"It's a lot of money for a mirror.
"But as it will last a lifetime and hold its value, it’s more of an investment."
Bindi Norwell, chief executive, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).
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 REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell about gratitude following COVID-19, spending on memorable experiences and why splurging on a 17th-century mirror was money well spent.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
A saver - but I enjoy spending.
2. Has COVID-19 influenced your attitude towards money?
Seeing many people lose jobs and businesses, I have a more grateful attitude towards money.
I'm definitely more mindful about not taking things for granted. Given how quickly things can change, I appreciate the importance of a rainy day plan.
3. Post lockdown, have your spending habits changed and if so, how?
Overall no. As we're spending less on travel, we’re more appreciative of going out for a family dinner and traveling within New Zealand.
I'm in the middle of a significant house renovation so a lot of our spending is going towards that.
4. Your mobile phone dies: what do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on a new one?
I recently bought the iPhone 11 Pro - a lot of money to spend on a phone!
The camera on it is amazing. As I spend a lot of time on Zoom calls for work and it has many practical uses, I don’t feel quite as bad as I would otherwise.
5. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider great value for money
We recently enjoyed the Rotorua Canopy Tours walk in Rotorua. It was a fantastic family experience zip-lining over treetops in a magical forest. A portion of the entry fee is donated to support the forest and reduce pests to save native animals. It was fun and inspiring at the same time.
6. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
A 17th-century mirror for my house renovation. It's a lot of money for a mirror but as it will last a lifetime and hold its value, it’s more of an investment.
7. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred form of investment and why?
I'm a big fan of having a balanced investment portfolio, but prefer shares and property. I enjoy renovating properties to add value.
8. Do you use a credit card and if so, do you pay off the entire balance by the due date?
Yes, I have a credit card and I pay off the balance by the due date. I love the airpoints.
9. Does having more money increase happiness?
It definitely makes life easier, but I don’t think it makes people any happier.
10. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
- If you can, put away some savings first before you spend it all each month. Even if it's not much, it adds up over time.
- Question whether you really 'need' something: be prepared to make sacrifices for long-term benefit.
- Try to invest in KiwiSaver. It will make life easier later in life (my parents keep reminding me)!
- Invest in property as soon as you can. As it's not always easy, think laterally.