"Money increases choices and I credit Hamish's fiscal responsibility with helping us get to that place.
"My happiest moments are connecting with people, God and nature, all of which can be remarkably free."
Petra Bagust, host and broadcaster.
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 TV host, broadcaster and mum-of-three Petra Bagust about financial caution during COVID-19, supporting local clothing designers and why the secret to happiness is connection, not money.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m flexible but at present, family life places me in the 'spender' category.
My earliest money mantra was 'don’t spend what you don’t have', which is easier as a single person without a mortgage.
I had a bunch in the bank when I got married. Since then, not so much.
2. Has COVID-19 influenced your attitude towards money?
Yes, I’ve become cautiously optimistic about money and cautious about big expenses. But still optimistic we’ll be OK. I felt lighter not spending much during the first lockdown.
3. Post lockdown, have your spending habits changed and if so, how?
They haven't really changed.
I'm trusting myself more and not stressing about purchase decisions. We run a pretty tight ship and have spent less on travel this year.
4. Your mobile phone dies: what do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on a new one?
Seven hundred dollars feels palatable, however, I spent way over that on my latest phone.
I’ve bought into the Apple 'system' and it’s my main piece of work equipment.
5. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider great value for money
I bought a gorgeous camera-friendly Kate Sylvester dress on sale for $198. I’ve worn it on The AM Show, hosting Facebook live events, to Zoom meetings - even walking the dog along the beach.
Being super-useful by supporting great local designers works for me!
6. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
It took just five minutes between reading about Kokoro, a new Kiwi hair accessory brand, and making an online purchase.
It felt a tad freaky to be swept up in the joy of discovery! Afterwards, I felt OK, mainly because it's a new local business and half the purchase was a birthday present.
7. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred form of investment and why?
Due to past experience, investing in property is my comfort zone. I've also had a little cash invested in a term deposit for decades.
Not being more active in doing something with this money is a financial weak spot.
I’d like to invest in a start-up company because I love creative ideas and good stories.
8. Do you use a credit card and if so, do you pay off the entire balance by the due date?
Āe, yes always.
9. Does having more money increase happiness?
Beyond having enough for our whānau to function and thrive, money doesn’t do it in the happiness department for me.
Money increases choices and I credit Hamish (my husband's) fiscal responsibility with helping us get to that place.
My happiest moments are connecting with people, God and nature, all of which can be remarkably free.
10. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
Knowledge is power.
Checking in regularly so I know how much I'm spending - and on what - means I can make decisions about what to adjust, stop or carry on doing.
Positive action increases my ability to make more exciting choices down the road.