As I pulled my bank card out of my wallet and scanned the PayPass the cashier gave me a knowing smile.
“You’re one of them,” she said. “Barefoot.”
I nodded back, slightly embarrassed. My cult status was exposed. “I’m on it too,” she confided. “And I see it almost every day.”
Right now, thousands of Australians are flashing orange bankcards with mantras penned on with sharpies and stickers. “Splurge”, they read. “Daily Expenses” read others. And they all signal one thing: that you’re following the biggest finance cult in Australia.
The Barefoot Investor is one of Australia’s biggest-selling finance books, having topped the charts for the last few months. It doesn’t matter where you go; everywhere from independent hipster bookstores to chain stores has it a the top of the pile. And for good reason: the author Scott Pape cuts through all the jargon to give you some of the simplest financial advice you will ever read.
Listen: The Barefoot Investor shares his best financial advice for the single woman, with Mia Freedman. Post continues after audio.
It works on the principal that you automatically ferry your earnings into different “buckets” to then spend or save. It’s like putting your money on autopilot – set it, and forget it.
You divide your income into three “buckets”:
- A blow bucket (for daily expenses, bills, and splurging)
- A mojo bucket (this is ‘safety’ money for when stuff goes haywire)
- A grow bucket (your long-term savings and security).
It’s simple, and that’s the beauty of it.
The cheats way of explaining it (the book does a much better job, believe me) is that your grow bucket is for your super, rolled over super funds, shares, or property investments (should you be in the position to have them).
Your mojo bucket is a high-interest online savings account that you only touch in emergencies; it's to stop any money stress over losing your job or getting sick. You fill up this bucket by selling stuff on Gumtree, taking up a second job on occasion, putting in overtime, having a garage sale. It's a safety net.