“The best advice I ever re­ceived was never to rely on a man for your money”

Money Magazine Australia - - THE HOT SEAT -

What was your first job?

I got my first job at McDon­ald’s as soon as I was old enough to work: 14 years and 9 months! I couldn’t wait to start work­ing and mak­ing my own money. I was hop­ing I’d be on the front counter – I re­ally love in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple and was super ex­cited to say “You want fries with that?” Un­for­tu­nately, I was usu­ally on din­ing room duty, and the bins I had to empty were al­most as tall as me. I liked it, though. It gave me struc­ture, train­ing and, of course, my very own money.

What’s the best money advice you’ve ever re­ceived?

It came from my par­ents: never rely on a man for your money. It gave me the men­tal per­spec­tive I needed to be the in­de­pen­dent woman I am to­day. As my fu­ture would have it, I ended up get­ting di­vorced at an early age. My fi­nan­cial in­de­pen­dence was the life raft that made the choice of leav­ing easier for me and that made re­build­ing my life easier there­after.

What’s the best in­vest­ment de­ci­sion you’ve made?

The first is my ed­u­ca­tion. I know that no mat­ter what hap­pens in life I can lean back onto my ed­u­ca­tion and find a way to sup­port my­self. The se­cond is good risk man­age­ment: hav­ing in­surance. I took out a pol­icy for ev­ery­thing when I was 18. It paid off when, nine years later, I had to make a par­tial trauma claim for an un­ex­pected ill­ness. We’re not un­break­able de­spite feel­ing that way at times, es­pe­cially in our early 20s. It’s im­por­tant we take care of our­selves, and im­por­tant that we in­sure against our risks. It was one of the smartest (and at the time most goaded) de­ci­sions I’ve ever made.

What’s the worst in­vest­ment de­ci­sion you’ve made?

Buy­ing a house at 19 be­cause if I didn’t “the mar­ket would keep go­ing up”, ac­cord­ing to the real es­tate agent. Sure, the mar­ket has gone up since then but it also did sig­nif­i­cantly cor­rect it­self in the year af­ter I pur­chased. The pur­chase wasn’t the right kind of prop­erty for me, in terms of the amount of ren­o­va­tion work that was needed to get it to turn a profit, and I ended up sell­ing it at a loss. It’s taught me some solid life lessons, how­ever, from a young age, on the need to not just buy the right as­set but also the kind that you can hold onto for the right pe­riod to ac­tu­ally turn a profit.

What is your favourite thing to splurge on?

Ex­pe­ri­ences: din­ners out and hol­i­days. I love spend­ing time with the peo­ple I love and mak­ing mem­o­ries that I’ll keep for­ever.

If you had $10,000, where would you in­vest it?

Right back into The Re­mark­able Woman! We’re in­vest­ing in some tech­nol­ogy right now that will en­able our men­tor­ing pro­grams for women to be even stronger. So any funds I put to­wards it help us cre­ate more fe­male lead­ers of the fu­ture.

What would you do if you had only $50 left in your bank ac­count?

I started with noth­ing so I’d go back to ba­sics and do what got me to this point: spend less, learn more, in­vest wisely and work hard.

Do you in­tend to leave an in­her­i­tance?

I don’t have any chil­dren but when I do, yes, ab­so­lutely.

What can women do to be­come more fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent?

See a good fi­nan­cial ad­viser and make some solid longterm in­vest­ments. Re­view your super early be­cause women tend to re­tire on around half of what men do, ask for a pay rise if you de­serve it and al­ways self-ed­u­cate be­fore you del­e­gate: whether it be to your part­ner or your ad­viser. Read the pa­per­work, know what you’re get­ting into and be part of the de­ci­sion mak­ing.

Fin­ish this sen­tence: money makes ...

… the right choices pos­si­ble. If you are fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent you can choose to build that busi­ness on the side or quit your day job al­to­gether, choose to take on a new course, choose to buy a bet­ter home for your fam­ily, or it can help you make the choice of leav­ing an un­happy (or un­safe) re­la­tion­ship easier. Money is crit­i­cal for the choices in life it af­fords you.

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