Throughout the pandemic, many took the opportunity to take stock of their current career trajectory before taking a chance on themselves.

Armed with an idea and the desire for greater fulfilment, founder of Just Create It Digital Jenny Inhof (pictured below) is one of the many Aussies nationwide who sought to make money moves - pivoting both careers and personal finances to meet newfound desires. 

Savings.com.au spoke to Jenny on the current state of her personal and business finances and how she manages these as a rentvestor in Sydney’s affluent East.

JennyInhof.jpg


What prompted your decision to pivot careers?

“I was working as a Marketing Coordinator for an Australian fashion label. The office culture was awful and coming into work each day was something I absolutely dreaded. I was wanting more fulfilment, more money and more flexibility. I just wanted to feel happy again and in love with what I was doing.

“I had previously owned an eCommerce business selling beauty products, so I already had that experience under my belt and was itching to do my own thing again.

“My plan initially was to get another job in the fashion industry but when COVID hit and the job market dried up, I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands and make a pivot.”

How have you been able to grow your business over the past five years? 

“It’s been an incredible journey so far.

“I started off as a freelancer for the first six months or so and then quickly made the switch to the agency, Just Create It Digital, where I employed my first staff members. 

“Fast forward three years and my team has now grown to five. I attribute the majority of my growth & success to the various freelancing platforms I used and still continue to use.

“One of these was Fiverr which really accelerated my business growth in general, allowing me to generate a sizeable revenue each month - to put this into perspective, this included over $10K a month on Fiverr alone. 

“The great thing about platforms like this is the ability to attract an international audience. Majority of our clients on Fiverr are from the US; so getting paid in USD definitely doesn't hurt!” 

Read more: Five ways to take advantage of your skills and make money online

Did you experience any financial hurdles throughout the pandemic?

Oh, yes! When the pandemic started, I quit my job without a backup plan, so I had no cash flow for a while. 

“Thankfully, I was living with my parents at the time, so I had some support. But I knew I needed to make money quickly, so I turned to platforms like Fiverr to start doing websites. 

“Within a year of quitting my job, I was able to replace my old income with my business earnings.”

How do you currently manage both your personal and business finances?

“Diligently. For my personal finances, I use multiple bank accounts to keep everything tidy and separate savings goals. 

“I have a spreadsheet to keep track of all my income and outgoings. Normally I'd invest my extra cash using Spaceship, but because interest rates are so high at the moment, I am focusing on building a nice lump sum in my offset account to reduce my mortgage over time. 

“With my business, I have my accountant to guide me and have systems in place for things like tax. For example, this means ensuring I have a separate bank account so I am not surprised at tax time.” 

Have you had to adjust during the current cost-of-living crisis?

Absolutely. Despite the success I've had with my business, the current cost-of-living crisis has still been an adjustment. 

“Personal circumstances like my partner being in between jobs have impacted my finances, so we've had to cut back on certain things. 

“I rentvest, which means I've had to deal with rent increases on both fronts, which hasn't been easy. 

“I've also had to cut down on my ‘lifestyle’ expenses, like fancy dinners and shopping trips.”

Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs, small business owners or everyday Aussies who are struggling to keep on top of their finances?

“Of course! The most important thing is to have a budget spreadsheet and adjust it every few months to reflect your changing circumstances. 

“It's also essential to pay off any debts first, so I recommend checking out The Barefoot Investor and She's on the Money books for great advice on how to get started. 

“When it comes to business finances, cash flow is king, so keep overheads to a minimum and be strategic with how you pay yourself, especially in the early stages of your business. 

“Slow and steady really does win the race and remember, investing in yourself, your education, and your staff is always a smart move.”  

Read more: 15 tips for financial success in 2023


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