This month we focused on clearing a couple of smaller debts and redoing our budget. Much to our delight, it helped a lot with both our finances and mindset.
Last month I shared our net worth for the first time. It was a little scary putting it out there but I am excited to track it. Some of our assets were hard to define and still are which means they will be added in properly later. Here are our debts/liabilities and assets compared to last month.
Custody debt $9,000
Visa debt $6,000
Personal loan $12,000
Cash debt $600
Cash debt $500
School debt $900
Custody debt $8,225
Visa debt $5,225
Personal loan $11,407
How we Cleared $4,143 of Debt in a Month
As you can see, we cleared a couple of smaller debts plus knocked a bit off our larger debts. We were not as strict as we could have been this month as we had a few larger expenses. One daughter needed a new laptop which was $1,300.
Sports gear, registrations, a school camp and some celebrations were another $2,000. We won’t restrict these though as we enjoy our lifestyle.
To get the $4,143 we did a combination of extra freelance writing for me and some odd jobs for Mr Aspiring Millionaire. He’s a hard worker and it’s been easy to pick up some regular gigs. We do declare all our income.
Last month I couldn’t give a completely accurate account because we still need some of our retirement accounts sorted. Also, the properties in Vanuatu aren’t going to be valued for a while nor are the businesses. However, at the moment, here is a rough estimate based on various factors.
Business 1: $70,000
Business 2: ?
Business 3: $3,000
Our Total Net Worth: $649,071
As you can see from the numbers above, our net worth is going well. I can’t wait to get our retirements sorted to know exactly what they are as well as expand the businesses.
The breakdown of our assets are the 3 properties in Vanuatu (and right now, the rental from those goes to support the family in Vanuatu). Business 1 took a hit last year, reducing the income and value. At the moment, we are slowly building that back up again.
Business 2 is in Vanuatu. Right now, it isn’t producing any income as it is paused due to borders being closed. It’s a tourism based business which we owe nothing on but will likely need to invest some money into when borders open or are close to opening to get it running smoother.
Business 3 is small and not doing much, however, I was recently offered $3,000 for it. I used to do more with it and have decided to build it a little then sell it.
How we Increased our Assets
Increasing our assets was not a focus for us this month but we did manage to invest a little more in shares. We also decided to experiment with crypto a little as you can get $10 FREE Bitcoin here. We figured a small amount is a good way to test our risk tolerance with crypto.
After the initial free $10, we got an unexpected $150 so I put that in too. Currently, our crypto is worth $209.
At the moment, we are using Spaceship. You can get a $5 bonus with the code S8ONS71M9X here.
Our retirement funds are proving harder to get sorted than I thought. Mr Aspiring Millionaire knew it would take ages as he has had to do so much with the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu before. So this is something we are still working on.
Property in Vanuatu has remained steady and right now we are not in a position to do much. In the future, we will be developing the properties more.
Doubling Money to be a Millionaire
One of the projects we have with our millionaire and financial freedom goal is doubling our money. If you start with $1 and double it 20 times, you reach over $1,000,000. If you start with $2 it is only 14 times you need to do it and the end result is over $1,600,000.
Last month, I did my first flip. I bought a book for $2 and resold it for $8. Then, I purchased a dress for $7 and sold it for $20. As there was a ‘spare’ $1 from the first flip, I used that to purchase 2 books and sold them for $5 each.
Right now, in my doubling money account, I have $30 to use to buy something else to resell. I have been ill so didn’t get a chance to look this week but will be next week.
What are you doing to reduce debt and increase your net worth?
Each month we will share our net worth. Right now, a few things are hard to check or get valued so while this is the beginning of tracking our net worth, some of the figures could be a little off. Also, with our net worth, not all of it can be sold off easily due to cultural expectations or conditions.
What we Include in our Net Worth
Net worth is simply your assets minus your liabilities. Some people include ALL their belongings such as cars, home items etc. We won’t be. Here is what will be included:
For assets, real estate, retirement funds, business, shares and collections. Liabilities include any debt such as mortgages, loans, credit cards, all of it.
Our goal is financial freedom, not just $1,000,000. The first step is to be worth $1,000,000 each as it is an easy goal to track. Our net worth will not be tracked separately though. Everything is combined below as we are working towards a future together.
We have 3 properties in Vanuatu but these cannot be sold. They must remain in the family and our son will inherit them. One has a rental property and the income from that currently goes to support family in Vanuatu. The other two are being used to farm and support family. Combined, these lands are estimated to be worth about $600,000AUD.
Our businesses need to be valued so I can’t give a rough guide on them as yet. We have had trouble accessing retirement from different countries we lived as well so that will be added once it can be sorted. As for shares, we only have $250 invested right now.
Combined, our debt is not great. We have a few separate loans and are focusing on one at a time while maintaining minimum repayments on them all.
Custody debt $9,000
Visa debt $6,000
Personal loan $12,000
Cash debt $600
Cash debt $500
School debt $900
Once we remove the liabilities from our assets, our net worth isn’t terrible. We have a positive net worth which is the main thing! Our net worth is roughly $571,000AUD. This will be different once the businesses and retirement are sorted.
Plans For May
All going well, we will sell a few items which will clear some of the debt. Shares will increase as they are set up to be done automatically. Our budget is being revisited tonight to make a proper plan to include what we want in our lifestyle while achieving our goals.
We will also be doing some more research on the best way to set things up regarding tax, incomes, investments etc as Mr Aspiring Millionaire will hopefully have a job soon as the residency visa is being applied for this week.
Straight Up Cash
Who doesn’t love free money? The offers below are specifically for cash or can be converted to real cash if you choose to withdraw them.
Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.
$100 From ING
I’ve banked with ING for over a decade and love them. So easy to deal with, fee free and you can even get atm fees back if you use other banks. Right now, score $100 for new accounts.
Meaning, if you have never been a customer of ING you can get $100 for opening an everyday account with them.Here’s what you need to do:
- Open an everyday account and put the promo code CNW116 in the promo box
- Deposit $1,000 into the account
- Make 5 settled transactions
- Open a Savings Maximiser
- Make a deposit into the Savings Maximiser
Then you get your $100 the following month. You only have until July 31, 2021 to do it. And you MUST use the code CNW116 to get the $100!
Instant $20 From 86 400 (Online Bank)
86 400 popped up in my life about a year ago and I decided to test it out. They are an online-only bank, fee-free and so far, I’ve enjoyed them. Easy to use, the card is one of my favourite colours and you get $20 instantly for joining with the code S7VL6WF when you join free here.
Instant $5 From Up Bank
Another online only bank. I’ve used UP for a while, including overseas in 2019 and early 2020. We were impressed with how easy they were to use, the fee free banking plus speedy customer service assistance when we needed it.
$10 BitCoin From CoinSpot
If you have ever been curious about cryptocurrency but too scared to test it out, sign up to CoinSpot for free and get $10 free BitCoin. You can see how it progresses, add a little e.g. $10 and watch your reactions to the ups and downs. Doing it this way is essentially risk free since you got $10 worth for free!
$5 Bonus to Invest with Spaceship
When it comes to shares, many people are concerned they will lose money or don’t know where to start. So they avoid it. Spaceship is a great option where you can invest, they split your investments across a great portfolio and you have less risk.
Use the code S8ONS71M9X here to get $5 free when you deposit $5 within 14 days. It is an easy way to test how you feel about investing in shares.
$5 Bonus to Invest with Raiz
Raiz is another microinvesting app but they charge a monthly fee. Get $5 free when you join free here and invest as little as $5.
$20 Cash Back
Shopback and CashRewards are two of my favourite cash back apps/sites. Plus BOTH of them offer a $10 bonus. All you need to do is sign up to each of them, then use their cash back options when you are shopping online. Spend over $20 online and you get a bonus $10 cash back. Use both sites and get a total of $20.
Discounts To Reduce Your Expenses
If you use any of the following discounts, you can transfer the money straight to your account. Remember, a savings isn’t really a savings unless you do something with the money you saved.
$100 off HelloFresh
I have used HelloFresh on and off for years. The quality is usually pretty good, my kids find the recipes easy to follow and you can save $100 off your first box here.
$100 Off Marley Spoon
Another meal delivery service I have used at different times. MarleySpoon has $100 off which is split across your first 4 boxes – $40, then $30, then $20 and lastly $10 off.
$150 off EveryPlate
EveryPlate is Australia’s cheapest meal delivery service. You can get 40% off your first box then 20% off your next two. If you get the biggest box, that is over $150 saved.
$60 off Dinnerly
Another cheaper meal delivery service. Dinnerly has easy recipes with fewer ingredients and less packaging than the others. Get your $60 off which is split across your first 3 boxes.
Other Tips To Get Freebies, Bonuses and Discounts
Above were just a few of the big discounts and sign up bonuses we’ve seen. Here are more ways to get discounts.
Sign up to their email list
Most businesses offer a discount when you sign up to their email list. I find it useful to have a separate email account specifically for this.
Add to Cart but Don’t Check out
Sign into the website you are shopping on. Add everything you want to the cart then leave the site. Businesses often offer an extra discount or incentive to complete you cart within a few days.
How can you make $1,000,000?
There are multiple ways to make $1,000,000. A million dollars used to be the dream amount for many but now it is much easier to achieve. And for some, won’t be enough to live on in retirement. Personally, we are aiming higher but our first goal is $1,000,000. So how can you make $1,000,000?
1. Save, Save, Save Until You Retire
The average wage in many Western countries is around $50,000. This means, in 20 years, $1,000,000 passes through your hands. If you are part of a couple, you could save one wage and live off the other. Or go further and look at how you can save one wage PLUS a percentage of the other wage.
Saving as much as possible, putting it into a savings account and letting it grow with the minimal interest in there is one of the longest ways to get $1,000,000. For those who don’t like risk and prefer to set and forget with their finances, this is a great option.
Save one of your wages, max out retirement funds and any bonuses from your employment to increase your net worth and eventually, you’ll become a millionaire. If you are a couple, you might want to have $2,000,000 so technically you are both millionaires. It could take decades to do it though and you’ll spend your whole working life scrimping and saving.
2. Invest in Shares/the Stock Market/Indexed Funds
How you choose to invest in the stock market is up to you. Indeed funds have performed the best over time and outperformed hedgefund managers and others guessing at stocks. They are easy to invest in and essentially a set and forget option with a higher payout than just saving.
Invest then as you get dividends, invest more. Learn about the stock market and your risk tolerance level. Some people cannot handle the ups and downs. If you can’t, do not invest in individual shares. Instead, go with indexed funds. Read and learn more about it in The Simple Path to Wealth.
Either start your own or buy one and increase it. Numerous millionaires all over the world made their millions through business. It doesn’t need to be a huge business. See a need, find a way to fill it, expand and you’ll get there. People have made millions through blogging, drop shipping, yard work and all sorts of businesses.
You don’t need to change the world with your business. Find something you are interested that people want or need and do it.
Marketing, business management and the general running can all be learnt or outsourced. However, make sure you are on top of finances. Have the finances separate to your normal living expenses. Too many business owners starting out don’t separate their finances and it ends up messy. Plus it is hard to expand if you can’t prove business income.
Quite a few people I know will inherit over $1,000,000. This isn’t a method to rely on though because who knows when you will actually see it or if you will at all. Plus, inheritances can bring out the worst in people with fights for years to get what people thing they are entitled to.
It is a way to become a millionaire but not one to depend on. However, if you do expect an inheritance, work out what you would do with it before it comes. This way you are prepared and can make it work for you.
How Are We Making $1,000,000?
We are doing it a couple of ways, firstly investing, secondly with a quirky challenge. Our challenge was starting with $2 and doubling our money. Doing this 20 times equals over $1,000,000.
How will you become a millionaire? What ways do you know of others becoming millionaires?
Aspiring Millionaire shares the journey of a culturally and linguistically diverse family working towards financial freedom, using what we have, and getting resourceful.
Our goal – to create financial freedom and stability for ourselves, my kids and future generations.
Ideally I will be in a position to retire fully if we want to within 10 years.
We do not come from wealthy backgrounds, in fact, Mr. Aspiring Millionaire grew up in one of the least developed countries in the world (Vanuatu) and I ended up homeless as a single mother after divorcing my ex husband. Our backgrounds are extremely different but our life goals, interests, and love are the same.
Now, we are in a position where we can focus on building our net worth and working towards financial freedom and retiring early.
About Our Family
We are a culturally and linguistically diverse family of 6.
Mr Aspiring Millionaire: 30-year-old Ni-Vanuatu male (Ni-Vanuatu is the term for people from Vanuatu). Currently unemployed as he is not allowed to work in Australia. Previously, he was a marine engineer and diver but quit so we could travel and be together. He loves being active and doing physical work.
Ms Aspiring Millionaire (me): 36-year-old Caucasian Australian woman. I work mainly in marketing but am fairly flexible, taking on projects I enjoy rather than working constantly. Family is everything to me so I structured my life to be flexible around us and what we want.
Our kids are 13 and 12 year old part Tongan, part Maori daughters (from my first marriage), 7-year-old part Ni-Vanuatu and part Solomon Island daughter then our half Ni-Vanuatu, half Caucasian Australian newborn son.
We spent time in Australia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands until mid 2020 when we were repatriated to Australia from the Solomon Islands. At that time, Mr Aspiring Millionaire couldn’t work, my work had taken a huge hit and I was pregnant with our son. It was a complicated pregnancy so until now, finances have been tight and it’s been hard.
Now we live in Noosa, Queensland, Australia and are ecstatic to be working towards our goals.
Why Aspiring Millionaire?
The real goal is total financial freedom. $1,000,000 is easy to track and a goal many people have. That $1,000,000 will be income-generating assets mostly, not $1,000,000 cash. Although, if I cash it all out it would be worth $1,000,000.
I won’t retire when I hit $1,000,000, instead I will continue to grow and invest as ideally, I want to leave a legacy, help more people and ensure my children know the value of building an empire.
I had a website called Aspiring Millionaire years ago, achieved millionaire status then had to use most of it in court against my ex and to get my daughters the help they needed (speech therapy, autism diagnosis, psychology etc).
So I wiped it and revived the name for this new goal.
How Will We Do It?
Our first step is getting Mr. Aspiring Millionaire residency in Australia so he can work. Then clearing our debt while also investing. Shares, business and real estate are all part of our investment plan and plan to retire early. Our ideal retirement includes a lot of travel, being able to go between Australia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, diving and continuing to do what we love.
Most of our debt is interest-free so it makes sense to invest and gain interest/have shares increase in value/utilize compound interest now at the same time as clearing our debt.
With our planning, we need to take into consideration a few cultural expectations. Being from Vanuatu, Mr Aspiring Millionaire is expected to assist his parents in retirement. For most people from Western cultures, this seems unusual. I knew about this before entering the relationship, so for me it’s not an issue. My parents are taken care of and wealthy, his parents have helped everyone they can, putting many kids through school, providing a home for anyone so we are more than happy to help them.
It does add an extra layer to our planning and finances though. Currently, they are not retired so it’s not an issue but one day they will be and we will need to help.
Me Aspiring Millionaire has 3 properties but they must remain in the family and will be passed to our son. Right now, one has a rental property and the other two lands are used by the family. We both like real estate, know what we want and what we will do. But we want to build our share portfolio more first.
We previously had larger share accounts. Due to a series of unfortunate events which cost a fortune, we need to rebuild this. It’s easy to invest in shares. Right now, we invest small amounts using Spaceship and with the code S8ONS71M9X you can get a $5 bonus if you join for free here and invest a small amount.
Over the years we have both been involved in businesses in different ways. Currently, we are building some online and we are 50% owners in one about to relaunch in Vanuatu. Business is something we love as you can expand it, have other people run it, create multiple incomes and you aren’t limited by your wage.
What we WON’T be Doing
We love our lifestyle so are not willing to give up much. Weekly date night, weekly family activity, travel, our hobbies such as diving etc. Our home is small so we don’t pay much to live where we do. The beach is a few hundred metres away as is the kids school and everything we need most of the time. So we spend in other areas that are important to us such as experiences.
Cutting back and living off noodles is not our idea of a good life. Living super frugally is great for some and at times a necessity. It’s not for us and since he grew up in poverty and my mother died at 37, we are both motivated to enjoy our life as is.
Did you Know that Doubling Your Money 20 Times Will get you $1,000,000 if you Begin with $1?
$1 x 2 = $2
$2 x 2 = $4
$4 x 2 = $8
$8 x 2 = $16
$16 x 2 = $32
$32 x 2 = $64
$64 x 2 = $128
$128 x 2 = $256
$256 x 2 = $512
$512 x 2 = $1,024
$1,024 x 2 = $2,048
$2,048 x 2 = $4,096
$4,096 x 2 = $8,192
$8,192 x 2 = $16,384
$16,384 x 2 = $32,768
$32,768 x 2 = $65,536
$65,536 x 2 = $131,072
$131,072 x 2 = $262,144
$262,144 x 2 = $524,288
$524,288 x 2 = $1,048,576
If you start with $100, you only need to double it 14 times to get to $1,638,400. Obviously, in the beginning it is easier to double your money than it is at the end. That doesn’t mean it is impossible. I have just started dabbling in this a little again. My first was purchasing a book for $2 then sold it for $8. That’s more than doubling my money instantly.
Alternatively, create something to sell. With a $1 profit if you sell 1,000,000 there is your $1,000,000. With a $100 profit you only need to sell 10,000. If you have a $1,000 profit per item, you only need to sell 1,000 of them. See how doable it can be with the right product or idea?
Even more if you then invest the money you are making to either generate more business, buy shares or real estate. Always be looking for ways to make your money work for you.
How To Double Your Money
To start with, I’ll be looking at buying items to resell. I’ve done this before with great success and have read a lot more about doing it. It’s been a while since I’ve done it, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
Later, I plan to flip websites then real estate. At the same time, I am looking at ways to start making money from nothing. For example, writing eBooks, creating courses, dropshipping etc. All those things can be created for nothing and sold with good marketing.
We also have some opportunities elsewhere through family we are looking into.
We are a BIPOC blended family of 6 working towards FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). Sharing what we do plus our challenge to double our money from $2 to $1,000,000.How to get $500+ for free
Get The Latest Finance TipsAmazing Finance Tips
How to go from $1 to $1,000,000
The basis of our blog and one of our challenges is exactly this. Starting with $1 if you double it 20 times you’ll have over $1,000,000!
Make Over $10,000 a Month Reselling
Our Latest ArticlesCheck out the latest content on the blog
We Should All be Millionaires
Financial independence is achievable for many people. A lot of it comes down to knowledge and applying what you learn. A few of our top picks for learning include:
Quit Like A Millionaire: a book sharing the experience and advice from someone growing up in total poverty in China who retired at 30 a millionaire.
The Simple Path to Wealth: it doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep it simple with these tips.
The Automatic Millionaire: automate your finances and you can be a millionaire when you retire.
Lucky Bitch: change your mindset and relationship with money to get the life you want!
3 Tips for Choosing a Charity/Not For Profit
How do you decide which charities are worth it? It seems so many waste a lot of money on admin costs. There are costs involved in running a charity, obviously, but many of these costs can be reduced in various ways. Many suggest 10% of your income but what you choose to do is up to you.
I’ve been on the board of directors for charities as well as being a marketing manager in others and involved as a volunteer on numerous campaigns to end homelessness and domestic violence. Over time, I’ve chosen to support both with time and money.
Here are my tips to choose which charities to support, how to do it and who I support.
1. Which Causes are Important to you?
Previously, I did a lot around homelessness and domestic violence as I left an abusive relationship and ended up homeless with my two young daughters. As such, I was passionate about both of them. I still do some work but since travelling more and beginning a new relationship, the causes I want to support changed.
2. Review Their Staff, Board and Expenses
How much of the money you donate truly goes to the cause? Check their reports, annual statements and review how they do things. This will give you a good idea of exactly how much of your donation goes to where you want it to vs how much goes to salaries, building and other expenses.
3. Look at How you Can Help
Monetary donations aren’t the only way to help. Depending on how you want to help can also enable you to decide which charity you want to support. For example, some only accept money but others allow you to volunteer or donate goods and services.
Which Charities/Not For Profits do we Support?
Our focus is donating in the South Pacific, particularly Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands as that is where our family is and where Mr Aspiring Millionaire has spent most of his life. We still support a few in Australia at different times too though.
Vanuatu Feminist Library
I came across this library last year and can see the difference it makes in the community there. Vanuatu is quite a patriarchal country, education is expensive and many miss out. To combat this and help women become more educated, the Vanuatu Feminist Library stocks a range of books on numerous topics aimed at women.
If you want to support the library, you can send books to:
Lorna Silas Lekal
Ph: +678 5411525
Po Box 6027 Nambatri Area, Vanuatu
Vanuatu doesn’t have zip or postcodes
Assisting women AND saving the environment is what excites me about Mamma’s Laef (pronounced Mama’s Life). Making cloth pads for women, cloth nappies for babies and masks when needed. Plus they run educational programs including one run by men for men about menstruation.
Menstruation has traditionally been taboo in Vanuatu and many other countries in the South Pacific. Because it is not spoken about, some specific beliefs and traditions around it and the lack of hygienic supplies available on outer islands, women die.
Mamma’s Laef is saving lives, educating people, reducing the waste from disposable products and changing their country. They are also supported by New Zealand. Find all the ways you can help as well as their social media channels here.
We do business loans through Kiva because the money can be loaned again after it is repaid. I’ve been donating through Kiva for years and have found my loans in the South Pacific are repaid the fastest, meaning I can lend even more.
This is slightly different but something that can help others. It is not a Not For Profit though as you will make a profit from it. Plenti is peer to peer lending like Kiva but instead of being focused on countries where lending is difficult, it’s for anyone. You also earn interest on these loans. Get $50 when you join and invest here.
Pack For A Purpose
When we travel, we support Pack For A Purpose where possible. This is where a business in the area will collect supplies for hospitals, schools and other needs in the local community. For example, in the Solomon Islands there are two businesses we support who do this: Dive Munda and Solomon Islands Discovery Cruises.
Both of those businesses also have a strong focus on training local women in diving, hospitality and providing opportunities for youth as well.
How you can Support Not For Profits
Donating money is the most obvious option and usually includes a tax benefit if you donate over $2. Since we typically support not for profits overseas, we don’t get a tax benefit.
Aside from money, here are a few other options:
- Donate what they need. Some charities do call outs for what they need in terms of supplies.
- Share their content. Follow them on social media, like, comment and share their content.
- Participate. If there is a specific walk, run, bike ride, morning tea or event you can participate in, get involved.
How did you choose the causes you would support and how do you support them?