GOLDEN RULES

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

Do your an­nual money stock­take Set goals

Track your progress

re­lated, though lately the nag­ging sense I should have fin­ished that best-sell­ing novel has been grow­ing.

A once-a-year date to fo­cus on your fi­nan­cial progress isn’t a bad thing.

You could use Money Week, your birth­day, New Year’s Day, any darned date you choose.

Keep­ing track helps keep us fo­cused.

As­pi­ra­tions will range from the mod­est to the grandiose.

For most peo­ple the fo­cus will be two or three as­pects of their money lives:

One: How rich they are as mea­sured by their net worth (value of as­sets mi­nus amount owed in debt).

Most peo­ple’s as­set wealth is made up of two el­e­ments. The eq­uity in prop­erty, and their Ki­wiSaver/re­tire­ment sav­ings.

You will note I do not in­clude the value of their ‘‘stuff’’. Stuff just makes you feel rich rather than sig­ni­fy­ing real wealth.

Debt mostly means the mort­gage and con­sumer debt like credit cards.

Two: Their sense of fi­nan­cial re­silience.

A sur­vey by in­surer Cigna shows four in 10 peo­ple who lose their job will run out of money to pay their bills within one month.

One month? That’s ter­ri­ble. There has to be a bet­ter way to live.

Add in those who could man­age for ‘‘a few months’’ and six in 10 peo­ple lack any mean­ing­ful fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

Those are shock­ing fig­ures. We are peo­ple tee­ter­ing on the edge of in­sol­vency.

Three: How se­cure their in­come is, whether em­ployed, or self-em­ployed.

As a wage slave, I have tra­di­tion­ally fo­cused on killing the mort­gage and sav­ing/ in­vest­ing.

I haven’t had con­sumer debt in 20 years, and fell blessed for it.

I gave my­self the lib­erty of sav­ing at the same time as go­ing hell for leather at the mort­gage be­cause I was will­ing to both sac­ri­fice some of the lux­u­ries of life as well as pay­ing the price for not be­ing among the six in 10 who’d be ef­fec­tively bust within a few weeks of los­ing their job.

Choose a date, any date, Money Week, if you like, and make it your date for check­ing on your progress, and set­ting goals for the com­ing year. If you are any­thing like me, you will know what you need to work on.

PHOTO: 123RF

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