From Keno to Kiev


If you have read some of my stories on this blog you would know that I struggled for a time having been clueless about money and wealth and lived pay to pay in an endless cycle from payday Kiev to the off-week butter and jam. Back then I knew it was payday because I would do the grocery shopping and pick up my favourite oven meal (overpriced of course) and then transgress through the fortnight to bread and jam.

After I bought my house I was what they refer to as “asset rich, cash poor”. I had some equity in the property but unlike a bank I couldn’t tap into it each fortnight and had to rely on my fortnightly wage. Over one year I had received five interest rate hikes on my mortgage which pushed me to the limits of my salary and as a creature of habit it didn’t stop me living a lifestyle that exceeded my budget.

I remember one low day of my budget-less existence where one day before payday I had zero food in the house and not one dollar in the bank. My wife and I had to cash in an old Keno ticket to buy some bread. It wasn’t long after that I decided to sell the property and start my financial education around wealth and share trading.

My wife and I often joke about that day we cashed in our ticket and we will never forget the feelings associated with hitting financial rock bottom. For her being a Filipino she was used to ‘surviving’ in difficult times but for me being an Aussie with abundance all around I was, shall we say, worse for wear. I couldn’t believe how I squandered away my wages each week on things I really didn’t need and my pride in only buying top-shelf products got in the way of me mending my debt situation and feeling the freedom of having money in the bank.

As my story goes I found my way out of the mess I made and have eventually found the path to financial freedom. My wife and I began building our savings and from time to time we splurge a little on ourselves but we are very focussed on the long term and check ourselves when we get that “Well, we can buy it because we have money” trap.

We are focussed on our retirement in the distant future and we have made certain plans on how we expect to fund it. We don’t intend living off the state pension because we know it would never give us the lifestyle we wish for. So, we have designed our own path instead.

What is your rock bottom story?