Aussie earning over $400,000 says it is ‘expensive to be poor’

Nova Hawthorne didn’t understand the true cost of poverty in Australia until she became rich.

Ms Hawthorne, 29, lives in Melbourne and earns $440,000 a year but was not raised in wealth.

“The money was for necessities. We had to be careful with that,” she told news.com.au.

The Melbourne native was raised by a single mother in public housing along with two siblings.

Mrs. Hawthorne pointed out that she had a loving and supportive childhood and a loving mother who always tried to take care of them, but that doesn’t mean it was easy.

“My attitude towards money growing up was about being grateful for what we have,” she said.

She remembers a wonderful Christmas when she was excited to receive her first iPod, but she also remembers having to work and save for her own school trips.

It wasn’t that she felt unhappy, it was just that money dominated the decisions they could and could not make as a family.

When she got her first part-time paycheck in high school, she gave her mom $50 to replace the microwave.

She now makes almost half a million a year creating X-rated online content, which made her realize how hard it really is to be poor.

“It’s expensive to be poor. Now that I have the funds behind me, I can splash the money into things that will save me in the long run,” she said.

Ms. Hawthorne pointed out that wealth comes with the ability to buy things that are more expensive, better quality, and last longer.

“Buying clothes and shoes that will last a long time and furniture that won’t fall apart after two years,” she said.

The young Aussie said she learned that “investing” in higher quality items can save so much money in the long run, but when you have no money at all, you’re left with lower quality items that need to be replaced.

“Buying cheap means buying twice,” she said.

But it goes beyond just everyday objects. She believes the entire system is rigged so that the rich win and the poor don’t.

“I also learned that the system is designed to keep the rich rich. When it comes to taxation, corporate law, trust law and so on, they are designed to entrench entitlement,” she said.

Ms Hawthorne said getting the most out of your money requires hiring people to manage it, which you can’t afford when you’re in trouble.

“I learned that these systems are complicated to navigate and you need experts to help guide you through them, which costs money. So again, money begets money,” she said.

Sarah Megginson, money expert at comparison website Finder, said Ms Hawthorne’s claims were valid and that paying less upfront could cost people more in the long run.

“It can be more expensive to get through life if you can’t afford quality things,” she said.

“Here, those with less disposable income can end up paying less tax. You pay less upfront, but spend more in the long run.”

Making big money was a learning curve for Ms. Hawthorne, too.

“It’s hard to get out of that scarcity mentality,” she admitted.

Learning how to manage your money was also overwhelming in the beginning. It wasn’t like she had a family plan to follow. She knew how to save and save, but not how to manage wealth.

“The biggest mistake I made was putting my money in the bank without a plan of what I wanted to do with it. It took me a while to understand the concept of spending money to earn money and what my investment options were,” she explained.

She had to learn how to make her money work for her.

“I had to learn to manage these funds, not only to keep them, but also how to spend them. I know it sounds silly that I had to learn to spend money on myself, but it’s true,” she said.

Once, shopping in a fashion store for the first time overwhelmed her so much that she had a panic attack.

“I felt like I was an impostor in this store so everyone could see I didn’t belong. And that’s how I felt in this new money space, that I was a fraud and that I didn’t deserve the fruits of my labor. I felt a strange sense of guilt when I spent money on myself. It took a long time to get more comfortable with it,” she said.

“I still hesitate and think about many purchases, but I had to slowly change my mindset. I had to convince myself that I was worthy of nice things, and yes, I could actually afford those things.”

It’s not just about getting nice bags and clothes. For Mr. Hawthorne, making a lot of money means he can help his entire family in ways big and small.

“Money for little things like groceries, winter clothes for my niece, to take the family to the pool, to fill up the car so they can spend the day outside. I never mind these requests, especially knowing how much they help my family,” she said.

“I actively try to help with these kinds of things. I want them to have more money growing up, and now I do, so I think if I can help improve their quality of life, I definitely should.”

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