'I charged a man $600 for a garden hose': Livinia Nixon on her first job


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Livinia Nixon began her career in TV commercials in the 1990s before moving to children's television show Plucka's Place, iconic Aussie classic Hey Hey It's Saturday and then to radio before returning to television hosting quiz shows Temptation and The Test: The National IQ Test, before getting a gig on Getaway and weather presenter. This month she returns to radio hosting the weekend breakfast shows on Nine Radio across 2UE 954, Magic 1278, 4BH 882 and 6GT DAB+.

What was your first job?

I was working as a checkout chick at Target when I was 15. I was the worst at it.... and once charged a man $600 for a garden hose. I really should have read the training manual.

livinia nixon

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

Start investing early. When I was 16, my parents set up a share portfolio with money I was earning from modelling.

I am also quite debt averse, as I remember the last recession when interest rates were around 20%. The stress during that period for both my parents was enough to make me view debt as necessary but to be paid off as soon as possible.

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

Buying a home. Being the daughter of a real estate agent, I've always felt an affinity with property and it's very satisfying to be able to touch an investment and turn it into your own (CGT-free) sanctuary.

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

Anything that keeps me awake at night. With regards to the share market, I've decided to only invest as much as I can comfortably lose. That way, it doesn't stress me out.

What is your favourite thing to splurge on?

Travel. I've recently had to postpone a camping adventure around Australia and a trip to Cambodia, so I'm feeling particularly hemmed in this year. I've always loved the excitement of a new place to discover, people to meet and languages to attempt.

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

In the stock market. The market fascinates me as it's a microcosm of what's happening in society, in the courts, the economy, and it holds a mirror to our values such as its relationship with sustainable investments.

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

I'd take our kids to our favourite book shop. It's a cosy little shop with great music, great recommendations and the perfect escape both while browsing and later when reading the books.

Do you intend to leave an inheritance?

Yes, but I'm hoping the most important legacy I leave my sons will be a great attitude to life. And attention to grammar! We Nixons are sticklers for that.

What is one of the best tips you can share from your extensive travelling?

Learning some of the language always breaks down barriers and shows that you're interested in the country you're exploring. People really appreciate it and it can change your travel experience. Also, take shower caps to wrap your shoes in when traveling. You don't want to take the dirt of a day's adventure with you when you leave.

What are you most looking forward to in your new breakfast radio job?

I really believe in the mood booster and escapism that music provides and we certainly need more of that in 2020. I'm looking forward to playing the best music from years gone by, when life was much simpler.

What has been the best money making move for you?

Diversifying my investments. I prefer to spread the risk around, and then I can always feel like I'm winning on one front (and put my head in the sand when other investments aren't doing as well!)

Finish this sentence: money made round to go 'round

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Julia Newbould was editor-at-large and later managing editor of Money from November 2019 to February 2022. 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.
Jason Bryce
August 20, 2020 12.05pm

So if Livinia only had $50 she would go to a bookshop? Really?

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