GOLDEN RULES

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

Stop ly­ing to your­self

Start learn­ing to speak money Make your plans

ex­cuses are let­ting us down with money came in an un­usual doc­u­ment sent to MPs by the gov­ern­ment-funded Com­mis­sion for Fi­nan­cial Ca­pa­bil­ity.

In it the com­mis­sion com­pared the ways peo­ple char­ac­terised them­selves with the state of their money lives.

It found those of us who are bad with money tended to say things like: ‘‘I live for to­day’’.

They also tend to de­scribe their de­ci­sion-mak­ing style as ‘‘spon­ta­neous’’.

In ad­di­tion, they ad­mit to wor­ry­ing about pay­ing their nor­mal living ex­penses, and do not see eye-to-eye with their part­ners in how money is spent and saved.

By con­trast, peo­ple who are fly­ing along in their money lives say pretty much the ex­act op­po­site.

They de­scribe their de­ci­sion­mak­ing style as ‘‘planned’’.

They de­scribe them­selves as hav­ing a ‘‘nat­u­ral’’ ten­dency to save, or a sav­ing ‘‘mind­set’’.

And they aren’t prone to bick­er­ing with their other half about money.

There are lessons here.

The first is to stop giv­ing our­selves ex­cuses to make the wrong de­ci­sions.

No­body is in­her­ently ‘‘bad’’ with money. There are just peo­ple who for var­i­ous rea­sons have their money lives in con­trol, and others who haven’t.

As Diane Maxwell, who heads the com­mis­sion, puts it, many of us have ‘‘so­phis­ti­cated self­de­fence and self-de­nial mech­a­nisms’’.

Learn­ing how to be bet­ter with money isn’t es­pe­cially hard, but you have to try.

It re­ally is a case of de­cid­ing to be bet­ter, and then tak­ing it step by step.

If you’re not sure what you are do­ing with Ki­wiSaver, make April the month you learn about it. Watch Youtube videos on sav­ing. Call up your Ki­wiSaver provider. Work out which kind of fund you should be in.

It isn’t hard.

If you haven’t got an emer­gency sav­ings buf­fer, make May the month you set your­self a strat­egy to get one.

Years ago I spoke with Bri­tish au­thor Matthew Lanch­ester about his book ‘‘How to Speak Money’’.

He went from fi­nan­cial il­lit­er­ate to speak­ing money flu­ently by do­ing just a lit­tle each week.

Any of us can do the same, but only if we choose to be the kind of per­son who does things like that.

123RF

You’re bet­ter off de­cid­ing to be a per­son who is good with money.

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