My Money Sorted: Christine
25 September 23
Reading time: 7 minutes
What is the best money advice you’ve been given?
To pay myself first. In other words, allocate a percentage of my income to future me (savings or investing) before paying any other bills or splurging on fun activities. This way the money left over is what I have available to spend on fun things, rather than taking my investing or saving money from whatever is left over after bills are paid.
This has allowed me to be consistent with saving for my future, rather than forgetting or not prioritising it.
Are you a spender or a saver?
Definitely a spender. I’m a sucker for instant gratification, especially when spending on things I love (anything health related). As a result, it’s super important that I have my savings separate to my everyday accounts to add a barrier to accessing it! Or that I am consistently paying myself first.
What’s a memorable money moment? (success or learning)?
When I managed to get myself into personal debt a few years back. It’s not my proudest moment, in fact it was probably my lowest point financially, but it was a really great lesson in delayed gratification and the result of ineffective money management habits.
I believe that a genuine change in our money habits often comes from an ‘aha’ moment – whether that’s seeing your money grow through investing for the first time, or the shock of realising you’re now paying 12% interest on a loan that you never intended to have in the first place.
Everyone has something that will likely shock them into change, I was just fortunate enough that the stakes with my ‘aha’ moment weren’t too significant. I was able to pay off the debt in a few months after some self discipline.
What makes you feel Sorted when it comes to your money?
When I have clarity over my money – where it is (investments, savings accounts etc), what its invested in and how much is generally coming in and out. To me this is the baseline for managing and growing your money – if you don’t have any clarity, how can you know how to improve?
What money beliefs have you inherited from your whānau?
Money wasn’t really something we spoke about growing up. It was something we were encouraged to work hard and create, but there wasn’t discussion around what to do with the money we earned – save, invest, spend etc.
Only now, 20 years later, are we starting to have some open and honest conversations around money mostly driven around both kids ending up working in finance, but also as our parents near to retirement.
What would your bank account say to you right now?
What is taking you so long to update your money buckets?!
Our team at Kernel recently listened to a podcast with Money expert Ramit Sethi that shared a great approach to living your ‘rich life’ including adjusting the way you split your money each pay cheque. Specifically, Remit suggests structuring your bank accounts like:
- Fixed expenses (everyday expenses, incl. rent, food, hair cuts etc.) – ~60% of your income
- Saving (short-term expenses incl. car upgrades, emergency fund etc) - 10% of your income
- Investing (money for future you, retirement) – 10% of your income
- Your ‘rich’ life (the things you absolutely love – aligned spending) – ~20% of your income
I wanted to try this out as its slightly more than I would expect to spend on my ‘rich life’ and less than I am currently saving/investing, but could potentially keep me more consistent long-term.
What’s your proudest money moment?
There’s a couple – both within the last year or so.
The first was making the biggest investment I’ve ever made (and no, it wasn’t in a property). For the first time, I felt like this investment was large enough to potentially have a significant impact on my financial position in the next 5-10 years, all goes well.
The second one was recently sitting down for a financial check in with my partner and looking at the progress we have made over the past 5 years. I find myself constantly questioning whether I am doing enough to set myself up for the future that it can sometimes be easy to forget how far you’ve come. This check in was a nice reminder to stop and celebrate the wins just as much as striving to do more!
When you think about your retirement, what do you see?
Lots of travel and a lifestyle block by the beach. I’m talking a big enough property to have a few animals, a big veggie garden and a spare room where I can keep and do all my fun health things – saunas, reformer pilates and more.
I don’t imagine ever not working either; got to keep that mind sharp!
With the rising cost of living, have you changed your spending habits, or tightened your spending belt?
The biggest expense I have been feeling is at the supermarket checkout. It’s like groceries are edible gold!
No but seriously, when it comes to our weekly shopping we’ve been a lot more intentional with looking to alternatives such as Supie, My Food Bag (on special – it can actually work out to be a lot cheaper if you’re smart about it) and ensuring we buy food in bulk.
I would also say that I’m in a stage of life where I don’t want to be too restricted by something like a mortgage. Before interest rates rose significantly, we considered purchasing a house (which would’ve been at the peak of the market) and I’m a bit relieved we didn’t end up going ahead with it as I would be sacrificing a lot more now. So it’s not something we’re tightening as such, but more delaying in place of being able to not be so restricted with our spending now.
What are your tips to make your money go further with inflation and interest rates driving up prices?
- Start with reviewing your budget. Look at what really makes you happy and the stuff that you can live without, that’s not essential. Then ruthlessly cut that stuff. Instead of Netflix, Disney+ and Neon, could you just have your favourite subscription instead?
- While interest rates have risen significantly recently, meaning you can get a relatively decent return keeping your money in a cash fund or high interest savings account, it’s important to remember that markets are cyclical. Data shows that over the long-term, investing your money in growth assets can still outperform short-term cash assets (as these are correlated to rising/decreasing interest rates – again cyclical.)
The content shared in this blog reflects the author's personal experiences and should not be taken as financial advice. Individual circumstances vary, and readers should seek professional guidance before making any investment decisions.