Joan Freeman, the Independent senator who was also a candidate in the recent Presidential election, says that it was her upbringing, rather than a specific piece of advice, which influenced her approach to money.
“I came from a family where there were eight children and where we lived in a house with two bedrooms and one box-bedroom,” says Freeman. “Money was never terribly important to us. We never felt a lack of it, but we had no awareness of money either. Other things were far more important. That’s the environment I came from and the message which I took from that environment was never to give money any power.”
Freeman cites a quote from Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, which states that ‘a wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart’. Freeman is a big believer in this advice. “We’ve got to survive and we need to earn a living,” says Freeman. “But don’t make money your goal. We need to see that other things are more important. That’s been my ethos all my life.”