Interviews

FIREside chat with Letitia: How to purchase a house at 19

Quirk Team
December 9, 2020
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FIREside chat with Letitia: How to purchase a house at 19

Hi! Could you introduce yourself

My name is Letitia and I am the founder of Finding Financial Freedom, a personal finance blog and YouTube Channel discussing all things personal finance, budgeting, investing and property. I am really passionate about helping others with their personal finances and sharing ways to help you make your money work best for you!

 

What personality type did you get? Did you find the results to be accurate?

The Optimizer. Which is so true! I love all things planning and organizing, but also a detail driven risk taker!

Quirk's money type

What inspired you to start a social media presence about personal finance? For completely new readers, what is the “tl;dr” of your brand?

I first started blogging in July 2018, because of my desire to help other young women with their finances. I saw so many people on social media struggling in debt and I wanted to help and show women that they can become debt free and that they can achieve any financial they set their mind to! I now share all things personal finance, budgeting, investing and purchasing your first house on my blog and YouTube Channel.

 

What is your relationship with personal finance? - If applicable, how has that defined your current pursuits? What changes have you made that have helped? How has it changed over time?

My relationship with money has definitely evolved over the years. Growing up I was extremely cautious of spending money and was very conservative. However, after graduating with a Bachelor of Business majoring in Finance, I discovered the power of compounding interest and how investing in the share market can be a great way to build wealth. My degree and work experience has played a big part in helping me to manage my money and find balance. I am a big believer in budgeting and having a plan! But I think it is so important to have a budget that is flexible and not restrictive. Having developed a healthy relationship with money myself, I want to help others also have a good relationship with money! Which is why I created my own Wealth-Building Budget Templates to help others track all of their finances in the one place.

 

What’s the worst money advice you’ve ever received?

Using high interest rate loans to purchase luxury items!

 

Can you share a summary of your journey to purchasing your first house at such a young age of 19? How difficult was it? 

Purchasing a house is such an exciting time, but it is also one of, if not the BIGGEST purchase you will ever make! We were quite lucky, we brought our first house before house prices went crazy! Which meant we didn’t have to save for as long! I think consistency and creating good financial habits from a young age really helped. I had a part-time job at school and while studying at University! 

My top 3 tips for purchasing your first house is:

  1. Having your savings account with a different bank - this will prevent you being tempted to spend your house deposit savings!
  2. Get a mortgage broker and talk to them about the different options, what percentage deposit you will need and if there are any government incentives you are eligible for! Most mortgage brokers are free!
  3. Get a builder report! You don’t want to purchase a house and then find out there is significant damage that is going to cost you a fortune!

 

Is there a specific financial goal you are working towards right now? What steps are you taking to achieve that goal? 

The next big goal is purchasing an investment property within the next year! To achieve this I am using a budget. Honestly, I think tracking your income and expenses is key! Also trying to cut back on unnecessary spending in the short-term to achieve this. I like to keep my goals somewhere I can see them everyday, which helps to keep you on track!

 

What do you most enjoy spending on? Or any guilty pleasure you can share. 

I love travelling and going to a restaurant for a nice meal! I think it’s really important to have balance! Although COVID has stopped my travel plans for the next wee while!

 

How often do you check your finances?

I check my account balances daily, I like to make sure that there are no unexpected fees or expenses.  However, I only check my investments once a week!

 

For someone who is starting completely new to personal finance, how would they get started? What specific tips would you have for newbies?

Step 1 is to create a budget! Figure out what type of budget is going to work for you (paper based, phone app or Excel) and start tracking your spending! Remember that a budget is meant to help you. It shouldn’t be restrictive and it needs to be flexible. 

Step 2 is to educate yourself financially on basic finance topics through reading books or taking a finance course, understanding your retirement fund, the two main method of paying off debt (snowball/avalanche) and the importance of having an emergency fund! 

Step 3, create financial goals and make a plan on how you can achieve these goals!

 

The first step to build your financial well-being is to create a budget

What’s your stack? (Accounts, credit cards, apps or other tools)

I do all of my investing through Sharesies & Hatch which have super low fees and really easy to use! All of my banking is through Westpac. I only have one credit card - Platinum Visa. My Retirement Fund is through Boost. I keep track of all of my finances using my Wealth-Building budget template.


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