Libby Koch, wife of Sunrise television presenter David Koch, keeps her husband’s spending in check.
According to Libby, Kochie is a bit of a spender, often buying books, nice wine or even a dress for his wife.
“So I used to warn David: watch your spending,’’ she said. “He loves shopping, has a good eye and would always surprise me with a lovely dress or a piece of beautiful jewellery.’’
When Kochie started his first business venture very early in their married life, Libby managed the household finances and looked after the couple’s three young children.
After paying all the bills, she used to give Kochie a spending allowance of only $200 a month.
Over the years, as the family business grew Libby would do all the invoices, bookkeeping and staff superannuation payments – and made sure there was enough toilet paper in the office.
Today, the qualified nurse has turned into something of a financial guru herself, advising families on household budgets.
She also writes a Your Money column on home budgets for News Corp’s newspapers.
“ When we first started, I was comfortable running the family’s finances just the way my mother used to,” Libby says. “We had kids very early, so I stayed home to look after our children and ran the family’s household budget, paying bills and making sure credit cards were paid on time to avoid fees.’’
While Libby keeps a beady eye on household budgets, including home and personal insurance, David looks after the bigger picture, such as investments and the couple’s self-managed superannuation fund and share portfolio.
“Last year we hired a bookkeeper and accountant for the business, which freed me up from doing the invoices, and I took a management role. While I spend a lot of my time answering letters sent to David, I also look after our 18-month-old grandchild.”
The cardinal rule she swears by is “live within your means and, when possible, pay your credit card bills so you don’t incur fees.’’