How I Saved $2k Without Even Trying – and You Can Too!

 In Life, Money

Coincidently a Jane, Melissa Jane that is, Mel has known our Caity Jayne since they were teenagers, reconnecting at Adelaide Fashion Festival years after they both graduated school and now are rarely seen apart. Mel works by day in a busy media and advertising agency for some of South Australia’s biggest brands and is also an award-winning fashion and beauty blogger with her website Wilddarts. Mel is going to be sharing her journey to saving $2,000 with the saving and investment app; Raiz. 

I am, in no way, shape or form, a ‘financial person’. I never did economics at school and I wasn’t particularly good at maths. Saving has either been easy or hard for me – although when I say ‘easy’ I didn’t have a home loan, bills and saving to build a house all at the same time (!!) who knew that would eat up most of your take-home pay!?

Money Matters

When you’re growing up, secondary or higher education doesn’t really teach you how to be financially stable or savvy for that matter. Your day to day essentials – to feed yourself, keep a roof over your head and get to and from your commitments is a lot more costly than what you think as an 18-year-old.

Suddenly, being 18 and working a casual job actually seems like a more financially freeing exercise compared to being 29, working full-time and earning a decent salary. There are SO many Australians living week to week, wading around in debt. In 2018 it was reported that more than 1 in 5 Australians have no savings whatsoever to fall back on in case something goes wrong.

Like many others, and maybe you, right now, I came to the realisation a few years ago that I need to set myself up for my financial future. I needed to look into ways I can enjoy my life and quit worrying about money. 

While scrolling through ManRepeller a few years ago, a story caught my eye which spoke about setting yourself up financially in your 20s – exactly what I wanted to know! How do others set up their finances? Wading through the information, discarding that of which did not apply to me (ManRepeller is predominantly US based) I focused in on an app called Acorns which really intrigued me.

Raiz appNuts for the Winter

The app, which had just launched in Australia at the time, now called Raiz, links with your bank account/s and automatically rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the small round-ups for you. In addition to the round-ups, you can set up regular deposits and can withdraw your money at any time.

Now, these days there are many financial institutions and even banks which offer round up services but what I found really great about Raiz is that it sits away from my bank accounts. I often forget that I even have the app running which gives me a pleasant surprise every time I remember to check my balance.

You can set how ‘aggressive’ your investments are, and after doing some research reading about financial editors opinions on the app, I changed my investment portfolio to moderately aggressive quite quickly. Here you can also forecast your potential balance compared to your age and how much you invest per month on average – I found this feature really motivating.

If you are a shopper like me (and the rest of the Janes), you would also love the Raiz Rewards section. Using tracking off the app, your favourite online stores will automatically invest a percentage of your purchase back into your Raiz account. Stores such as Apple, ASOS, Bobbi Brown, Dan Murphys, David Jones, Freedom, Jurlique, Lorna Jane, Matches Fashion, Net-A-Porter, Sephora and more are featured.

Set It and Forget It

I am glad to report that not even two years into using Raiz, I have saved over $2,000 without overly extending myself or feeling as though I am actually saving money and I haven’t once withdrawn these funds. Out of what I have saved, over $800 have been roundups, which is crazy considering a roundup is normally anything from $0.01 to $1.

If you are looking for a solution to save for a long term goal or even just as ‘back up’ money in case of emergencies, I would definitely recommend looking into Raiz or any other round-up investment app. You will sleep easier knowing you have a little nest egg of money growing in the background of your life.

Mel Elsdon

Please note: Do not take this as hard-hitting financial advice, this is my personal opinion from my experience in using the Raiz App for the last 2 years. As they say, always do your own research and read the product disclosure statement to make sure that a product like this is suitable for your own situation.  

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