With the power of TikTok, Denise Julia (no, not that Denise Julia), got to save up for a piece of land at just 20 years old.
Ask a student what’s on their minds these days, and you’ll probably get answers related to school and less on putting their money in big investments. But life has a funny way of working sometimes. While some students are busy studying for their finals, a few are also doing the same, while also putting a significant portion of their earnings into investments. Such is the case with 20-year-old accountancy student and content creator Denise Julia.
No, we aren’t referring to the musician Denise Julia, but the TikTok star and singer with over 4.7 million followers on the platform. Thanks to the hard work she put into her content, she’s been reaping the fruits of her labor. And with that, she recently put a majority of her earnings into a major purchase, a piece of land that will serve as an investment property. Talk about life goals.
While the idea of what your future will look like begins to creep into your head as you enter your 20s, it usually just stays as that, an idea. However, given Denise’s unique position as both a college student and content creator, doors started to open up for her. “Investing in and buying my own investment property hadn’t really crossed my mind until recently when I started encountering these terms and topics in school,” she tells NYLON Manila.
Since she is studying accountancy, the math made sense. “It made me realize that the money I have now is much more valuable than the money I will have tomorrow. So, I began learning more about investments.”
With enough followers on TikTok alone to start a small country, Denise has been lucky to make a good living as a content creator. But when it came to putting her money on that first big purchase, there wasn’t a doubt about where she was going to put it. “The question was never whether I should buy a car or a parcel of land, as I aspire to invest in land appreciation to preserve the value of my money.”
To that end, she credits her dad with helping her with this big decision. “He actively searched for a lot for sale that matched my criteria in terms of square meters, price, and location. His involvement made the process much smoother for me, considering my busy school schedule.” She adds to her supportive father, “I’m genuinely thankful for the time he dedicated to searching, inquiring, negotiating, and helping me secure the land.” Denise hoped to purchase before the start of 2024 before prices increased. Luckily, her efforts paid off when she signed the papers and sealed the deal in December 2023.
Denise’s purchase, which was supported by her parents and found with the help of her dad, is a 150-sqm land in a private subdivision in Pampanga. According to the content creator, it was a buy from two years worth of savings. As for what she plans to do with it, it will serve mainly as an investment because she feels it will serve her better than in a bank.
“This way, its value can grow with today’s inflation.” And while buying property, especially in this economy, is not cheap, it didn’t take much convincing for Denise to do it. “I had prayed for it every night. When my dad discovered a lot of the perfect size and location, I thought, ‘Let’s pray for it and then we can go for it’ and we did!”
Needless to say, being a landowner at 20 and still in school was not on Denise’s life bingo card. But thanks to the power of social media, what was once an impossible goal became a reality. “Initially, I began posting content online purely for fun, doing so for years without earning a single centavo,” Denise admits. “Recently, brands started reaching out to me, for which I am immensely grateful for their trust. I consistently strive to post quality content, ensuring that both parties benefit significantly from our collaboration and not taking for granted these opportunities.”
When it comes to getting those checks, securing the bags at such a young age from what is still an unconventional occupation to many proved to be overwhelming to Denise at first. But over time, she took to heart the hard truth that it’s always better to save your money than spend it in one go. “Earning money from content creation can be overwhelming because it’s not the usual job I grew up knowing. Most of the money I earn from social media goes straight to my savings, and I use a portion of it occasionally to treat myself and my loved ones. My parents instilled in me the value of sharing blessings and being a blessing to others.”
FINDING THAT BALANCE
Like many Gen Z, Denise Julia has had those struggles when it comes to proper spending habits. Money, after all, has always remained a sticky subject for many, especially the youth who don’t always have the opportunities to earn a lot while being saddled with an increasingly expensive world. But as Denise sees it, if that opportunity presents itself, go for it because you never know where you’ll end up next.
“If you’re given an opportunity and are capable, seize it. Do it wholeheartedly; it’ll be worth it regardless of the outcome. As a college student in one of the most challenging courses, balancing work in social media, and maintaining friendships and relationships definitely isn’t the easiest, but it’s also a blessing. Once I started earning and saving, I consulted my parents on the smartest approach. I don’t restrain myself from buying wants, but I also don’t overdo it because I acknowledge that money doesn’t grow on trees, and such opportunities do not come every day.”