Episode 1: Scott Pape

Scott Pape AKA 'The Barefoot Investor' talks about his best-selling books and his simple financial philosophies, including the need for people in trades to earn solid financial apprenticeship to compliment their skills on the tools..

The Barefoot Investor. Scott Pape AKA ‘The Barefoot Investor’ joins Master Plumbers Radio to discuss his best-selling books ‘The Barefoot Investor’ and ‘The Barefoot Investor for Families’ and share some tips on why its so important to have a solid financial apprenticeship to compliment your skills on the tools.
Episode 1: Scott Pape


Daniel: G’day, everyone. Today, my guest is Scott Pape. Some of you may know him as The Barefoot Investor. Scott has been voted Australia’s most trusted finance expert, mainly due to his fiercely independent advice and his ability to communicate complex financial concepts and information into terms everyone can understand. He’s been the money guy for Channel 7 and Triple M and writes two weekly national newspaper columns. He has advised AFL and NRL teams about money and consults to the Australian government on financial education in schools. Scott is also a best-selling author. He has a few books out at the moment, The Barefoot Investor, and The Barefoot Investor for Families, and the former approaching almost one million copies.

Scott: I think over a million, which sounds … Even to me, it’s crazy. Firstly, I just want to say thank you so much for having me here.

Daniel: No problem at all.

Scott: One of my passions is, or my main passion is financial education. One of the things that I’ve been banging on about in my newspaper columns is that I think young people need financial education. We go through 2,300-odd days of school from prep to year 12, and really, not one of them is about financial education. As a result of that, the studies suggest that the most financially illiterate people are kids that leave school, 18 to 24, according to ASIC. For me, one of the big things that I’m really passionate about is that I think it’s great that young people are getting an apprenticeship, but my view is that a tradie needs to have a financial apprenticeship. They can earn really good money, like really good dough, obviously. They can be in a better position than a lawyer that goes to uni for five or six years because they earn money straight out of the gates, and then can quickly earn really good money. But if they blow it all, they’re no better off. For me, I’m really passionate about talking to young tradies about getting a financial apprenticeship. But, yes, to double back, the book has done like 1.3 million copies or something. When I wrote it on my farm in Romsey in country Victoria, honest to God, I thought it would sell about 20,000 copies because it’s a finance book and people aren’t supposed to read finance books. It’s kind of something that you get given and you never read, but for some reason it sort of hit a cord. For that, my publisher is incredibly grateful.

Daniel: You’ve inspired what’s been labeled as the biggest financial cult in Australia, and its devotees, myself included.

Scott: Oh, good.

Daniel: Most easily identifiable by a wallet full of ING debit cards and reciting some scripted responses to saving money on everything from insurance to deals with your bank. When the idea for your book came about, did you have any idea about how it was going to kick off and what was going to happen afterwards?

Scott: No. I wrote that book…the way I thought about it is, people don’t really read books. But at that time, I was getting hundreds of questions a week from people all asking roughly the same things. So what I decided to do was sit down and write this book. I thought, “It’ll be a good thing. If anyone writes to me, I can say just, ‘Here’s the book’.” The way I wanted to write it was, if I was sitting down with my best mate at the pub on a bar stool and I basically sketched out how I would manage my money. Right? Quite conservative. I don’t like having a lot of debt. I hate paying bank fees. I think the finance industry is very good at flogging your stuff. Just common sense stuff that your grandfather would tell you, but basically me sitting on a bar stool sketching it out for my mates. Again, I thought 20,000 copies. For it to be over a million here in Australia, and the audio book as well, so if you’re not a reader. One of the things that I’ve been quite passionate about is, I think we’ve done about 500,000 hours of downloads on the audio book. I’ve been encouraging young tradies, while listening to Triple M, because I’m on Triple M. Love Triple M. You know, also having a listen to it again just while you’re on the tools. The things that you can pick up can make you large amounts of money. And that’s not because I’m a genius, it’s just common sense stuff that if you do it early enough, it’s kind of like catching a wave. You do a little bit of paddling for a couple of nights getting it all sorted, and then you can ride the wave home.

Daniel: Exactly the reason why we decided to put the podcast together was, what’s better than listening to switch out RNB Fridays, whatever’s on…

Scott: Monday Morning Money. Yes.

Daniel: Yeah, and listen to some educational stuff that might save you a few dollars between smoko and lunch.

Scott: Yeah. I mean, the whole thing is that, yeah, you’re working and stuff, but nearly 10% of your money is being funneled away, you know, three, four hours a week of your week into a super fund. Most people spend more time on their footy tips than their super. All I’m trying to do is, I’m saying, “You don’t have to focus on this every day. You don’t have to be a tightwad. You don’t have to live to a strict budget, because I’ve never done that. Bu t what I’m saying is, if you spend even a couple of days on this, or evenings, with a beer sorting this stuff out by reading my book, or reading any other book, really, it can save you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you retire.” I don’t know anyone that’s getting paid one, two, $3,000 an hour, because that’s what this can do for you.

Daniel: You ask a question in your book, have a think about who taught you about money.

Scott: Yeah.

Daniel: Who taught you?

Scott: My old man taught me about money. We grew up in a little town called Ouyen in country Victoria. Dad quit school when he was 16. He’s always been a worker, as has my mom. But I remember working with my dad when I was a young kid and he sat me on his knee, and I’d been doing some work for him. He paid me in one share of BHP. He said, “Basically, you’re now a part owner in one of the biggest companies in the world, and they share their profits with you.” As a kid from Ouyen, population 1,500 people or something, it just blew my mind. Now, that may have been a very sage thing that my father did, or maybe he just didn’t have enough shrapnel in his pocket to actually pay me for the thing. Either way, that moment sort of changed my life. What I grew up with was seeing my parents scrimp and save over the first 10 years of my life to save up enough money to buy just a four-bedroom brick veneer bedder in Bendigo. But what I watched is, I watched my parents saving, sacrificing over a long time. Now, I may not of listened to them most of the time, but what I saw a sorta little drip, drip, drip. You know? It has that effect on you that if you watch your parents doing smart things with money, it rubs off on you. Yeah, that was, I guess one of the things that I find for a lot of young people now, the reason I wrote my next book, which is Barefoot for Families, is that I think there’s a lot of kids that grow up and mom and dad don’t sit down and have family dinner time with them. They don’t want to burden them about money, so they never learn about it. They only time they learn about it is either through the school banking program at school, which is just a marketing con job to get kids signed up. What I wanted to try and do is give everyone confidence, and that’s what I want to do today. I want to talk to young tradies, and tradies in particular, anyone, but particularly young tradies, and say that you can build your confidence up, and it’s the best thing that you’ll do. Financially, it is the best thing that you’ll do.

Daniel: Like you, my financial … My dad was a self-employed electrician. One of my first experiences with money and earning money was through dad doing, “Can you go and pick up my pliers and bring it to me,” you know?

Scott: Odd jobs. Yeah.

Daniel: “I’ll give you 20 cents,” or whatever it was. I’ll always remember the time that my dad showed me his first pay slip. I said, “Why do you have that?” He said, “It’s just something I’m very proud of. It’s the first time I ever got paid for doing something.” Didn’t even spend it.

Scott: Yeah.

Daniel: Still got the money inside it’s got pounds or whatever it was. But that idea gave me the respect, I guess, for doing some work and getting a financial reward. I’ve always been …

Scott: You know how important that is, though. When I wrote Barefoot for Families, what I found is that there’s a whole generation of kids that haven’t created the connection between I work hard and I get paid. So, again, even for me, that idea of actually getting your kids to do some jobs around the house and paying them, it’s not about the money, it’s about rewarding effort. Again, just your dad showing you his payslip. Again, these are all teachable moments for kids. What I do with some young tradies that I’ve helped in the past, is look at that payslip and explain that this is real money that’s coming out of super. Getting them to look at their super fund. What insurance do you have? If you fall off a roof, are you covered? Just those sorts of things of making sure that you understand how much tax is coming out, all those things. You just need to be aware of them. You don’t have to be an accounting major or anything, but just being aware of this stuff means you get more.

Daniel: A very influential and world-renowned marketer, someone who I follow quite closely, Seth Godin, is quoted in the front of your book as saying that your story about the apple tree is worth the cost of the book alone. It’s a story that really resonated for me. I have a young family, and looking to do whatever I can to do the best for my family. And thinking to myself, I said, “I need to get myself an apple tree.” Without going into too much detail, are you able to sort of explain, give us a little bit of a summary about the apple tree?

Scott: Basically, this book was written after I was caught in a bushfire on the farm. It took our house, took everything. We lost everything that day. The second hardest day of my life was being caught in a bushfire. I was in the CFA. Just as I was about to leave, so my family had all gone, I turned on the ABC radio and they said, “It’s too late to leave. You’ve got to take shelter.” That was the second worst day of my life. The worst day of my life was coming back the next day with a little baby and a wife and seeing everything gone. So we rebuilt. That was sort of the genesis of the book, is that everyone’s going to face their own financial fire at some stage, whether it be becoming an apprentice and not earning a lot of money, whether it be getting laid off from work because there’s a downturn, whether it be getting a divorce. Everyone’s going to face it.

Daniel: Having a uteful of brand new tools stolen?

Scott: Knocked off, all those things. You’re going to face challenges. I faced mine. I knew I was going to be okay because I had my money sorted. Anyway. The whole thing, everything was burnt. Everything’s black. We were like, “Where do you start when everything’s just a mess?” Everything stinks. It’s just black. Everything was charred black. So what we decided to do was to plant an apple tree. It was maybe symbolic, but it was just that idea that, you know, where do you start? We just start with one thing. So we planted the apple tree. The idea is, we gave it some water, we nurtured it, and we knew that over the long-term, that was going to grow. It won’t grow next week. We weren’t going to pull it out and go, “Oh, maybe it should be over the other side of the paddock.” We kept it there. We kept watering it. Years on, it’s now producing really nice apples. In 30 years’ time, my grandkids are going to be swinging on that apple tree, and it will last for decades and decades. I guess the analogy is that if things are completely messed up and you don’t know where to start, you plant an apple tree, you start doing some savings, and it will grow. Just like compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world, actually putting some money away and leaving it and not expecting it to grow amazing apples within the first week, but over 20 years, it does something really amazing. The stock market and your investments and your houses are just like that. If you give it enough time, it will produce, bear amazing fruit, but just don’t expect it to happen any time soon. That’s a very long answer to a very short question.

Daniel: Got to love that story. Yeah, really resonates with me. One of my biggest takeouts from reading your book is your ability to communicate so simply. The world of finances is pretty foreign to majority of the people out there. Unless you’ve got a bit of an interest or some time to invest in doing a lot of reading and researching on the internet and whatever else, it might as well be in another language.

Scott: I think the banks are quite happy with that. I think the financial institutions, even though they would say they’re there for you and me, they make their money by charging fees and us not comparing and saying, “It’s all too hard.”

Daniel: Through all that, somehow you’re able to convey all these complex scenarios, and in a language that’s really easy to understand. Did you have to really think much about doing that, or it’s just sort of one of your natural talents, I guess you could say, is being able to convert this complex information into something that’s easy for a lot of people to understand?

Scott: I think that writing for a newspaper for like 13 years or 14 years or however long it’s been, I’ve never tried to write for finance professionals. I try to write for people like my parents who didn’t graduate from high school, but are very smart people. That’s why I’m here today. I want to talk to apprentices. I want to try and speak in a way that is simple, because I have a fundamental belief that if you don’t set up your finances simply, you’re not going to do it. If it’s too hard, you’re not going to do it. Work’s hard. Family life is hard. I’ve got three kids under five. If it takes too long or if you have to stick to a strict budget, chances are you’re not going to do it. So for me, what I’ve always tried to do, and I’ve got a lot of feedback from writing in the newspaper each week, is to write in a way that people understand. One of the things that I have is this mantra is that no one cares more about your money than you, right? I care about my money a lot more than I care about yours. That’s why one of the things I encourage apprentices and anyone, all my readers, is to be what I call dumb smart. At some point in time, someone’s going to offer you advice about money, and it could be me by reading one of my books, it could be a financial advisor, it could be a mortgage broker or a bank manager. What you want to do, is ask a lot of dumb questions. The smartest person in the room is the person who’s willing to look dumb, right? You want to ask a lot of dumb questions. So, “Why should I borrow that much money,” and, “What are the risks of that,” and, “How do you get paid?” You want to ask really dumb questions, because, ironically, that’s how you become smart. So for me, again, I just want to try and keep it simple for people. I believe that you should keep it simple. But you should also understand that no one cares more about your money than you do.

Daniel: I’ve always been a believer in, the only dumb question is the one that you don’t ask.

Scott: Yeah, but a lot of people think, especially if finance isn’t your forte, you know, that made me think, “Oh, maybe that guy knows more about it than me. I don’t want to ask.” But at the end of the day, you’re the one that has to repay the loan. Or if you’re sitting there leasing a new ute, you’re the one that has borrowed for something that’s falling rapidly in value, and you’re the one that has to pay for that over the long-term. So again, just trying to get people to say, you’re the one in charge, and you need to understand this, and you should be feeling okay to ask lots of dumb questions, and if you don’t understand it, don’t do it.

Daniel: We’re lucky enough to live in one of the richest countries in the world. Stats from the Australian Bureau Statistics say that if you earn the average Australian wage of around $80,000, it’d put you in the top 0.28% of the richest people in the world by income. Yet, there are so many Aussies out there living paycheck to paycheck. What are we doing wrong?

Scott: I think the first one is that … I love that stat because globally, we are one of the richest people on the planet. In fact, people that are on Centrelink are still doing extremely well on a global comparison. The problem is, we don’t compare ourselves to people in Africa. We compare ourselves to our neighbors and our mates. Our neighbors and our mates could be financially screwed, but they look good because they’re driving a brand-new Hilux and they’ve just got a jet ski. So they may seem wealthy, but if you actually look through … And I do. That’s what I do. People send me emails, and they confess stuff to me. That guy that’s got the Hilux, he may be under water on it, you know? Upside-down. He may actually owe more money on it than it’s worth. In many cases, that’s true. The jet ski could have been something that he’s borrowed for as well. So he may be all show and no dough. Looks can be, they can deceive you. One of the best books that I have read is a book called The Millionaire Next Door. What it found was, it started out with these researchers wanting to find the lifestyles of the rich and famous. So they went to rich areas like Toorak and, you know, the equivalent of Toorak, like the really wealthy suburbs, and they started interviewing these people that looked wealthy, drive really nice cars, and had fancy jobs. What they found was that these people weren’t actually that wealthy. So they went to the suburbs and they found these millionaire next doors. They often worked in their own small business, they were tradies, a lot of them, they drove a secondhand Corolla or a secondhand ute, they owned their own home, they invested in shares, they didn’t take a lot of risks, and they were the real millionaires. I guess what I’m saying is that I think that you need to be careful about comparing yourself to other people, because most people are broke. Australia is one of the wealthiest countries on earth, but we also have one of the highest rates of household debt in the world at a time when interest rates are at record lows. So for me, I wouldn’t be comparing myself to anyone. The only thing that I would be comparing myself is against myself, and making sure that I’ve got savings so no matter what happens to me, me and my family are going to be okay.

Daniel: One of the things that will keep you and your family okay into the future is the subject of super. The subject is super gets lost on a lot of us, with a lot of people, I’m going to assume, will stay with the fund that they got from their first job. Some people will move from job to job and not bother to follow up if their super is following them, and whatever else. Why should we be more proactive, and is there anything that tradies can do differently to prepare themselves for life after work?

Scott: Yeah. Look, that’s a really good question. Superannuation is one of the biggest tax lurks in Australia, right? If you really want to cut your tax, and everybody … Here in Australia, it’s like a national pastime, you know, ripping off the ATO. Well, this is a way … It’s a legal tax dodge. It’s probably the last legal tax dodge that you can do, is super, is the first point. Lots of mansions and jets and Ferraris have been bought from our super fund fees. There’s about $30 billion a year in fees that are whipped out of our super accounts and given to finance industry people, and most of them are losers. They don’t outperform a basic benchmark. They don’t do a good job. But because no one gives a crap, no one really holds them to account. For a lot of tradies, your first super will be with Cbus, which is the construction industry’s super fund. Not a recommendation, but I actually think they’re pretty good. They’re an industry fund, so they’re a not-for-profit fund. What I think is a good with Cbus is they tend to have good insurance because you guys need good insurance. There’s some laws as we sit here and speak now that are going to scrap insurance for young people. I believe that because of the work of Cbus, they’ve said, “Actually, young people in trades that are on roofs, that are in dangerous occupations, need that,” which I think is a good thing. So if you’re with Cbus, that’s going to be your default fund. I think it’s a pretty good fund. Without having a recommendation, I think it’s pretty good fund.

Daniel: They’re a partner of Master Plumbers as well.

Scott: They are a partner. Yeah. I would obviously always look at the fees because I don’t like paying fees. Really, the idea is the less fees you pay, the more you make. But what I would be looking, if I’m a young apprentice, I wouldn’t be going into their default fund. I would be maybe looking at it, talking to Cbus potentially and saying, “I got …” The average apprentice has got, what, 40, 50 years of work. they’ve got a long time.

Daniel: At this point in time.

Scott: At this point in time. My view would be that if there’s one thing that you could do that could potentially benefit you to the tune of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, one little tick would be to move from the default fund that everyone gets put into. A default fund is basically, a young apprentice will be in that default fund if you don’t make a choice, up to a 55-year-old worker will be in that as well. Effectively, what they do is they invest that money so that there’s not too much risk in it, because a 55-year-old who’s thinking about retirement doesn’t want to have all this money in the share market, so they don’t take as much risks. But my view would be that a young tradie who’s a teenager or in his early 20s or her early 20s can afford to take more risk. For me, I would be contacting Cbus if I’m a young person in my 20s and saying, “I’d like to go to the high-growth option within Cbus.” Talk to them, obviously. That’s a disclaimer. But I would be looking at doing that, and then forgetting about your super for the next, you know, 30, 40 years, and not even worrying about it, because stock markets will crash. But just like the apple tree, if you forget about it, in 40 years’ time, it’s going to grow into something pretty amazing.

Daniel: Yep. Again, you got the apple tree analogy coming into play. You’ve also got the … a few minutes of research can pay dividends in the future.

Scott: Yeah. Look, it so can. The truth is that it is probably financially, even if it takes you an hour to do that, it could definitely be a $10,000 hour. It could even be a $100,000 hour, you know, just actually making that one choice. What I love about finance, right, is not doing spreadsheets and budgets and all that stuff that require every day, you’ve got to look at the figures and stress about them. But if you can do one thing, just one thing that takes you an hour, may even take you five minutes, who knows, and then you can just let that go for 30 or 40 years, that, to me, is a real payoff.

Daniel: Yep. Even better, get a few of the people you work with on-site to do their research overnight, compare notes the next day.

Scott: Correct. Again, just these things, you know what it does? If you actually start to either read my book or read any other book, right, finance book, if you start to build up your confidence, it’s just another thing that it makes you feel good about yourself. You’re like, “You know what? I’m working hard, but I’m making sure my money works for me.” What I find is with people who’ve read my book, they start to feel confident. That, in and of itself, is its own reward.

Daniel: Yeah. Definitely. A few months back, you were on The Project talking about … How often do you do The Project? Is it once …

Scott: Well, I actually, I did the The Project … I’ve been on it since day one. The first producer they gave me became my wife. So The Project, I have a great deal of gratitude for a because it gave me my wife. But yeah, so I’m on The Project quite a lot. Yeah.

Daniel: Fantastic. So you were on The Project a little while ago talking about the new book, Barefoot Investor for Families. Lisa Wilkinson hit the nail on the head, I think, when she said that teaching kids about money is hard because money is becoming largely invisible with online transactions and all that sort of stuff, doing shopping online. No one really deals with cash as much as what they used to. That’s sort of becoming the norm. This is more evident with tradies because you’re dealing with larger amounts, so invoicing and all that sort of stuff. People rarely see cash these days. Depending on the type of work you do, you rarely see any cash at all. Even with your purchasing of your tools and your everything. In saying that, can you recommend anything to help tradies manage their finances, if you’re not physically seeing any money?

Scott: Yeah. I think it’s a really good point in that a hundred years ago, the people at casinos had it all worked out, where they would take your money and give you those plastic chips because you spend more. You don’t notice that you’re spending the rent if they’re little plastic chips. It’s kind of the same with tap-and-go. I can be honest, I rarely even hold a wallet anymore, you know? I’ve got this thing synced up onto my phone, and I can pay with payWave. So I’ve embraced it as well. But it does make it harder if you don’t see the dollars. One of the things that I have suggested, again, in my book, you can borrow it from a library, you don’t have to buy it, but just that idea of setting up different buckets of money. I said a few times here that I can’t stick to a budget. I’ve never been able to do it. It’s a little bit like being on a diet forever. It’s just not practical for me, and I like spending money on things that I like.

Daniel: And there’s always things that come up out of the blue.

Scott: Totally. Totally. Especially if you’re in business. So for me, what I’ve tried to do, the way I’ve looked at that, is to set my money up in different buckets, to think of it … Again, really simple. But if you’ve got a partner, as I do, two people have to try and work out how to manage their money. It can be really difficult. So what I did, was narrowed my spending down to basically three buckets. And that was the way. So any dollar that comes in, I have an idea of where I put my money. Now, I’m a small business owner as well. There’s a lot of tradies who are going to be listening to small business owners. One of the things that I do that I’m kind of maybe semi-famous for is to have a Mojo Bucket so that if anything bad happens, I’ve got the money there. In my small business, I have a business Mojo, so in case anything bad happens, I’ve got that sitting there as well. But also for my tax obligations, GST, I always make sure that every dollar that comes in, I siphon it off to an account, so I’ve always got the money there. But as far as an apprentice, what I would suggest is having it all thrown into the one account is a recipe for disaster, because what you will do, you get paid, it all goes into the one account. You keep tapping until the point that it stops beeping. Most people do that, you know? They’ve got one bucket, and it’s got a leaky ah…

Daniel: Very embarrassing to be at the pub, it’s your shout, and you tap your card, and it says, “Transaction declined.” I’ve been there before.

Scott: And then, you know, you got a leaky bucket. So for me, what you want to do, is you want to have … sit down. I’ve got this thing called a Barefoot Date Night, where you go to the pub, and you basically, on the back of a serviette, you just write out how you’re going to manage your money with different buckets. I’ve taken it to the nth degree of having a splurge card, so money that you can guilt-free spend at the pub, and so you don’t feel guilty. After a while, and I’ve got over a million people that will tell you this, that your brain sort of locks into the gear, right? It’s a little bit like if you’re an apprentice, the first year is bloody hard, right? Second year, little bit better, getting paid a bit more. Third year. And then your fourth year. And then you get your ticket. What I often find, is people just spend … they spend more than they earn, and even as they get pay rises, they spend more. It’s that idea of saying, your brain basically works, “We’ll spend as much as you’ve got in that account.” Just make sure it’s a little bit less. But I go into it more in my book. I’m happy to come back and do a subsequent podcast on managing your money without having a budget, if you want.

Daniel: Fantastic. Maybe even if we get a few of the listeners sending in their questions, things they want to know-

Scott: Absolutely. More than happy.

Daniel: … we’ll structure something to work ahead with. You say that the goal of The Barefoot Investor can be summed up in one word, being control. Yet, I see so many apprentices, friends and family, enter a trade, and they don’t understand that idea. So you walk into a site car park, maybe a little bit of a generalization, but you walk into a car park of a job site and it’s pretty easy to see cars that belong to the apprentices are the flash new ones, where for the first time, they’ve actually seen money, and so they’ve gone out and got themselves the best of whatever. As tempting as it is to reward yourself for your first full-time job, do you have any advice for those out there who are coming into a steady income for the first time and just sort of going from zero to a hundred?

Scott: Yeah. I think there’s a temptation, especially with people around you if you’re comparing yourself to them and they go out and they buy a brand new Hilux or something because they’ve got some money, or they’ve got the income and they get talked into it by a salesperson. Maybe it’s just the way I’m wired, but I’ve always driven a secondhand car. I’ve got secondhand cars. I’ve seen that as a badge of pride. I never wanted to own a brand-new anything. I guess for the tradie, what I would suggest is, again, sitting down with my book. I don’t want to be seen as just promoting my book, but there are plenty of books out there, you know?

Daniel: Just the one you know the best.

Scott: That’s the one I know the best. But, basically, just sitting down and saying, “If I’m smart about this, I can make sure that I can have a holiday to Bali. I could get into my own house and not have to live with my parents or rent. I can set up some goals that are really going to make me happy. And I can drive a decent car, but it just may not be a brand-new one that falls in value and that I have to pay interest on, you know? Again, if you make smart decisions in your 20s, well, even if you’re in your late teens, your 20s, it just sets you up so much. But again, I’m not here to say, “Don’t have any fun. Work your ass off. Never enjoy yourself.” Basically the opposite. I’m saying, “You could go out and spend 50 grand on a Ranger or a Hilux, maybe more, and that’s fine. But on the opposite, you’re giving something up, and that is, number one, you could have some savings so you don’t have to worry about money, so when you’re at the pub, you can not even worry about the declined funds. And you could…

Daniel: Might go the steak instead.

Scott: Yeah, you can go to Bali. You can be saving up for your first home. You can be financially set, which is going to put you in a totally different league in your 30s and 40s. You are just going to … This is the thing that I guess older tradies say to me is, in your 20s, in your early 20s, you may have a flash car, you may look the goods, but there’s something that happens in your 40s and 50s to those guys that have been smart with their money in their 20s. They just power along. You see them almost lift off. They own their own home, they own another couple of investment properties. They’re doing really well. The thing that I find, is that there’s a lot of people who’ve worked really hard in their trades that get to the age of 60 and they’ve got nothing to show for it. At that stage, it’s too hard to make back. So if you can get yourself sorted now and enjoy yourself, enjoy your money, you know, go travel and do whatever you want to do, but just make sure that there are tradeoffs, there are tradeoffs to buying flash cars and spending all your money.

Daniel: Yeah. Fantastic. Now, we’ve seen The Barefoot Investor for individuals. We’ve seen the new release, The Barefoot Investor for Families. When are we going to see Barefoot Investor for Tradies?

Scott: Look, I mean, I’d like to actually … I’m really passionate about it. I’ve worked with some tradies before. I’ve also worked with hospitality workers, helping them. I would like to work more with the trades to try and come up with … I said before there was 2,300 days or something kids go to school, and there’s not one day that’s spent on financial education. One of my things is that through trade school, I think that maybe half a day or a day should be spent on how to manage your money. That’s something that I’m passionate about. Let’s hope people who have the power to make these decisions can roll out something so that at least tradies are actually having a day where they learn how to set up their buckets, make sure they’re not getting ripped off in super and bank fees, and so that they can get themselves a plan. Because you’ll work off a plan anyway, why not have a financial plan?

Daniel: For sure. Well, thank you very much for joining us on the podcast today. Just in closing for anyone out there listening, just get your questions in, and we’ll try and get Scott back at a later date to answer any queries you might have about managing your finances.

Scott: Look, if you’re a tradie and you’ve got a question for me, hit us up on the website either through Master Plumbers or Cbus, and I’ll do my best to try and give you a response. I can’t answer them all, obviously. But again, I’m really passionate about tradies and especially apprentices and giving you that financial apprenticeship. So if I can, I’ll do my best to help and answer.

Daniel: It’s been a pleasure to talk to you today. All the best.

Scott: Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate it.

Daniel: If you haven’t already, go out and get The Barefoot Investor.

Scott: Or the library. Go to the library or go to the shops. One of the two.

Daniel: Come and borrow my copy. More than happy to lend it out.

Scott: Yeah. There you go.


Simpro – 2 x 3 month – started may 24


Simpro – 2 x 3 month – started may 24


Related articles