Make your money work
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.