My father always said, 'If you earn $1 and spend 99c, you'll always be rich'.
'If you earn $1 and spend $1.01, you'll always be poor'.
Geoff Simmons, Leader, The Opportunities Party.
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 Leader of The Opportunities Party Geoff Simmons, about supporting small local businesses instead of supermarkets, not buying into the latest hype and the importance of living within our means.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
A saver…[but] with current rock bottom interest rates, I'm wondering why. That's why I became an economist too. I'm fascinated by getting the best value.
2. Has COVID-19 influenced your attitude towards money?
The uncertainty has made me more cautious about big purchases.
3. Post lockdown, have your spending habits changed and if so, how?
I've become more focused on spending money supporting small local businesses.
For example, when doing my grocery shop, I've moved away from supermarket spending. I feel really good about that transition.
4. Your mobile phone dies: what do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on a new one?
About $800. I'm a mid-range kind of guy and I don't pay for brands. Last year's model tends to have plenty of functionality without the hype.
I'm due a new phone but haven't done my research yet because of the election.
5. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider great value for money
Fixing my Miele vacuum cleaner instead of getting a new one. It is a great machine, built to last.
6. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
My vice is costumes. But in the past couple of years, I've bought from op shops. I never regret them.
7. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred form of investment and why?
Since COVID came along, term deposits are a waste of time.
My KiwiSaver is a managed fund, so my personal focus is property and shares: mainly property because of the tax advantages.
8. Do you use a credit card and if so, do you pay off the entire balance by the due date?
Yes and yes.
9. Does having more money increase happiness?
Up to a point.
Money is really important if you don't have any. Past that point, if you're busy, more money just makes life easier.
I wouldn't say it makes me happier. That's what friends and nature are for.
10. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
My father always said, 'If you earn $1 and spend 99c, you'll always be rich'; 'If you earn $1 and spend $1.01, you'll always be poor'.
Living within my means is something I've always stuck to - except when I go travelling, I consider that an investment.