10 money questions to UK correspondent Lia van Bekhoven

1 What financial lesson did your parents teach you?

“They wasted no money at all and were even very frugal. They were the least materialistic people I know. It’s been with me my whole life. As a result, I sometimes still feel uncomfortable when I spend a lot of money. That way I can afford quite luxurious holidays, but it always feels a little wrong.

2 What is your worst buy?

“The first house my husband and I bought in London. It was already a very expensive city at the time, and it was with the courage of desperation that we found a home that fit our budget. Only later did it turn out that it was located in a street where, until World War II, there had been a pile of scrap metal. Under our house there were broken double-decker buses, which caused the ground to move and the house to sink. We had a very hard time selling the house again, as we wanted to buy a bigger house.

3 Have you ever borrowed money from friends?

‘We could not buy our second house until we sold our crooked house. A bridge loan was too risky and the seller gave us 48 hours to find a buyer for our own house. When a rich friend heard about this, he would immediately help. He still had a few tons left. We just had to call his PR lady and she would make sure the money was in our account. And then it happened. A few months later we were able to sell our house and we paid the money back. It’s London too: a rich friend who suddenly pays for your house. ‘

Familiar works with education. Their two children are to share a winter coat.

4 Do you work as a permanent employee or self-employed?

‘I have worked as a freelancer all my life. I make some contractual agreements with my clients, but for the rest I get paid for every single job. I combine different things. I not only work for radio and television, I also give regular presentations.

5 Are you good at negotiating your prices?

“I have a minimum price that I do not want to go below. That’s the easy part. I still have a lot harder time assessing the maximum I can ask for a task. However, it gets better with the years. In the meantime, I can afford to keep raining. I will not get into trouble if a task does not go through anyway.

6 Do you monitor your finances closely?

‘I’m pretty loose with money. I have no idea exactly how much I own or where it is parked. I have a vague idea of ​​my total assets. It is enough.’

7 Are you investing?

‘Yes. I have a moderate defensive risk profile and I invest part of my savings in stocks. My husband took care of it until his death more than two years ago. He was very good at that. Now I outsource the management of the investment portfolio. Luckily, I have friends who are bankers. I can always turn to them for advice. ‘

8 Until when do you continue to work?

‘I’m not working towards an end point. I’m still very busy. It’s crazy: even though it looks like I’ve been living in London since the fall of Antwerp (1585), it’s feeling like I’m reaching my peak right now. I want to be busy as long as there is demand for what I do and I can live up to expectations. If it does not work anymore, I will be smart enough to pull the plug.

9 Do you often come into contact with poverty?

“In London, inequality is rising day by day. Even in the dull green suburb where I live, poverty cannot be avoided. I have acquaintances who work with education and where the two children have to share a winter coat. My street supports a food bank and they do not even give potatoes to people there anymore, because many people can not even afford the gas to boil the water. ‘

10 What luxury do you have money for?

‘My house is my greatest luxury. I am constantly renovating it. This is where most of the money goes. And also to Uber. ‘

More interviews at www.netto.be/geldvragen

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