Advice matters
Seven steps to a better relationship with your money

Have recent events prompted you to take a closer look at your finances? Are you looking for ways to build resilience in your financial life?

If so, we have good news for you: It’s never too late to change old habits. Here are some tips from our SHARE advisers, to help you improve your relationship with money.

Have an open ‘family conversation’

Conversations about money can be difficult. According to a 2019 survey by the Commission for Financial Capability, many New Zealanders don’t talk about money at all with their friends, family and colleagues. And this can be a source of stress for many people, even putting a strain on personal relationships.

Consider your family, friends or partner as part of your team. If you have an honest, open conversation about money (your goals, needs and ‘wants’), you can better support each other, leverage your strengths and manage your weaknesses.

Spend mindfully

You may have heard the term ‘mindfulness’ before. Basically, it means ‘being present’, by maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings and sensations.

The same concept can apply to budgeting and spending as well. ‘Mindful spending’ is about consciously thinking about your purchases, being aware of the emotional connection you may have with them. It’s like tracking your spending, but on an emotional level. Knowing where your ‘spending triggers’ are can help you get a better control over your financial life, and ultimately, save money.

Aim for ‘peace of mind’

The future is, by its very nature, unknown. And unexpected events can happen at any time.

This doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. Being financially resilient means being able to withstand the challenges and unexpected happenings that could affect your financial wellbeing. Whether it’s through insurance, a rainy-day fund or – even better – a combination of both, you can protect what’s important to you by putting in place some all-important ‘safety nets’.

Our SHARE insurance advisers can help you develop a plan to financially protect your most important assets – yourself, your family, your home, and anything else in between.

Think about the long term

It’s never too late or too early to plan for your retirement years. Because the reality is, at some point you will retire. Many of us hope that it is sooner rather than later, but it will happen, so putting yourself in a position to achieve a comfortable retirement is crucial.

Once again, quality financial advice can make all the difference. Our SHARE advisers have been helping thousands of Kiwis like you design a retirement plan that’s suited to their needs, goals, and budget.

Good debt vs bad debt

Not all debt is intrinsically ‘bad’. When managed properly, debt can be a wealth-creation tool – for example, taking out a mortgage can help you get on the housing ladder.

On the other hand, ‘bad debt’ is the one that doesn’t help you grow your wealth, with little to no potential to increase your net worth. Good examples of this are high-interest loans and credit cards. If you don’t repay them fast enough, the interest you pay over time can quickly add up.

Take a good look at the debt you owe, and make a plan to pay it off faster – being debt-free is a liberating feeling, and it may be possible with some planning.

Don’t fall for the ‘comparison game’

In this social media era, it can be easy to look at other people’s posts and believe that ‘the grass is always greener’ on their side. They may have a flashy car, a bigger house, or a purportedly greater sense of financial security than yours – but they may also have their own insecurities and battles you don’t get to see.

Remember, a better relationship with money has nothing to do with the Joneses. It’s about paying attention to your financial habits and money mindset.

Be kind to yourself

Financial care is self-care, so be kind to yourself. You cannot fix everything at once. Sometimes, you may meet a roadblock, or several – but that doesn’t mean you should turn back or give up.

With careful planning, motivation and perseverance, you can achieve your goals over time. If at times you feel overwhelmed, you may also consider breaking down your big goals into smaller, actionable steps to keep yourself motivated.

Keep in mind that our SHARE advisers are here to guide you every step of the way. That’s what we do – we help Kiwis stay on track with their financial goals.  

Need help?

Time to improve your money mindset? By listening to your aspirations, dreams, goals and needs, our SHARE advisers can recommend a set of strategies and simple tweaks to help you achieve a happier, more rewarding financial life. Get in touch.

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.