"I've loaned money to people who haven't paid me back - the equivalent of a house deposit.
"It's sad to be put in a position to have to ask for the money but I'm not a bank, just a friend."
Colin Mathura-Jeffree, model, TV personality and Lexus ambassador.
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 share their biggest learnings from COVID-19.
Kiwi model and TV personality Colin Mathura-Jeffree told Newshub his biggest financial lesson was lending money to a friend and having to ask for it back. He talks about the perils of visiting a supermarket while hungry and enjoyment from investing in art.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
I think I've always had a sensible balance of both.
As a spender, I wanted to experience life through exceptionally random things. To me, freedom represented wealth.
I wanted to visit the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New York. I went and told no one. My friends texted me to meet them at SPQR...but I was standing in front of a Stegosaurus skeleton living my dream (I said I was busy)!
2. Post lockdown, have your spending habits changed and if so, how?
My spending habits have changed because my work environment has changed.
I've spent money to comfort myself. But I know it's to make my inner child smile through the uncertainty of this age.
3. What has been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
I've loaned money to people who haven't paid me back - the equivalent of a house deposit. I felt their vulnerability.
It's sad to be put in a position to have to ask for the money but I'm not a bank, just a friend.
My biggest success is the influence Craig Brown has had on my life. He gave me a conceptual structure to my brand value and taught me the art of negotiating.
One lesson he taught me was not to be unrealistic or stupidly greedy. If it's a good price, take it and give them more than they asked for, on your terms. It's a business win for both parties.
4. Do you have a Christmas budget?
Let me start by saying I just love the noise of Christmas.
It's a commercial experience which gives us the chance to think local and buy New Zealand made.
As for how much, I won't say. My mum used to say, 'to put a price on something instantly devalues the gift'.
If all you have to give me is a hug, it's priceless. I'll take two!
5. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider was great value for money
I'm a toy collector.
I bought a set of 1980's Kenner Super Powers Toys for $20.00 (I had these as a kid).
Now, I've sourced the entire collection. They're all collectable - one of the figures called 'Cyborg' sells for about $1000.
6. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
A few weeks' back, I lost my mind...I was so ashamed!
I went into Countdown hungry and by the time I got home and found my sensibilities, it was too late. I had bought every two-for-one and three-for-two deal in the store!
7. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred form of investment and why?
I buy art. It's an investment in the expression of creativity. At one glance, it can bring great joy and doesn't devalue.
There are many risky ways to invest cash, as long as you have the realisation that 'easy come, easy go' is a fundamental truth.
There are ways to make informed, sensible choices for investment. Good luck, be fearless about asking questions and get a second opinion from your accountant.
If you feel rushed, step away...and buy the art I don't want!
8. Does having more money increase happiness?
Money can take away stress but is it the centre of happiness? No.
Money is a tool to use sensibly, as you see fit.
Don't save yourself for a rainy day. Be the hero of your financial adventure, because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. Be rich in life experiences.
9. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
My dad said if you always work hard for what you want, you'll treasure it all the more.
Finally, I wish you the most wonderful Christmas break with friends and family - and remember to adopt lonely people into your festivities.