I woke up this morning with the urge to clean! No, I don’t mean the usual push the vacuum cleaner round; do a bit of dusting clean. I mean the empty the cupboards out, see what is lurking in the back of the pantry and have a good old decluttering session.
Maybe it has something to do with spring; the trees are just starting to blossom and the garden is coming back to life after winter. So the urge is there to get ready for summer. Or maybe I am just sick and tired of opening a cupboard and all this ‘stuff’ that I don’t use or need stares back at me and it is time to do something about it.
That got me thinking, we should also spring clean our finances on a regular basis as well. Have a look at all the automatic payments and direct debits that come out of your bank account.
Do you know what they are for?
Do you still want the service you are paying for?
It is also a good opportunity to review other expenses like your insurances, phone and power provider to see if there are any deals you could capitalise on.
What about your credit card? If you have a balance just sitting there that won’t go away, are there any options by changing credit card company that could help reduce the cost.
Don’t forget to look at your savings, when was the last time you increased your contribution to your savings plan? If you got rid of a couple of unused subscriptions, you could divert the money to savings instead.
Oh well, it’s back to the kitchen cupboards for me…..
If you would like some help decluttering your finances, feel free to drop us an email or give us a call
It was with surprise and sadness that we learned of the death of Robin Williams. How could someone who gave so much to everyone else not realise that he was loved in return? The answer of course was that insidious illness, Depression.
Then I saw this headline in the NZ Herald “Williams was depressed and broke”. It was only a few months earlier that Charlotte Dawson also suffering from depression and ‘jobless and penniless’ ended her life as well. It seems that depression and money problems are a dangerous combination.
I don’t know the details of either’s financial circumstances other than what has been in the media. But both had been in the situation of earning very good incomes during their careers, they enjoyed the good things in life and were able to be generous to their friends and family. Then for whatever reason the money stopped flowing and life became even more difficult when combined with depression. Continue reading →
Wow, what an eye opener. I have just watched Nigel Latta: The new Have’s and Have Nots. What a powerful documentary about the changes in the New Zealand economy, the impact on families and the widening gap between the have’s and have nots.
I highly recommend that you watch the documentary, but if you can’t spare 44 minutes, then these are the key points that I picked up from it.
We have a new ‘class’ in New Zealand, The Working Poor. These are the families where both parents work full time, and still don’t have enough money to meet the day to day needs of their families.
If something goes wrong and they need to borrow money; say for car repairs or a family funeral that is out of town, they have no option but to borrow money. The banks won’t lend it to them, so they end up in the hands of the loan shops, who will happily lend them money at 10% interest. That didn’t sound too bad until it was clarified; that was 10% per week!! When you are desperate you tend to think in terms of immediate needs, and don’t calculate the longer term costs so the situation just keeps getting worse.
The statistics are scary. One in five families don’t have enough to live on. One in three families couldn’t survive more than two weeks if the main breadwinner lost their jobs. A staggering 55% would run out of money in four weeks. Continue reading →
A scary question isn’t it. I meet quite a number of people who don’t want to even think about retiring let alone thinking if they will have enough money when they finally do want to retire.
The answer to the question was the subject of a presentation at a network breakfast I attended. A certified financial planner used a case study to illustrate the point.
We probably all know this. We are living longer. But maybe we hadn’t quite connected the dots in terms of having enough money to retire on. It wasn’t that long ago that the life expectancy after retirement at age 65 was only 9 years. Now it can easily be 20 to 30 years, so the number of people potentially outliving their capital is going to be quite significant.
The website My Longevity has gathered data to help you work out your life expectancy based on your lifestyle rather than actuarial data. It is worth spending a few minutes to complete the questionnaire to see what your life expectancy could possibly be. I did mine and unless I get hit by a bus, I potentially will need my capital to last until I am 106!! I certainly don’t have enough to last that long. Continue reading →