Hannah, a business owner from Perth, shares her journey from being in debt to investing for the long term—and how she changed her money mindset and habits along the way.
Tell us about yourself.
I live in Perth. I have a background in nursing, but now run two businesses—a breathwork company, and a company supporting nurses with their trauma, stress, and emotional health.
My businesses keep me busy, but other than that, I love getting outdoors with my partner and my dog. We’ve got beautiful beaches here in Perth!
What’s your money story?
My parents had opposite money beliefs. My mum was a spender; it was like she didn’t feel worthy enough to hold on to money. My dad was the opposite; he had a well-paying job but would cling to money a lot. Both were rooted in a scarcity mindset but led to different, negative behaviours.
When I first got out of uni and started my first nursing job, I got into a lot of consumer debt. I spent money on silly things and didn’t understand how that would impact me long term. I was burying my head in the sand, hoping that the debt would just go away.
I got sick of having a bad relationship with money. I did a lot of work undoing my money beliefs and recognising where they came from. Educating myself made a big difference—She’s on the Money, Ladies Finance Club, and My Millennial Money all helped expand my view of money.
Once I got a handle on my debt, I started implementing healthier money habits, being more aware of where my money was going, and focusing more on wealth creation. It was a shift in mindset!
How did you start investing?
Growing up, I thought that investing was only for old men who had a lot of money. It didn’t seem like the kind of thing someone like me could do.
I was first exposed to investing through She’s on the Money. I heard about the Sharesies app and wanted to give it a go, but didn’t know how it worked. I started with a small amount so I could figure things out—luckily, it was really easy to use! I’m such a visual person, so I love how you can clearly see all the transactions, your investments, and how your Portfolio’s performing.
How do you manage your investments now?
I’ve been investing for two years now. Over time, my confidence has grown and I’ve started to invest larger amounts; I think it’s because of the consistency and being able to see how your investments are performing.
I’m an entrepreneur by nature, so I like a bit of risk. I invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which are the more stable part of my portfolio. I also have some higher-risk investments, which are more like my ‘experiments’ based on trends I’ve noticed or what’s happening in the world.
I reinvest all my dividends using Sharesies’ auto-invest dividends feature. The first time I was paid a dividend, it was only a few cents, but I was so excited because I could see the potential of it building up over time. It was like a little light bulb went off in my head!
What are some key things you've learnt as an investor so far?
You don’t have to be a finance expert to start investing. With the Sharesies app, you can dip your toe in and learn as you go. I’m not someone who froths over all that finance stuff, but it’s rewarding to see your portfolio grow over time. You just need to give it a go!
Time in the market is better than timing the market. The share market might go up and down day-to-day, but don’t let that freak you out! Think about the long-term vision.
When you’re self-employed, it’s just as important to build stable foundations in your personal life as it is for your business. In the first few years of self-employment, I was pouring everything back into the business—which is important, but your life is what you’re living outside of the business. So think about your values, who you are outside of the business, and invest in that part of you as well.
Investing has helped me have healthier conversations about money. I talk to my friends and my partner about investing; what our portfolios are doing, what we’ve invested in. It’s a good thing to do with your partner because it gets you both on the same page about building for the future.
Why is investing important to you?
Before, investing was this unknown thing. Now, it’s become a normal part of my life, part of my money rituals. I see investing as a vehicle that gives you choices and freedom in life.
Yes, there’s money I spend and save, but I place a lot of importance on investing for the long term. It’s just deciding that, well, I’m worth it, and future me is worth it too.
Investors who take part in our Investor Journeys series use the Sharesies platform and agree to share their personal perspective and experience. They receive payment from Sharesies AU Pty Limited for their participation.
The statements made throughout are the investor's personal views and do not constitute professional or financial advice. They are not to be attributed as the views of, or financial advice being provided by, Sharesies AU Pty Limited.
Ok, now for the legal bit
Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.