It’s Money Week, and we’re talking to well-known New Zealanders about their financial lives and the lessons they've learned over the years.
We continue the conversation with businesswoman, Theresa Gattung, who opens up about what money means to her, her best investments, and some of the missteps along the way.
What were your parents like with money and what effect do you think it’s had on your financial habits?
My parents were really good with money. They basically always had a positive relationship to it. What I mean is that I didn’t grow up with any anxiety around money, I didn’t have a scarcity mentality towards it. I believed that one could create all the money one needed to have a good life if one worked hard and took calculated financial risks. This attitude I credit to my parents.
What was your first job and how much did it pay?
My first job was as a shop assistant in a clothes shop while I was at school, so I was doing it during the holidays. It paid $25 a week!
What was your best financial decision or purchase?
Being a founding shareholder in My Food Bag.
What was your worst financial decision or purchase?
Starting a retail clothing business in the US at the time of the GFC.
Has there been a time in your life when you didn’t know how you were going to pay the bills?
No, there has never been a time in my life when I didn’t know how I was going to pay the bills. I have worked consistently since I was 16 and was lucky enough to go through University when it was easier for students than it is today so I didn’t come out with a large debt.
What does financial freedom look like to you?
My life now!
What’s been the most difficult lesson you have learned about money?
Disparity in wealth can be a problem in relationships.
What plans do you have for saving for retirement?
What is retirement when you are self-employed?
What financial advice would you give to your younger self?
You’ve got this covered honey …
You come into a surprise $100,000 windfall tomorrow. What do you do with it?
Give it to one of my favourite causes which would probably involve helping girls get an education in the developing world or animal welfare.