10 Life Lessons

Embrace the power of self-awareness: Understanding your own strengths, weaknesses, and patterns of behaviour is crucial for personal growth and positive change. Acknowledge past mistakes: Don't dwell on past mistakes, instead acknowledge them as learning opportunities. Use these experiences to identify areas for improvement and make conscious choices to avoid repeating them. Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, even when you make mistakes. Self-compassion fosters a positive mindset and encourages self-acceptance. Embrace the iterative process of change:

Now is the time to invest in property!

I’ve just been to a one day seminar about property investment and it was interesting to see the positivity in the room compared to when I went to a similar event a year ago.  Most people I speak to whether it be real estate agents, property investors or just people with a good understanding of our economy think that we hit the bottom of the property market in the middle of winter this year.  They don’t necessarily see a

Pay off Mortgage or contribute to KiwiSaver?

Recently, BusinessDesk received an email from a reader seeking financial advice. It turns out her stepfather had some questionable suggestions for her and her husband. The reader and their husband earn around $150,000 pre-tax, have a huge mortgage of $600,000 and currently cannot contribute more than 3% to their KiwiSaver. According to her stepfather, they should channel their KiwiSaver contributions into paying off the mortgage instead, arguing, “in the long run, loan interest is more than what we make off

The Small Things Add Up – client testimonial

"Years ago we met Lisa via a video conference over Money Management. I learnt a thing or two. Nowadays, we are debt free, but the economics are still tricky to balance with the devaluation of the $ (CPI increases). A salary increase would be the bonus too. I discovered I didn't need a phone plan, just $20 top up to use occasionally. Mobile is used at work and at home, via Wifi. Saves a fortune. Life insurance, reduced

Book Case Study – Tips for Saving Money

This is one of the case studies in my new book, written by Gillian. Budgeting When I was at stay-at-home mum I decided that my job (besides raising kids!) was to be in charge of saving our family money while my husband focused on earning. I started by setting up a basic savings account and typed up a list of our regular payments, things like power, insurance and broadband, and reviewed our grocery spending. I sent each supplier an email explaining that we were happy customers but

Find Your Perfect Home

Buying a home is time consuming, emotional, stressful and exciting all at the same time.   The more clarity you have around what you want the easier and more enjoyable the process will be.  A really effective way to get clarity is by using some lists so everything is not a muddle in your head.  If you are buying a home with a partner/spouse I think it’s helpful to each do your own lists first and then compare them. List

Is Fear Driving Your Financial Decisions?

In the midst of a global pandemic, the future is unknown.  Of course, we will get through it and no doubt in a few years it will become far from our minds.  However, until then, the course may be a little bumpy and we still need to move forward and make decisions. Fear-based financial decisions don’t lead to smart money moves and it’s not always easy to remain objective about money decisions when fear enters the room. So, how

Selling Online – Beware of Your Tax Obligations

Given our turbulent times many people are both looking at stretching their dollars further by buying second hand and having a clean out of their stuff.  I would imagine online platforms like Trade Me and Facebook Market Place have had high transactions of late. Just about every Kiwi has bought or sold something on Trade Me at some point in time.  So, are you liable to pay tax on the proceeds of what you sell? If you are selling

Beware Fixed Mortgages

Gosh what low interest rates we have at the moment. By far the lowest we have seen in our lifetime. Banks are run off their feet with people either buying property or refinancing and restructuring their mortgages. My mortgage advisor colleagues are saying that this is one of the busiest times they can ever recall. However, there are a couple of catches to be aware of. Costs of refinancing It’s too good to be true! Whilst current rates are

From Adversity Comes Positive Change

What have you learnt during these challenging times? Covid-19 has had a serious impact on many people and we have been inundated with the consequences. Mostly the negative ones. It is usually more helpful to consider what positive things could come of out this, so let’s consider those: More Technology Savvy The surveys I’ve seen have shown that many of us have learnt a lot more about technology, albeit probably out of necessity. That’s got to be a good

When is a good time to buy a property investment?

When it makes sense for you personally.  It can be so confusing to decide which is the best time to buy an investment property as there are many mixed messages everywhere.  I’m not convinced that relying on economic forecasting will ever do more than provide a very limited guide. The only way to really establish the best times to buy is to look back in history, but of course that is completely unhelpful. In considering the ideal time for

Make your business financially robust in 2020

Many small businesses owners typically go into business seeking more flexibility and control over their future, a better lifestyle and better earning potential. However, whilst you may have great skills in your area of expertise financial acumen may not be one of them. Here are some smart financial strategies to implement this year: 1. Have a budget Few small businesses have a working budget and a cash flow forecast that they regularly review. As a result, they make decisions

How Do You Make Your Dollars Go Further This Christmas

Christmas is a challenging time of the year when it comes to your finances. If you don’t plan ahead and get organised it is very easy to blow your budget, that’s if you even have one. With a little bit of thought you can ensure your money goes further and you avoid the post Christmas financial blues. Christmas Celebrations Get creative on what you need for your Christmas celebrations. Some ideas are: Make do with last year's decorations or

How to Build an Education Fund for your Children

Getting a good education is a key area of investment that potentially delivers outstanding returns, not all of which can be readily calculated in dollar terms.  It’s often our own level of education that largely dictates how much we earn, how we live, the quality and fulfillment we enjoy in our lives and the sort of expectations we pass on to our children.  However, in today’s society it doesn’t come cheap. A recent study showed that in New Zealand

Should you pay off your property investment mortgage?

Should you pay off your property investment mortgage? This is a common question that property investors ask but it’s not a simple question to answer as it depends on your personal situation; however there are some guidelines that can help you make your decision. Guideline One If you have a mortgage on your personal home ideally you want to pay this off first. The reason for this is that you pay your personal mortgage with after tax money. So

What should you include in a financial review?

A financial review is a must to ensure you are on track to achieve your goals and dreams.  Just like we take our car into the garage once or twice a year to have a check-up and get a new warrant or go to the doctor, we also need to do a check up on our finances.    For many of us our idea of a financial review is seeing if we have enough money in our bank account to

Leverage – A Key Driver of Property Investment

Negative gearing is often a dirty term in the world of property investing.  Negative gearing is when the ongoing costs of owning a property are more than the revenue you receive from it.  Sometimes, people refer to negative gearing or negative cashflow before tax or sometimes after tax.  A property can be negative before tax, but when you add the tax rebate you receive, it can become positively geared or have positive cashflow.  From the 2020 tax year the

How Do You Make Money from Property Investment

There are two ways you make money from property investment.  One is from cashflow and the other is from equity.  In a perfect world, you would try to maximise both, however you will generally have more of one than the other, depending on what you buy. How equity works There are three components to creating equity: Buying below value: If you can create some equity when you purchase the property, you are off to a good start.  Being able

Are You Making the Most of Low Mortgage Interest Rates?

We have been fortunate in recent years that mortgage interest rates have been at historical lows.  Whilst it does appear that they will continue to stay low there is no guarantee that this will be the case. Many people tend to go into remote control and just pay the minimum requirement.  That may be all that you can afford. If you can find some spare money to increase your payments, it is one of the most effective ways

The Law of Accumulation

Brian Tracey, a US based author and speaker, has always been one of my favourites. In my opinion, he has written some of the best books on goal setting. His Law of Accumulation provides some great guidelines for improving your financial situation. 1. Develop Discipline The achievement of financial independence will require a tremendous number of small efforts on your part. To begin the process of accumulation, you must be disciplined and persistent. You must keep at it for

20 Ways to Save $20 Each Week

Finding money to save can often be a challenge. Start small and over time increase the amount of savings. Here are a number of different ways you can save $20 each week: Start using up food you have stored in your cupboards and freezer. Many of us are hoarders and we can be surprised what we have in our cupboards. If you try and build one of two meals a week around using up what we already have you

How Long Does it Take to Double Your Investments

Often people ask the question: “How long will it take to double my investment?” For instance, if you had an amount invested today, what would the length of time be to double that amount? And therefore allow you to get a glimpse of what it would be worth in the future. It is impossible to give definite answers to these questions, however the Rule of 72 states that if we divide the number 72 by an investment's net

Interesting Stats About Tax!

Tax is not something we are particular fond of however it is necessary to help fund our economy. The IRD is working hard on making sure everyone pays their fair share. With international agreements and the use of technology its pretty hard to hide from your obligations. Here are some interesting stats. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom where you can see the amount of revenue ‘found’ from people who tried not to pay their

Make Next Year’s Taxes Less Stressful

Last year over 377,628 company tax returns were filed, a significant percentage of those were for small businesses. Many people approach taxes as something to put off thinking about until absolutely necessary. Once they are finally done often the part of the brain that deals with taxes gets switched off until it needs to be engaged again next year. With a bit of thought and planning you can make next year’s taxes go much more smoothly. Get Organised There’s

Small Business Owners Beware

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is thinking that when you earn a dollar you get to keep most of it. The reality is you will be lucky to keep a third of it. By the time you take off expenses and allow for tax there is often little left, especially in the first few years of setting up a business. Below are a few key things that will help you manage your business finances: Understand the

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