SkilledSmart: Marketing manager reveals how she amassed $80k in 36 months through investing

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A 30-year-old marketing manager who had less than $1,000 to her name and lived from pay check to pay check has revealed how she managed to save $80,000 in just 36 months through investing, and her secrets to help you get on top of your money.

Sara Ocean, from Sydney, said she was a ‘financial mess’ for much of her 20s and ‘dreaded’ looking at her bank account.

However, all of this changed after she completed an online financial education program when she hit a low point with her finances.

Since then, Sara said she has learned that investing is not just something for ‘rich old men in suits’ – and now she is out to show young women can make money too.

A 30-year-old marketing manager with less than $1,000 to her name and lived from pay check to pay check revealed how she managed to save $80k in 36 months (Sara Ocean pictured)

Sara Ocean (pictured), from Sydney, said she was a ‘financial mess’ for much of her 20s and ‘dreaded’ looking at her bank account – until she learned how to best invest

According to Sara, like many young women, her attitude to money in her 20s was not good:

‘I grew up in a household where, like many, financial education was not a thing, and money wasn’t something that was spoken about, especially with your children,’ Sara told FEMAIL.

‘As an adult, the only two things I knew about money was how to make it and how to spend it.’

 The money would just come in, and then… I don’t know where it went. I had no control or visibility over it

The 30-year-old said by the time she had reached her mid 20s, she had ‘practically no money, no savings and nothing to show for my years of working and earning’. 

‘I was making many mistakes with my money, but the main two were lack of knowledge as to where my money was going, and lack of a system to take control of my finances and dictate my expenses,’ Sara said.  

‘The money would just come in, and then… I don’t know where it went. I had no control or visibility over it.’

Sara (pictured) explained she started researching investing and how to get started, when she stumbled upon SkilledSmart’s online financial education program, Mastering Money

After she hit a low point with her finances and realised she couldn’t continue to save absolutely nothing, Sara found herself researching investing and how to get started.

She stumbled upon SkilledSmart’s online financial education program, Mastering Money.

SkilledSmart is a financial education platform for adults to learn about money and personal finances founded by Paridhi Jain, after she realised that most Australians couldn’t afford a financial advisor.

The online program Mastering Money covers all foundational financial planning topics including budgeting, investing, superannuation and more. 

‘SkilledSmart’s Mastering Money program really was the starting point for my money journey,’ Sara recalled.

‘It removed the emotional fear and uncertainty about cash and gave me the drive to start getting educated and take action.’ 

Sara’s top tips for getting started with investing 

1. Don’t overthink it, just take action: It’s easy to get stuck in an ‘analysis by paralysis’ state with the overwhelming amount of information out there. But just getting started is half the battle. ‘Real change comes from taking action, not just consuming lots of information,’ Sara said.

2. Choose your ‘inputs’: This means who you surround yourself with, and the content you consume. Make sure to follow advice from those who have fruit on the tree. Sara actively seeks out the kind of mentors who will help her to achieve her goals.

3. Take small steps: Sara said what worked for her last year was focusing on taking ‘small steps’. ‘At first, I focused on saving more, being more mindful of my spending,’ Sara said. ‘Then, over time as I paid off my debt and built up my savings, I started to venture more into investing.’ Even though this might not feel like much, Sara said it adds up over time and stops you from getting overwhelmed because you’re focused on the small print, rather than getting obsessed with a big goal that feels unattainable. 

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Some two and a half years later, Sara (pictured) has invested in shares and ETFs, and has since grown her net-worth to $80,000 plus

Through the program, the 30-year-old learned how to be mindful about the investing decisions she made, and she also learned to do her own research before listening to ‘random people on the internet’. 

‘The program broke down the different investment options simply and helped me to understand more about the mindset behind investing and the different options I had,’ Sara said.

Within six months, Sara had paid off $5,000 in debt, started saving and started making additional contributions to her super fund.

Some two and a half years later, she has invested in shares and ETFs, and has since grown her net-worth to $80,000 plus. 

‘My main goal now is to increase my cashflow,’ Sara said.

‘My husband and I will be starting a family really soon, and having ongoing cashflow is very important for us. 

She added: ‘I’m continuing to learn about how to create a secondary income, so I can have the freedom to work because I want to, not because I have to.’

Finally, Sara said that while starting your financial journey can be ‘confronting and daunting’, it can be helpful to look for people and mentors who will support you and you can count on.

‘A problem shared is a problem halved,’ she said.

‘Facebook financial groups, mentorship, education and accountability groups make an amazing positive impact in your financial and life overall.’ 

For more information about SkilledSmart, please click here