In honour of Mother's Day, our very own Chandel, Co-Founder of Ladies Talk Money, sat down with her mum, Victoria, to talk all things money.
Q: What’s the best money or financial advice you have ever received?
Mum, Victoria: I can't remember exactly where I heard it, I think it was on TV, but I remember hearing a financial adviser say you should try and save 15% of your wage every week. I mean I didn't necessarily do that (laughing) but I have always been a very good saver, even when I was still in high school. I worked 2 jobs before I'd even left school, and I've been saving since then. I actually paid for an overseas holiday with a friend at 16. I was never given any money from my mum or dad, because they didn't have any money themselves!
Chandel: Well obviously, I work in finance now, and I'm surrounded by financial and money advice almost every day, but growing up, the only person I ever spoke about money with was you really. So the only financial learning I ever got back then, was from you. And you were always very vocal about money in our household, and how important it was to always be saving and to never spend beyond your means.
Mum, Victoria: Yeah, mainly for me it’s saving. Always save something, even if it’s just a little bit each paycheck.
Chandel: Yeah, although something we talk a lot about with Ladies Talk Money is that a lot of women do get that advice, and understand that, but we often miss out on the advice to then invest those savings so that it grows.
Mum, Victoria: Oh definitely. I mean if you can afford to buy a property then you should absolutely do that. Even if you can't afford to buy something where you live, you can rent where you want to live but invest in real estate where you can afford.
Q: What did your parents/grandparents/teachers/first boss teach you about money?
Mum, Victoria: Nothing. If anything, they taught me how not to be. We never had a lot of money growing up, and I just always knew that I never wanted to be like that.
Chandel: Yeah this is really interesting because a lot of people, particularly when it comes to money, can end up becoming what they’ve learned. So for example, if they grew up with parents that weren’t very good with money, who taught them bad money habits or didn't give them any good advice, often they can end up struggling with money themselves when they get older. But you’re one of those people that went the opposite way.
Mum, Victoria: Well yeah, my parents never had much money. Mum didn't work and dad didn't have an overly large income, so they never earned much. I just always knew I was going to have to take care of myself financially.
Chandel: Actually that’s something I've also learned from you. Even though it wasn't true for me like it was for you (because you and dad did give us money growing up) but more the idea that I need to take charge of my own finances early. You can't rely on anyone else, nor should you really. I learned everything from you, to be honest. I don't really know anyone in my life that’s better with money than you are.
Mum, Victoria: (laughing) Well, thank goodness for that.
Q: How has your approach to money changed throughout your life?
Mum, Victoria: Well, because I became so busy with you girls when you were born (Chandel has a sister, Maquel) I really took my foot off the peddle with money and stopped being so involved with it all. And I really wish I hadn't, because we had a few money disasters during that time.
Chandel: Yeah, and I'd say you’re not alone here. I think it’s really, really important that we start supporting women more so that they don't feel like they have to give away the control of their money just because they become mothers. Or, because they get married!
Mum, Victoria: Yes, I just wish i’d always kept some level of control over the money, and that i hadn't ‘checked out’ so much for all those years. But apart from that, my approach to money hasn't really ever changed. I spent a lot more when you girls were little because i wanted to spoil you, but that’s about it.
Chandel: (laughing) Yeah, I'd say most of that money was spent on all my dancing and singing and acting lessons and costumes!
Mum, Victoria: Oh definitely… but you know, you can't take money with you, I don't regret anything.
Chandel: I think the only thing that has changed with my approach to money is that I want to do more with my money now, so that I see the benefits later on. So, I'm thinking a bit more long term these days. But honestly, I think that’s only come about because I’ve been exposed to the right advice, and I guess that’s what we’re trying to do for other women with Ladies Talk Money.
Q: What have been some of the biggest financial challenges in your life?
Mum, Victoria: Definitely when I left all the control of our money to your father, and he made some bad financial decisions. We lost a lot of money. Also, we had a terrible experience with some dodgy car insurance, which left us to foot the bill of an expensive accident.
Chandel: Oh that’s right! Though, in dad’s defence the insurance wasn't technically his fault.
Mum, Victoria: Well no, but it was still very expensive. I’ve also never had overly high paying jobs, so, I’ve always had to work very hard, and have always had multiple jobs.
Chandel: I haven’t really had any huge financial challenges (yet!) but I think that’s because I’ve been relatively good with money myself. I've also been incredibly lucky in that I feel like I'd have support from you guys if I ever really needed it. Which, I know is a HUGE privilege and there are so many people who don't have that support, which is incredibly hard.
Q: If you could give one piece of financial wisdom to future generations, what would it be?
Mum, Victoria: Try to always have something put away, just for yourself. Because you never know when you’ll need it and life can be very unexpected. Also, I really love property as an investment, because it’s something tangible, it’s a roof over your head, and once you’ve got it, it’s yours, you know?
Chandel: Yeah, I understand that. I guess it’s hard because buying a property now is a very different landscape to when you bought, and I think sometimes the financial barriers can be a lot higher for young people now. Although, definitely not impossible! And I think understanding the process, and knowing all your options is incredibly important.
Mum, Victoria: Yes, that’s true. I do feel sorry for young people in that way. I'd also recommend making sure you put a bit of extra money into your super. That’s one of the mistakes I've made, not putting enough away for retirement. I mean I have some, but I could definitely have more.
Chandel: Yeah that’s such great advice, especially for women because we tend to live longer on average, and we earn less over the course of our working lives. I think my advice would probably be to just try as much as you can to save at all times, and really make sure you’re maximising those savings to the best of your ability so that you can then start investing. Because the sooner you start, the better!
This interview was originally published, in part, on Ladies Talk Money.