TV presenter, actor, writer and comic, Jaquie Brown.

Money Matters: TV presenter Jaquie Brown


Media personality and creative Jaquie Brown has had a varied career which has taught her some valuable financial lessons. 

You began volunteering for radio station bFM when you were 18. What financial lessons did you learn as an intern? 

I learned that if I wanted to chase my dreams and my dreams were free (literally), I'd need to pick up part-time work to support myself. I worked in a café washing dishes and wiping off old pasta plates as well as telemarketing. Yeah, I was that annoying person who'd call your landline at 6pm and ask for a charity donation. Sorry. 

You’ve worn many hats in the media industry – from radio host, TV presenter, author, actress, comic and now screenwriter – what lessons have you learned from having a gig-based (rather than a salaried) career? How do you manage money when there is no guaranteed income stream or when there could be big gaps in between gigs? 

Doing different things is a necessity, both creatively and financially. I love trying new things and seeing if I can have fun with them; it keeps me inspired. But also, you can never rely on one stream of income. It's good to have a few different avenues and ways to earn a living, so if one falls over, you have a backup and are not sent into a spiral of panic and existential dread! 

You’ve previously talked about the idea of women having a second career after the age of 40 but that there’s often a stigma around getting older and the perceived limitations of that. If you could turn back time, is there anything regarding money you would tell your younger self? 

Do not believe that boyfriend you had when you were in your early 20s who pitched you the idea of getting credit cards from different banks so you could go to Thailand and have an amazing time and never have to worry about money. He'll tell you that you only have to pay back the minimum, that it's basically free money. But he will be wrong and it will land you in credit card debt and your parents will have to bail you out. Shame. 

Jacquie Brown recently hosted the competition TV series Blow Up

Jacquie Brown recently hosted the balloon art competition TV series Blow Up.

Would you describe yourself as a spender or a saver? 

A deep saver. After that brush with credit card debt I now split my income into three parts: some to save, some to store and pay tax and some to live on. 

What was your last big splurge? 

I don't think I have ever splurged. I'm too worried about getting into debt. 

Finish this sentence: If money weren’t an issue, I’d… 

Splurge! I'd love a beautiful espresso machine. One where you pull a lever and it delivers the most perfect coffee. 

You once described becoming a mother as “feeling kind of left out of my career.” How did that feeling change/impact your views around money? 

I suppose it made me more resourceful and think about new ways to make a living.  

Do you talk about money with your children? If so, what kind of things do you discuss with them? 

We are teaching them the value of earning money. They do chores for stars on a chart which add up to cash. We’re currently teaching them the art of shoulder massage for $1 each minute which sounds like a good deal for them, but they have weak kid hands, so they only last for $5 worth.  

What’s the best financial advice you’ve ever received? 

Live beneath your means, diversify your income stream and start an OnlyFans account of your feet. 

Jaquie Brown is one of several voice actors featured in season two of The Poo Files. The animated children’s show can be viewed on TVNZ+ and investigates the bizarre and hilariously fascinating world of animal poos and the creatures that make them.  


Story by Monica Tischler for the Winter 2023 issue of AA Directions magazine.

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