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My Money Sorted: Chris

20 June 2024
Reading time: 3 minutes


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This month we talk to Chris. A broadcast engineer, he spends his savings on his side hustle: chasing/photographing punk and rock bands around the world. My Money Sorted is our series exploring people's experiences and views about money on their journey to living sorted.

A bit about Chris: Apart from a few years spent living in Switzerland, Chris Bright has lived in Tāmaki Makaurau all his life. A broadcast engineer, he spends his savings on his side hustle chasing/photographing punk and rock bands around the world. 

What's the best money advice you’ve been given? 

Pay yourself first. I don’t recall exactly where this came from, but after paying my bills and any debts, I pay future me, putting down savings towards my goals. Then I work with what’s left for discretionary spending. 

Are you a spender or a saver? 

I’ve always been a saver and feel guilty or experience anxiety when I make large purchases for myself, although I do allow myself to spend a bit while still feeling in control by sticking to a budget and doing a lot of research on what I want to buy. 

“After paying my bills and any debts, I pay future me, putting down savings towards my goals.”

What’s a memorable money moment you’ve experienced?  

Taking my entire life savings with me in my pocket when I moved countries (the insanity of the Swiss 1000 franc note), holding it on me through two long-haul flights, keeping it in my bedside drawer (because no one would accept it at a shop), depositing it at the bank and then, a few years later, taking it all back again. 

What makes you feel Sorted when it comes to your money? 

I prefer to avoid exerting too much mental effort on money matters day to day. Instead, I try to pay for recurring bills up front for the year (which occasionally results in a discount), then set a budget that’s compatible with my savings goals and pay a set amount towards those goals automatically. That way I don’t find myself having to admin my accounts to ensure I have enough for upcoming bills, or worry that I’m ignoring my goals. It means I can mostly avoid thinking about money beyond periodically reviewing my goals and budgets. 

What money beliefs have you inherited from your friends and whānau? 

“It’ll be cheaper if you wait.” My dad would always say this when I expressed interest in buying some kind of tech, and I’ll admit it annoyed me! But I’ve definitely taken it on to some extent. Sometimes you can still have that thing you want if you’re prepared to wait, or get it as an end-of-line purchase when a newer model comes out. 

What would your bank account say to you right now?  

Stop going to hardware stores twice a week, just join the Auckland Library of Tools! 

What’s your proudest money moment? 

It was just a few weeks ago, when I bought a house with friends – and a lot of help from my family. 

When you think about your retirement, what do you see? 

I think retirement for millennials and beyond isn’t going to look like it does at the moment, and I'm likely to be more dependent on my KiwiSaver and personal investments. I see myself continuing to work for as long as I can, and hopefully able to reduce my financial footprint, downsize and move somewhere cheaper. Ideally, my hobbies and interests will generate an income and keep me active in my later years. 

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