I was 17 and had a metaphorical foot on the pedal. I was working a summer office job, saving for a car that I would buy the minute I turned 18 and passed my licence test. Dad said, ‘let’s make a deal.’ The deal was that he would match my savings dollar for dollar. I was a damn good saver and had a whole summer to work, full time with no real expenses, I was living at home.
By the end of January I had saved $2000, with Dad’s financial input I would have enough to purchase a second-hand car. I started circling the Trading Post ads that fit my budget and desire, ideally I didn’t want to emulate the shit-brown colour car my sister had acquired but I knew looks weren’t everything. My 18th birthday was nearing and Dad tried to make a new deal. He said, ‘you can use your Mum’s car whenever you like, why don’t you put your money into shares?’ This sounded to me like the worst idea ever but, what did I know? I eventually agreed and thanks to Mum’s generosity it turned out I didn’t really need my own wheels.
Mum and Dad left for a ex-pat position in Singapore at the end of that year and Mum’s car became my car. I kept saving and eventually had enough money to buy a one way ticket to London. My spending money was the investment from 3 years before, which had doubled.
That 2 year sabbatical from Melbourne was the beginning of my life as an independent woman, I was 21. I can’t think of a greater gift than a investment in my future travels, the experience itself was epic. Great idea Dad, you’re the best.