Career & Money

From Budget Savvy To Best Life, Check Out How Sophia Athas Spends Her Hard-Earned Dollars

By Sophie Hart
28th Jan 2021

Sophia Athas sits at her desk in her home office.

In case you haven’t already stumbled across her Instagram—a gold mine of inspiration peppered with embellished denim, thrifted threads and eclectic homewares—let us introduce you to your newest girl crush, Sophia Athas. 

This Sydneysider is the founder and creative director of creative agency, Hatrikkk House and on top of her thriving business, work ethic and infectious charm, she also has downright enviable style. So, all things considered, we jumped at the chance to team up with NAB and take a peek inside her apartment, home office and wardrobe (FYI it’s an absolute dreamland).

From budget savvy purchases to living her best life, we chat how Sophia spends her hard-earned coin every day with the help of the new NAB StraightUp Card

Budget Savvy

Your Instagram is a dreamland—if only it was shoppable! Do you update your wardrobe regularly?

Because I’m in the creative and fashion industry, I’m fortunate in that I get to try different things and I get sent some products that I get to talk about and create content around, which is amazing. But in terms of my spending habits, I’m quite savvy with my wardrobe. I will splurge on a big purchase but my everyday wardrobe is a collection of things I’ve had forever that I can just wear over and over. But then when it’s the more out-there pieces, they’re usually either vintage or second hand—or I’ve stolen it from my sister. Even though it might appear like I’m going through a wardrobe change all the time, I actually don’t feel the need to buy every collection as soon as it comes out. I think the older I’ve become, the more it’s about quality over quantity. I don’t think you need five white t-shirts, just wear one nice one and look after it because it will last way longer. It’s such a cliché but it’s so true. 

Best Life

Is there one particular style piece that you’ve picked up recently that you’re really loving at the moment?

Every year I save up and I buy one special piece. I have a bag obsession, so I’m always buying nice bags, which used to be a very impractical purchase, but now I’ll buy a bag and use it every single day—they’re big enough that they can fit my laptop in it—everything gets dumped in there. When I made my last purchase on something big, you have the automatic guilt of ‘Oh my God, this is so much money,’ but when you break it down of cost per wear it’s crazy, it’s my third arm, it’s always there and I’ll have it forever so it’s worth it. I think with spending habits, everyone has their guilty pleasure, whether it’s a holiday in a fancy hotel or an air ticket, for me it’s always a handbag for some reason (laughs). 

Budget Savvy

You’ve got a wardrobe full of beautiful thrifted pieces, do you find this helps keep your wardrobe feeling fresh while saving your budget?

Vintage shopping takes time and you really have to do your research. Whether it’s online or market places you can find pieces that no one else has. It’s definitely a big part of my wardrobe, and even when I want to make a special purchase, I’ll look at designer vintage pieces as opposed to bags that you buy in the shop, so it’s a different experience altogether. But I think with the internet it’s become so much easier to find these special pieces you’ll have forever that no one will have, and that usually go up in value which is really cool. If you can invest the time and do your research, you can make money from it.

Sophia Athas shows off her thrifted blue skirt.

Budget Savvy

You thrift denim and embellish it with sequins and embroidery yourself, did you ever plan to do that as a side gig?

It was definitely just for personal use, [my sisters and I] would go to the markets every weekend and source [the denim] and I would embellish it. I slowly realised that people would want that extra little touch on their pieces to make it a sentimental piece, as it’s more special than a pair of regular blue jeans. And then that snowballed into a bit of a business, the demand was there—it was very labour intensive—but it definitely taught me a lot about supply and demand and the value of time, and then also the product.

Best Life

Alright, so it’s payday and you’re itching for a cheeky treat yourself moment, what do you spend your hard-earned dollars on?

When I get paid, in terms of the smaller, everyday things, it would definitely be a nice dinner out. 

Best Life

Do you often find that you’re cooking at home more than you’re going out?

The beauty of the hospo industry, particularly in Sydney, is that it’s so casual but so good. I think people underestimate how you can cook yourself dinner but you can also go out and get a pretty good meal for not that much.

Budget Savvy

With your everyday purchases, how do you try to be savvier with your spending?

Little things add up, so things like my coffee—I’m a coffee addict—I’ll have three coffees a day! I'll have one at home, one at the office, and I'll buy one as a bit of a treat-for-me moment. These days a large oat latte can be around $5, so if you’re buying one three times a day that can be a lot of money.

Also things like the tolls for my car, that’s another little expense that creeps up, so I’ve been trying to catch the ferry which ends up being cheaper. It’s only a matter of a few dollars, but every single day if you’re doing that back and forth over the bridge, it really makes a difference. Also, I’m trying to be savvier with my gym membership. I train outside and then do a spin class when I want to treat myself. When COVID hit, that was definitely a spending habit I changed.

Sophia purchases flowers with her NAB StraightUp Card.

Best Life

And on the flip side, is there anything you allow yourself a little more wriggle room with your spending?

A big thing for me, because I’m running a business and I’m pretty busy, is I would rather spend money so that my life can be more convenient and quicker to do things. For example, if I have to go into the city during work hours, or if I have to pick something up, I’ll pay for parking or I’ll get an Uber as opposed to public transport. For me, that hour to get to and from is worth more time than it is to pay for it. Another example is that I signed onto getting an accountant, and I used to do all that myself, now I save so much time. To me, time is money. Those hours in the day saved will save me in the long run. It’s about investing in the things that are going to make your life more productive.

Best Life

Are there any tools or anything that help with your spending that keep it simple and easy?

I like the new NAB StraightUp Card because I feel credit cards are usually associated with a big purchase. But with this card, because it’s an everyday thing where you can just tap for your $5 oat latte or your petrol at the servo, it becomes more digestible in terms of you’re not spending beyond your means but it’s also a nice way to keep cash flow easy and healthy.

From budget savvy to living your best life, the new NAB StraightUp Card makes everyday spending simple. With no interest, late payment fees or foreign currency fees — just a simple monthly fee which NAB will reverse if you don’t make any purchases and have kept a $0 balance for the entire monthly statement period. It’s straight up easy! Check out all the details here

Image credit: Yasmin Mund

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by NAB and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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