Posts Tagged :

personal finances

When is the right time to buy a house? Is there a magical time to act? Are we asking too many questions?

What with Auckland houses selling for more than 10 times the average income and interest rates about to rise and who knows – maybe a crash ahead? – we thought we should ask: Is this this a good time to be getting into the property market? Do you grab the moment while you can? Do you wait for things to settle down? What’s the magic moment to act? Actually, there is no right time, says Maria Slade, who’s just written…

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Lady in square holding shopping bags
Are you a victim of lifestyle inflation? Our 10 (very honest) principles will help you beat the disease

Once upon a time I used to head to the nearest bakery or fruit shop for cheap lunch. A 50c bread roll or banana was sustenance enough to keep me going until I got home to have a decent balanced meal. Bit by bit over the years my bun and fruit habit evolved into buying $10 packs of sushi when I’m caught short without a packed lunch. Why? Because like virtually every person alive I can fall into ‘lifestyle inflation’.…

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Tinker with your mortgage and you could save enough for a holiday to Fiji. Don’t believe us? Read this

Banks rely on us being lazy. In fact they make millions out of Kiwis who through inertia fail to shop around for a better deal. Customer loyalty doesn’t always pay. Shopping around on your mortgage can really pay off. Imagine telling your friends that you paid for a flash foreign holiday to Fiji just by remortgaging? It happens. Sure, you got the best rate when you first took your mortgage out. But is it still the best rate? Get a…

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Got a Christmas debt hangover? We’ve got five tips to sober up your bank balance

The post-Christmas season can be a tough one, and our data shows Kiwis are more likely to let their credit bills languish unpaid at this time of the year compared to any other. If you’re anything like the average New Zealander, you’re probably feeling the effects of spending up large in the lead-up to the festive season and in the wake of Boxing Day sales. Usually around 6.4% of credit card accounts go past due without being paid, but in the January…

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Does your rental property make you money or just look pretty?

Rental properties are a licence to make money, aren’t they? All you need to do is buy, and watch the price go up, up, and up. The answer to that is yes and no. Property investors don’t all become squillionaires overnight. It’s not a licence to make money. And long-term investors say capital gain is by no means the number one number they consider when buying. Sadly the world is littered with failed residential property investors who thought it would…

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Regrets, I have a few – mostly related to my holiday spending

Do you find yourself wallowing in post-holiday financial regret each January? Wonder how you managed to spend so much money yet have so little to show for it? Maybe you’ve gone so far as to regret buying gifts for family members you don’t even like. Excellent! Me too. Let’s fix it. Fear not, I’m not going to tell you to just set a budget in 11 months and stick to it. I know that’s not how the festive season works.…

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So many credit card rewards, so little time to choose (we’ll help you with that)

Are you good at asking yourself tough questions? Try this one: are you prepared to pay your credit card bill in full and on time every single month? If you can’t (or won’t) do that, then a rewards card really isn’t worth it. And you know what? Most people don’t keep to the straight and narrow. What proportion of people don’t pay their card in full each month, would you say? Care to take a guess? How about 30%? Or…

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Beat your brain
Beat your brain (and better your bank balance) by understanding how your mind works

Is everything you do with your money logical? Don’t fool yourself. Human brains were designed for fight or flight. There’s emerging research showing that even the smartest humans make stupid financial mistakes thanks to our prehistoric brains. Neuro-economists have found longs lists of “cognitive biases” behind why our financial decisions are so flawed. They’ve found that both amateur and professional investors alike are tripped up by inadequate evolution. So when you next fall into the needs versus wants trap, borrow…

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Homebrand can save you
How much Pams is in your pantry? Homebrand can save you heaps

When I was young, we saw home brands such as Pams and No Frills as the killjoy of the supermarket. Lurking on the shelves, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the trolley and ruin your meal, if not your day. Pams – yucky! No Frills – disgusting! “Muuuu-uuuum! Why would you do this to us?!” My aversion to home brands started with a bad can of baked beans (it tasted like liquid detergent), and that’s a tough thing to…

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Trick or trap: How much house can you really afford?

Do you like baked beans? Unless you want to be eating student grub for the next few years it’s a good idea to figure out how much house you can really afford. Don’t be fooled by what the banks tell you that you can borrow. It’s not the same question. Can you really afford the repayments? Really? The banks’ calculators don’t always take into account all the other things you have to pay for when you’re a home owner. What…

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