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

Shop around! My dad used to spend hours and hours visiting different stores (before the internet!) making sure he was getting the best price for the product he wanted. I used to roll my eyes at him, “what a waste of time” I used to think... but I use that advice all the time now. 

Are you a spender or a saver?

Since the age of about 22, a saver. Before then I was always living paycheck to paycheck, spending every penny just because I had it. 

What’s a memorable money moment? (success or learning)?

Learning about budgeting and seeing where my money went. My ex-husband took me through my first budgeting spreadsheet, at the time I was reluctant – how boring and adult! But, I learnt a lot from simply categorising my money/spending and it made it so easy to want to save money. Honestly, it was like a flick was switched in my brain! 

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

Putting a certain amount aside each week for specific things makes me feel good. I don’t manage to do it every single pay check, because life, but when I do, I feel super Sorted. I have dedicated accounts for general savings, my car, future holidays, future self care and of course my emergency fund – that last one I don’t skip. I find having lots of different accounts with specific saving goals really helps motivate me to save too! 

What money beliefs have you inherited from your whānau?  

“Money doesn’t bring you happiness, but it gives you freedom, which can give you happiness.”   
This is something that I want to embody for my future self, I know I don’t need millions of dollars to be happy, but making smart decisions now means I’ll feel more financially secure in the future and in turn will hopefully mean I’ll have more freedom to do what I love, which I think will make me pretty happy. 

“Working hard doesn’t mean you’ll earn more”  
In the past I had a high stress job where I was working long days and burning myself out, at the time I thought I was earning plenty of money to handle the stress but once I'd removed myself from that situation I realised that no amount of money is worth the stressful job – and honestly, the money wasn’t even that great!! 

What would your bank account say to you right now?

Haha, well I've been through some massive change this year so my accounts aren’t exactly where I would love for them to be, but they’d probably say something along the lines of “You’re doing great for what you’ve achieved this year!” which is a nice reminder.

What’s your proudest money moment?

Paying off my student loan! I remember getting a balance letter from StudyLink and after doing some calculations I focused on getting that debt down quickly. The feeling of that first pay check where all of the money was completely mine was so satisfying!  

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

A slow, comfortable time of life with whanau and friends! I want to make sure that the financial plans and steps I take over the next thirty to forty years get me the retirement I want. 

With the rising cost of living, have you changed your spending habits, or tightened your spending belt?

100%. You have to at the moment! Going to the supermarket to get a few things for dinner plus some other “necessities” ends up being a $70-$100 trip, it’s painful.  I’m doing my best to trim down on the spending that I don’t need to do as everything is adding up so quickly. There are some things that I’ve told myself I can’t afford to do right now which sucks, but it’s a reality for a lot of people. 

What are your tips to make your money go further with inflation and interest rates driving up prices? 

  • Shop around if you are buying! Make sure you’re getting the best price for the product you want to get, websites like pricespy are a life saver! 
  • Thrift shopping. It’s not glamorous but I have saved a lot of money recently doing this, especially when starting a new job where I needed more corporate work gear. 
  • Don’t just ‘girl math’ that thing you want to buy – justifying is something I'm guilty of, for sure, but right now with the cost of everything going up, unless you actually need it, it’s probably not worth it. Ask for it as a Christmas/birthday gift instead.

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