Before embarking on my path towards financial freedom, we used to spend lots of our weekend time watching Netflix or playing the Playstation.
In fact, I usually dedicated my Friday nights to beer, pizza and Grand Theft Auto V.
For anyone who has played GTA V, you’d know that it includes a virtual stock market, consisting of the BAWSAQ and the LCN.
The LCN is affected by in-game events which influence the share prices of competitor businesses.
For example, if your character went on a bunch of rampages at a few of the stores of one company, then that would result in the share prices of that company falling and the share prices of the competitor company increasing.
By contrast, the BAWSAQ is influenced by tasks that other characters may present to you.
For example, there’s an assassination task where you have to do numerous assassinations of company CEO’s and other corporate players. These assassinations result in the inflation of one company’s share prices and the crash of another company’s share prices.
As a result, your character can become rich by knowing what shares to invest in before carrying out a task so they can benefit from its inflated price after you screw over its competitor, and vice versa.
Whilst the fraudulent nature of making money in GTA V is not something I would think about in real life; the ups and downs of the stocks in game got me thinking about investing in real life.
So, I started researching how to invest small amounts of money easily.
In doing so, I came across some videos on Youtube about investing apps. The most popular apps being reviewed positively were Stash It and Acorns.
I liked the idea of both of these investment apps. However, at the time, only Acorns had an Australian version of the app available, so that made my decision very easy.
I have been using Acorns for a year now and have invested $800 split over numerous round-ups of $20 or less.
One of my favourite things about Acorns AU are the regular “Investment and Economic Wisdom” newsletters.
Early last year, there was an article in the newsletter about personal wealth management and frugality that I really enjoyed.
I read the article and the information it linked to… And, something in me just clicked.
I suddenly realised that I was on a really bad path of seeking more luxury. This was resulting in more debt. Even though I was earning more income.
In that moment, I realised that I had been a sucker of the flawed nature of consumerist modern first world society… I realised that I was a flawed consumer.
This article led to a financial epiphany and my realisation that we needed to urgently change our relationship with money.
If we had stayed on the same path of unnecessary consumerism, I’m sure we would have ended up working for the man for the rest of our lives with nothing but debt and nice stuff to show for it.
However, instead of this, we now have goals and direction… We are cutting our expenditure, being wiser with our money, appreciating savings, and finding ways to make additional money.
In the end, both of us would like to be able to spend more time together. Therefore, our overarching financial goal is to try and get our finances in control so that we can afford to work part-time or retire early.
If we do manage to achieve financial freedom… Then I’ll be writing a big fat thank you note to the creators of Grand Theft Auto V!