Money, cricket and me

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - ROB STOCK rob.stock@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

Cricket has given me my sin­gle favourite money prin­ci­ple: ‘‘Put runs on the board’’.

I find it help­ful to have neat phrases en­cap­su­lat­ing money philoso­phies.

And none have I re­peated to my­self more of­ten than this cricket-in­spired one.

My awak­en­ing to the joys of leather on wil­low came at the same time as I had my fi­nan­cial awak­en­ing when I landed a job on an in­vest­ment news­pa­per in London.

Within a year, I had put down a de­posit on my first house, and had been to see my first one-day cricket in­ter­na­tional.

I found hav­ing a mort­gage fright­en­ing, so I went hell for leather pay­ing down that loan as I set about get­ting my­self a money ed­u­ca­tion.

I was thor­oughly en­joy­ing my cricket ed­u­ca­tion too.

I started think­ing about money paid off the loan as runs on the board.

I was only in the crowd at

Lords, but I was at the crease of my own money life, knocking off singles here and there, and tak­ing the bound­aries as the op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented them­selves.

There are four things I would say about my ‘‘put runs on the board’’ phi­los­o­phy.

First, if crick­et­ing lan­guage doesn’t work for you, use your own id­iom.

Latin schol­ars could go for ‘‘Carpe Diem’’.

The po­etic could ‘‘Seize the Day!’’

The agri­cul­tur­ally-minded could ‘‘Make hay while the sun shines’’.

Sec­ond, hav­ing money philoso­phies helps you keep your eye on the ball.

Think­ing about putting runs on the board helps me keep my wal­let in my pocket, and my sav­ing rate re­spectable.

Do I want more runs on the board, or do I want Rimu book­shelves?

One of the sad­dest con­ver­sa­tions I have is with peo­ple who failed to join

‘‘My awak­en­ing to the joys of leather on wil­low came at the same time as I had my fi­nan­cial awak­en­ing.’’

work­place su­per schemes in which their em­ploy­ers made match­ing con­tri­bu­tions.

They missed the op­por­tu­nity to put runs on the board, and to have some­one else scor­ing runs for them!

Third, it is amaz­ing how fast the ‘‘singles’’ start adding up to a de­cent in­nings.

This is es­pe­cially true if you put your runs on the board early in life.

The pay­back is huge for those who go hard when young.

Take it from me, hav­ing low lev­els of debt, money in the bank, and a jump on re­tire­ment sav­ing is a won­der­ful thing when your first child is on the way.

Fi­nally, I would urge you to take the scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties you get, be­cause you never know when they are go­ing to end.

You never know when you’re go­ing to be pitched that un­playable Goo­gly, or whether rain will end play.

My chance land­ing of that in­vest­ment news­pa­per job meant I learnt to put runs on the board just be­fore house and share prices went berserk.

The for­tunes of my gen­er­a­tion have been split be­tween the prop­erty-own­ers and those who never got started, or started late. Learn from that. Fo­cus on putting runs on the board to­day, not to­mor­row, not next year.

PHOTO: MARK TAYLOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Bren­don Mc­Cul­lum putting runs on the board early in the Cricket World Cup semi fi­nal.

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