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The Happy Saver Podcast - Personal Finance in New Zealand
48 minutes | Dec 13, 2022
77. Saving is the new shopping!
When Rachel told me that she had very recently moved from a super consumer to thinking instead that saving was the new shopping, I knew the story of this single, city-dwelling, dependent-free, self-employed 54-year-old was one worth sharing. Covid was to be the tipping point for Rachel. Realising that when her income stream dried up, she was in trouble financially. Today I’m going to tell you how she managed to stop living pay cheque to pay cheque and managed to catch a break instead.
53 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
76. Part-time work. Full-time life.
This week I’m sharing the financial life of Ngaio and Ben, a Coromandel couple in their early 30s. They struck a chord with me because I love seeing examples of life enjoyed a little bit differently to most, in their case, choosing to build and live in a tiny home, work part-time, take mini-retirements and do a lot of adventures, which often include a bike. They are rare due to the fact that they have more invested in the share market than they do in housing, which lets them lead a more balanced life. They are an adventurous couple who will give you food for thought.
44 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
75. If it’s not simple, you shouldn’t be doing it.
This week I caught up with a couple in their mid 20’s, Richard and Jane. Their express aim in putting themselves out there is to comfort the other twenty-somethings that their financial situation is in their own hands and they, to a large degree, get to write their own story. In 2019, they purchased a home when they were just 22 years of age and are now setting about paying it off. Buying a home so young is unusual, but having the goal from the beginning to pay it off as fast as possible is even more unusual. My first question to them was, “how did you get so smart?”
48 minutes | Oct 18, 2022
74. Interesting things happen to interesting people.
This week I’m sharing the story of Ayana, a woman who sure does have a zest for life. However, life keeps throwing her curve balls, and she has to keep adjusting course. Ayana has worked since she was a teenager and left school with money in the bank. She had a brief stint in the Navy and then completed a degree at university. She no sooner started an internship in LA before it was cut short by Covid! She picked up work at a radio station, then as a carer. And, to top it off, she spent last summer working in Antarctica! Did I mention she is just 25 years old? She takes life by the horns, and because she is thinking clearly about money, she can embrace each new change instead of being crippled by it. I loved this conversation; I think you will too.
47 minutes | Oct 4, 2022
73. No student loan for me!
Today I’m excited to share the story of Pipi, a 20-year-old wahine from Auckland. Pipi got her first part-time job at the age of just 13, and now that she is a second-year nursing student, she continues to work part-time while studying and full-time when she can to keep the income rolling in. The extra special thing about Pipi is that she is fiercely determined to complete her three-year nursing degree debt-free. Today’s podcast episode walks through how she is doing it. I think this episode will be particularly useful to NCEA students and anyone who knows one!
46 minutes | Sep 21, 2022
72. An inheritance goes a long way!
I’ve met countless people who have received an inheritance, yet today they are in a really poor financial situation. It’s what you DO with an inheritance that counts. Will chose to pay off debt and invest. And while his investment strategy back in 2013 was similar to throwing a dart at a dart board, at least he tried. His biggest financial triumph, he said, has been the fact that he took an interest in working out how to grow wealth, he took the time to educate himself, and then he actually took action. Now married and living in their own home in Auckland, with an Auckland-sized mortgage, this 31-year-old couple is still well on their way to financial freedom.
43 minutes | Sep 7, 2022
71. 19 Year Old Goes to Polytech Debt Free
Being only 19, and one of the younger people I’ve interviewed didn’t mean that today's guest Nathan had less to share. In November of 2022, he will graduate from Polytech with a Diploma in Quantity Surveying, with two years of industry experience, no debt and a job lined up. Added to that, he is also helping to pay for his girlfriend’s tertiary studies as well. He has some big plans for the years ahead and I think his story is worth sharing with high school students wondering “where to from here” as they gear up to leave school.
47 minutes | Aug 24, 2022
70. Our Money, Our Future
Today’s guest, 33-year-old Freya from Auckland, emailed me because she wanted me to interview more younger women who had their money sorted and also handled their families' finances. From the little she divulged in her email, I could tell that she was on track to being financially sorted, so I encouraged her to speak with me instead! In the space of just seven years, she and her husband have moved to New Zealand from India and starting from scratch, they have got themselves into good careers, purchased a home and had a child. All in the midst of a global pandemic, stupid house prices and being all alone in a new country, I found her so inspiring to speak with. I think you will too.
38 minutes | Aug 10, 2022
69. A Financially Complicated Breakup
Neil has come a long way in life since his move from London to New Zealand in 2005. His one-year adventure has turned into 17 and counting, and year on year, he has continued to learn a little more about how money works. Today he finds himself in his late 40s, a father of one, with investments both in the UK and New Zealand, which he is steadily adding to from his take-home pay and rental income. But it’s not all roses, and the break up of a relationship is also teaching him how to financially prepare for a settlement and let go of what's not important in life, to create space for the things that are.
46 minutes | Jul 27, 2022
68. On the trail to FIRE!
I managed to cross paths with 35-year-old Dani because both of us are runners and seeing the trails she was enjoying always inspired me to lace up my own shoes and head out the door for a run. It’s probably no surprise that when I found out she was also navigating her own path to FIRE, or Financial Independence, Retire Early that I became even more curious and asked her to chat with me. I find that there is always something that tips people over the edge financially and makes them feel annoyed enough to do something about the strife they find themselves in. In Dani’s case, it was the purchase of new curtains to go into their home. The home they bought in an effort to keep up with The Joneses.
44 minutes | Jul 13, 2022
67. How to Use Your Nest Egg in Retirement
Sometimes, a minor conversation lights a spark and makes me want to know more about a person. This was the case with today’s guest Zoe. She emailed me a question, which I answered, but what got me interested was how financially assured this recently retired woman from Christchurch was as she actually begins to live off New Zealand superannuation plus the investments she has built up. The thing was, though, it was only more recently that she began to feel more financially confident as she only really started to pay attention to her pūtea (money) when she was in her late 50s, proving that it’s never too late to take control of your finances.
52 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
66. You've gotta know your numbers!
Senia and her small whānau moved to Ashburton, New Zealand, from Samoa back in 2010 and quietly began to take on consumer debt. Until one day, enough was enough, and some well-timed conversations about becoming debt-free coincided with her realising they were living paycheque to paycheque. This kicked off the process of paying off $70,000 in consumer debt and completely changing the future of her family.
45 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
65. I am no longer at the mercy of fate.
Australian based Kiwi Dad of two Jon went through a relationship separation and a financial crisis some years ago but is now on track to be mortgage-free within the next four years. The key for him has been self-taught education about how to handle his personal finances and he was particularly keen to share with other single parents that they can get their finances sorted too. He calls himself ‘a work in progress’ but he is well on his way and is proof that reaching FI is a marathon, not a sprint.
48 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
64. Building intergenerational wealth through property investment.
Today I have a chat with Jay. He reached out to me with a story to share about him and his wife Shelle and their property investment journey. He sees residential real estate as their way to riches, and he enjoys the ins and outs of the property market. He has been incredibly successful so far in building wealth using debt, yet he is still constantly looking for new information and tweaking his approach as a result. He’s building on a foundation built by his whānau and continuing to grow his investments, with the main goal being for him and Shelle to hand them on to the next generation, their three tamariki.
29 minutes | May 18, 2022
63. Revisit with Bradie: Suffocating Mortgage Debt to Financial Independence in Six Short Years
This is the fourth time that I’ve interviewed Bradie for this podcast! Why do I keep coming back for more? Because I am hooked on her journey from suffocating mortgage debt to financial independence in just six short years. Each time we speak there is an exciting new development and this episode does not disappoint. I’ve also enjoyed following the personal transformation that Bradie has gone through, from feeling significant stress to feeling that anything is possible. Join me in this latest episode to find out where she is now.
46 minutes | May 4, 2022
62. I retired at 39!
This week I’m sharing the story of early retiree Brendan. We’ve met in person many times now, even more so since he moved to Central Otago in late 2021 and I have always found him a relatively quiet and contemplative kind of guy. So I was delighted when he took the time (because let’s face it he has heaps) to share with me just how, at the young age of 39, you manage to have enough money that you never need to work again.
26 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
61. Revisit with Bella: I don’t want a student debt hangover!
In today’s podcast, I’m doing a revisit with Bella who I interviewed in Episode 52. She shared the realities of student loan debt in New Zealand and how you can meander your way into student loan debt, but you need to fight your way out again. She explains how she has been tackling her $85,000 of student loan debt and how people are so wrong when they say that interest-free student loan debt just does not matter. Because it does. It matters a whole lot. Bella has not been idle, smashing out $66,000 of debt in just 14 months. Yep, you read that right. If she can do it, so can you!
47 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
60. First Home Buyers
Kiri and I have been emailing each other since mid-2018 discussing all manner of money related things as they unfolded for her whānau of three. Kiri, her husband John and their four-year-old daughter, had big plans for 2020, which included a move to Australia, paying off student loans, buying a home and starting new jobs. But we all know how 2020 unfolded, and it was interesting to hear how Kiri and John didn’t bow out in defeat as their plans went up in a cloud of smoke but instead stepped up, created a new strategy and maneuvered themselves into their first home and a more secure position right here in Aotearoa.
43 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
59. The evolution of a workable financial plan.
I first heard from Andy when he was 29. He emailed with several questions and observations, and the bit that stuck with me most was that he was pretty keen to buy himself a car parking space as an investment. Indeed, he said, “I love the idea of owning a car park in the city”. He thought it was a pretty legitimate investment, plus he thought he might even use it himself one day - if he got a car, that is. I on the other hand thought, “what has the world come to that people can’t afford a house (which is what Andy wanted), and they have to convince themselves that owning a piece of dirt the size of a car is the next best thing”. So, Andy had my attention and for the last 18 months, we swapped a few emails back and forth. He writes for a living, so he writes a good email and through those, I got to see his thoughts evolve and the evolution of a workable financial plan. And to cut through the suspense, I’ll cut to the chase; it does not involve a car park.
44 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
58. Leaving the big city for the Good Life
This week I’m sharing the story of a central Hawke’s Bay couple Rach and Becs. They made the bold move to leave both of their families behind and move out of Auckland, headed for Hawke's Bay so they could get ahead both financially and for a better work-life balance. With careers in IT and Health Advisory, whanau and friends warned them of career setbacks but they have happily proved them wrong, both securing dream jobs and higher incomes. I heard from them when they wanted to share their absolute joy at the fact they had become mortgage-free, at the age of just 35.
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