Sharing financial wisdom between the generations

Money and Life
(Financial Planning Association of Australia)

Money know-how can come from anyone, young or old. When it comes to financial wisdom, author and speaker Kylie Travers and actor and singer Charmaine Bingwa have taken their lead from the previous generation.

Save and save some more

There’s no getting around it, getting on top of your finances means saving and saving means having discipline. Both Kylie and Charmaine learnt from their parents – and grandparents in Kylie’s case, that a serious approach to saving is important if you want to look forward to a better financial future.

“My parents raised me to save money, set big goals, work hard and think about the future,” says Kylie. “They were both very open about money and my Dad gave me a copy of “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason to read when I was just 12. So I learnt early about what you could do with money if you were prepared to save. My parents invested in shares and property and that helped me realise how much more freedom you have with other sources of income, apart from your earnings or salary.”

Charmaine’s parents were also committed savers and investors. “Well Mum liked to spend,” says Charmaine. “But Dad was more frugal and that balanced things out. They both showed me that short-term sacrifices are important it when you have a goal that’s worth pursuing. They arrived in Perth from Zimbabwe with just $500 and two big goals – building a good life here in Australia and giving me and my brothers a good education. And they succeeded, thanks to their commitment to saving and their property investments.”

Seek out advice – especially from experts

Both Charmaine and Kylie have enjoyed the benefits of family advice on their finances. “When I was in my 20s my brother encouraged me to buy my first property,” says Charmaine. “It was a time when many people my age would be spending on entertainment and travel, putting off the whole real estate thing until later. And now I’m in my 30s, I’m so glad I followed his advice.”

Several of Kylie’s uncles ran businesses, which has given her plenty of advice and real experiences to drawn on when setting up her own company and brand. But she was quick to learn that well meaning friends and family will only take you so far. “I didn’t just rely on my own knowledge or what friends were saying,” says Kylie. “I engaged a lawyer I could trust to help me in my business and personal affairs and through them, found an accountant and financial planner. Their advice has been essential for expanding my business.”

Plan for tomorrow, enjoy today

Although baby boomers are often praised for keeping a tight hold on their purse strings, perhaps they have something to learn from