Me and My Money: Hannah McQueen

Hannah McQueen
Financial trainer Hannah McQueen says she doesn't tend to fritter money but is a shopper at heart. Photo credit: Supplied.

"Covid has made me more ambitious to achieve my goals, faster."

Hannah McQueen, financial strategist and founder of enableMe.

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 regular feature that investigates Kiwi attitudes towards money and what drives the choices they make. We also explore if COVID-19 has changed peoples' money habits and how.   

Newshub spoke to Hannah McQueen about wasting less food after the pandemic, investing in property rather than shoes and the point where more money doesn't increase happiness.

1. Are you a saver or a spender?

Unless I have a wealth goal and strategy that gets me engaged and gives me a reason not to shop, I find it easier to spend rather than save. 

2. Has COVID-19 influenced your attitude towards money?

If anything, Covid has made me more ambitious to achieve my goals, faster.

3. Post lockdown, have your spending habits changed and if so, how?

My spending habits haven't really changed. There's a bit less food wastage in our house and obviously much less has been spent on travel.

4. Your mobile phone dies: what do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on a new one? 

They're pretty pricey these days, but I consider it a crucial tool of the trade so the expense is a necessary evil.

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

An investment property I bought for my kids' future - not that I've told them!

I'm motivated to ensure my kids can 'stand on their feet' financially. Helping them to create a path towards this is more rewarding than buying another pair of shoes... (only slightly - I am a shopper after all)! 

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

A family trip to Otago for the holidays. I felt great about it: it was money well spent on family time. 

I don't tend to fritter.  My spending is intentional because I allow for the things I want to spend money on in my wealth plan. That means I never feel deprived.  The fact I've allowed for it in my plan means it's conscious spending.

7. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred form of investment and why?  

Property every day of the week, because of the power of leverage. 

I still have other types of investments (managed funds, shares and businesses), but if you're  looking to grow wealth with limited funds up front, it is hard to beat leverage.

8. Do you use a credit card and if so, do you pay off the entire balance by the due date?

Sometimes and yes - usually! 

9. Does having more money increase happiness?

A lack of money can make you unhappy: it can stress you out, impact your quality of life and limit the kind of future you can have.  

But accumulating more follows the economic concept of diminishing returns. The more money you have, the happier you are - but only to a point.  Once you reach that point, having more money won't increase your overall well being or sense of happiness.

The key is understand where that point is and how you're going to achieve it. Is it through earning more, spending less, growing wealth or all three?

10. The best money advice someone's ever given you?

There are three themes I apply to life generally and money specifically: 

  • When the conditions are harder, you need to be better. 
  • Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not, never drift, never anchor.
  • To whom much is given, much is expected.