MyBudget Founder Tammy Barton Shares Lessons in Entrepreneurship
We’re proud to welcome Australian entrepreneur, businessperson and personal finance expert Tammy Barton to our team of Industry Guest Lecturers. The Founding Director of MyBudget started the personal budgeting company in 1999 when she was just 22 years old, and she’s now one of Australia’s most influential businesswomen and female entrepreneurs.
With AIB, Tammy is lecturing in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, drawing on her experience starting MyBudget, growing it to the national company it is today, and leading with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Tammy’s MyBudget journey stems back to her first job in a law firm where she studied accounting in the evening. Her role included the trust accounting of the firm, as well as managing a small debt collection firm owned by the law firm.
“I saw the impact first-hand that debt was having on people’s lives, and it occurred to me that I should refer these clients to get some help,” Tammy remembers. “When I started looking around, there wasn’t anyone that I could refer them to, so I thought I would help them myself. I soon realised that putting a budget together for them was only the first step. The secret sauce was managing the budget for them so they could stay on track and achieve their financial goals.”
At first, Tammy worked out of her own kitchen, with nothing but a computer and a cordless telephone. “I used to go out to clients’ houses. The business grew predominantly from word of mouth: finance brokers, accountants and government departments all referred their clients to MyBudget,” Tammy explains.
As the business grew, she started looking around for budgeting software that would run all of her clients’ budgets at once. “There was nothing that I could buy off the shelf,” Tammy says. “That’s when I decided that I would build our own technology. I borrowed every dollar that I could and invested in building the technology that, still today, runs MyBudget. That was really the first milestone: building that technology. What that did is it gave me the platform to be able to grow and scale even more.”
MyBudget grew year on year at a staggering pace of around 50% per annum. With the rapid scaling of the business came a series of challenges. Tammy needed to scale her workforce, find premises and coordinate marketing efforts.
From that kitchen table in 1999, MyBudget now employs close to 300 people with offices all around Australia and manages close to a billion dollars on behalf of its clients. “We’ve helped over 100,000 Australians thus far,” Tammy says. “Our next ambition is to expand the business overseas. We’re building new technology now, and once it’s complete, we’ll look at expanding first to the UK and New Zealand and then to the US,” shares Tammy.
While MyBudget certainly keeps Tammy busy, she also finds time to contribute to boards, entrepreneurship events and conferences. She has been an Advisory Board Member of BankSA since 2012 and a Board Member of Project Gen Z. She also regularly contributes as a speaker at events and conferences which champion entrepreneurship, women in leadership and education.
At the heart of it all, Tammy still considers herself an entrepreneur above all else.
“I see myself as a purpose-driven entrepreneur. Did I get into this to solve a problem? Absolutely, and that problem is the financial stress that people face. I really want to live in a world where financial stress no longer destroys relationships and families. For me, that’s a social cause. Everything we do is driven around that purpose of eliminating financial stress in the community and improving the financial health of the world, she explains.”
Tammy’s valuable contributions to the world of personal finance and entrepreneurship are already appreciated by thousands of Australians. Now, we look forward to sharing her contributions with our students as well. We extend a warm welcome to AIB’s newest Industry Guest Lecturer, Tammy Barton.