Money words that should ex­ist

Central Leader - - OPINION -

‘‘There should be a word for emp­ty­ing your bank ac­count to buy junk,’’ said my friend as we watched our daugh­ters fos­sick­ing in a shop.

Regular read­ers will know I de­spise recre­ational shop­ping, es­pe­cially with chil­dren, and avoid malls like they are P houses.

But there I was in a mall, out­side a shop sell­ing all man­ner of de­sir­able things that no-one could pos­si­bly need.

There was a sin­gle use kitchen tool for strip­ping leaves off rose­mary stems, a bee­hive pot for keep­ing honey in af­ter you have trans­ferred it from the pot in which you bought it and a plas­tic thingy to cook fried eggs in the shape of an owl.

Amass­ing cool but es­sen­tially use­less stuff is one of the most cer­tain ways to keep your­self poor. It de­serves its own word. ‘‘Fi­nan­cial amass­cu­la­tion,’’ I replied.

There’s power in words. A good word or phrase helps shape the world. It can give an idea sub­stance. Coin a pithy phrase and the world lis­tens.

Econ­o­mist Shamubeel Eaqub’s book Gen­er­a­tion Rent is out soon. Crack­ing ti­tle. I don’t even have to tell you it’s about young peo­ple who can’t af­ford to buy houses and prob­a­bly never will.

But for ev­ery word or phrase like gen­er­a­tion rent, shopa­holic, prop­erty porn or debt junkie that per­fectly cap­tures an idea, there must be a dozen other per­sonal fi­nance con­cepts that are just wait­ing to be named.

Here are a few of my own sug­ges­tions, but I’d be re­ally keen to hear those of read­ers.

Im­pov­er­ish-rent: The state fam­i­lies are brought to by rent­ing a house in a good school zone in­stead of buy­ing one in an av­er­age sub­urb.

Welfear: The ter­ror cre­ated by Work and In­come in ben­e­fi­cia­ries. Also the fear of poverty-level benefits de­signed to keep the poorly paid go­ing to work ev­ery day and the mid­dle-classes with their noses to the grind­stone.

Saver’s Re­gret: The re­al­i­sa­tion of what might have been felt by peo­ple who stop their spend­thrift ways and start sav­ing too late in life.

Ki­wiRav­ing: The lu­natic be­lief that sav­ing 3 per cent into Ki­wiSaver is go­ing to give you a com­fort­able re­tire­ment.

Stuffed: An ad­jec­tive de­scrib­ing the qual­ity of your re­tire­ment if you spend your life ac­cu­mu­lat­ing stuff.

C.A.B.I.N: Couldn’t Af­ford (to) Buy It Now. A house that has gone up in price so much the owner could no longer af­ford to buy it on their salary, though I’d be hap­pier with the term if it didn’t in­clude a si­lent ‘‘t’’.

A Spend Itch: The urge to buy some­thing that builds when you haven’t got your wal­let out for sev­eral days. It is to be re­sisted.

Fi­nan­cial Car­tas­tro­phe: Cars drain away your wealth. Fam­i­lies who live near schools, work and can run a sin­gle car have lower run­ning costs and so can af­ford to earn less, or save more.

Poor-farm­ing: Mak­ing money by in­vest­ing in fi­nance com­pa­nies or peer-to-peer lenders mak­ing per­sonal loans, pay­day lenders or cheap, drafty rental prop­er­ties. This week half of all renters were re­vealed as living in draughty, damp houses. Shame on New Zealand’s land­lord poor-farm­ers.

Other words and phrases are needed but no one per­son can be ex­pected to coin them. Per­haps in a life­time coin­ing just one phrase that catches the mo­ment so per­fectly peo­ple adopt it into popular use is all any per­son can hope for.

Bags full of cool stuff but what’s in their sav­ings ac­count?

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