Meet Marissa Saroca — actor, singer and songwriter

by Verve

My parents met in Australia and, after they were married, my father migrated from the Philippines to settle here. They would both often talk about growing up poor and how working hard and having an education is the best way to have a better life. While they always provided for us and made sure we had what we needed and wanted, money was a struggle and was often spoken about that way. 

Once I started earning my own money it went completely unchecked. I didn’t have the familial responsibilities my parents had, so I bought what I wanted, when I wanted – not to mention my relationship with credit cards! I relied on them heavily if I couldn’t pay bills or needed to make emergency purchases that I hadn’t saved for. 

Lately, I have been realising just how powerful it is when I choose to spend or place my money in places that align with my values. I make more of an effort to spend locally, ethically, indigenously, politically – acknowledging that this also comes with a degree of privilege that may not be accessible to everyone (and sometimes not even to me). 

As a woman of colour and feminist – I believe that there’s a need for Australia to do much more proactively in support of First Nations people. When I saw Verve’s sincere and thorough Acknowledgement of Country, I realised how I’d never seen anything like that before on ANY communications from a financial institution, and felt like I’d done the right thing in joining. 

Fun fact:

Manages a team that does live captioning for online meetings, webinars, seminars, interviews and meet ups for greater accessibility and inclusivity (check out Captioners Collective).

Biggest $$ ‘skeleton’ in my closet:

Two maxed out credit cards. 

Current Cash flow:

As a singer and actor, I would often work overseas a few times a year but obviously that’s not happening at the moment or in the foreseeable future! This lifestyle isn’t what you would call ‘traditional’, and money has never been stable. But I’m in my late thirties now and I need to deal with financial stuff. As a contractor, I’m responsible for my own super – and you can probably guess how that’s gone. 

Current money goals:

My goal for the year ahead is taking responsibility for my financial independence. To pay off my credit card and lower its credit limit. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had two maxed out credit cards, and during this time I have managed to pay off and cut up one, and the second is halfway there! Such a big deal for me, so I’m very proud. 

This year I started working with a life and business coach and have completely changed things financially using some simple strategies. I am now taking more responsibility about savings and who my superannuation is with, and using money more wisely. I knew I wanted things to shift, but I wasn’t expecting such a big shift so soon – particularly financially (did I mention I’ve paid off my credit cards despite losing income during COVID!!). I love the discipline and accountability.

How I define a wealthy life:

I consider a wealthy life to mean more than just in a financial sense – quality time with friends and family, good mental and physical health, and experiences and challenges that lead to growth and fulfilment. People who I consider to be wealthy don’t have to worry about shopping in the sales, or finding discount codes. They have investment properties, and if they suddenly need to buy a new car or laptop or want to go on an overseas holiday they can do that without too much thought or financial effort. There’s obviously privilege that allows someone to build wealth, that not everyone has access to. But I would still like the kind of ‘wealth’ that would allow me to follow my dreams and invest in my career without being a ‘struggling artist’!

Money beliefs I am trying to change:

I always had a sense that money would come to me when I needed it – and it does – but I have realised it’s only ever been ‘enough’, and certainly not with comfortable savings or any real planning for the future. That stereotype of the ‘struggling artist’ is definitely pretty ingrained in my industry. 

My hope for women with Verve

Even in my first few months with Verve, you’ve given me more than any super fund has over the past 20 years. In the same way that I have, I want all women to have a space like this that feels safe to learn, aligns with their values and doesn’t speak down to or patronise them. I’m so glad that I found you!

Want to share your money story?

Are you a Verve Super Member? We’d love to hear your story. Every woman has a unique story, and every story is unique in its power to improve the lives of other women. If the idea of being profiled scares the hell out of you, then never fear! You are not alone, our team will help you find your voice. Go on send us an email and let’s do this:

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