Finance expert answers the most Googled money questions

Finance expert answers the most ‘Googled’ money questions – and shares her beginner’s guide to investing and mortgage ‘golden rule’

  • A finance guru has answered the top five most Googled money questions 
  • Topics included how to make money, how to invest and cryptocurrency 
  • Vanessa Stoykov, from Sydney, aims to help others make good money decisions
  • Her ‘golden rule’ when buying a house is to borrow less than you can afford
  • She recommends Raiz and Sharesies for beginners entering the stock market 

A finance expert has answered the top five most Googled money questions – from how to boost your income to getting started in the stock market and learning about cryptocurrency.

Vanessa Stoykov, from Sydney, is on a mission to educate others in order to make better financial decisions.

Common questions asked included how to make more money, how to determine if you can afford a mortgage and why you need to pay off debt before saving.

Sydney money expert Vanessa Stoykov (pictured) is on a mission to educate others in order to make better financial decisions. Speaking to FEMAIL, she answered the most Googled money questions many are wanting to know

Common questions asked included how to make more money, how to determine if you can afford a mortgage (stock image)

1. How do I make money?

Ms Stoykov said the biggest finance question many have is how to generate money – and there’s more ways than one in addition to employment.

‘Most people earn a salary, and think that’s the only way to make money, but it’s definitely not,’ she said.

‘Whether that be investing, starting a side hustle, or negotiating a pay rise, never limit your options when it comes to the ways to earn more.’

Finance guru Queenie Tan, also from Sydney, named several ‘side hustles’ to help boost your income in a YouTube video. 

For instance, Queenie, 25, boosts her annual income by making $2,000 per month by making YouTube content due to the number of subscribers and views. 

Some side hustles that can help boost your income may include dropshipping, copy writing, freelancing, dog walking or babysitting. 

To save more each money, she also recommends making your own work lunch, selling items you don’t need, using credit card reward programs and switching out from an ‘underperforming super fund’.

Different investing options: 


Exchange-traded fund (ETFs) 

Australian Stock Market – ASX200

US Stock Market – S&P500  

‘Side hustles’ to boost annual income:


Dog walking or baby sitting 


YouTube ads 

Copy writing

To save more each money, finance guru Queenie recommends making your own work lunch, selling items you don’t need, using credit card reward programs and switching out from an ‘underperforming super fund’.

2. How do I invest?

Another question millions Googled was ‘how to invest’ in the stock market.

In Australia there are a number of investing platforms that are perfect for beginners, and Ms Stoykov recommends Raiz and Sharesies.

‘If you’re a first-time investor, the number one thing you need to do is educate yourself. There are many cost-effective courses available online, or if you can afford to, seek investment advice from a professional planner,’ she said.

‘Knowing enough to understand what investment options do or don’t suit you is vital to be successful.

‘This knowledge also gives you the confidence to know you are making the right option for your personal situation and could save you from losing a significant amount of money.’

Other investing platforms include eToro, Pearler and CMC Markets, each with different brokerage and buying fees. 


Raiz app

Spaceship Voyager app 

CommSec pocket app





CMC Markets  

* When choosing a platform, it’s best to compare what each platform offers and the fees included

3. What size mortgage can I afford? 

The third most Googled question asked was ‘what size mortgage can I afford?’, and Ms Stoykov said the answer is simple.

‘If you go onto any bank website, there will be a calculator of how much you’d be able to borrow based on your salary and borrowing capacity,’ she said.

But her ‘golden rule’ is to borrow significantly less than your borrowing your borrowing capacity or what you can afford.

‘This is because you need a buffer in case interest rates rise, you lose your job, or a range of other problems that could arise in the future,’ she said.

‘A mortgage is a long-term loan, so think about what you’ll be able to afford not only now but also in 10, 20, 30 years.’ 

A good tool to use is the Money Smart mortgage calculator which can be accessed here. 

As a rule of thumb, you should opt to spend no more than 30 per cent of your income on your mortgage or rent, otherwise you put yourself at risk of financial stress.  

With more Aussies wanting to buy a house, it’s important to know how much you can afford by speaking with your bank or mortgage broker (stock image)

4. Should I pay off credit card debt or save?

Ms Stoykov highly recommends paying off any outstanding debt before saving or choosing to invest in the stock market or property.

This is because over time debt builds interest which is charged on your account, and so it’s wise to pay it off sooner.

However, it’s also essential to have an ’emergency fund’ – a small pool of money saved – if needed urgently. 

How to buy Crypto at a glance:

1. Choose your platform – such as CoinSpot, or Swyftx

2. Create and verify your account 

3. Deposit funds into the account 

4. Choose a cryptocurrency and amount you wish to invest 

5. Click ‘buy’

5. What is Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency?  

According to Forbes, Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, a ‘decentralised’ form of digital money, that uses blockchain technology.  

There are more than 5,000 different varieties of cryptocurrency in circulation, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. 

Ms Stoykov said: ‘Bitcoin is a potential investment option, or another effective way to make more money, however I’d strongly advise doing your research before putting money behind it.’

In Australia there are a number of platforms to buy and trade cryptocurrencies, but some prefer to purchase physical ledger wallets to protect the digital finances from hackers.

Queenie uses Swyftx which has relatively low fees of 0.6 per cent and no deposit or withdrawal fees – though some alternatives include CoinSpot and

After signing up and verifying your account, you are able deposit funds to invest.

In November 2021, Bitcoin reached an all-time high price of $85,000 AUD for a single coin, but since then has dropped down to 50,000 AUD – and the price changes daily. 

What should you consider before investing in crypto?

Cryptocurrency is deemed to be a high-risk investment due to its volatile nature.

Queenie said this unpredictability correlates to the fact that people don’t know ‘how to value’ crypto.

‘The first risk is the volatility in the prices; even the biggest cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have really big price moments,’ she said.

For this reason, you should only invest what you are willing to potentially lose and consider fees, choice of coins, security and tax before buying.  

Source: Queenie Tan/YouTube

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