• Marion Mays

Triumph Against The Odds

Updated: Sep 7

By Marion Mays, Speaker, Author, Ambassador and Founder of Thalia Stanley Group


Here’s a recent inspiring story of how one young woman overcame her negative money story and triumphed in achieving her dream of home ownership.

Celia (not her real name) was just 23 when she attended one of our Wealth is Women’s Business financial literacy events in Melbourne. She’d earned her degree and was happy in her full-time job working for a large insurance company. She’d even managed to save up an impressive $20,000.

Celia lived at home, but really wanted to invest in an apartment of her own. The main glitches to achieving this plan were a) an insufficient deposit, b) a father who worked in the financial services sector who was not at all happy about her intention to invest in property, and c) Celia lacking the confidence and knowledge about what to do. Her ‘money story’ said Daddy always knew best and made all the financial decisions (a strict Asian family background), and that she was out of her depth….

Her work colleagues, who were all inner-city-living, MBA-qualified 30-somethings who hadn’t purchased a single property between them, filled her head daily with horrific stories of what could and would go wrong, and why she shouldn’t buy a property.

This all resulted in somewhat of a fear-induced paralysis for Celia, until she came along to the event and learned what was possible for her future. Following this empowering information Celia decided to take control and committed to doing whatever it took. She took on a second job in retail for 11 months, working Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays to scrape up the money she needed to fund her property purchase, and satisfy the bank’s stricter lending and savings criteria, given her limited work history to date.

I personally mentored Celia, and our scope of work included not only budgeting and saving plans, lending requirements, tax strategies and a comprehensive property education, I also worked with Celia on helping her manage the now-fractured relationship with her deeply disapproving dad. Turns out the real problem was he didn’t think his little girl was ready to move out of home and away from his loving care and supervision. Perhaps not all that uncommon…

Long story short is that as soon as Celia had saved up a 5% deposit plus costs, we were able to assist her to buy her very first property, a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in a suburb 7 km from the CBD, with a purchase price of $505,000, solely in her name. I was able to negotiate a 5% only deposit acquisition, which got her into the property sooner. Income from her extra job meant she had the additional 5% cash required at the settlement of her property.

A year later Celia is blissfully happy living in her apartment, saving well towards her next investment goal and her relationship with her dad is now super close; and he couldn’t be prouder of her achievements. He even tells everyone Celia’s property was ‘his idea’!


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