My Money Journey $$$

by Sarah Kelsey

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Money mindset (in my opinion) is a vital instrument required to ensure you have financial wellness. What does that even mean? Well, to put it in layman’s terms if your parents told you anyone with money is selfish and greedy you may need to rewire some thinking to reach your financial goals. Before we get into all of that I should introduce a bit about my own journey.

My financial journey has been very short lived, but it has become increasingly obvious to me that the earlier you start thinking about your finances the better. I grew up in a home that thought KiwiSaver was a scam, but I also grew up in a home that valued being generous and encouraged the idea that money flows in and out of your life. This left me with two perspectives on money; one being that your money must only be controlled by you in order to keep it from the greedy people who want to steal it like the Government for example. Or two being that money is abundant and I will be able to create wealth for myself so there is no need to be “tight”.

Fortunately for me, the second was a lot more prevalent towards my later teens and so when I got my first job at 16 I carried this into the way I handled my own money. I personally believe that the first way of thinking although common, will never lead you to a place of abundant wealth creation – it is a restricted mindset. The second can also lead you down a path of thoughtless spending if not used wisely. Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to money and that’s fine, it’s finding what works for your lifestyle that is the most important thing. 

A few things I would’ve focused on earlier if I could take time back;

  1. Put yourself in the correct KiwiSaver fund aligned with your goals. Whether that’s growth, balanced or any other option it needs to coincide with why you have KiwiSaver in the first place. Is it to use on a first home or will it be your retirement scheme? I didn’t become actively involved with my KiwiSaver journey until 5 years into it where I found a provider I resonated with and a scheme I aligned with. This is so crucial to get the most value out of your KiwiSaver.
  2. Educated myself on investing in funds/shares, as early as possible. With interest rates being so low currently I question if the value of my money is actually declining staying stagnant in a bank. I really love investing and think that with proper due diligence it can be a really great savings platform.
  3. I made a lot of mistakes when it came to my student loan. I took out way more than I needed through course related and living costs. My loan is now double what it needed to be and although I like to live life with no regrets – I definitely rethink that decision often. Choosing to go to university should be a really thought out process, what will your return on investment be? Is $30k worth the position you’ll be in after? Both financially and professionally.

With many years of my financial journey ahead I am excited to see where I can take it! Especially now that I have a bit of education on my side, it makes thinking about the future a lot less stressful. Good luck and feel free to reach out anytime!