GOLDEN RULES

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Trim your spend­ing on wants Build your sav­ings

In­crease your money skills

in­clude some­where to live, enough food to stay healthy, clothes to wear, and es­sen­tial health­care.

Wants are things that in­di­vid­u­ally we can­live with­out. Of­ten they are lux­u­ries like take­aways, Sky TV, cig­a­rettes, and al­co­hol.

I have done with­out three of these things for as long as I can re­mem­ber. The want of them has not killed me yet. Hence, they are wants not needs.

But here’s the thing. Peo­ple need to par­tic­i­pate in their so­ci­ety. Yes, need.

Starve a per­son of that par­tic­i­pa­tion, and you’re deny­ing their hu­man­ity.

Spend­ing money on wants is of­ten the cost of par­tic­i­pat­ing.

It can be a trip to Burger King. It can be a do­na­tion to a church. It can be a treat for the kids. It can be beers in the fridge for when the fa­ther-in-law comes around. It can be chip­ping in with money at a tangi.

We can live with­out each par­tic­u­lar want, but no­body can live with­out any wants at all.

Life has got tougher for low­in­come fam­i­lies in Auck­land. They are be­ing bled dry by the cost of needs, pri­mar­ily by high rents. It means there is less and less money to spend on wants.

The worst as­pect of Wood’s re­port was the ter­ri­ble worry these women’s ‘‘cri­sis mode’’ of liv­ing led to.

Nine in ten of the women were wor­ried about the fu­ture.

The ma­jor­ity had no sav­ings. Many had debts, of­ten in­curred to buy ne­ces­si­ties. What these women need is sav­ings.

Un­less a per­son earns more, the only way to save is to spend less on wants, and find cheaper ways to sup­ply the needs.

One of the ‘‘Pushpa Pock­et­book’’ spend­ing diaries would find a use­ful place in the

If your eyes shine with joy at the thought of some­thing, it’s prob­a­bly a ‘‘want’’, not a ‘‘need’’.

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