Mishka Patel: Always save for a rainy day and constantly build up on your savings

by - September 11, 2016

At age 24, Mishka Patel is living out her dreams. Her modeling career opened doors for her in media and business. Coming from a small town outside Stellenbosch, Mishka knows the challenges faced by young girls; and so she started her own ‘Success Classes’ to build up their confidence. Today, she runs her own production company (www.getunedmedia.co.za) and is a one of the presenters of Pasella on SABC 2. She is also an ambassador of brands such as Russell Athletic SAScheckter's Organic EnergyTheraVine SA and many others.  In this interview, she talks to me about her money habits.

What lessons did you learn about money from your parents?

I was taught that money does not grow on trees. I was fortunate enough to have a dad who made sure we lived comfortably, but he made sure that we knew where money comes from. I was used to not seeing him often, because I knew he was working to ensure my brother and I attended great schools. We learned to work for our own money as kids  by doing chores or small jobs around the house, like cleaning our rooms or washing dishes, to earn some spending money. From a young age, we learned how to work with our money and how important saving is.

What is your number one financial priority right now?

I recently decided to move out and move into a luxury lifestyle apartment complex in Somerset West in Cape Town . So right now, paying all my bills and making sure I can pay my rent and keeping a great credit record is number one. I had to adjust my financial priorities and budget drastically, but it was a move I needed to make for myself and my career.

Do you sometimes have money blocks and how do you deal with them?

Don’t we all? Since I am a freelancer, I need to make sure I work enough to cover all my monthly expenses.

Since you don't have a fixed income, how do you budget your paychecks?

I save and make sure I work a lot and have enough jobs booked. I also don’t overspend. I make sure I buy within my means.

How do you deal with financial setbacks when they happen?

That’s why you should always have a plan. Always save for a rainy day and constantly build up on your savings and make adjustments to your budgets where needed.

How do you define financial independence?

for me it's living comfortably with what you have, being able to stand on your own two feet and making your own financial decisions.

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

My best decision has been to start saving when I did, even if it’s just a small amount I put away every month, I make sure I can save towards a better financial future. My worst? I have never had setbacks I could not fix or deal with, but overspending when I know I can’t has to be number one.

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

Because of my age, I’d say shares are a better option for me. I have seen many friends who invested in property or who are home owners, which is great money, but never took the extra costs and interest you have to pay into account. I am sure I’ll eventually get to the point of buying a home, but as of now, I am, wrapping my head around investing in shares.

Are you saving for retirement?

YES, never stop saving and securing a good financial future for yourself.

Is there anything you’re a cheapskate about?

I won’t use the word cheapskate, but these days I don’t overspend unnecessarily and I try and buy only what’s needed.

What’s your biggest personal indulgence?

Clothing. Fashion. Shoes. In other words, the wardrobe department.

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

I have been in that situation before, and sometimes it is scary because money is the one thing that can break a relationship. I think this is also dependent on the relationship you have with your family, and luckily I have not had a bad experience, because I know I have the type of friends & family who will be loyal to their word.

Do you and your women friends talk about money?

We give each other advice of course, and always share where the specials are and how we can save some bucks.

What tips can you share with women?

Start now. It’s never too late to start saving, investing and securing a stable financial future for you and your family.

Follow Mishka on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Grethe Rosseaux Photography

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