Carols in the Domain star Rachel Beck on Christmas and COVID-19

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Singer and actor Rachael Beck is performing at Carols at the Domain in Sydney on Christmas Eve (not actually held in the Domain this year). She has been singing and acting since she was 15, and has featured on Channel 7's It Takes Two as a coach. On stage, Rachel has starred in Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Singing in the Rain and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

You're about to perform at Carols in the Domain - how important is Christmas to you? Does it have any special meaning this year?

Christmas is the time my whole family gets together - it's special because my daughters get to spend four weeks with the entire extended family on the north coast of NSW.

rachel beck carols in the domain

What was your first job?

Cats the musical, when I was 15. I left school and moved to a city I had never been to before, without my family. Big time! But it launched my career.

What's the best money advice you've received?

I invested in a semi in Annandale, Sydney, with my father when I was 19. He taught me to always put money aside for a rainy day. It's hard sometimes for an actor.

What's the best investment decision you've made?

To buy my apartment in Bondi after splitting with my then-husband. It was close to the beach and the Bondi Primary School for my two daughters and it was full of north-facing sunshine. It made me very happy!

What's the worst investment decision you've made?

Selling our house during the global financial crisis. We lost almost all our money on that sale.

What is your favourite thing to splurge on?

A massage when I want to treat myself! I'm a single mum so I don't throw money around, but it means when I do treat myself I really appreciate it.

If you had $10,000 where would you invest it?

Into my mortgage!

What would you do if you only had $50 left in the bank?

Keep it there and say to myself, 'Some people have nothing - at least I have $50.'

Do you intend to leave an inheritance?

I'm not sure - as I said, I'm an actor and we don't have long-term plans (we can't, really!)

What would you most like Santa to bring you this year?

A year of someone to clean my house!

Would you like to see any changes in the way people look at money post-COVID?

As always, I would hope people think of others more post-COVID. People with a lot of money giving more to charities.

Finish this sentence: money makes...
...some people build castles with walls around them and others build a place that everyone can enjoy.

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Julia Newbould is the managing editor of Money magazine and is one of the hosts of the Friends With Money podcast. She was previously editor of Financial Planning and Super Review magazines; managing editor at InvestorInfo and at Morningstar Australia. Julia co-authored The Joy of Money, a book on women and personal finance. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney where she serves on the alumni council.