How to start investing as a student

When you think of your typical investor, a student isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind. Sharesies asked Renae, who is currently a student, to share her story about how she got into investing and how it’s been going so far. Here’s Renae…

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When you think of investing you can only think so far before hitting the ‘White Collar Wall’, right?

“What’s a dividend? Will I lose all my money? I don’t have thousands of dollars…”.

You couldn’t possibly be an investor with your student allowance, or your part-time minimum wage income… An ‘investor’ isn’t someone sitting in a drafty student flat, in a dressing gown in front of a fan heater.

We’ll that’s what I thought.

I’d seen people I knew getting into online investing but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get my head around the terminology. Where was I going to find that person in a suit and tie that would teach me all the lingo and the ways of investing?

Little did I know, there didn’t have to be any suits and ties… I could teach myself how to invest using Sharesies, and for the price of a Value Pizza from Pizza Hut I had enough to start.

Avocado on toast or investing?

I vote both!

Many of us aren’t lying when we say we can’t afford to buy a house. It’s true. Having enough money in your back pocket for a deposit is going to take a while—especially on a student allowance with little extra income.

The thought of travel, being financially stable or being a home-owner feels like forever away. I’d never really considered investing because I’d put it in the same basket… but when I found out I could start investing with small amounts I sat down and went through all my spendage. I realised I have the money to start investing or saving—I’d just always spent it on something else.

I’m trying swapsies

When I stopped to think about it I had the startling realisation of how much money I could actually save and have left over after pay day if I was conscious of my purchases. You don’t have to ‘miss out’, instead I started trying to do swapsies!

I gave a few things a go and found that these worked the best for me:

  • Instead of going to the mall, I’d go to op shops and buy a whole outfit for a cheaper price than one item of branded clothing.
  • Swapping the convenience of buying meals everyday, for the satisfaction of supermarket shopping and preparing your own at home.
  • Swapped two hours I would be scrolling through social media, for two hours of cleaning someone’s house for extra cash in the back pocket
  • Made my own coffee at home and invested in a takeaway cup. No need for that daily $5 coffee no more!

There’s always a way that works for you, if you look for one! You don’t have to give up anything. It’s just being aware of where your money is going and how you can control the outgoing in a way that is comfortable for you.

So how has it been going?

I’ve learned you don’t have to be a rich, corporate person with a few properties up your sleeve to start investing—you just have to be willing to learn and put aside what you can afford each week. A small amount now means a whole lot more later.

Yeah, it goes up and down, but because I have that money ‘invested’ (and I am all about that ‘investment life’ nowadays)—why would I touch it? I have most of my investments spread out over balanced and growth. I’m all about that security with a little surprise here and there, you know?

I’ve also managed to get my friends involved too, and it’s cool getting together to compare how our portfolios are going.

For the first time ever, the whole investing thing is so do-able! I’m learning how it works, I’ve realised I can make it work and that it’s actually pretty fun to learn and get involved.

—Thanks for sharing your story Renae! 🙌

Sharesies is making investing easy for everyone. To get started, sign up on our website. And to stay up to date with what we’re up to, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Ok, now for the legal bit.

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. The info provided above isn’t a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any financial products available through the Sharesies platform. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and read the fund’s product disclosure statement carefully. It contains the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and other information which should be considered carefully before investing.