The Carousel’s Finance Expert Sarah Riegelhuth hits the streets to find out how you’re managing your money…
Chiquita Searle from Morningside QLD, The League, 33
What’s your worst money habit?
Spending it! Spending it without thinking about the consequences. Impulse buying. Things like just forgetting to repay my credit card.
What’s your best habit then?
I’m actually really proud of how I’ve simplified my lifestyle over the past few years since I started my business, Chiquita Label. It was a complete 180 for me, going from being a spender to a saver, and making sure I knew I had everything covered.
The biggest thing your parents taught you?
There was a lot of stress and anxiety about money growing up in my household, we didn’t often go on holidays, and it was that real ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ mantra, it was a actually bit negative. To be honest I’ve learnt more from my own personal development, I identified that I wanted to do my own learning rather than following in my parent’s footsteps even though they did do their best.
What’s your perspective on charity or community stuff?
I think it’s really important. In terms of charity I like to know where my money goes, I love OneGirl, on the website you can see exactly what your donation gets you, what happens and where it’s going. I’m big on transparency. I definitely feel that for me time, skills and expertise is something I can give more of at the moment (than just money), I was a volunteer Crusader for the League of Extraordinary Women for 18 months, before coming on as General Manager, and that was great – I have a strong sense of wanting to do more of this.
If you could talk to your younger self?
I would do things very differently. I wouldn’t go to Uni, I feel it was a bit of a waste of money, I’d travel more and then go and work in design, I’d tell myself to start a business much earlier than I did. I’d also spend less money on clothes and going out! I earned plenty of money in my 20s but didn’t keep alot of it!
My tips: I can see that Chiquita has really stepped up to take ownership of her own financial situation and has learnt more from her family about what not to do. This is the first step for anyone who wants to get their finances in order, is to realise it is up to you. She’s mentioned that she’s a bit of a spender, so she’ll always need to watch this, but in saying that as long as she allocates some money to herself that is OK to spend, and has the rest of her money ticking away and building wealth she has a very bright future. I think the idea of giving skills and time above money is a great way for her to be giving back, this is something that everyone even if they don’t have money to donate.