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How 30-year-old went from broke to $80k in 36 months

·3-min read
Pictured: Sara Ocean smiling while wearing glasses, stnading in front of wooden wall.
Sara Ocean shares how she's turned her life around. (Images: Supplied).

- Paridhi launched SkilledSmart after she discovered a concerning trend during her time at the Cancer Council. Read her story here.

Two and a half years ago, Sara Ocean needed an urgent operation. While it saved her life, it also sent her to lowest point financially.

Ocean had less than $1,000 to her name and was living paycheck to paycheck. She had grown up with a mindset that money was there to be spent, but definitely not discussed.

It seemed fine, until she realised that a fun lifestyle could also be a major barrier to security.

“I had to pay for an operation that was quite expensive, and I obviously didn’t have the money for it. I tried to apply for a loan… but they wouldn’t give it to me,” she told Yahoo Finance.

Sam's story:

Ultimately, she needed to access the loan under her mother’s name.

“I realised I was an adult with no money and I couldn’t even afford to get a loan. That was hitting rock bottom for myself.”

She also realised that if she wanted a future with her partner, she needed to get her finances together.

Today, Ocean has a growing net worth of $80,000 and is part of the tidal wave of female investors accessing the market.

She credits her decision to enrol in online financial education platform SkilledSmart’s Mastering Money program with giving her the skills she needed to turn her life around.

Six months after enrolling in February 2019, she had cleared $5,000 of debt, she’d begun saving and had started putting extra money into superannuation.

Months later, she was investing in shares and exchange-traded funds.

“I think what really impacted me was the mindset around money. It was just realising that everything that I’d done to that point, it was due to my mindset - not just me not having the knowledge,” she said.

Cathy's story:

“Knowledge can be acquired, but your mindset needs to be changed.”

Changing her mindset was a difficult process. She had to unlearn her attitudes and beliefs towards money in order to establish stronger and more growth-focused mindsets.

Ocean, who was born in Spain, was at a disadvantage when it came to understanding the Australian superannuation and tax systems, so she considers those modules among the most helpful.

However, she also said learning how to budget was also an essential step in her financial journey.

Briony's story:

She used the bucket system, where she essentially quarantines certain amounts of money for particular expenditure, and also automated her accounts so she could stay on top of her bills and monitor her spending more easily.

Ocean also decided to begin investing, but it wasn’t a perfect start.

In fact, her first investment - in weed stocks - delivered a loss. But today, Ocean isn’t fazed - she knows that that first investment taught her about the importance of doing her research, so it was an essential part of the process.

Jaz's story:

Now Ocean invests across Australian stocks and cryptocurrency, and is hoping to enter the Spanish property market.

And as she ponders motherhood in the future, Ocean is also keen to continue developing several streams of income to ensure her finances don’t take too hard a hit.

Financial security and happiness: ‘It’s given me everything’

Looking back on the moment she hit the bottom, Ocean considers her financial journey to have given her “everything”.

“First of all, the quality of my conversations and the quality of the people around me has increased a lot,” she said.

“It’s just choosing the inputs. Let’s say I’m very interested in finance and investing, so I go to events that are related to that and... that teaches me about mindset and finance.

“So I think you get what you put out - you become attracted to those environments as well.”

Sally's story:

- Paridhi launched SkilledSmart after she discovered a concerning trend during her time at the Cancer Council. Read her story here.

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