Farah C Fortune: When I started this business I was broke for a really long time!

Known as pit bull in heels, Farah C Fortune, is the founder of African Star Communications, and has managed to establish her company as one of the leading PR firms in the country. We talk to her about her money habits. 

How did your childhood influence your attitude towards money? 

I grew up in a family of six. Most of my clothes were hand me downs from my sisters. We weren’t rich but my parents made sure we never lacked anything. My child hood ensured I was very careful with money and I would do extra chores to get a little more pocket money. 

Are you good with money or irresponsible? 

I used to be a lot less responsible than I am now. I had to teach myself to save better as I got older. 

How do you define financial independence? 

For me specifically, it means never having to worry about how much I spend on anything. It also means having only a few bills every month. I don’t have credit cards at all. I live by this philosophy: if I can’t afford something using cash, I don’t buy it on credit. I don’t like debt.

If you have the choice between buying a home or investing in shares, which would you choose and why?  

For me it would be buying a home. A secure roof over my child’s head is important to me. Investment is important and provides great returns, if done wisely.

Have you ever been broke and how did you bounce back? 

Yes of course! When I started this business I was broke for a really long time! I bounced back by restructuring my perception of savings. I started asking myself, "do I want this or do I need this". It was a long process. I had to sacrifice a lot but it worked in the end and I’m better off financially, because of that whole experience. 

What's been your best and your worst decision about money? 

My best decision about money was learning how to save and spend on the right things. My worst decisions have always come from impulsive decisions. Now I’m less quick to act on impulses with money. 

What do you do to make sure that you are financially secure?   

I budget my life every month. How much do I spend every month? How much is coming in? Will I perhaps have incidentals? I also put away a certain amount of money into a 30 day savings account to help me save. 

How do you encourage yourself to think about your financial future without feeling overwhelmed ?  

I try not to let any financial situations overwhelm me. There’s nothing worse than stressing over money you don’t have! I take everything one bill at a time. Nothing will change if I worry about it. 

What’s your biggest personal indulgence?  

Shoes! I am a huge shoe addict. It’s a weakness! 

What are your rules for lending money to friends or family? 

I don’t. Money is the reason most friends and family fall out, so to be honest I hardly ever lend people money.

What is the most useful financial lessons you’ve learned?  

Try and save 10% of your monthly earnings. Always have more than one stream of income as well.

Follow Farah on Twitter