceberg then when we're talking about superannuation, which is so important when it comes to women, and I need to do a whole show on that. before we let you go, Natasha, you have given us so much information. If somebody is thinking, wow, this woman's amazing, I need more of her. How can we find you?

Natasha Janssens 48:20
So, look, if you, even if you just Google Women With Cents your finance, but go to our website, womenwithcentscom.au there's a whole heap of free resources and calculators that you can use lot of handy tips and articles. And if you join into the mailing list, you will get an awesome budget organiser tool, which will be emailed out to you so that you can then go and plan your finances accordingly. And from there, you'll be invited into private group as well. So you can go and ask more questions and learn more and get more support on your financial journey. So yeah, just head out to womenwithcents.com.au

Meaghan Smith 48:55
Amazing. I'm signing up today and before we let you go we are doing a book giveaway and Natasha is generously giving away two books. And I will let you know the details of that at the very end of the show. So Natasha, thank you so much for joining us today. We have covered so much ground. I think we all need to listen back over this one, the pen and paper, take some notes because there's been a lot of information covered in this show. Thank you very much.

Natasha Janssens 49:28
My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.

Meaghan Smith 49:30
Isn't she great? I love women like that, like Natasha who just go out there and make it happen. Very inspiring. Now, I said that you could win a copy of Wonder Woman's Guide to Money. We have a post going on the Money Mindful podcast Instagram account, you need to find the post with the picture of her book, and you need to follow the Money Mindful Instagram account, you also need to follow the Women with Cents Instagram account and tag two friends in the comments. And we will be announcing who the winners are of the books at the book club meeting, which is held on the last Tuesday of every month and this month, it will be on Tuesday, the 28th of April at 8:30pm. And that goes we go live on Facebook on the Money Mindful Facebook page and you just have to show up there at 830 and you will see me pop up live. And then you can join in in the conversation discussing the book and Natasha is working out if she can join us as well next week so that will be really fantastic and I will let you know on the socials if that's happening. In the meantime, stay in touch. You can always find me on Instagram at Money Mindful podcast. love connecting with you guys there and also via email. Until next week, have a beautiful week.

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