1. Are you a saver or a spendthrift?
A spendthrift, but I am mindful of reducing my mortgage debt. I guess increasing the equity in an asset is a form of saving.
I don’t think I am frivolous with my money, but I am lucky that I can buy things when I need or want to.
Fortunately, I have pretty basic tastes and affordable habits so my spendthrift nature isn’t too excessive!
2. What has been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
Be smarter with the credit card and pay it off each month to avoid interest charges.
Likewise, remove the overdraft after college!
Avoiding unnecessary interest payments is an easy way to manage money.
3. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider to be good value for money.
I have a few content subscriptions: video and news (usually sports), which I think is pretty cheap.
With a young family, I don’t feel like I have a lot of time or a lot of fun things to spend money on for myself, but I appreciate good content!
4. What do you know about money now that you wish you had known earlier?
Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on something up front that will require less maintenance and ongoing costs.
My first car, a âcheapâ Nissan Skyline, was an absolute money pit, for which I’m pretty sure I still haven’t paid my parents back!
5. What tip would you give to first-time home buyers?
Do your research: use all the data and information available.
But you also can’t go and see the properties for yourself and track what they’re selling for. Get a feel for what you might value differently from others.
This can help you identify properties that meet your needs and help you mark what you consider to be a good deal.
6. What is your favorite form of investing and why?
I’m all about diversification. Once we reduce our mortgage, I will likely increase my investment in managed funds.
7. Your best advice for saving money?
Set a goal and track your progress.
As a spreadsheet connoisseur, I think setting a budget in Excel is a good way to understand spending habits and helps people stick to their goals.
8. What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
To start investing.
The barrier to entry is very low these days, so get in as early as possible – KiwiSaver is a great start.
I also opened Hatch accounts for each of my children, all of whom are under the age of seven.
The opinions expressed in this article are personal and do not constitute professional financial advice.