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Do you have different money personalities? Here’s how to cope

There are lots of things for couples to fight about. Who chucks the wet towels on the bed and forgets about them, who never empties the dishwasher… But while most minor gripes are relatively easy to resolve, fights about money can be another question altogether.

Finances – and how you deal with them – are one of the most common sources of serious disagreements for couples.

If you and your partner have different money personalities, it can be hard to work out a way forward. A committed spender may find it hard to understand the reserve of a die-hard saver.

Here are six tips to get you started on your path to finding common ground.

Talk

Sit down with your partner for a frank assessment of your situation. Be frank about your individual approaches to money. Talk openly about your money beliefs and your expectations for the future.

Why do you think you behave the way you do? Why is your approach important to you? All of this background information can help each of you to understand the other.

Don’t expect huge changes

Everyone can strive to do better with their management of money, but creating new habits – especially when the old ones have been developed over an entire lifetime – can be challenging. So instead of aiming for huge changes, you may have better chances of success if you meet in the middle.

Plan

Once you have acknowledged your different approaches, set out a plan of what you’d like to achieve financially as a couple. When you agree to it, you can work back to set some goals for each of you.

That might mean that you commit to a certain amount of savings each month – but also allocate some spending money so that neither of you feel they are making too much of a sacrifice.

Focus on what you have in common

When you have a very different approach to your partner, it can be easy to focus on the ways that you are out of sync rather than the things you have in common. Work out what unites you – your joint goals, the things you value in life – and use that as a basis for your discussions about money.

Delegate if you need to

If you’re trying to make big money decisions and you can’t agree, turn to a trusted third-party to help. Someone who isn’t closely involved may be better placed to help you find a solution.

Predict pain points

When you know each other well and understand how you each think, you’ll be able to predict the situations that are likely to spark tension. Identify them well before they occur – and before either of you is emotionally invested – and work together to devise a strategy to navigate them.

Want to talk?

We’re not relationship counsellors but we are great at helping people manage their money better. Get in touch today to talk about your financial goals and we’ll do everything we can to help you achieve them.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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Eleven things it’s worth spending money on

We usually focus on all the ways to save money, but the reality is, sometimes it’s worth splashing out. Here are eleven things that it’s worth spending your money on.

Your health

Skimping on things like doctor’s appointments and eye checks can be a false economy. Stay on top of your appointments so that you can tackle problems before they turn into serious or expensive issues.

Your retirement savings

You may regret any budgeting that removes your ability to save for retirement. You should at least contribute as much to your retirement savings account as your employer – and, if you’re in KiwiSaver, the Government – will match.

The money you put into retirement savings now will have years to compound and could grow to a much bigger nest egg when you get to the point where you need it.

Your car

You don’t need to buy a flash car, but if you opt for a cheap vehicle, make sure you factor in how much it’ll cost you to run. A cheap car might be easier on your savings account when you buy, it but can end up much more expensive over the long run. Also, if your car is starting to suck up a lot of money in maintenance costs, it might be time to look at upgrading.

Travel

Sometimes it’s worth spending a bit more to make travel run more smoothly. When you’re booking your flights, an eight-hour stopover in a random airport to save $200 might not seem so bad. In the moment, though, it’s a different story.

Shoes and clothes

“Fast fashion” is all the rage right now, with mass-produced inexpensive clothing piling up on retailer shelves. But sometimes, spending a bit more can be a better idea. If you spend twice as much for shoes that last three years than you would for a pair that last six months, you’ll come out better off. The same applies to things such as a great coat or suit.

Your mortgage

The more money you can put towards your mortgage now, the more money you can save over time. Increase your repayments to the highest level that fits in your budget – “future you” will thank you for it.

Dental care

It can be expensive but putting it off dental care can end up being even pricier. Get an annual dental check-up so you can get things sorted before they can become big ordeals.

Education

Upskilling, whether that’s with a degree for a first career, adding to skills you already have or picking up new ones for a change of direction, can really pay off by boosting your ability to earn money.

Make sure you choose education from reputable institutions that will land you a step closer to where you need to be – not just expensive courses for the sake of it.

Services that save time

It can seem like a luxury to pay someone to do your cleaning, gardening or home maintenance. But if it frees you up to do other income-earning work, you might end up better off.

If your hourly rate is greater than that charged by the people offering the service, you could benefit from outsourcing your tasks to others. Even if it’s not, you may decide that the boost to your lifestyle is worth the investment.

Work tools

Don’t scrimp on the tools you need to earn a living. If you rely on a laptop or camera, for example, ensure that you have reliable models that will deliver the results you need every time.

And of course, insurance

Money spent on the right level of the right insurance is money well spent. It can help you pay for expensive treatments and even take care of your loved ones when you’re not there to do it yourself.

If you’d like to make the most of your insurance spending and ensure you’re maximising value for money, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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Please book in your free 15-minute phone call to see if we can help you with your financial life.

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Three New Year’s resolutions for your mortgage

New year, new approach to your mortgage?

If you’re in a planning mood, you might be thinking about one of the most significant financial obligations in your life – your home loan. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions to consider making to really make a difference to your financial future in 2020.

Squeeze out a few extra dollars for repayments

Any extra money you can put on your home loan payments will save you money in interest over the term of your mortgage. It might not even seem worth worrying about, but even $20 extra a week should help you better off over time.

According to the Sorted calculator, a $500,000 mortgage at 4 per cent interest over 25 years will cost you about $610 a week in principal and interest payments, and include $291,165 in interest costs. If you increase your payments by $20 a week, you can reduce your interest bill by almost $20,000 over the life of the mortgage – and maybe more if your interest rate goes up in future.

Most lenders will allow some additional payments to a fixed-rate loan with no penalty. Of course, criteria vary from one lender to the other. If you’d like to know what your lender requires, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Schedule dates to check back in

It’s easy to set and forget your mortgage – especially when you have years of repayments to go. But that’s exactly why it’s important to keep your home loan top-of-mind.

Even small tweaks can have a big impact and shave years (and dollars) off your mortgage. So resolve to check in on it every six months or year, to ensure that you’re still blasting it away as fast as you can, and that you’re on track for your goals.

Understand your structure

If you’ve got one big chunk fixed on principal and interest over 30 years, you might want to resolve to think about better options.

There’s no one-size-fits-all for home loan structures, as it all depends on your circumstances. One popular structure, for example, is to split a loan up into smaller amounts, which can be fixed for different terms and spread out your exposure to different interest rates. Plus, property investors may want to choose to structure their mortgage so that they can get rid of the principal on their owner-occupied home more quickly than their investment property.

Whatever you choose to do, the key thing is to pay off your mortgage faster and reduce the overall interest you pay over time. We can help you find the right fit for your situation.

Need a hand?

As always, we are here to help and would love to get you on the right path for 2020. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

Schedule your free
15-minute phone call

Please book in your free 15-minute phone call to see if we can help you with your financial life.

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Your last-minute Christmas gift survival guide

So, it happened again. Last year, you swore that you’d never, ever leave Christmas shopping to the last minute, then life got in the way and there you are again – caught up in the procrastination trap, with a handful of names still to cross off your Santa’s list.

Don’t worry, it can happen to the best of us. And it’s not too late. Here are some handy gift ideas to save another Christmas.

The perfect quick gift?

They may not be the most creative, but gift cards are always appreciated. And the greatest thing about them is there’s a huge range to choose from, depending on the recipient’s taste.

Giftstation.co.nz offers a wide array of gift cards from leading retailers and well-known brands. In a few clicks, you can purchase a gift card online and have it couriered to any locations in New Zealand, along with a personalised message.

Otherwise, if you like a more old-school approach, you can head down to your favourite shop or bookstore, and see if they offer gift vouchers.

What’s in the box?

Gift boxes are another popular choice and, just like gift cards, you can easily purchase them online.

A simple Google search will turn out a ton of options. Just to name a few, you may find a good selection of gift boxes and hampers at Spoilme.co.nzCelebrationBoxThe Pressie BoxLittle Koha, and BoxSmith.

You can shop by occasion, by recipient, and in some cases even by colour, or build a custom box and have it gift-wrapped and delivered.

It’s Christmas every month

What about a subscription box? Subscription boxes can be a great way to spoil your friends or family all-year-round. And there’s a good one for almost everyone out there – from beauty products to self care, chocolates, coffee and seasonal cheese.

Some good examples include My Treat Box (a monthly delivery of beauty products for busy women), Kimera (purpose-fit for students); My Chocolate Box (nine selections of NZ best chocolate flavours, delivered to your friend’s door); The Cheeseclub (for the cheese-lover in your life); On the Grind (a coffee-lover’s heaven) and I Am Co. (delivering ethical, local and sustainable products all over New Zealand).

Lastly, if the recipient is a bit of a “dog person”, NZ Dog Box may be a good idea. Each monthly box contains five or six treats and one or two premium toys – just what your friend needs to spoil their pup on a regular basis.

Something memorable

Sometimes, the best gifts are experiences rather than items, and once again, there are plenty of options to select from.

Redballoon offers a range of adventures for every taste and budget, from food and wine to guided tours, extreme sports and once-in-a-lifetime driving experiences. Remember.co.nz, as the name aptly suggests, is all about memorable presents, provided by a large range of suppliers throughout New Zealand. Similarly, EverythingNewZealand offers a broad selection of locally-sourced gift vouchers, ranging from adrenaline-pumping adventures to relaxing experiences.

Get creative

If you’re feeling creative, there are plenty of great DIY ideas online that will not only help you save Christmas but also some hard-earned money.

For example, Forbes has published a list of “ten unique Secret Santa gift ideas that don’t require much time, effort or Pinterest-worthy crafting skills.” From herb-scented candles to homemade granola bars jars, map coasters and bookmarks, you might be able to sort out a present for your bookworm cousin and that friend who has a bit of a green thumb…

Happy shopping! Enjoy the break and see you in the New Year. 

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance. 

Schedule your free
15-minute phone call

Please book in your free 15-minute phone call to see if we can help you with your financial life.

Choose your time