Sav­ing for a rainy day al­ways good

Auckland City Harbour News - - OPINION -

Lay­ing down a lit­tle fat against the hard times and salt­ing away a mean­ing­ful amount for old age have to be two of the pri­mary goals of any fam­ily.

Yet sav­ing is so easy to say but so many find it hard to do.

Just how hard peo­ple find sav­ing was recog­nised in the ‘‘ar­chi­tec­ture’’ of Ki­wiSaver, which was de­signed to silently and au­to­mat­i­cally spirit away money from the pay pack­ets of peo­ple who signed up to it.

That’s as great a help in the long-term salt­ing away as the old work­place su­per schemes were for pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions.

So couldn’t that au­to­matic sav­ings set­ting be used to build up shorter-term sav­ings goals like build­ing up an emer­gency fund?

The an­swer is clearly yes and the banks of­fer ways of do­ing just that.

In a way, the tools the banks of­fer pro­vide peo­ple with a means of de­vis­ing their own au­to­matic sav­ings plans.

Take Ki­wibank’s ‘‘Paystream’’, which is a ser­vice that al­lows peo­ple to di­vert a por­tion of their in­come into a sav­ings ac­count, if they so choose.

It’s an ideal way to fat­ten up an emer­gency fund in an ac­count that earns you a bit of in­ter­est, or of putting a bit aside to­wards a hol­i­day or the kids’ emer­gency funds.

Other banks have means do­ing the same thing.

They can be put in place in faceto-face meet­ings in branches, by phone or us­ing on­line bank­ing.

And then there are some more er­ratic, but ar­guably more fun, ways to build sav­ings.

One, about which I have mixed

of feel­ings, is ASB’s in­trigu­ing Save the Change.

The bank calls it the elec­tronic equiv­a­lent of a piggy bank into which you put your loose change.

Save the Change is a ser­vice peo­ple sign up to that rounds off each of the elec­tronic trans­ac­tions they make, with the up­wards dif­fer­ence get­ting swept into a sav­ings ac­count.

For ex­am­ple, some­one us­ing it can opt to round off each trans­ac­tion.

If they swipe their card for a $2.35 trans­ac­tion, 65 cents gets swept into their sav­ings ac­count.

Peo­ple don’t just choose to round up to the near­est $1. Some choose mul­ti­ples even $10.

In Auck­land, Save the Change has proven most popular in West Auck­land, ac­count­ing for 33 per cent of users.

That has been fol­lowed by South Auck­land (28 per cent), Cen­tral Auck­land (24 per cent) and East Auck­land (15 per cent).

Peo­ple have saved $65 mil­lion since its launch in 2010, with $11m saved in the last three months alone.

My pos­i­tive feel­ings to­wards it are that it is gen­er­at­ing sav­ings, which is a good thing.

But al­lied to that is the rather strange el­e­ment of ran­dom­ness at­tached to it. It just doesn’t feel like a plan.

I ac­knowl­edge that ev­ery lit­tle helps but with­out a plan the lit­tle bits might turn out not to add up to enough. Save the Change may well do some­thing strange to the way users see spend­ing.

And blur­ring the lines be­tween spend­ing and sav­ing can be a dan­ger­ous thing to do.

But it clearly has its fans and many of the ‘‘names’’ peo­ple give to the ac­counts into which their ‘‘change’’ is swept in­di­cate that peo­ple are sav­ing for things many peo­ple bor­row to pay for.

That in­cludes hol­i­days, the hor­ren­dous cost of den­tistry, birth­day bashes, wed­dings and hol­i­days.

And sav­ing for those things rather than in­cur­ring debt to pay for them is al­ways bet­ter.

of $2, $5 and Build­ing up to next year’s Cricket World Cup, Sky Tele­vi­sion is show­ing high­lights from the 1992 tour­na­ment, played in Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

As TV3 pre­sen­ter John Camp­bell might say, it’s been ‘‘fas­ci­nat­ing’’.

New Zealand, billed as the Young Guns that sea­son, were out­stand­ing, win­ning seven suc­ces­sive matches but fall­ing to Pak­istan in un­likely cir­cum­stances in the semi­fi­nals. It’s hard to be­lieve it was 22 years ago.

Watch­ing the cov­er­age through to­day’s eyes em­pha­sises how much the one-day game has changed. Among the most ob­vi­ous changes: Few bats­men wore hel­mets and those who did favoured the open front, which of­fered the face no pro­tec­tion.

The New Zealand bat­ting or­der seems com­i­cal in hind­sight. In the open­ing match against Aus­tralia, with quick runs needed at the end of the in­nings, Chris Har­ris went in, fol­lowed by Ian Smith, with Chris Cairns, who be­came a mighty six­hit­ter, held back and hardly fac­ing a ball.

There were very few sixes –in that game against Aus­tralia, New Zealand cap­tain Martin Crowe made an un­beaten cen­tury, but hit no sixes.

The bound­aries look dan­ger­ous. Rather than bound­ary ropes, there are hoard­ings, and play­ers of­ten crash into them.

The tele­vi­sion cov­er­age is ex­tremely dated. For ex­am­ple, there is no hotspot, and the bats­men’s scor­ing charts are vir­tu­ally mean­ing­less be­cause scor­ing strokes are de­picted from both ends.

How­ever, the New Zealand com­men­ta­tors, such as John Mor­ri­son, Glenn Turner and Richard Hadlee, are much bet­ter coun­ter­parts to­day.

The crowd seems to in­vade the pitch at the drop of a hat, to salute not just a vic­tory, but a 50 or a cen­tury.

The bat­ting looks in­hib­ited com­pared to to­day’s free hit­ters (bred on Twenty20 cricket), the spin bowl­ing is or­di­nary and the field­ing not as slick, though Har­ris was truly out­stand­ing.

Scores were low. New Zealand made 248 against Aus­tralia, which Richie Be­naud de­scribed as ‘‘won­der­ful’’ and a ‘‘ter­rific per­for­mance’’. On a ground as small as Eden Park, such a score would be in­ad­e­quate to­day, but was good enough then to win com­fort­ably.

Crowe was an in­no­va­tive and clever cap­tain that sea­son.

With 456 runs at an av­er­age of 114, he was the player of the tour­na­ment.

An­drew Jones scored 322 runs, Great­batch 313 and Ken Ruther­ford 212. They were so good the lower or­der was hardly needed.

The New Zealand bowl­ing re­volved around spin­ner Di­pak Pa­tel, medium-pac­ers Har­ris, Gavin Larsen, Rod Latham and (slightly quicker) Wil­lie Wat­son. Fast bowlers Danny Mor­ri­son and Cairns each played in only five of New Zealand’s nine matches and did not bowl all their per­mis­si­ble overs.

They’ve gone dif­fer­ent ways since. Crowe is now fight­ing can­cer, Wat­son has noth­ing to do with cricket, and oth­ers pop up on the cricket scene from time to time.

The next World Cup is from Fe­bru­ary 14 till March 29, 2015. If it’s half as good as the 1992 ver­sion, cricket fans are in for a treat.

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