• Uncategorized

    How to Live with Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget

    With luxury lifestyles pushed in our faces all the time, it is easy to assume the super wealthy have an incredible lifestyle and to crave it. Often, we blow a lot of money keeping up with others or producing and Insta perfect lifestyle.

    We all know these lifestyles are mostly unrealistic but it doesn’t stop us striving for it or thinking it is what we want. So if a champagne lifestyle is what you want but feels out of your budget, here are some tips.

    Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links to books we love.

    Decide What You Really Want

    What about that lifestyle do you want? Is it the clothes, the shoes, the bags, the cars, the travel, owning a boat or the freedom to spend on whatever you want whenever you want?

    Often, when we look a bit deeper, the things we really want aren’t what everyone else has. But if you do really want those specific things, there are ways to make it happen. It’s easier if you are super clear on what you want though.

    In the Aspiring Millionaire home, we want freedom. The freedom to travel when we want, go everywhere, own a boat and sail around the world, dive, hike and experience life. We want to spend this time with our family, create great memories and do the things we want.

    Secondary to that, is a specific home we want and a few cars. Mostly, it is a fun lifestyle we want and live.

    It’s not bad to want these things. All you need to do is create a plan to make it happen and go for it. We Should All Be Millionaires shows you how and why.

    Image: Champagne bottle in the clouds. Text reads how to live with champagne tastes on a beer budget

    Look for Ways to get it for Free

    Now you know what you want, how can you get it for free? Competitions are one way, provided you check they are legit. Lots of people have tried becoming influencers to get free stuff, without realising the work they’d need to do and how to be a good influencers.

    Check for loyalty programs which might offer the products as a reward or enable you to get things for free. This applies especially to travel. With numerous credit cards offering travel points and other ways to travel hack, you can travel for free.

    Since travel is a priority for us, I went into tourism marketing so we got paid to travel. Mr Aspiring Millionaire does photography so we can create packages for clients. We both dive, have kids and can provide unique perspectives because of our backgrounds.

    Going out with our family and experiences are important so we have looked for free fun such as hiking and the beach, festivals and events that are in our area and make time for these.

    How can you Make Money from it?

    Whether you get it for free or not, why not think about how you can make money from it? Being an influencer is one way but not the only way. Freelance writing where you pitch articles to magazines and websites about it is one option.

    I’ve travelled various parts of Asia, Europe and the South Pacific as a travel writer. Trips were all paid for and I made money from articles I wrote. Plus on most trips, I secured other clients and ongoing work which enabled me to make even more.

    Another option is to rent out your place and car while you travel. Or even if you want to live in a specific area, can you do it in a group home or by renting out a room? With a specific type of car, you might be able to rent it out either through share programs or if it is top end to photographers and media for use in their images or video.

    Learn Delayed Gratification

    Right at this point, you have a limited income (but that can change) so you need to be realistic. Delayed gratification is how you do it. Decide what you want, learn about the law of attraction then put it out there. Instead of buying everything you want immediately or going into debt, you will acquire the lifestyle you want through other means.

    Write everything you see that you want on a list. In 30 days, if you still want the things on that list then you can move them to your vision board or work out a way to afford them by budgeting for them. If not, remove them from the list.

    Image: person holding champagne glass on country road. Text reads how to live with champagne tastes on a beer budget.

    Law of Attraction

    I am a huge believer in the law of attraction but I don’t believe it is simply about thinking and hoping. You need to take some action, however, you’ll be surprised at what can come.

    Most of the trips I wanted came through using the law of attraction. I healed from an abusive marriage and met my now partner through it. Smaller things such as getting paid to get my dive certification, go horse riding or winning awards as well.

    I worked out what I wanted, created a vision board, put it out there and jumped on opportunities as they came up.

    How do you use the Law of Attraction?

    Firstly, learn about it. Unleash Your Inner Money Babe and Lucky Bitch are two great books to get you started. Both have great exercises you can do to open your mind about your options and use the law of attraction.

    Facebook groups, podcasts, YouTube and Instagram are full of resources for the Law of Attraction. The more you learn and apply the easier it becomes and the more your life will shift from beer budget to champagne lifestyle.

    For us, meditation, visualisation, a vision board and regular discussions with each other have helped. Mr Aspiring Millionaire and I spend time visiting land we want and picturing it. We discuss our dream home in Vanuatu (we have the property picked and the whole family talk about it as if it is already ours). These little habits and lifestyle tweaks have enabled us to be focused and have opportunities others don’t.

    Find A Balance

    Too often people completely deprive themselves for the future they want and completely miss living in the present. Or they go the other way, blowing everything right now as if they don’t need to save for tomorrow.

    Once you decide what you want, create a plan to get there and a plan to live your life now. We could save and invest faster if we gave up certain things others view as luxuries such as occasional dinners out, family activities and travel.

    However, our kids are only young once. Family members have passed away young. Life is for living. So find ways to do what you want within your budget or for free and do them. Live your life while saving and investing for your future.

    How to do you live on a beer budget when you have champagne tastes?

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  • Uncategorized

    Save, Invest or Something else to Become a Millionaire?

    What is the Best way to Become a Millionaire?

    The best way is the one you can stick to. Only you know how comfortable you are with risky investments vs saving regularly into a high interest savings account. If high risk investments terrify you, then your path to financial freedom or millionaire status might take longer but you will feel better about it.

    Can Anyone be a Millionaire or Financially Free?

    The path to being a millionaire or being financially free is different for everyone. Honestly, while so many people say anyone can do it there is a huge difference between how easy it is and how possible it is depending on so many factors. Background, upbringing, education, knowledge, where you live, health, family considerations and more all impact your capacity to be financially free or become a millionaire.

    Mr Aspiring Millionaire is Ni-Vanuatu (native to Vanuatu) and grew up there, surrounded by poverty. Ms Aspiring Millionaire is a Caucasian Australian from a relatively middle-class background but we had numerous wealthy friends and family, well above our level.

    The reality is, financial freedom for Ms Aspiring Millionaire was always realistic and going to happen. Financial freedom to Mr Aspiring Millionaire seemed unrealistic because of his background but it was what he wanted.

    Image: man in robe facing the ocean in an expensive bathroom.

    Saving to be Financially Free or a Millionaire

    One way to become a millionaire or financially free is through saving. Simply putting a specific amount aside each week or each time you get paid and putting it in a high interest account.

    This is probably the safest but also the slowest and not the best investment as far as most people are concerned. Having $1,000,000 in cash might feel good but if that money isn’t making money then it’s not really the same as having a million in income generating assets. The interest made with this money sitting in the bank is minimal compared to how much you can make with it in other ways.

    It is the lowest risk method though and for some, it feels best.

    Investing in Shares to be Financially Free or a Millionaire

    The preferred method for many in the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community or who follow that. Shares have statistically outperformed the property market and while it does go up and down, the value, especially with ‘blue-chip’ shares or indexed funds has been solid.

    Warren Buffet made his wealth this way, as have many others. It requires less effort than running a business or property and still returns an income you can live off in later years if you invest enough.

    A good way to experiment with shares to see if you like it is through micro-investing. You’ll get a feel for how comfortable you are with the ups and downs without having huge amounts invested.

    However, if you want to invest more, there are other platforms which are better to invest through such as Vanguard.

    Real Estate to Become Financially Free or a Millionaire

    This was my original plan back when I was a teenager. I even tried to get my dad to go guarantor on a mortgage when I was 13. Not surprisingly, despite my thorough plan, he said no. He is more risk-averse than I am. If my 13-year-old came to me with a plan right now, I would consider it.

    I owned a house in Sydney during my first marriage which was a rental for a few years. My tenants trashed it and while I had some good times with it, overall, it wasn’t a great experience. But I also hadn’t planned to be a landlord with that home.

    Buying a property specifically as a rental is extremely different to buying for yourself. I’ll go into more detail in future articles.

    Currently, my partner has a couple of properties overseas through inheritance. They are basic and rented to locals. Our future plans are to develop those plans, in the way the family had always wanted to but didn’t have the finances There are also 3 other properties we have rights to but we have not moved on those yet.

    Real Estate Options

    To become a millionaire through real estate you can become a landlord and grow your portfolio. Alternatively, there is flipping – where you buy an old home, fix it up and resell it. This was extremely popular for the past decade. Both options come with risks and real estate is not as liquid as shares should you need the cash for any reason.

    Image: Fancy car

    Businesses for Financial Freedom or to be a Millioniare

    This was how I had a net worth of $1,000,000 by the time I was 30. Due to a long, expensive custody battle, I had to sell off things and was no longer a millionaire.

    Business is how most millionaires I know have done it. Either by founding a business themselves or buying one and growing it. Everything from building to pharmacies, wineries to tourism companies have been used to create this wealth.

    Personally, I love business but I know it’s not for everyone. Our aim is to have a combination of savings, shares, real estate and businesses. It is what we have currently and will continue to grow.

    What other options do you know of or are you pursuing for financial freedom and millionaire status?

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  • Life Lessons

    How I Lost $1,000,000

    What I Did to Lose $1,000,000

    This is from Ms Aspiring Millionaire and happened before she met Mr Aspiring Millionaire. We all make mistakes, these are some of my big ones!

    Back in 2014, I was a CEO and my net worth was over $1,000,000. Owning multiple websites, a marketing business and doing a lot of public speaking, consulting and charity work saw me achieving my goals and in a good financial position. So how did I lose it all and have to start over?

    Divorce Crushes Your Finances

    In 2013, I got divorced. Australian law means you have to be separated for 12 months and 1 day before you can apply. It was a messy divorce because of domestic abuse, so there was a protection order in place and a lot therapy needed for my daughters and I.

    The divorce part was easier because I had a protection order, our daughters lived with me and the judge was satisfied with the arrangements. However, custody was not finalised at the time. Instead, I was advised to hold off on applying for that immediately as even with the abuse, 50/50 care was the most likely outcome.

    In 2015, I needed passports and he wouldn’t grant them. Which meant, I had to apply for custody. This was just one part of a few bad decisions and circumstances.

    Health Is Everything

    In 2015, I became paralysed, had multiple surgeries and in the middle of it all, tested positive for cancer of the bladder. I had polyps removed (and have had a few surgeries for this since then) but all is ok. For 7 months, I had excruciating pain and paralysis on and off making life extremely difficult.

    Much of my work was able to be done from home but it suffered. If I spoke at an event (using the prescribed pain killers and nerve blockers), I would be out for 3 days after because of pain and paralysis.

    Ill health took a massive toll on my body, along with the expense of custody.

    Moving and Trusting the Wrong People

    At the end of 2015, my health was improving but my finances were in a terrible state. We moved to Melbourne as my then live in boyfriend got an amazing job. He had been unemployed throughout 2015 so this was huge for him.

    He moved a few weeks before us, then right as I was meant to be moving and had sold off everything, made all the arrangements, he decided we couldn’t live with him. With severe mental health issues and addictions (which I was unaware of at the time), he kept changing his mind. I made other accommodation arrangements but we ended up back together.

    Trusting him was possibly the stupidest thing I have done and it cost me a fortune. We had gone halves in a car but it was only in his name. He sold it and never gave me my half. Everything about his life was more important to him than the needs/wants of my kids and I.

    Broken Promises

    Despite promises of things being even and him providing more since I had financially provided for us the whole of 2015, he didn’t. We called it quits later but it was a messy, co-dependent relationship. His addiction to alcohol, cocaine usage and anxiety issues were horrendous.

    To be clear, he was nice in the beginning and seemed to have it together. He had a great job, nice friends, played sport etc. As time went on, his true personality came out but because I had left an abusive marriage a few years before and my kids were attached to him, I tried to make it work.

    When we broke up, I was done with men. I was also financially devastated and still in the middle of the custody battle with my ex husband.

    Child Custody is Expensive!

    7.5 years after I left, I was finally granted full parental responsibility of my daughters. Meaning, I got full custody and he has no rights. The process has changed now but it was a nightmare. We started in Canberra, then I moved to Melbourne and had to go through it there. In Melbourne, my daughters were selected to go to China with their school (only 12 kids got to go). He still objected so it got more intense.

    In the lower courts, a lot of lies were told by him and since we couldn’t subpoena evidence until later, our case was pushed to a higher court. He had my daughters put on the watch list once the courts made him sign for the passports so they still didn’t get to go to China.

    I had to get a full psychiatric assessment because he claimed I had mental health issues. That cost thousands, on top of the lawyer fees. Then in the higher courts, I had to have a barrister too. I also had to pay for the court usage since I was the one who applied for custody. Not only did I have to pay for each day in court but all the preparations.

    Protection Order

    During all of this, he was harassing us again with multiple phone calls and threats. I had to get a new protection order as my daughters and I were scared. A 5 year, super strict protection order was granted. Our judge on the day was amazing. My ex didn’t show so it was granted and she gave us more than I asked for. We were hoping for 1 year.

    Because it was now 2019 and I had left him in 2012 which is when the first report of his violence was made, it was classed as long term, ongoing abuse. So the judge gave the maximum protection she could.

    Extra Legal Expenses

    At this stage, I was emotionally and financially exhausted but things were progressing. We were finally able to subpoena evidence from police in multiple states, child protection, teachers, psychologists and other people who had made reports about my daughters against my ex-husband.

    When it all came to the courthouse, a lawyer has to go up and go through it all. I had to pay for that time plus the rest of the preparation time. They had never seen so much evidence and it ALL matched exactly what I had said and the evidence I had outlining times, dates, organisations/people involved etc. During this process, his lawyer sent notice that he no longer represents my ex.

    Since he never turned up and his lawyer dropped him, he didn’t have to pay for anything. The court made so many allowances for him then finally, in the higher court, we got a great judge who did not tolerate his games. When he didn’t turn up, the court called him, he said it was all too hard and the court ordered him to come to the next one. If he didn’t, a decision and order would be made without him.

    Fortunately, he did not show up. The court appointed children’s lawyer agreed with me and the evidence so I was awarded everything we asked for.

    But it cost me everything I had. In the end, I even sold off all my furniture and moved out of our house. We planned on travelling full time once court was done, so I didn’t mind doing this. I also had to borrow tens of thousands of dollars from my parents to complete it. Thankfully, my parents could afford to lend me money when I needed it.

    Therapy After Abuse

    From 2012, my daughters needed speech therapy which was expensive. But with everything else that happened then and over the next few years, they needed a lot of other therapy and help too. As did I.

    At $200 a session for counselling/psychology and $90 a session for speech therapy, it added up fast. In 2013, I paid more a week in speech therapy and psychology than I paid in rent. It was worth it though.

    My daughters and I are well adjusted. They are eternally grateful I got them out and got them help so they could process everything.

    During the years of abuse and court, my daughters were triggered at times. This meant, with all their needs, I could not work full time in a job. I had to do side hustles or my own business but my time to do it was limited.

    From CEO to Freelancer

    I sold my company when I was in the bad relationship in Melbourne. He had managed to convince me he was better at everything than I was (despite me speaking internationally and winning awards). I lost all my confidence and had enough.

    After that, because of the emotional strain of court, the bad relationship and other issues, I barely coped. Instead, I did what I could as a freelancer, did side hustles and focused on healing my daughters and myself.

    What Changed and How I am Changing it with Mr Aspiring Millionaire

    With all of that, you can see why I would not want to be in a relationship again. I decided to go for financial independence, travel and have a fun lifestyle with my kids instead. It was fun and my kids loved it. We did it like this for quite some time. Deep down, they both told me they wanted me to be with someone and be happy after they grew up. I was not ready though.

    But when Mr Aspiring Millionaire and I met at the end of 2018, the connection was instant and obvious to everyone. I was hesitant, yet despite being in different countries, we got to know each other and it worked.

    My work took me back to the Solomon Islands where he was working a few times and after 10 months he quit so we could travel together. We have the same goals, same dreams from childhood regarding finances, investments and lifestyle. I don’t know any couple who matches so perfectly on the big things as we do.

    Which brings us to now. We’ve combined our finances and are working towards our future together. Monthly net worth updates are shared here and we have a doubling our money challenge here.

    With 4 kids between us, our goal is financial independence as a large family. Not only for us but also our family in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

    Summing Up

    So basically, I lost my million dollar net worth because of bad decisions with men and ill health. Having the right life partner and being healthy makes a huge difference to mind, body, spirit AND finances. I am so happy to now have a partner who wants the same things in life as I do and is supportive.

    In the time we’ve been together, we’ve managed to travel a few countries and a large portion of Australia. We’ve faced bushfires, a cyclone, lock down in another country, repatriation, setting up a new home twice (once overseas and once here). Plus buying a car, visa applications, residency applications and so much more.

    Yet, we are currently in a better financial position than either of us could have imagined and have learnt from our mistakes.

    What Big Financial Mistakes Have You Made?

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  • Make Money

    How Will You Spend Your First Million?

    What Would You Do With $1,000,000?

    How often have you thought about what you’d do if you had $1,000,000? Becoming a millionaire is a dream for many but it isn’t that unrealistic anymore. Aside from winning lotto, there are numerous ways to make a million or more. Once you have a million, what would you do with it?

    How to Earn, Save and Invest to have $1,000,000

    The most secure way to become a millionaire is to do it yourself through saving and investing. Waiting for an inheritance or lotto win means you could wait your whole life and never reach the financial freedom you want.

    Earning, saving and investing puts you in control of your money. Many people become millionaires within 30 years or in time for retirement through living frugally, saving and focusing on their retirement. This is not the way we want to do it in our family.

    Those who have their own business and investments can do it in under 10 years, some as little as 5 or 7. You can find out more in the book We Should All Be Millionaires.

    Successful businesses seem to be one of the quickest ways to become a millionaire. Investing wisely in indexed funds as per The Simple Path To Wealth is another simple way to do it. Or look at getting into a highly paid job, sacrifice a lot for a few years while investing wisely then retire as per Quit Like A Millionaire.

    What Would You Do With $1,000,000 You Saved or Invested?

    Once you have saved and invested to have $1,000,000, what would you do with it? If your plan is to use it in retirement, you will likely redraw on it over time until eventually you have nothing or you pass away.

    Others, use it to invest more. Once you have $1,000,000 it is much easier to increase your investments quickly. Having a few million invested means you can get an income from the dividends and live quite comfortable without decreasing the value of your investment.

    Meaning, you can live off a wage paid by your investments and still have over $1,000,000 stashed in investments. Doing this ensures your future and finances are safe.

    What Would You Do If You Got $1,000,000?

    This is very different to investing and earning $1,000,000 over a long period of time. Most people who suddenly get $1,000,000 e.g. through lotto or an inheritance, blow it. Having a plan for what you would do with a sudden injection of cash is important to ensure you make the most of it.

    If we suddenly got $1,000,000, what would you do with it? We often play a game where we list out what we would do if we won $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 etc.

    Be clear on how you want to spend the money. Below is an example from one of my clients. The crypto is because they are interested and if they suddenly got $1,000,000 they feel part of it would be fun money.

    $27,000 to debt
    $223,000 to develop the property
    $500,000 to indexed funds
    $250,000 to crypto

    Total: $1,000,000

    Of course, that doesn’t take into account taxes or other expenses. But when you are playing it as a game or pretending you don’t need to include taxes or you can say it is $1,000,000 after tax.

    Manage Your Money Now

    As is having a budget. If you aren’t in control of your money already and overspend, what makes you think you would manage $1,000,000 any better than that? Get

    What Will We Do Once We Have $1,000,000?

    This site is about our journey to $1,000,000 net worth. Our aim is actually much higher. $1,000,000 is the first goal. As mentioned, it would be used to develop our land, clear debt and invest. It is when we get to the higher amounts that what we really want becomes clearer.

    We have a dream home in Vanuatu we want to buy which is a few million dollars. It’s where we want to get married and have forever. There is land here where we live in Australia we’d love to buy and develop to own a few specific businesses on.

    Our desire is for multiple businesses, over $4,000,000 invested in shares/indexed funds/crypto and freedom to travel. Which means, once we hit $1,000,000 we will keep going.

    What Would You Do With $1,000,000 And How Will You Get It?

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  • Make Money

    4 Ways to Make $1,000,000

    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.

    3. Business

    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.

    4. Inheritance

    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?

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    Aspiring Millionaires

    We are a blended culturally and linguistically diverse family of 7 working towards FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). Sharing what we do plus our challenge to double our money from $2 to $1,000,000.

    (Some of us pictured in Vanuatu with grandparents).

    Get The Latest Finance Tips

    Amazing 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!

    Check out our updates and how we have been doubling our money here.

    Make Over $10,000 a Month Reselling

    Whether you want a few hundred or a few thousand extra a month, this guide will show you exactly what you need to do to resell items for a profit.

    Only $9.95 for your copy.

    Net Worth Updates

    We share exactly what we are doing and how our net worth changes each month.

    Find our net worth updates here.

    Our Latest Articles

    Check 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!

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  • $2 to $1,000,000 Updates

    Update on $2 to $1,000,000 Challenge

    A while ago I set the challenge to double my money, starting with $2 until I got to $1,000,000. Sitting at $30,000 I had plans to use it in Vanuatu for some specific projects.

    That was meant to be last year, we kept waiting then other things came up so plans were delayed there. Next they got hit by two cyclones, so it got delayed further.

    Now, a year on from when it was meant to be going forward, it still isn’t. Since I’ve been patient with it and nothing seems to be happening, I have decided to move in another direction.

    What is the $2 to $1,000,000 Challenge?

    Starting with $2, I am doing things to double my money. The first was buying a book and reselling it. Next I resold a dress. Followed by Facebook ads and a refer-a-friend bonus.

    My aim was to show different things so it wasn’t me doing the same thing (e.g. reselling) over and over. I also wanted things that could create residual income, not just one off income.

    Creating and selling an eBook was next and something I still make money from. I don’t include the ongoing income from this in the challenge though.

    Crypto (although this is volatile), followed by investing in myself with courses and things, buying and selling websites (one of my favourite options and I’ll explain more further down) were the next things I did.

    Then there were some cultural things, outsourcing to increase income, websites again then business.

    Why Can’t Things Progress With the $2 to $1,000,000 Challenge?

    After seeing things in Vanuatu were not as they seemed, on the flight home I thought long and hard about my next moves.

    Living in Australia there are so many options. The main reason I was planning to do things in Vanuatu was to assist family and progress things there for them.

    When it became clear recently our plans cannot work how we anticipated due many factors, we realised we have to change.

    I always have ideas and am kicking myself now for waiting to see how this panned out instead of simply moving ahead with other ideas.

    That said, there isn’t much I could have done the past year or two with babies, pregnancy, moving house etc.

    So as much as I would have liked to be further along in the challenge, it didn’t happen and I have accepted that.

    What is Next for the $2 to $1,000,000?

    Even though things couldn’t progress as hoped, there are always other things I can do to double my money and continue.

    On the flight home, I had a great idea, planned it out and presented it to someone I would like to partner with me on it.

    It won’t be shared as yet but once it is ready to go, I will. It will take me a few weeks to lay the groundwork between all my other commitments and then I will be interested to see how it goes.

    Interestingly, this plan requires a larger startup cost than anything I have done in my life so far. Even bigger than starting a company previously but I feel strongly it will pay off.

    Other than the first thing, most of the things I have done in this challenge did not cost the full amount of money I had to double my money.

    How to Know What to Do

    Research whatever it is, learn what you can, use your knowledge and skills, get professional advice and go from there. Do not invest in things you don’t know about.

    All investing comes with a level of risk. Only you know what your comfort level is for risk, whether you are happy to do higher risk for higher potential rewards or if you prefer more stability.

    When it comes to my $2 to $1,000,000 challenge, knowing what to invest in or do at the lower levels was easy. Low risk resulting in low rewards meant I wasn’t worried.

    I had the knowledge for what I was doing and it didn’t require much effort.

    My next step in this challenge will stretch me. Some of the knowledge I have but not all.

    Having been involved in various businesses and marketing for years, I know a lot and feel comfortable moving ahead with my plans. They are based on my previous knowledge and experience.

    Here is what I will be doing.

    Market Research

    Researching my idea and whether there is a demand for it was the first step. While it is not as big a demand as some of my other ideas, this is the one I feel most called to.

    It is also one I will be able to outsource easily and will flow into other business opportunities so it is worth it to me.

    For information on how to do market research, Business.gov.au covers it well. It is simple the process of researching and analysing your opportunities or ideas. Sprout Social has a comprehensive guide you might want to read.

    This step is important because it shows you whether it is worth it to pursue or whether you are wasting your time. There is no point creating something or investing in something no one wants.

    Professional Advice

    Every business I have had, I got professional advice. There are great lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers, business managers, coaches and other professionals you can learn from.

    Getting advice specific to your situation is the best option. You can learn. a lot from podcasts, YouTube and similar.

    When it comes to legal advice though, you need a lawyer. An insurance broker will help you get the best deal on insurance and make sure you are covered for everything relevant to your business.

    Accountants help you with all things money, including what you can claim on tax and how to do those things better.

    No one knows everything so seek professional advice for all of it. It is well worth the money spent.

    Use Your Knowledge and Skills

    What do you know well, what are you qualified in, what are your skills? All of these things can help determine how well you will do with your business idea.

    Yes, you can have success sometimes with things outside your area of expertise or experience. It is much easier though to work with what you have and what you know.

    Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, utilise your current resources in the form of your knowledge, experience and qualifications. Along with your current network.

    You never know who you might know that could help but don’t go telling everything to everyone until you are ready.

    Update on turning $2 into $1,000,000: How my plans had to change and why.

    Learn What You Can

    Use the time with professionals to learn more. Listen to relevant podcasts and audiobooks on your commute. Find out where to learn more and learn as much as you can that is relevant to what you are doing.

    You don’t need to know everything but you do need to know some things. Including if you got the right professionals, what to outsource, what to be aware of legally and for tax etc.

    Business isn’t a walk in the park, there is a lot involved, a lot to know but it is worth it for those who. are committed and determined.

    What are you doing with your financial goals and how do you manage when things don’t go as planned?

  • Life Lessons,  Motivation

    How to Upgrade Your Life on a Budget

    10 Ways to Upgrade Your Life when you have no Money

    Currently, we need to find a new home to live in, buy a larger car (a Corolla does not fit 2 adults and 4 kids), and visit Vanuatu to sort real estate/business/family matters at the end of the year. With moving to where we are, the kids have the opportunity to be involved in some incredible programs, so there are costs for that as well.

    Aside from the needs, we want to set up a home gym, do more camping and other trips. Basically, after having a few years kind of stuck, focused on 2 pregnancies, Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s residency visa and commercial diving qualification, we are ready to upgrade our life again.

    How can you Upgrade Your Life on a Budget?

    Knowing what you need and want to have your ideal life is part of it. The next part is making it happen. In our experience, there are a few components to upgrading your life.

    1. A Mindset Shift

    Visualise and know the reality you want. Work on removing any scarcity mindset, money blocks, negative views around money or ‘rich people’ etc. Doing this work makes a huge difference. Read Rich As F*ck and Lucky Bitch for more on mindset. The Psychology of Money is another recommended book. It takes a more factual, science based approach for money and our minds.

    You will need to continually work on your mindset to level up. Spend time with people you admire and want to be like, who have the mindset and life you aspire to. Read their books, follow their channels, look for motivation, nor for comparison.

    Still spend time with your friends, family and others in your life, be aware of how you spend your time though and how it makes you feel. 4000 Weeks and Die With Zero are good reads for spending your time wisely.

    2. Take Action

    You don’t need to know exactly how everything will work out but you do need to be taking action to create the life you want. Knowing what you want and focusing on your goals makes it easier for your subconscious to scan your life and everything you do and connect opportunities for you to get what you want.

    The list below will show some ways to take action.

    3. Acceptance and Gratitude

    Acceptance plays a huge part in our life in various ways. By accepting and being grateful for where we are in life and what we have, while still striving for more, we are happier and find opportunities easier.

    It isn’t just about accepting life as is. You also need to accept and feel comfortable with the upgrades you want to make in life. Too often we self-sabotage because we aren’t comfortable with wealth or happy relationships or whatever it is we want.

    Being comfortable can be good but not when it is connected to unhealthy life patterns. Just because something feels comfortable, doesn’t mean it’s right. It generally means that is what we are used to. If you want life to change, you have to get uncomfortable.

    What Steps or Action can you Take to Upgrade Life?

    Action to upgrade your life depends on what you want your life to look like and how you want to spend your time. The steps below are suggestions but tailor them to suit your life goals.

    1. Champagne Life

    How to have a champagne life on a beer budget wage is where I shared a few tips to have a fancier lifestyle. If you know what you want, there are many ways to make it happen.

    As an example, we love travel and experiences so I went into tourism marketing as a side gig. This enabled us to get paid to travel and do some incredible things we might not otherwise have done.

    More recently, I wanted more of my time back and help from the kids. The day after I decided this, I was offered a promotion with some meal kits. Now the meals are planned out for us each week, delivered on Monday, my family take turns cooking and it has definitely upgraded my life.

    2. Time Management

    What do you want to spend your time doing? How can you make that happen?

    We spend a lot of our lives doing stuff we don’t want to do or being so busy and stressed out, we miss out on a lot.

    Recently, I read and implemented the tips in Life Admin Hacks. It is all about streamlining everything from paying bills to getting a will.

    As a result, we’ve changed quite a few things our home. Instead of going to the shops, we have a running shopping list that we add to and order when it reaches a certain amount. This is saving us time and money.

    The family calendar got updated, we are using meal kits (check out over $600 worth of discounts for meal kits to get save you time and money), we are more conscious of how we do things and when. Tasks in our home are proper organised and it doesn’t all fall on me, the mum.

    Plus, we are buying a larger car and planning travel again.

    Spend your time in a way you’d be happy with so you can look back on life with joy instead of regret.

    3. Know When to Say Yes and When to Say No

    Many people I know say yes even when they don’t want to do something. Learn the power of saying “No.”

    It is a complete sentence, you don’t need to explain yourself and there are many ways to say no so you can take back control of your time and life.

    In general, if it won’t add value to our lives or isn’t something that absolutely has to be done, I say no. Too much of my life was spent pleasing others. Knowing when to say no to things I don’t want to do but say yes to things I want to do even if I don’t know how I can make them happen has upgraded my life drastically.

    4. Read and Educate Yourself

    Knowledge is power. The application of knowledge is what will change your life. Learning can be free, depending on what you want to learn and how.

    Borrow books from the library, listen to podcasts, join groups relevant to what you want to learn, sign up for cheap classes through places such as Udemy or Coursera. Then put what you learn into practice.

    Doing things to upgrade your knowledge and skills can often lead to promotions, increased incomes, side gigs, a wider network and more opportunities in general.

    5. Grow Your Network/Community

    Expand your circles whether they be career circles, friendship circles, community connections or any other aspect of life. Go to networking events, join a gym or do some classes, volunteer and get connected.

    During the past few years, we have not been able to do that as much and it has greatly impacted our mental health. Humans need connection.

    Get out of your usual circles if you want to change your life. Connect more with others, get involved in projects you have always wanted to and do the things you want but haven’t made time for yet.

    Doing this can often result in new opportunities for career, travel, relationships, health and all areas of your life.

    6. Get Out In Nature

    Numerous studies show the benefits of getting out in nature, yet most of us still don’t do it enough. This doesn’t even have to cost anything but can have a profound impact on your mental and physical health.

    Take up a hobby such as hiking, diving, beach volleyball, yoga in the park or similar. Use websites or apps such as Meetup and Facebook to find similar events in your area.

    Getting outside has benefits such as vitamin D, being active with these sort of hobbies will improve your overall health and if you do it with others, you will strengthen your relationships.

    7. Plan Your Retirement

    Those within the FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early) have their retirement planned out. The average person does not. Most people have compulsory contributions done and that’s it.

    Few think about what they want to do in retirement, when they want to retire and how they will fund their lifestyle. While superannuation or retirement funds in general are great, they won’t cover everything and the pension options get changed, so you can’t rely on that.

    We plan have a plan but probably won’t fully retire since our lifestyle is fairly flexible already and our focus is helping others, especially in Vanuatu. Helping the whole family progress and have opportunities is important to us.

    8. Focus On Health

    Without your health, life can be severely limited. In 2015, I was paralysed on and off for 7 months. My last 2 pregnancies in 2020 and 2021 came with numerous health issues. At those times, my life basically stopped.

    Get control of your health, make it a focus and your life will drastically improve. Whether that is slimming down, getting fitter, more flexible or stronger, it all helps. As does ensuring you look after your mental health too.

    When you are clear on the life you want, health will play a part. While we aim for body positivity and acceptance, the reality is, health impacts our life. There are some things that simply cannot be done if we are not in good health.

    One year, I did a lot of diving, international travel and even got offered a place on a once in a lifetime hike through Slovenia. If I had not been focused on my health, getting in shape, increasing my stamina and flexibility, I could not have said yes to those opportunities.

    On top of physical health, focus on your mental health. When our mental health is good we are more resilient, patient, better parents and friends etc. Mental health needs to be a priority, get any help you need to optimise it.

    9. Improve by 1%

    You don’t need to overhaul your entire life drastically all at once. Aim at improving by even 1% and increasing it by 1% regularly. Changes will compound and you will eventually have made significant change over time.

    You’re living life, why not live it with a 1% improvement? Doing this will ensure you are living the life you want. The time passes anyway so do it with your ideal life in mind.

    For example, if you want to focus on health, start with a 20 minute daily walk or 10 minute yoga session. Going to the gym for 2 hours a day is not typically sustainable. If you can walk or do yoga or similar daily, you are more likely to stick to the habit and can expand on it.

    Another example is money. Transfer 1% of your income into savings every time you get paid. Increase it to 2% the next month and so on. You learn to adjust your spending to these small amounts and before you know it, you will be saving 10% or more.

    Choose an area of your life you want to change and look at a way you can do it starting small. Check out 10 Small Habit Changes to Drastically Change Your Life.

    10. Upgrade in Areas that Matter to You!

    Just because your neighbour bought a new car, doesn’t mean that is what you need. Same goes for their clothes, gym membership or anything else. Someone else having it or suggesting it doesn’t mean it is right for you.

    This is your life, you know how you want to life it and you are in control. Make decisions based on your values and what you want in life.

    Choose an area of life you want to improve, create a plan of action then make it happen.

  • FIRE Careers,  FIRE: Financial Independence Retire Early

    How to Become a Freelance Writer

    10 Tips for Making 6 Figures as a Freelance Writer

    Our goal is financial independence and to retire early (FIRE). For years, I (Ms Aspiring Millionaire), have done freelance writing which has provided both a great income and incredible experiences. Because of writing, I have been paid to travel, get my diving certifications, do cool experiences with my kids, and publish books and all of it was done around the kids.

    On the site, we will be covering both what we do to make money and other high-income career suggestions to help you achieve financial independence quicker.

    I do a few different things and will cover each in a different article. Mr Aspiring Millionaire recently started working as a commercial diver with a starting wage of $100,000 per year that will go to $3,000+ per day when he does saturation diving.

    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products and services we use.

    Woman writing on laptop and drinking coffee

    What is a Freelance Writer?

    A freelance writer is a self-employed writer who writes things such as articles, social media content, website content and similar. Basically, anything you see written can be done by either an employed content producer or a freelance writer.

    Freelance writers need to register their business, invoice, and manage their accounting, tax, insurance, and everything as it is a business.

    How much do Freelance Writers Make?

    The income varies greatly depending on the writer’s experience, qualifications, who they are writing for, what they are writing about and where they are from.

    Many in developing countries charge significantly less than those in Australia, the UK and USA. However, since they are not typically native English speakers, the writing is not of the same quality or usability as native English speakers.

    Those in the UK, USA, Australia and similar countries charge more. Any content (articles etc) that are research-heavy or requires skills such as SEO or qualifications such as legal or medical writing will all attract a higher rate too.

    Making 6 figures as a writer is doable and common among the writers I know. When you start out you might not make that but as you build your portfolio and network, it becomes easier.

    My usual income per article is anywhere from $250 for an article I can quickly write without research through to over $1,000 for research-heavy articles. Clients on retainer or who batch purchase articles get a discount.

    Most work I see on other sites, Facebook and similar is 10c a word or more. Anything below that is not worth it at all.

    How do you Become a Freelance Writer?

    If you have great English skills and an eye for detail, you can do it. Writing takes practice and I recommend everyone do a writing course. Writing courses such as Earn More Writing help you become a freelance writer and teach you all about the marketing and business side of it all to get you to 6 figures too.

    For me, I started with blogging, landed a book contract with Wiley within a year then immediately had websites pitching to me to write for them. As such, even now, I don’t pitch much. Magazines and websites usually come to me.

    I am in writing groups, am a member of some writing associations and have a portfolio to as all of these places provide opportunities.

    How do I get Paid to Travel as a Freelance Writer?

    I started with blogging and writing about finance then tourism boards asked me to do trips and write content for other websites and magazines. Instead of being a journalist for one magazine or an influencer with a travel website, I had writing and marketing to provide.

    My trips usually resulted in fully paid trips, articles I was paid to write, and sometimes being paid to do marketing strategies or the content for websites as well. Plus I often picked up more clients on those trips.

    As such, I wasn’t solely a freelance writer, I was a tourism marketer and could offer complete packages. Especially when Mr Aspiring Millionaire and I did things together as he is a photographer. We share our travels and work for this on Blended Nomads and on my site Kylie Travers.

    Top Tips for Freelance Writers

    Image of desk with a laptop and chair.

    I’ve been paid to write for over 10 years now and love that it is so flexible. The opportunities as well as the income as been great. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer but was advised not to as you can’t make money. How times have changed! Writing is a viable career now, especially if you know what you are doing.

    Do A Course

    If you are serious about making a career in writing and earning 6 figures, do a course. As mentioned, Earn More Writing is the course I recommend for freelance writers.

    There is so much more to this career than just writing. You need to know about marketing, networking, where to get work, how much to charge, how to increase your rates and more. Invest in yourself by investing in Earn More Writing.

    Submit Ahead of Deadlines

    When you get a gig, complete it with plenty of time to spare. Submitting something right on the deadline is allowed but also cuts it fine for everyone. Every editor I have worked with loves it when I submit my work early.

    It gives them time to look it over, edit if necessary or ask me to make changes (rare) so they can send it off to be published on time.

    When you are submitting your work right on the deadline, while technically you are withing the guidelines the editor wanted, it makes you the same as everyone. Submitting early is one way to be easier to work with and get offered more work.

    Learn About Where you are Pitching

    Before pitching an article anywhere, check the place you are pitching. Make sure they haven’t done something on that exact topic already, have a point of difference but ensure it matches the place you are pitching and follow their procedures.

    With a little research, you can find out the best way to pitch according to their guidelines instead of pitching blindly. Adhering to their guidelines increases your chances of success with placing the article.

    Network

    All occupations require networking. New gigs, meeting the right people, being recommended to others and all sorts of opportunities come from networking.

    This doesn’t mean you have to go to networking events specifically, although they can be great. It includes Facebook groups, Twitter chats and similar as well as carrying cards everywhere you go and not being afraid to let people know what you do.

    Have a Contract

    When you do start working, always have a contract. This is covered in the courses usually as it is essential to protect you and them. Know exactly what you are writing, how long it needs to be, how many edits are allowed, when it is due and payment terms.

    Include a kill fee, meaning a fee you will be paid even if they choose not to publish. Know when payment will be made and how so you can plan accordingly as well as follow it up if you’re not paid. Have clear terms and conditions for everything, including a deposit of 50% of full payment upfront and consequences for non-payment if you choose not to have it paid in full upfront.

    Read and Write

    The more you read and write the better you get. I aim to read at least one book a week and I am writing every day for work. When I look back at the early articles I wrote for various places I cringe.

    Firstly, it was different back then and secondly because it seems so immature compared to my writing now.

    The more I write, the faster I get and the easier it is. Practice as often as you can, and write about topics that interest you even before having somewhere to place them. Get involved in language through reading and writing to improve your skills.

    When you are constantly working on your skills, you get better and can charge a higher rate as well as get more work because of the quality of your work.

    Ask me anything about writing below.

  • FIRE Careers,  FIRE: Financial Independence Retire Early

    How to Become a Commercial Diver: Earn $100,000+ in a few Months!

    How to get into Commercial Diving and Career Options

    Our aim is financial independence, retire early (FIRE). As such, it makes sense to go into an occupation you can earn a lot in so you can invest fast and have more options. It helps if you love it, which we do.

    Mr Aspiring Millionaire trained to be a commercial diver last year. He has previous experience diving, although that is not necessary to do this career. Growing up in Vanuatu, then working in the Solomon Islands, commercial diving was not an option for him even though he wanted to do it for years.

    Once we got Australian residency sorted for him, commercial diving was the next step. Last year, we did both residency and his course, which wasn’t cheap but both were worth it.

    Commercial diving is a high-risk occupation, especially if you work on offshore oil rigs. However, the pay for those jobs is high ($3,000+ per day) as well. It doesn’t require a university degree and pays well from the start. In fact, you can do it at 18 after a few months of doing a course and go straight into a job at $100,000.

    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products and services we use.

    What is Commercial Diving?

    Commercial diving covers jobs from working in fisheries repairing nets, getting abalone and similar through to offshore saturation diving, where you live in a chamber under the water for a month at a time. It is in high demand, pays well and you can start young.

    Mr Aspiring Millionaire as a commercial diver

    How Much Can You Make as a Commercial Diver?

    The lowest-paid are those working in fisheries at around $80,000 a year and only requires ADAS 1 and ADAS 2 ($7,000 each course). If you want to earn more, you need to do ADAS 3 and you will work in construction commercial diving repairing dams, wharves, bridges and other underwater construction essentials. This is around $100,000 and is a great step towards saturation diving.

    Saturation diving, offshore on oil rigs is the highest paying but also the most dangerous. Typically, you will work for 4 weeks then have 4 weeks off but make $3,000+ per day.

    Read how much a commercial diver makes for more specifics.

    What Prerequisites Are There?

    Aside from passing a commercial diving medical, and having a current advanced first aid certificate including CPR, oxygen etc, there aren’t any. You need to be fit, able to handle enclosed spaces and other skills do come in handy but realistically you can get that training after.

    What do you need to do to Become Qualified as a Commercial Diver?

    Within a few months, you can be earning over $100,000 after completing your course and getting a job. Mr Aspiring Millionaire studied at Commercial Dive Academy in Tasmania, Australia. He did ADAS 1, 2 and 3 at the same time for about 3 months.

    They have a discount if you do all 3 at once and there is a house students can pay to stay at since it is away from everything.

    Certificate III in Maritime Operations can be extremely useful depending on the area and job you go into. Any construction experience, forklift licence and similar are also great to have or may be required to secure a job.

    Mr Aspiring Millionaire needed his dive certifications, first aid certifications, a white card (construction card) and drivers licence. Within 2 months they arranged a few construction qualifications and his forklift licence as well. These would cost thousands but since he is a good worker and will be with them for years, it is a good investment for them.

    Career Progression

    Some commercial divers are happy to do fisheries and nothing else. Those who do the construction style commercial diving often have a desire to do saturation diving. Saturation diving is the most dangerous and although the wages are high, works often blow through their money as they are bored being offshore.

    Since they can be qualified to do saturation within a few years of starting as a commercial diver and you can start as young as 18 in commercial diving, it is huge money for such a young age.

    Any area of commercial diving you choose to go into has options for progression. After years of diving, you can move into supervision roles, training and similar. It’s up to you and the higher you go, the higher the income as the knowledge and experience is unique.

    Commercial Diving Risks

    If something goes wrong, you could easily die. It’s that simple. Of course, the safety checks and procedures are there to protect you and are extremely strict in Australia, it is a risky occupation though.

    Offshore diving is even riskier because if you line gets cut or anything goes wrong, you cannot get to the surface. There are also issues such as decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, delta P, currents, sharks etc. The list is long and all of it requires divers to keep extremely calm under immense pressure.

    Find out more about the risks of commercial diving.

    Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s Diving Background and Plan

    Before commerical diving, Mr Aspiring Millionaire did tec and scuba diving in the Solomon Islands, PNG and parts of Micronesia. He was crew for the expedition to find Amelia Earhart’s plane, had worked on boats his whole adult life doing everything from engineering and repairs through to learning to be a captain.

    Having this experience, working in extreme conditions including being at sea through cyclones and having to repair boats in the least developed countries, he can clearly work well under pressure and problem solve. These are essential traits for a commercial diver.

    When it came to securing a job, his previous work experienced helped immensely. It took a month from graduation to secure the job he has although he was offered other work before then. The other jobs were casual, lower rates and nowhere near as much diving.

    Since he wants to go through to saturation diving, he needs to get his diving experience up quickly.

    His plan is to work for a few years where he is, do the saturation diving course then work offshore on oil rigs at the highest rate. With a month on then a month off, we will be able to travel on his month off.

    We will be investing his income heavily to enable him to retire early if he wants. However, he is interested in going right through to the supervisor roles.

    If you have an questions, leave a comment and Mr Aspiring Millionaire can respond.

    Follow Aspiring Millionaire on Facebook and Instagram for more!