Vanessa Stoykov


Vanessa has been passionate about writing and storytelling since her days of hiding under the doona with her torch to read after bedtime. With over two decades of experience in the wealth creation space, Vanessa knows how important it is to have courageous conversations in order to achieve financial freedom. Vanessa has 3 sons and knows firsthand the importance of telling money stories that matter. Read her blogs to get inspired on your money journey.

Everything’s more expensive, real estate prices are crazy – what else is new? The brutal truth.

There’s been an air of positivity as people start to return to work. I...

January 26, 2024

Three ways to improve your money mindset

Money had fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Not necessarily the accumulation and growing of it. More, the impact it has on who we are, how we feel about ourselves and how others view us. Money and self worth are as closely linked as our parental influences....

May 12, 2023

The Raw + Honest Conversation You Need to Have with Your Financial Adviser

We avoid conversations about money with those closest to us for a long time, but many of us leave consulting a professional until it’s too late. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Getting real about your finances and having candid...

May 12, 2023

Why 7 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life

I have spent my career making educational content that explains concepts in financial services easier to understand and relate to. Have I succeeded? I have people who tell me their savings got them through COVID. I've had people say they got a financial adviser,...

March 14, 2023
Walking dead actor rick grimes

What I Learned from The Walking Dead

I love a good story. One that takes me to other places, that makes me laugh, cry or just relax. And it seems while I have arrived to the party pretty late, there’s one series that I can’t stop thinking about. “The Walking Dead” has eleven seasons, so many...

March 3, 2023
an older couple and a guy sitting on a couch talking

The Awkward + Unavoidable Conversation You Need to Have with Your Parents (and Siblings)

There’s no doubt about it. At some point in our relationship with our parents, things change. Hopefully, if we get enough time with our parents, we get to see them start to age. To slow down.

February 19, 2023

Why money stress is a big worry

It’s been a fantastic break and I’m happy to be in the saddle and kicking off the year. While January is not a break from the demands of everyday life, it is a much needed reset for us all.

February 3, 2023
A picture of kids playing

Changing Conversations You Need to Have with Your Kids

More often than not, kids have picked up habits and ideas about money from their parents. But it’s not all about your influence. Some kids are risk-takers when their parents aren’t at all,

February 2, 2023
beautiful christmas decorations

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

The headline for my latest story was first written by author Charles Dickens in 1859. And yet it could describe pretty much the last three years for us all. In many ways it’s comforting to know that yes, this too shall pass.

December 13, 2022
A couple of man drinking coffee and discussing

Chapter 2: The Eye-Opening + Confronting Conversation You Need to Have with Your Partner

If you’ve lied to your partner about money—sneaky credit card use, being deceptive about how much you paid for something, buying shoes or stocks without telling, secretly slipping some extra cash to the kids when you said you wouldn’t—you aren’t alone.

December 12, 2022
The Five Conversations About Money Book Cover

The Raw + Honest Conversation You Need to Have with Yourself

If there’s one part of this book I want you to focus on more than anything, it’s this. Everything starts with you when it comes to money. I want you to walk away with this first conversation under your belt.

October 19, 2022

R U OK About Money?

If the answer to that is no, you are not alone. Research shows that, “42% of the people who die by suicide were under financial stress”. Suicide Prevention Australia says that 70% more Australians have reported elevated mental distress levels, compared with this time last year.

September 7, 2022


Well, the end of financial year has come and gone, and we are well through the first month of the new financial year. When they say time flies, it’s a different kind of speed now. Dodging COVID and flu, navigating work from home and actually showing up. Crazy weather...

July 25, 2022
illustration meme-style with the quote "the only constant in life is change" on a brown background

Three ways to embrace change to improve your life

It’s a question that I have challenged myself with over the years. How do you ‘rip the Band-Aid’ of life off faster in order to make the changes you need to move forward.

June 7, 2022


In my job, I meet all kinds of people, with all sorts of money challenges. In fact, one of the main reasons I love the public speaking aspect of my work is so I can talk to people, who after hearing me speak feel free enough to be able to tell me their stories…

April 28, 2022

How Finfluencers are teaching millennials and Gen Z about money

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the role of financial influencers, and what they can and cannot do to teach people about money and investing. Namely because the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has recently…

April 28, 2022

Resilience is The New Black

It seems every month when I stop and pause to think what I would like to share, the landscape has shifted so abruptly, that I better it get it out there fast before something else comes up! Since I last wrote about moving past the pandemic, we have grappled with the...

March 7, 2022

What Are You Forgetting in 2022?

I sit here in evoHQ more exhausted than I have been in a very long time. Sure, my lack of physical fitness has been no secret to those who know me. 🙂 but I have gone through a period, like so many of us have, of a big change, and of enormous effort. We moved house...

February 7, 2022

Why 2022 Will Be Different

As we finally head toward the holidays, I have been talking to many people who feel like they are ‘crawling to the finish line’.  There is no denying it’s been a tough year. The pandemic and the lockdowns this year had a different impact on people than in 2020 -...

December 22, 2021

Can I have your number?

We strive in our working lives to create a comfortable lifestyle, indulge in a few rewards here and there, and provide for our family to ‘enjoy life’ in the moment. There’ll be plenty of time to work out a retirement plan when you’re older, right? That...

December 20, 2021
woman with beautiful legs, nude shoes and red skirt carrying multiple paper shopping bags in a shopping location


There has been a lot of press this week around the latest report released by Financial Counselling Australia. The report showed a huge increase in BNPL bad debt, which led to a lot of people seeking financial counseling, compared to this time last year. It also...

December 7, 2021

There’s a Lot to Look Forward to

As it gets closer to the last quarter of the year, it feels like finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With the vaccination plan rolling out, people are starting to make plans again, and look forward to all the wonderful things in life we have been...

October 6, 2021

Bombed Out Breakthrough

When Hannah Pereira started making bath bombs at home from a kit she bought on eBay, she had no idea the hobby would turn into a multimillion-dollar ecommerce success. “I had no money at the time,” Hannah confesses. Starting with nothing, Bath Box is now...

October 5, 2021

The Socialite and the Sous Chef

Got an appetite for fine dining? An exquisite restaurant that tantalises the taste buds will usually ask us to put our money where our mouth is - read our scenario below as food for thought… “You’re the famous Sous Chef of Excelsior, why don’t your...

October 3, 2021

Why Inheritance is Becoming a Very Big Deal

Of all the topics I write about, inheritance is one that will be gaining more attention over the next five years. Why? Because Australia is about to see a huge wealth transfer, with more than $3.5 trillion set to be handed over by baby boomers to the...

September 20, 2021

How 20mins can lead to a happier you

Call it lockdown maudlin but I have been listening to a lot of 80s tunes in this phase of the pandemic. Ok, so I do that all the time (thanks Spotify 80s classics) but the song by Whitney Houston, ‘The Greatest Love of all” has really stuck in my head. She...

July 22, 2021

3 Ways to Find YOUR Life Guide

Who do you go to for wisdom? Whose opinion do you respect over most others? If someone immediately comes to mind, then you may well already be connected to your own life guide. Someone who you can bounce things off, and talk to about what you REALLY want. For...

June 9, 2021

10 Ways to Reduce Food Waste and Save Real Money

Guest post by Antony Perring.  Making the most of the money we spend on the food that nourishes ourselves and our families is becoming increasingly important. It’s easy to recognise that wasting food is wasting money. Every soggy carrot or...

May 14, 2021

How to Lower Your Money Stress

You don’t have to go far to find people who are stressed about money. In fact, a recent survey I commissioned showed that up to 40% of Aussies believe they will have to work longer due to the financial effects of COVID-19. That fact alone would be causing a lot...

May 10, 2021

Vale Carla Zampatti

As a young and rather naïve 24-year-old woman, I was just starting to build my career in the finance industry as a sales executive at an investment company. With a salary of $66K, I was feeling confident and optimistic about my life, my job and the endless...

April 5, 2021

Two Billionaire Traits You Can Adopt

I have worked in and around the money industry for more than 27 years. I have known billionaires, millionaires and those that aspire to be. I’ve also made and lost millions running my own business, evolution media group, for over 20 years. During that time...

March 17, 2021

How Your Past Still Controls Your Money

No matter whether you had an idyllic happy childhood, or a less than perfect one, everyone is influenced and in many ways controlled by the way they grew up with money. The attitudes our parents and broader family/community had about money are still in us –...

March 4, 2021

How to Stop Money Ruling Your Emotions

Have you ever noticed how you can feel anxious, angry, resentful or afraid when you think about your money situation? When you get a bill that you don’t know when you can pay? When an unexpected cost comes in that blows your budget or financial...

February 17, 2021

What’s Your Money Set Point?

Something I have learned about money over 22 years of running a business, is that money usually delivers to the ‘set point” you ask it to. What do I mean by that? Well, usually business owners have a number in their head that they need their...

February 13, 2021

How to Improve Your Finances by Thinking

When it comes to money, most of us would say we could use more. Or at least, have enough to have real financial security, and never to worry about how the bills are getting paid. Of course what many people don’t realise, is that how you think about...

January 29, 2021

Happiness is a Journey

I read a great quote the other day, from the actor Denzel Washington. He was talking about how so many people thought that when they got that job, had that car, lost that weight, or bought that house that then, they would be happy. He called it destination...

January 18, 2021

Big W’s New Back to School Ambassador

BIG W unveils annual Back to School Report, revealing Aussie shopping behaviours and spending habits ahead of the return to class. With the Christmas and New Year rush over, it’s straight into back to school planning for many Australian families....

January 4, 2021

Why I’m Not Making Resolutions for 2021

Well we made it. 2020 has drawn to a close and we have now moved into 2021 - a year, we all hope, of recovery. As I sit with my husband, talking about what our new year's resolutions would be, I had a realisation...

January 2, 2021

Why Money Stories Matter More Than Ever

First of all, let me say the latest series we are launching, Secrets of the Money Masters, is perhaps my favourite. Why? Because the people in it are not celebrities. Rather they are everyday Australians, people just like you and I who just last year had...

October 29, 2020

Being Vulnerable With Money is the First Step

I’ve been working with the finance industry for over 25 years now. And all the things I have learned about money and people trying to improve their financial situation comes down to this one thing: vulnerability. What do I mean by that? Well, in order to...

October 27, 2020

Should You Take Your Super?

There has been a lot of press around the early release of the super scheme, and the fact that Australians have taken $28 billion out of their retirement savings to use now during the pandemic. Whether or not everyone has used the funds to their best advantage...

August 18, 2020

Facing Your Money Fears (and Who Can Help)

Someone recently asked me “what’s keep you up at night?” I have to say, there has been plenty to keep me burning the midnight oil - coping with the outcomes of COVID19. But the one that I keep coming back to, is the thought of hundreds of thousands of...

May 25, 2020

2020, Climate and Your Money

My first blog back for 2020 - after an eventful holiday period, mainly dominated by bushfires. Yes, Australia is still burning. The crisis is far from over. But to be honest, there is not too much left to burn. In fact, I just read that 80%...

January 10, 2020

What I Learned About Money to Get Ahead – That You Can Too

Do you ever wonder what other people know about money that you don't? Why on social media they seem to be on amazing holidays or wearing outfits that you couldn’t possibly afford? Well, you are not alone in this. In fact, most of us have been...

August 1, 2019

Three Most Common Money Traps and How to Avoid Them

We all do it - fall into money traps without even knowing. Life is so busy today, there are so many pressures on us, that sometimes making fast decisions is all we believe we have time to do. However, making decisions quickly around money can lead to long...

April 2, 2019

Are you the 1 in 3 Aussies in danger?

Here is a statistic that really troubles me. 1 in 3 Aussies don't have more than 1 month’s salary saved for emergencies. That means that a third of the population is at risk of something bad happening, and then being in major financial hardship. Are you one...

March 5, 2019

5 Reasons 2019 is the Year of Personal Finance

No matter who you are, or what walk of life you come from, we all have something in common - money. Whether you have a little or a lot, money will be at the top of the list for people to talk about, as Australia experiences its first real property downturn in over...

February 5, 2019

3 Ways to Relax & Reflect This Holiday Season

As we head into the beginning of a new year, most people I know are making new year resolutions. It seems life is getting faster and faster, and the never ending list of things to do keeps getting bigger. But before you commit to doing more, it’s important...

December 18, 2018

Are You In a Money Trap?

Have you stopped to think about how fast we all are running now? Our work is flat out, we are constantly connected via smart phones, and our personal lives are running just as hard. Life is a juggle and a lot of the time we can feel like we are paddling like crazy...

November 27, 2018

Are You Rich or Wealthy?

There is a phenomenon on social media at the moment in China called ‘flaunt your wealth’. The idea is people lying next to their luxury car as if they have fallen out, with their personal belongings from their bag spread around them. These items are luxury...

November 20, 2018

Unlearn Action – Part 1

This Unlearn Pillar is a big one: action. It's the pillar that can make or break your financial success. It’s also the thing that most people don't know quite enough about to really make it work for them. The thing about action that most...

August 14, 2018

Why I wrote the Breakfast Club – it’s not what you think

It’s an exciting day as I finally get to show the world my debut novel, The Breakfast Club for...

April 9, 2018