My Money Sorted is our series exploring people’s experiences and views about money on their journey to living sorted. We spoke with Ravi, 30, of Samoan and Fijian Indian descent, born and raised in Manurewa, South Auckland. He is married to his high school sweetheart, and they have two beautiful children aged 6 and 3, and a fluffy little dog named Hercules! Their financial aspiration is to create a lasting legacy for their children, live out their dreams and reach their goals.

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

Avoid the temptation of unnecessary spending, set up automatic payments for bills, emergency funds and savings on the same day as your payday. This will ensure everything you need to pay for is covered and you know where your money is going. Don’t forget to be realistic, and allow yourself some play money for moments when you want to treat yourself.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I am definitely a spender, but that’s not always a bad thing! Spending should be the reward off the back of some disciplined and hard-earned savings. Renaming savings accounts with a particular goal and date (eg, ‘Hawaii 2023’) gives you a timeframe and target to work towards, knowing there is a spending milestone to be achieved on the other side.

What’s a memorable money moment?

In our younger days, we were quick to say yes to any overdraft and credit card facilities offered as part of our uni packages, without truly understanding how they worked or the financial situation we were creating for ourselves. In hindsight it was one of our best learnings, as we had to deal with the consequence of working to pay off unnecessary debt! Fast forward to 2022, we now know and understand how facilities such as cards can give us the advantage with rewards – but only if we’re paying it off immediately and keeping within our means.

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

Sitting down monthly with no distractions, fully focussed on looking at all the income coming into our accounts and calculating all the funds that go out. It’s in these moments of truth that you see your spending habits and gives you the opportunity to redirect. This also opens up the possibility of creating savings goals for your aiga or whānau.

What money beliefs have you inherited from your whānau?

Don’t spend what you don’t have! Instead of using credit cards, high-interest personal loans or overdrafts to purchase something, learn the discipline of putting money aside each week to achieve purchasing it without any fees or interest! The feeling of accomplishment is also a direct result of this.

What would your bank account say to you right now?

Keep going, but always be prepared for the unexpected expenses or fa’alavelave (financial responsibilities or giving for crises) of life’s different seasons. You may not need it now, but a buffer or emergency account will have your future self thanking you for thinking ahead. Don’t forget to save for the everyday, unforeseen emergencies, and long-term goals and milestones.

What’s your proudest money moment?

Being in a position, after achieving our first-home goal five years ago, to purchase our second family home in a crazy Auckland market! Having a mortgage can be a daunting and confronting experience, but understanding how a home loan is ‘good’ debt should motivate you to make the necessary sacrifices of things such as travelling or spending now by thinking of the bigger picture to achieve your long-term goals.

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

A retirement of choices! A lot of travelling, being mortgage-free and heaps of time with our kids and grandkids. By then, hopefully we would have helped others to achieve their financial goals for themselves and their families.

One thing I’ve found is it’s important to make sure your KiwiSaver is in the right fund for your goal, especially after we achieved our first-home goal and are now saving for retirement.

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