"Money does increase happiness. Money worries affect health and relationships.
"I realise now that money issues never end. I want to help my kids into a house, help their kids with schooling, take them on family holidays, etc."
Louise Wallace, actress, broadcaster and director.
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 The Real Housewives of Auckland actress Louise Wallace about embracing a milestone birthday, not letting friends' opinions get in the way of a good deal and why having money can increase happiness.
What's an example of a recent goal that you've achieved?
A personal goal I achieved last year was getting through the year knowing I was turning 60 in November. I achieved this by travelling three months of 2019 and having an absolute ball. When the day finally dawned, it was a real celebration and no cause for angst.
Are you a saver or a spender?
I'm frugal when I need to be, but if I have a bit of a windfall, I tend to go and buy something nice for myself. Last year was a massive spendathon with finishing renovations and travelling.
I [ended] the year feeling cautious and am thinking about reigning things in for 2020. However, whenever I say this, nothing much seems to change.
You need a new dishwasher. Are you mainly driven by quality, price or both?
I don't like paying a huge amount for boring stuff, so with buying a dishwasher, I'd combine price with quality.
Appliances are usually out of date within five years so there’s not much use in spending a fortune. For example, I wouldn't spend $20,000 on a fridge - but I know plenty of people in high-end houses who would.
Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider was great value for money:
I went to a shop in Newmarket that most of my friends wouldn’t be seen dead in. I got three dresses on sale for $400. Now that's good buying!
Have your buying habits changed from in-store to online?
I definitely prefer to buy in-store to online. I have had so many disasters online and invariably can't be bothered changing or returning - a big waste of time and money!
If you have spare money to invest, what would you invest in?
I would definitely choose the sharemarket - it's been on the most fantastic roll for a few years now.
I have property as well but sometimes dealing with tenants and leases can be worrying and exhausting.
Managed funds can also bring in good returns, but do [the] research into fees!
What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
A Chloe handbag that's drop-dead beautiful. Anything high-end is usually so exquisitely crafted, that it can be described as an 'investment' in the broad sense.
Do you have a household budget?
No. Our joint utility account is usually overdrawn!
Does having more money increase happiness?
Yes, money does increase happiness. Money worries affect health and relationships.
I realise now that money issues never end! I want to help my kids into a house, help their kids with schooling and take them on family holidays. Hopefully, there'll be weddings to contribute to, etc.
I want to give my kids the support and encouragement that my parents gave me. My kids are high achievers and give back in spades. They are hard-working, decent citizens so I have no qualms in helping them to succeed further.
What's your golden rule for saving money?
If [the] credit card can't be paid off each month, cut it up. [Only] buy what['s] affordable.
How much cash do you have on you right now?