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My Money Sorted: Hilary Barry

4 March 2024
Reading time: 5 minutes

Posted , 3 Comments

A bit about Hilary: Hilary Barry is a well-known face from the TV. After finishing her studies in her hometown of Wellington, she started her career as a radio reporter in Wairarapa. Since then, she's worked as a journalist in TV3's newsrooms in Christchurch and Auckland and more recently as a presenter on TVNZ's 7 Sharp. Hilary is married with two adult sons both of whom have left home. 

What is the best money advice you’ve been given? 

My father always told me as a teenager that whatever career path I chose to pursue I always had to make sure that I could support myself. He had grown up in a household where his father left his mother and he and his two siblings when he was just nine years old. He saw how hard his mother worked to support three young children on her own. She was a professional pianist. If she hadn't had that to fall back on then their lives would have been even tougher. 

Are you a spender or a saver? 

I'm not exclusively either. I'm good at saving and I'm not frivolous with money because it's hard work to get it, however I do like to splurge now and then. 

“My father always told me as a teenager that whatever career path I chose to pursue I always had to make sure that I could support myself.”

- Hilary

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

I don't know that I feel completely sorted but I'm definitely focused on saving for our retirement and making sure we're not a financial burden to our kids! 

What’s a memorable money moment?  

I don't know how I missed the memo but I hadn't realised the incredible deals that banks are offering on electric cars and solar panels. Check your bank. Ours was offering up to $80,000 over three years at 1%. Other banks have even better deals. A great chance to cut your emissions and save on fuel costs at the same time. And yes, I'm driving electric now. 

What’s most challenging when it comes to saving and investing money? 

Resisting the urge to look at the balance of your KiwiSaver particularly during turbulent economic conditions. Seeing the bottom line erode during the troughs isn't easy but as we all know, it's a long game so I've trained myself not to look at that retirement savings balance too often. 

What are some things that have caught you out where you needed money suddenly? 

Being part of the generation that had children before paid parental leave existed was tough. Trying to live off your savings for a period of time wasn't easy particularly when a large electricity or dental bill came in. I think paid parental leave is one of the best things New Zealand has done in the last 20 years. 

What do you wish you could tell other young women about money? 

I'd repeat the advice my father gave me. Find a job you can do that will always support you if you need it to. Don't rely on a man, do it yourself.  

What would your bank account say to you right now? 

Stop buying Lotto tickets. 

What’s your proudest money moment? 

Buying my first decent car. I'd driven a bunch of bombs throughout my twenties and with baby number one on the way I decided I needed a newer car that was safer and sturdier. I chose the car and test-drove it and despite the salesman asking whether I'd like my husband to take a look at it before purchasing (no thanks) and declaring when I wrote the cheque that this would put a dent in my house-keeping (what a chauvinist) I felt a real sense of achievement writing that cheque because I'd worked hard for it and earned every cent. 

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

I see a comfortable but not flamboyant retirement which will suit Mr B and me just fine. We're not flash Harrys, we're perfectly happy pottering around in nature or reading a book. 

Comments (3)


  • Gravatar for

    6 June 24

    Yep! I was fortunate to have parents who taught us to get good qualifications and save for our old age. That meant I could marry the man I loved (and still love), even though he is not a good money manager. It has meant that, once the mortgage was paid off, I could spend four years back at university retraining for a second, quite different professional career, that I can continue with way past retirement age (because I want to, not because I have to).

  • Gravatar for campbell

    7 March 24

    LOVE IT!!!!!

  • Gravatar for Campbell

    7 March 24

    I Love Your Advice Hillary. I for sure will follow these tips. Always been such a big fan of yours!!!!!! xoxoxo

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