"As long as you don't erode your capital base, the income will continue to flow like the bubbles in champagne."
Anne Batley Burton, actress and business owner.
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 weekly feature that investigates Kiwi attitudes towards money and what drives the choices they make.
Newshub spoke to The Real Housewives of Auckland star Anne Batley Burton about selling champagne, her passions for saving stray cats and Roberto Cavalli dresses and why investing in shares is easier than owning property.
What's an example of a goal that you've set for 2020?
To sell more Jacquart champagne and save more cats.
Competing against 'the big boys' is not easy when you have a small business. However, little by little, I'm influencing buyers to move away from the bigger, more commercial brands to try something fabulous and different.
My personal goal is to help cats who through no fault of their own have become stray and are now being cruelly targeted by councils and conservationists. Through educating people and inspiring councils to support de-sexing programs in our community, through The NZ Cat Foundation, I hope to humanely reduce the stray cat population.
The more champagne I sell, the more money I have available to help.
Are you a saver or a spender?
I've been influenced greatly by my father, Bert. Born in the depression, [he] was brought up to understand the value of money. Working from a young age, he built up a successful business but never forgot about being careful [about] little things: turning lights off and finding a use for something instead of throwing it away.
[Once] he became successful, he had the best cars, the most beautiful bespoke suits and thanks to his daughter's influence, flew first-class. I'm very much the same.
The most important piece of advice my dad gave me was to never erode your capital base.
You need a new dishwasher. Are you mainly driven by quality, price or both?
I always believe in 'bon rapport qualité-prix', as they say in France. Good value for money, as long as it's a good brand at a fair price.
I don't want cheap, throwaway equipment that I have to replace every few years. I'm the same with clothes!
Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider was great value for money:
I have quite a number of Roberto Cavalli dresses: I'm still wearing one nineteen years' later and it looks stunning.
On my last trip to France, I was in Juan-les-Pins on my way to the Roberto Cavalli shop. My husband saw a beautiful dress very similar in style with panthers on it and insisted I try it on.
I bought two slightly different [dresses] and everyone remarks how stunning they are. They cost me €12 each!
Have your buying habits changed from in-store to online?
After a couple of disappointments, I don't buy clothing online.
I buy hair products and vitamins which I can't source in New Zealand. Skincare not at all as they try and lock in monthly repeats which are a nightmare to cancel.
If you had spare money to invest, what would you invest in?
I already own a number of properties, three of which are for personal use.
My husband is a share broker and any extra money gets invested in the market.
Owning property takes a lot of time and effort. If you can buy good quality stocks that can grow their earnings, why not let them do the work?
What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
I'm not a keen shopper as I'm too busy to wander around aimlessly. When I go shopping, I'm on a mission. I can't think of a true impulse purchase in recent times, but I do know that when I have I usually regret it!
Do you have a household budget?
No. I'm lucky but I don't buy things that I can't pay for.
Does having more money increase happiness?
I don't think money buys happiness but it certainly helps you through life's problems [and] gives children a good education and start in life.
Money makes life easier and I'm happy to help others in need. I see a lot of women whose sole aim in life seems to be how much money they can fritter away: it makes me wonder how happy they really are.
So many relationships [are] destroyed over money worries, particularly if one is a spendthrift. It's important to have similar attitudes to spending.
What is your golden rule for saving money?
I can't say I have one.
As long as you don't erode your capital base, the income will continue to flow like the bubbles in champagne!
How much cash do you have on you right now?
Cash? $20 - that's rare, it's usually none! I always carry my EFTPOS card.