Lize Hartley: Worst decision is lending money to friends

Former TV presenter, Lize Hartley's entrepreneurial journey started when she saw a lack of plasters catering to the country's diverse people. Lize took the opportunity to create sticking-plasters, which come in different colours to match your skin tone. We caught up with her to find out more about her money habits. 

How do you define financial independence?

I define it as being able to stand on your own two feet financially in terms of paying for essentials, but also as being able to make your own financial decisions. Whether it’s how to invest your money, what to spend it on, or how much you decide to save and why, calling the shots on what you earn. 

How did your childhood experiences shape your attitude about money? 

My dad came from a family that didn’t have much money so even though I grew up with incredible opportunities and never wanting. He always instilled in me a sense of knowing the value of money and not taking it for granted. 

Are you good with money or irresponsible? 

I like to splurge every now and then but it’s always very considered and planned. I save up for big purchases. I have a shares portfolio and some savings, so while I always think I could be doing more, I wouldn’t say I’m irresponsible with my money. 

Being your own boss, have you ever been in serious financial trouble? 

Yes, all the time! It’s the reality of starting your own business (well, for most people). 

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

My best decision with money was to start buying shares when I was 21. For me the worst decisions about money have always involved lending money to friends - it never ends well! But I think I’ve learnt my lesson now. 

Do you have help to manage your finances or do you manage them yourself? 

I manage them myself mostly, but with big decisions like investments I always ask my dad. I have accountants do my annual tax returns, too. 

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

I own property which was a good investment. I’m currently saving towards hopefully buying more property in a few years, and I have a retirement annuity in place. I once read a study that said South Africans spend more per year on satellite television than retirement annuities and while I understand how that might happen and where that consumer behaviour comes from, it made me immediately evaluate my own financial position. 

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

I think often people don’t realise how financially draining owning property can be. Services like Airbnb have meant that home owners can make good money off their property but there are so many extra costs which often aren’t taken into account - not to mention the interest you pay! I would say when you’re younger, as appealing as property is, shares are a better place to start.

What’s your biggest personal indulgence? 

Fashion and art. 

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

Spend what’s left over after saving, not the other way around - although I don’t always follow this rule very strictly!

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Picture Credit: Cornel de Jager