We are long-time lovers of Canna Campbell, and we are certainly not alone, with the New York Times saying, "Canna Campbell offers a glamorous vision of a life of minimalism and saving ... Not spending feels more like a creative challenge connected to a sense of purpose, rather than deprivation."
It’s not easy to make financial management appealing, but Canna does it with her signature style and unflappable charm. Which is why we’re so delighted to have our hands on her newest book, Mindful Money.
If you’ve ever promised yourself that you’d get on top of your finances – finally pay down debt, start that investment portfolio, pay attention to superannuation or save for the kids’ school fees – but have been met with the reality of life getting in the way, this is a book you’ll want to invest in.
As well as being an experienced financial planner, Canna is also a mother, partner and entrepreneur. She understands the challenge of trying to maintain balance and motivation when you’re time-poor, and she’s used this experience to develop the book, which showcases a truly inspiring and effective approach to personal finance management. She shows how to look at your finances with holistic and powerful mindfulness, easily incorporating step-by-step advice into your daily habits and routines. No matter how busy your life is, how many children you’re wrangling or what your income level is, Mindful Money will help you to see that financial independence is achievable.
We are so pleased to share an extract from Mindful Money today, and the book is now available for preorder.
If I Can Do This, So Can You
Many of my closest and most cherished girlfriends will agree that I am definitely not the brightest nail polish in the salon. Being dyslexic, and having auditory perception difficulty and a stutter, I was always in all the bottom at high school, for almost every subject. Actually, every subject.
I did the lowest type of maths on the school curriculum, and focused on creative subjects such as French, Drama, Photogra- phy and – my favourite subject – Business Studies, to get me through my final year of high school.
Secretly I think my parents were just happy for me to pass, let alone get a decent mark.
But these learning challenges taught me an extremely valu- able skill. They taught me how to break letters, words, sentences and stories down into manageable parts. I was taught to look at things differently, and to develop creative ways to overcome the challenges in processing and understanding concepts that come to most people automatically.
I taught myself how to look at problems from different angles and to make them fun and easy so that I would want to keep pro- gressing. These skills have seriously contributed to how and why I am where I am today.
And while I was at school, I worked my butt off and studied hard so that no matter what mark I got, I could honestly say to myself that I genuinely tried my best, and would have no regrets.
Fortunately, I ended up surprising my parents (as well as myself!) and got into a good university course. All of which actu- ally meant nothing in the end! I had absolutely no idea what I might do with myself after the degree finished three years later, but I had faith that, somewhere along the way, a sign would come my way – and it did. (Phew!)
My first job out of school, while studying at university, was working in a bar, and I must have been either really talented at pulling the perfect beer with just the right ratio of white foam to golden liquid, or I was a massive flirt when it came to tips… (I am thinking the latter.)
Every Friday and Sunday night, I would come home at 3.30 am, sticky and stinking of a unique and delightful blend of house spirits, sweat and other peoples cigarettes. Exhausted and with my still brain thumping in rhythm to the loud music that I’d been listening to for the last eight hours, I would throw my cash tips into my bedside table, telling myself I’d “deal with it later”.
About a year passed and my late-night cash deposit habit remained. I never thought much about the little piggy bank accu- mulating in my bedroom until one afternoon, while looking for absolutely anything to distract me from studying for my upcom- ing econometrics exam, I decided to count all the gummy $5 and $10 notes that were by now overflowing out of my bedside table.
Shocked but pleasantly impressed by how much $5 and $10 notes can quickly add up, I decided to take my hard-earned tips to the bank. No, not to deposit them, but to convert them into $100 notes as they were “taking up too much room”! So I popped up to my local bank in my white 1990 Holden Barina and converted them into fresh, clean, cool green $100 notes and returned them promptly back into my safe and secure bedside table. (The first place even a stupid burglar will strike.)
Little did I know, apparently when you bank large amounts of cash, especially in small denominations, it signals potential drug money and laundering! The second thing I should point out is that I did this cash conversion at the bank nearest to my home – my parents’ bank. Where my parents visit daily and are known personally.
This was well before the Privacy Act came in and the local bank teller decided to inform my father about my recent visit to the bank and my little bounty of cash.
My father came home ropeable! But he wasn’t furious that I had such a large chunk of cash that was not being kept safe or insured, but more angry that I had that much money sitting there not earning any income or capital growth.
I had no idea what he was talking about…
The next day my father took me to my bank, where my neat piles of stacked $100 notes were deposited and then promptly withdrawn to be invested into my first parcel of shares.
It went in and out so quickly, but for a brief few seconds I got to see, for the first time in my life, five figures in my bank account. It felt good – really good.
Initially, though, I was not so impressed by my father’s bossi- ness when it came to my hard-earned tips. But when I opened the mail to find my first dividend cheque, (which is part of the
business profits, paid to shareholders for being a part owner of the business), my shift began.
I showed my father the cheque – not quite sure if it was really meant for me. “What do I do with it?” I sheepishly asked.
“Well, Canna, it is yours. You can deposit it, or reinvest it…” he told me.
“But I did nothing to earn this?” I said, feeling a sense of unworthiness and confusion.
He replied, “Yes, it’s what’s called passive income: it is your money, working for you. It is part of the profit that the company made, of which you own a small percentage of.’
I was starting to feel my brain freeze up with confusion – and was nervous about sounding even more stupid if I asked another question. But, to be honest, I was also impressed that I didn’t have to stand eight hours in a loud room with people scream- ing at me for rum and cokes to earn these three digits written in black and white in my hot little hand.
Finally, I pushed myself to ask another question: “So what should I do with it?”
My father sighed, but realised that if he didn’t answer my question properly and clearly now, there was no way I was going to leave him in peace.
“You can deposit it into your account and spend it – or, if you want to, you could actually use it to buy more shares, and then the dividends will grow slowly over time and get bigger”.
I curled up in the sanctity of my bedroom to mull over this idea. Could I potentially build this “passive income” over time and get it to a point where my dividends covered my living expenses? And if I could, I would never need to work… Imagine that!
I could travel the world, donate time and money to charity, pay for good quality food and education, and, best of all, have time and choice.
That was my personal aha moment.
Surely, if I had come this far without too much work, I could keep going and build upon this. The excitement of this possibil- ity burned inside of me and I wanted to really get into this and keep going.
And so I did…
I kept shopping for investments and building up my passive income. And soon I realised how important it was to me to help and show other people how to do this for themselves. So I started working part time for a financial planning business, while stud- ying fulltime at university and doing my advanced diploma of financial planning. I was busy, but it was worth it.
I read a wide range of books – some exceptionally boring with old balding men on the covers, and some with embarrass- ingly stupid advice and extremely dangerous advice.
And I put my money where my mouth was, continuing to save hard and invest sensibly. I slowly watched my investments grow – and, more importantly, my passive income grew.
After working for a range of amazing financial planning busi- nesses including a bank, I launched my own boutique financial planning business, SASS Financial, at age twenty-six.
I was completely naïve at the time, but I’m grateful for that, as I may never have taken that leap. And SASS has gone from strength to strength, even through the challenges of the GFC. I managed to build an amazing business of special clients with important goals.
SugarMamma.TV was launched in early 2015, when I was home alone with my 16 month year old son, and Chloe Morello had just given me that much needed push of encouragement to start my own channel. Her support, enthusiasm and genuine passion for female empowerment is incredible. I owe her so much. Thank you Chloe.
Life is full of stresses, urgency, hardships, dramas, challenges and occasionally crisis, so if you can take financial stress out of the equation of worry, life should be that little bit easier for you.
For example, sometimes I hear people say they have chosen not to have another child because “they can’t afford to” even though they would absolutely love to. Hearing loving parents say this breaks my heart.
Similarly, financial pressure is a leading cause of divorce. And I am pretty sure that you would be pressed to find a doctor who would say that financial stress is good for physical and mental health.
For me, putting in a few hard yards now, for long-term peace of mind, is an invaluable investment. Not only financially, but physically and emotionally too.
Knowing that I don’t have to worry about the distraction and drain of financial stress gives me a really good feeling. Knowing that I am on the right path to arrive at my destination – and that I have the flexibility to tweak and alter my adventure as I choose – feels empowering and responsible. The highest form of self- love and self-respect.
I can be more focused at work, a more supportive and loving partner, a fun and energetic mother, and a reliable and support- ive friend. And regular holidays and weekends away help break up my year and recharge my batteries with quality connection time and the creation of memories.
So I am going to use this passion and determination to show you how to realistically look after yourself financially, get out of toxic debt, create emergency savings, and, most importantly, build your own passive income, giving you a richer life with more money mindfulness.