The Interview that never came - Penny K

Penny was in the midst of writing an instalment of the Somersoft Interviews for us, but her time with us was sadly cut short.

As posted in this thread:

I believe all of us here at Somersoft felt that we had lost a great friend – even if most of us never met her “in real life”. Perhaps that is one of the greatest things about the virtual space of the internet – that we can connect and experience friendship over vast distances and across different cultures that would have been unimaginable only half a century ago.

Perhaps the other great virtue of this medium is that a part of Penny stays with us, still very much alive in the form of PennyK, talking to us every day through her many posts.

I have taken snapshots of some of her more recent posts, which gives us some glimpses into the mind of a truly valued forumite.

The Y-man


PennyK on Church…

I go to a C3 church . Pentecostal, but most are a little more edgy than Hillsong, and smaller. The northern suburbs is a big area, but there is one that meets in Carlingford high school. My one meets in Top Ryde (89 Blaxland Rd). another in Lane Cove Public School, and the "mother" church is in Oxford Falls, which is a big church like Hillsong (different style though).
I don’t know so many traditional churches... Beecroft Uniting. Epping Baptist, Nrth Epping and West Epping Baptist used to be good. the anglican church near Epping Station is very traditional. St Anne's anglican, in Ryde is more visitor friendly I think. My friend from school is the minister at Tyron St Uniting church. I've neve been there but she is very creative and i imagine it would be good, so long as you don’t mind women ministers.............. well that should get you started...

Most of the Pentecostal churches do an "offering talk" as well as the sermon, so it gives it a higher profile, which is why they have a reputation for being focused on money. There is an expectation that you will be blessed financially, (and in all areas of life) and an expectation that you will tithe (but obviously no one know if you actually do or not). I've been giving 10% of my income to the church since I had income. I guess if you added it up, it would be very significant. But it’s just something I do and i believe is important, even when money is tight. I take it out via direct deposit, so I don’t really miss it. It’s just something I've always done, and I don’t feel that I've missed out on anything as a result. In fact, just the opposite... we believe God provides all we need (not necessarily what we want though!). So, He will supply finances in those times where we don’t have enough. I can honestly say that this is my experience.. I was a missionary with no income for several years.. no income but never without.

One warning.... some protestant churches still have a fairly negative attitude towards catholics. So, just try to sus that out before you go.
Our pastor and his wife were brought up catholic, but he was already married when he felt a call to ministry.....and I think quite a few of the pentecostal churches attract catholics, because there is more of the mysticism in there, which catholics are used to.

PennyK on Cars…

We have a mazda 2 as well... I like to tell people it was "buy one, get one free" at the mazda dealer.
We had a Subaru Liberty, which had been great. We took it in for a 100K service and it was never the same. drove it out of the mechnic, 10km down the road, it stopped. it took the mechanic 3 monhths to get it working again!
they had replaced something in the service and installed it slightly incorrectly
got it back, less than a week later, it stopped again. they'd cut the hose running from hte radiator.
took it somewhere else and it came back with a problem with the aircon.

we finally decided to replace it. decided on Mazda CX7, got a good price on a demonstrator..... but I get a car allowance through work. So, we paid full price for the CX7, added up the demo discount, the trade in (made sure the aircon as turned off!) and a discount, and got the Mazda 2 for "free".

PennyK on Part time vs Full time work

In my experience, "school hours" jobs are frustrating for everyone.. worker/ employer and customers. the day just isnt long enough to get everything done, and if you are part time, it will be a whole week before you can finish.

Maybe some of the mums can form an afterschool babysitting roster, so they can work a full day without having to use after school care…..
Oh, I found going to full time exhausting after part time..... when do you shop/bank etc!

but I do think part timers work hard, and then also try to fit in other stuff as well, eg kids sports, helping out at canteen etc.

When I went from part time to full time, I stopped doing any activities i had been doing, and just focused on work and family. I didn’t volunteer for anything. When you work part time, people expect you to help out at school, play group etc..... but if you work full time, everyone is happy to pass over you when looking for someone to help out.

PennyK on running a business

One of the things I learned when running a business is that if you are offering a higher value proposition, but price yourself below others, then you have a mismatch and people believe the pricing rather than the words.... ie dont discount a premium service.

you can even charge more, if you can explain why the customer should pay more. If people feel they are getting value, they are often willing to pay a higher price. but you must actually provide a better service, not just say that you do.
I've gone from employee to owner to employee again. In all situations, I have been in management and growing a business.

To be honest, I am much better at making money for other people than I am for myself and I prefer to play with other peoples money. I'm in the midst of doing an interview for Yman (which has only taken me 8 months to do), so hopefully it will explain more of my journey.

But you need to be aware that running a business is unfortunately more likely to decrease wealth than grow it, and the vast majority of businesses fail. options for IP loans etc become limited. If you go in with stars in your eyes, you run the risk of being very disappointed... make sure you count the cost before jumping in.

I'm not anti-business, but I think some of the stuff that Kiyosaki etc say is extremely naive and pie in the sky. Being an employee generally gives you more time, opportunity and freedom to invest than the average business owner.

Of course, I'm fortunate to have an above average income and a job which I love and which provides those "world changing" opportunities, which definitely helps. It would take something fairly drastic for me to consider going back into my own business. If I did, I would keep it much smaller and more conservative than last time.

Think of Kiyosaki like an OTP or a timeshare presentation... and make sure you dont get sucked in by the excitement and promises. the reality is that hard work and heart ache lay before you, with no guarantee of success. Sounds very negative but you need to be prepared to accept that risk before you move on. I'm not saying you wont be successful, but I dont know any business owner who has not suffered heartache along the way. ……..

PennyK on the End Game

I prefer the idea of living off rent, which necessitates paying down the loans at some stage.
My mother did this and had a comfortable retirement. She was not a big spender though.
She had 2 IPs (one was dual income) and PPOR. She had to move into a nursing home at the end, but we never managed to rent out her PPOR. (needed permission from the Public trustee, which after a 6 month fight, they granted........ the day after she died )
her income from the IPs was probably 60-70 K and would have been over 100k if we'd rented out the PPOR.
I want to structure our finances to pay off PPOR first, and then gradually pay off the other properties.

PennyK on Circular Threads

But it’s so frustrating when threads just go round and round in circles. Sometimes I just want to sit people down and bang their heads together.... if you have to make the same points 3 or 4 or 15 times, you are not going to win... move on!!
But I do have to confess that Coffee Shop topics are almost always my favourite ones!! Provides me with much amusement and interesting insights into the ways that people think

PennyK on….chainsaws??

Chainsaws are such fun!! thats my favourite toy too! Very therapeutic.....