MY MONEY

'We could all do with a laugh right now': Ben Lomas on funny money

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Comedian Ben Lomas was working on The Project and Ninja Warrior and about to debut his new stand-up act at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival when COVID-19 hit. He lost a year's worth of work in nine days during Melbourne's first lockdown.

Without a vaccine, the entertainment industry will likely be the last thing to return but Lomas is hopeful that people will once again go out and support live comedy. "We could all do with laugh right now," he says.

Lomas co-hosts Fitbet, a podcast in which he and fellow comedian Dilruk Jayasinha challenge each other to lose weight and live healthier lives.

ben lomas comedian

What was your first job?

My first real job was as a paperboy in my local neighbourhood. There were early starts and the pay wasn't great. The weekend edition was so heavy I could barely throw it!

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

"Don't spend money you don't have!" was drilled into me by my mother. Even though I have a credit card I only use it in emergencies (i.e. online shopping after a big night out!).

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

The best investment I made was travelling and living overseas in my 20s. It taught me so much about people, life and beer.

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

Thinking I could make money playing poker! I flew in to Las Vegas but just had enough money for a bus ticket out of there!

What is your favourite thing to splurge on?

I love gadgets. My recent splurge was the purchase of the new Go Pro 8. I'm not especially adventurous, but I do live vicariously through my kids by strapping it to their scooters! Kids have no fear, honestly.

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

It's boring, but I would place it straight into my offset account. I want to pay off my house ASAP!

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

Stock up on good coffee. A long black will give me the kick I need to find another $50!

Do you intend to leave an inheritance?

I'm planning to. I mean, working in the Arts isn't the money earner it was for me six months ago, but I would love to leave my kids something to make their life that little bit easier. We've been putting a small amount aside for each of our kids since they were in utero and my six-year- old now has more savings than I did at 30!

Is there anything that's funny about money to you?

I find it funny that people get really awkward when you ask them how much they paid for their house! So, I naturally ask all the time!

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

Yes, I would love people to invest more of their money supporting local businesses that benefit the surrounding community.

Finish this sentence: money makes...

... millions of people purchase things they really don't need.

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Julia Newbould is a financial writer and commentator with a background in journalism. 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.
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