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Financial expert Victoria Devine answers the three most common questions she is asked

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A leading financial expert has answered the three most frequently asked questions from clients, from whether you should invest in stocks or save for a home to how to discuss a partner’s bad financial habits.

Victoria Devine, 30, from Melbourne, said she is constantly asked about the best way to save and how to save when living from paycheck to paycheck.

The host of the She’s on the money podcast – which recently made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list – always gives the same answers.

A leading financial expert has answered the top three questions clients ask her, from whether you should invest in stocks or save for a home (Victoria Devine pictured)

The first question Victoria said is whether it's best to focus on climbing the real estate ladder or invest in stocks or both when you start out (stock image)

The first question Victoria said is whether it’s best to focus on climbing the real estate ladder or invest in stocks or both when you start out (stock image)

1. huhHow can you save for a home deposit and invest in stocks at the same time? Is it better to take longer and invest at the same time, or should you first put all your energy into saving?

The first question Victoria said she is often asked is whether it is best to focus on climbing the real estate ladder or invest in stocks or both when you start trying to save.

“There’s not necessarily a simple and straightforward answer to this, because the answer isn’t so much a financial one as it is a personal one,” explained Victoria in a recent podcast episode of She’s On The Money.

“If you’re someone who really wants a house, it makes sense to prioritize saving for this. While if you’re really passionate about stocks, it’s not a bad thing to make it part of your goal.’

Victoria said that when it came to herself, she and her partner put their own equity goals on hold while saving “aggressively” for a property and a home deposit.

“The most important thing to do is think about what suits you and your lifestyle,” Victoria said. “You’re always welcome to do both at once.”

Most importantly, the financial advisor added, is to make sure you’re free of personal or credit card debt before doing either — as it’s vital to pay off debt before you start saving. .

“Remember that saving for a house, or about $100,000, will not only be a significant sacrifice, but it will also take a significant amount of your time,” she added.

“You have to do it wisely.”

The best way to discuss a partner's bad financial habits is to avoid focusing on their

The best way to discuss a partner’s bad financial habits is to avoid focusing on their “bad habits” and instead focus on building a future together (stock image)

2. How can you sensitively approach and discuss your partner’s bad financial habits?

The second question that Victoria is repeatedly asked is how to approach and discuss a partner’s bad financial habits.

“Having a conversation like that is a struggle for all of us because nobody likes to engage in a conversation about money that’s awkward,” she explained.

“If you’re going to do it, my best advice is to organize the conversation and not focus solely on their so-called ‘bad habits’, but on what kind of future you can build together. ‘

Victoria added: ‘Emphasise how important it is for you to be on the same team, not only mentally but also financially.

‘Don’t use accusatory language, but come to it from a common perspective.’

It’s about changing the conversation from what the current behavior is like to the behavior you want to promote together.

“Remember that people usually get started on something when they are motivated,” said the financial advisor.

“It’s not about getting someone on your page, it’s about creating a new page together.”

If you live from check to check, Victoria (pictured) said you need to look at your budget and cash flow and make sure everything adds value to your life

If you live from check to check, Victoria (pictured) said you need to look at your budget and cash flow and make sure everything adds value to your life

3. How can you start saving when every cent of your wages has been withdrawn?

Finally, it can be hard to think about saving when you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, but Victoria said it’s worth thinking about.

Victoria is the author of the She's On The Money book (pictured) and host of the podcast

Victoria is the author of the She’s On The Money book (pictured) and host of the podcast

“You shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you live check to check and can’t save because this is the case for a lot of people and this isn’t the worst thing in the world,” Victoria said.

But if you’re in a situation where you really want to start saving, there are a few things you can do.

“The first thing you could do is look at your budget and cash flow,” Victoria said.

“Can you create a solid budget to ensure that absolutely everything in your budget and cash flow is of value to you and that you get the best deals?”

Once you’ve done this, Victoria said the next thing to think about is supplementing your income.

“You can do this in two ways,” she said.

“You can find additional ways to save extra money, or you can work on finding a secondary source of income. That can mean asking for a raise at work, getting a side income or more hours at work.’

Victoria said a side job is also a great idea, like spending 100 percent of your paycheck means you can save 100 percent of your side business.

“Finally, you can consider micro-investments,” she said.

“A small amount, say even $30 a week, is something you may not notice, but it can add up really quickly and become thousands.”

Victoria Devine is the author of the new book She’s On The Money. For more information, please click here.

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