Me and My Money: Michael Hill

What do Kiwi top talents do with their money?
What do Kiwi top talents do with their money? Photo credit: Supplied.

"In my early days, I literally saved everything I could: I would always take a home lunch, [and] I wouldn't branch out and buy things.  

"When you're starting off, you do need a certain amount before jumping further."

Michael Hill, Founder, Michael Hill Jeweller.

Money.  It's the driving factor behind many life choices, but is it the be-all and end-all?

'Me and My Money' is a new feature that investigates Kiwi attitudes towards money and what drives the choices they make.

Newshub spoke to Sir Michael, Founder of Michael Hill Jeweller, about traditional principles of saving everything to get a good start in life, buying Zara on-sale and how money can create wonderful experiences... but doesn't increase happiness overall.

Goals that I've achieved this year:

I built myself a very large boat - a very ambitious project which took two years, that's [now] finished. 

[Secondly], launching my new book, 'Catch and Release', which is 412 pages on all of my cartoons I've done over the last 20 years.

It's full of philosophical quotes...and nonsense! It's well worth a read. 

Are you a saver or a spender?

Both: to be able to spend money, you obviously need to be able to save it.  

I was bought up on old principles - I never throw anything away. In my early days, I literally saved everything I could: I would always take a home lunch, [and] I wouldn't branch out and buy things. When you're starting off, you do need a certain amount before jumping further.

[Now], I don't spend on wasteful things, I only spend [larger amounts] on assets or something that will increase in value.

You need a new dishwasher. Are you mainly driven by quality, price or both?

A good quality brand is important.

Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider was great value for money:

There was a nice Gucci jacket for sale in a shop in Melbourne, it was AU$5,500. 

When I went to purchase it, there was a long queue and I thought 'I can't be bothered with that.'

I [then] went to Zara and on a last opportunity [sale], there was a beautiful, long woolen jacket - which was quite stunning and I bought that for AU$275.

Have your buying habits changed from in-store to online?

Yes, definitely, I buy a lot more online. I notice that in our jewellery business too, people swing towards buying online - except for engagement rings [as] people tend to want to try them on.

What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?

I can sometimes buy a pair of shoes on impulse, I quite like R.M. Williams shoes.  

Does having more money increase happiness?

No, money makes no difference to happiness - you can be happy with nothing. If you're in love, it doesn't really matter.

Money doesn't bring happiness at all, it has nothing to do with it. Alot of people chase money [thinking'] assets are more important, but [they're] not.

[Having said that], it's a good yardstick to have, save and [then] you can experience some wonderful things, particularly in travel. 

How much cash do you have on you right now?

I don't carry cash anymore - I just use credit cards.

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