5 March 21
Reading time: 5 minutes
For International Women’s Day, we chatted to Ana Tu’inukuafe about some of the money insights she’s learned along the way. As a relationship specialist in the education space, Ana coordinates and supports Sorted financial capability programmes for community groups and organisations, with a focus on Māori and Pasifika partnerships. These programmes help to build stronger families and communities – a kaupapa (principle) that Ana lives and breathes.
It takes a village to raise a child – my mum and other motherly figures in my life have shown me that nothing is impossible.
Strong work ethic, intelligence, unwavering love, advocating for equity and leadership are just a few values I have been raised with. I am indebted to these women.
I truly stand on the shoulders of giants – now it’s our time to carry the torch and challenge systems that are not inclusive. I feel proud to be a woman!
When I was younger and first started making money, something I was so proud of was being able to pay for my family to go out for dinner. Being able to say ‘I got this’.
Another thing is being able to buy my own things without going into debt. I worked at the movies when I was a teenager and remember saving up for my first pair of chucks. I rolled so many ice creams to buy those shoes.
I’m grateful and proud to be in a position to be able to support people around me. I know that if I couldn’t help, the next option might not be a good one – it could be a loan shark or payday lender. Having the ability to give is rewarding and humbling. I build it into my plan.
Also, buying our house!
I set my big goal, then my medium goals, then my little baby steps to get me there.
I think it’s really important to celebrate the wins along the way and to be flexible too.
Goals are important, but things come up all the time, so sometimes you need to change the goal posts a bit and learn not to get disheartened if you need more time to get there.
At the end of the day, this is what it comes down to: is this something that you really want?
Knowing that when I get ahead, so do my loved ones.
We all benefit together. My parents and family won’t be here forever so it’s important to me to be prepared to take opportunities when they come up.
It’s like ‘getting all the ducks in a row’. It doesn’t just happen by chance.
The pure enjoyment of being able to provide the extras when and where possible is a big motivator for me.
An emergency savings account also helps!
If you can’t pay with cash, you can’t have it. Thanks dad!
I wish Sorted in Schools existed when I was in school.
I wish I had been able to talk about money with other people from a young age. I always had questions about money, but I didn’t feel like money was a topic we could just talk about. I think normalising conversations about money would make things easier, like talking about how a credit card can be useful but it’s also important to understand the traps.
I am a pretty conscious spender, but I still could have saved myself a lot of grief and definitely could have had much more saved up by now!
Ana Tu’inukuafe is the Relationship Specialist – Community at Te Ara Ahunga Ora, the Commission for Financial Capability.