New year’s money aims
The start of the new year brings a fresh chance to do things better.
And so we make our new year’s resolutions and they tend to come down to three things: Strategies to end the year richer, to get healthy and to be a kinder, better person.
Only the first really falls under my purview and I think of a year being a financial success if you end it richer and more financially stable than you begin it.
To do that, you have to earn more, and/or save more and/or spend less.
You, our readers, have shared some of your thoughts on these with me.
Save more: With next year’s Christmas season in mind, Zona Whyte outlined the system she has devised to make the year’s end less of a financial strain.
‘‘I would like to share a successful new year’s money resolution I made two years’ ago with the aim of taking the financial stress out of Christmas.
‘‘Thinking about the old adage ‘pay yourself first’, I decided to put $20 a week into a supermarket Christmas club to cover food and to save $20 a week towards the cost of gifts.
‘‘This was so successful the first year that I doubled the gift money to $40 this year and have a hefty sum left over for holiday activities.
‘‘Even with missing a couple of weeks this year when we were overseas, I managed to save $840.’’
Spend less: Reader Ted Jones says: ‘‘Eliminate, or at least substantially reduce, eating and drinking out.
‘‘Many people, especially the young, are vulnerable to these expenses. For some, the habit is so entrenched as to be normal.
‘‘I am neither a huge coffee drinker nor a boozer, neither is my son, but the difference between my son’s expense sheet and mine is ridiculous and eating and drinking out is probably the reason.’’
And he warns against the gymtrap.
‘‘I maintain a high level of fitness using a 30-year-old exercycle, a few cheap weights, expanders and a bullworker.
‘‘I use a handmower, walk where possible and do plenty of manual labour in the section,’’ he says.
Necessity led Charlotte Brebner to trim spending showing just how much those of us not faced with forced reductions could achieve.
Ms Brebner sold the art on the walls and gold in the jewellery box as part of a bid to sell everything that was superfluous to daily life, realising cash and low- ering the insurance bill. She cancelled the man who cut the hedges and bought a hedge trimmer with Fly Buys, changed landline phone plans, reduced the premiums on house insurance by increasing the excess and now bakes birthday gifts for friends.
‘‘It just takes some inventive contemplation, a few phone calls, some resilience and some will power.
‘‘Life is still hard but with these things in place I know it will become easier over the next few months.
‘‘As I often say to myself – when life throws you lemons, make lemonade.’’
Give more: Life’s not all about amassing wealth in Jaquelina Oliviar’s book.
‘‘Many years ago I read a book by a billionaire.
‘‘He wrote a many things which made an impression on me and ironically how to make money did not stick in my mind but what did was that each year he made a point of giving 10 per cent of what he made to a worthy cause.
‘‘Now as I said I am on the smaller end of financial market but even so the 5 per cent that I give away has not impacted on my life in a detrimental way.’’