‘We are sitting in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world – I am convinced,’ declares Tammy Petro with a grin. This American born designer currently working for financial services in Australia is describing her current hometown, Bondi Beach, Sydney.
I first met Petro in Bondi Beach, serving her daily dose of a Bonsoy cappuccino. She was deeply engaging in her conversation about her work in finance. Petro’s first impression left me curious to ask more questions, so I book marked her in my memories, and three months later requested a chat. Over her career, Petro has thoroughly observed trends in the rhythm of using, spending and saving money, understanding threads that can stitch our financial habits in seamless and mindful ways. We sit on the hilltop at North Bondi soaking the delightfully gushing wind greeting us in multiple directions, and thus our conversation begins.
Tip 1: The ‘Oh Shit’ Moment
This will, or has already happened. I think it’s happening for me now – the ‘Oh Shit’ moment. Tammy describes, the “‘Oh shit’ moment when they realise they have not properly prepared for retirement. The sooner you have that ‘Oh shit’ moment, the better off you are.” Tammy sits flustered by the importance of this tip. Now, let’s get there together shall we? OK. I need a sip of water, with a bar of chocolate, maybe those new Prada sunglasses, and definitely a new pair of Vince Commutos… Oh shit.
Tip 2: Compound Interest is Your Friend
When it comes to saving, it comes in phases for me. I go very low – working paycheck to paycheck – but then when I decide to save, I save too much per week that doesn’t balance because I end up taking money out of that account. So when Tammy emphasized saving ten percent per week, I took a deep sigh of relief. ‘You need to be saving ten percent – no matter how poor you are. Ten percent.’ And coming back to that ‘Oh Shit’ moment, Tammy explains, “while the rest of the people you know are having ‘Oh Shit’ moments, that money is growing exponentially.” I confess to Tammy my bad habit of taking money out of my savings account. Her response was strong and direct as she says, ‘Lock it away; put your mother’s name on it – whatever you have to do. Just do it.’
What are your thoughts on these tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Part Two of Tammy’s Tip Jar coming soon to a device near you. Stay tuned folks!