My First Year as an Adult

Question


Dear Scott,

Just over a year ago I was a 17-year-old high school graduate with literally $0 to my name. Luckily, I managed to find a farm job over the summer break before starting uni. My boss, a charismatic Canadian lady, had just finished reading your book. She bought copies for her children and, to my surprise, one for me. I am sure you can imagine my first thoughts — what does a 17-year-old girl need with a finance book?

Nevertheless, I decided to give it a go. Reading your book made me feel like I had been living in the dark. There were so many things I should have known! I was taken aback by how easy it was to read and how everything was explained in a way that even I, who knew nothing about finance, could understand. Back then I had one everyday bank account and no super fund. Fast forward to now …

I have switched to a low-cost super fund. I have set up two daily accounts (‘Expenses’ and ‘Splurge’) and two long-term accounts (‘Smile’ and ‘Fire Extinguisher’), and have $3,000 in ‘Mojo’. I love my ‘Barefoot Date Nights’!

In the past year I have saved, using your methods, for a $3,000 trip to Japan, a $3,000 car, a $1,000 trip to Brisbane, a $1,000 University Games tournament, and $2,000 for braces … and I still have $4,000 of my original money from the farm job. I have no debt, I receive no money from my parents, and I don’t worry about money.

The Barefoot Investor has helped me survive my first year out of home, and my first year as an adult. I owe you a tremendous thank-you. If not for the Barefoot Investor, I’m not sure where I’d be today.

Jess

Scott's Answer


Hi Jess,

You just nailed why I wrote my book.

See, most teenagers don’t have much confidence. Especially teenage girls. And especially when it comes to money.

Let me tell you what typically happens next:

You turn 18, and the world is waiting to reinforce your belief that you’re no good with money:

Advertisers spend billions of dollars targeting you to buy stuff you don’t need, to impress people who (you’ll eventually come to understand) don’t really care about you. Social media makes you feel like a loser if you’re not living an expensive Instagram-filtered life. And your bank will send you a credit card … and then begin upping the limit.

And within a few years your negative beliefs will become a self-fulfilling prophecy:

“See, I am a loser with money! It must be true! Just look at my credit card statement!”

And then these negative beliefs feed on themselves. They colour your entire life. They keep you stuck in jobs you’ve outgrown, in relationships that aren’t good for you. And life passes you by.

But that’s not you, Jess.

You have confidence. You’re a strong woman. No one messes with you. Keep treading your own path. You got this!

Scott