By Lee Hancox, 7 March 2019
“It’s important to share these lessons from my life experiences - just because I’m in the industry, doesn’t mean I don’t go through financial hard knocks”.
Hancox suggests some of these could include:
Hancox shares four hard knocks she’s encountered and what she’s learnt from them:
At age 17, I matriculated and realised my parents hadn’t been able to save up for my
tertiary education. So, I looked for a job and that’s how I ended up in insurance.
At the time, I did what I needed to do. And I wouldn’t change my life course. Though, now that I have my own child, I see it as a non-negotiable to put money away for her future – whether she wants to study, take a gap year, or explore a different journey altogether.
Other lessons I’ve learned:
I wanted the divorce over and done with and I assumed we’d always be friends, working together to raise our child. So I didn’t make the best financial decisions at the time. In retrospect, I wish I’d spoken to the attorney and a financial planner. I completely underestimated the less obvious costs involved. Like setting up a house or daycare – previously, my ex-spouse’s mom had been looking after our child.
My advice for others in this situation:
Early on in my career, I was a broker consultant who earned predominantly commission. That meant my income constantly fluctuated between ‘good and bad months’. In the good months, it was really tempting to splash out and buy a car, for example. Then I’d be hit by another bad month.
The lessons I learnt:
We lived in Johannesburg before we got married. Seven years ago, my husband was offered a dealer principal position in Cape Town. I got a transfer to the Sanlam Cape Town office and we decided to move. We were both earning good money and on the verge of buying a new house when my husband was retrenched. The lessons?
“With everything that’s happened, I think my biggest lesson has been to keep my
financial planner close. Don’t hide things because you don’t think they’re relevant. When things get difficult and the curveballs come your way, that’s when you need to pick up the phone and call someone you trust.”