Lynelle Kenned: Worst decision was taking sole responsibility for finances from a previous relationship

Lynelle Kenned joined Pasella after she became a runner-up in the Top Billing Presenter Search. Not only is she a presenter, she is also an soprano opera singer and has graced the theatre stage in a number of musical productions.  She shares with us her money habits.

How did your childhood influence your attitude towards money?

I grew up in a middle class family, with parents who had worked hard to better themselves financially. I never wanted for anything, but was acutely aware of sacrifices that were made to ensure that I had access to a good education and standard of life.

How do you define financial independence?

To me, financial independence has never been about acquiring a certain status of wealth, but rather the ability to work smartly with what you have. Setting a standard of living which is sustainable, while at the same time planning for the future. As a freelancer, it is even more challenging to plan long term with an income that is often fluctuating.

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

Right now, I would say I'd choose to buy a home (seeing as I'm still renting). That answer might change the more financially flexible I become.

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

O yes! I remember starting out as a freelancer in 2012, I had to learn to be assertive about contractors making payments in time for my bills to be paid. The lowest moment was spending my last R20 on lunch, but refusing to ask my parents to bail me out. I vowed never to be in that position again, and I've kept that promise to myself.

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

Best decision - Starting a retirement fund.
Worst decision - Taking sole responsibility for finances from a previous relationship.

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

Live below your means, save for a rainy day, and maintain a good credit record.

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

I think about how far I've come in the last 4 years of becoming financially independent (despite challenging obstacles), and it serves as inspiration for how far I still want to go. Short term goal - my own home in the next 2 years.

What’s your biggest personal indulgence?

Staycations in and around Cape Town. I refuse to feel guilty about that one!

Do you have rules for lending money to friends or family?

If you can't afford to give it away, don't lend. Unfortunately, disputes about money are the easiest way to damage relationships with friends and family. Responsibility and communication is key. When in doubt about lending, ask "if roles were reversed, would they reciprocate?" If yes, that's a solid relationship.

What are some important lessons you've learned about money?

Money is fluid. Obsessing about it only leads to misery. Be responsible, but learn to enjoy some of its rewards while you can. Plan that dream holiday or perfect staycation. You only live once.

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