Make your money work

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Money and our sense of iden­tity are closely re­lated. I am poor. I am bad with money. I am a gift-giver. I am a bit of a shop-aholic. I am a good saver. I’m a tight­wad. Th­ese are the kinds of things we say about our­selves.

But ev­ery year around this time peo­ple start think­ing of the com­ing year and for­mu­lat­ing New Year’s res­o­lu­tions to chal­lenge them­selves to change.

I am a firm be­liever that each of us has a money iden­tity and that that iden­tity can be changed.

I was re­minded of this when vis­it­ing with un­em­ployed folk in Pan­mure ear­lier this month with ANZ bank, which is fund­ing fi­nan­cial change cour­ses run by the Solomon Group.

It was in­spir­ing. Solomon Group pro­vides cour­ses for peo­ple on ben­e­fits, both the clue­less young and older, more life-wea­ried souls liv­ing lives of con­stant want.

The aim of the ANZ­funded cour­ses seems two-fold to me.

Firstly, to lift peo­ple’s eyes from the ground by hav­ing them for­mu­late goals. And se­condly, to iden­tify and plug the ‘‘spend­ing leaks’’ which frees up a few dol­lars more to save or to spend in a bet­ter way.

I met peo­ple who had been through the Solomon Group course and lis­ten­ing to their ex­pe­ri­ences it was clear to me that they had lifted their heads.

They felt dif­fer­ently about them­selves. They had as­sumed a dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity with oth­ers.

I am no longer the man who makes ex­cuses to the land­lord. I am no longer the guy who can’t chip into a whip-around. I’m no longer that mother who lets the kids down. I am no longer the one head­ing to the takeaway. I am the guy with money left in his pocket.

If they can make changes while ex­ist­ing at the bot­tom of this grossly un­equal society we have built, so can those of us who are not.

And so I come to the point of this col­umn. In­stead of me writ­ing a list of great res­o­lu­tions to make you richer and more fi­nan­cially sta­ble in the new year, I’d like you to tell me those res­o­lu­tions you have made which have re­ally worked. They may only have been small changes which worked out well or they could have been re­ally big res­o­lu­tions that were a task of Her­cules, though still you suc­ceeded.

My most mo­men­tous res­o­lu­tion on that front was giv­ing up the cig­gies 15-odd years ago. Life­sav­ing and wal­leten­hanc­ing that one.

An­other was to get fit, which was a mid-life thing about eight years or so ago and it’s been splen­did, though it has cost me quite a bit in run­ning shoes.

I have a few plans this com­ing year, in­clud­ing three that are unashamedly money re­lated: Get back on my bike and com­mute a few days a week to cut down the petrol bill, in­vest in an ac­coun­tancy course, and learn how to change a tap so I never get an­other bill like the one I just paid.

So please share with me your most suc­cess­ful New Year’s money res­o­lu­tions so oth­ers have a chance to learn from you.

Email rob.stock@fair fax­me­dia.co.nz.

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