"I used to borrow money for holidays (and stuff in general) because I liked instant gratification.
"All the interest I paid, as a result, crippled me for years and left me in debt."
Jen Bainbridge, radio host, The Rock.
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.
Newshub spoke to The Rock workdays host Jen Bainbridge about the financially crippling effects of credit card debt, how a wine fridge will save her money and why patient saving is better than instant gratification.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
I like to get the balance of saving something monthly, but I also love to spend - especially on dining out and great wine.
Travel is my favourite pastime, which of course costs money. As I had my child young, I missed out on the Kiwi OE. As we became older, we travelled together. I believe experiences are the best investments you can make.
2. Share a financial goal for the New Year
Now I'm almost debt-free, I plan to save as much as I can for my later years while still enjoying life.
My child has left home, so it's my turn to invest in myself and my husband and set ourselves up with a forever home. It's been a slow process getting to this point. We’re entering a new phase of putting ourselves first.
3. What has been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
My biggest failure was getting into debt.
I used to borrow money for holidays (and stuff in general) because I liked instant gratification. All the interest I paid, as a result, crippled me for years and left me in debt. Because the repayments were so huge, I was unable to save.
My biggest success was finally paying it off and cutting it up the credit card once and for all.
4. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider was great value for money
COVID made us realise we still hadn't seen so much of this country. Like many Kiwis, our default has always been overseas.
We bought a large vehicle that we can also sleep in, meaning more road trips and free accommodation.
We've already been on several trips, including Abel Tasman and the Marlborough Sounds, places I’d never visited. I'm also looking forward to showing my South Islander husband more of the Coromandel over summer.
5. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterward?
A wine fridge.
I’m so happy we did it. I enjoy filling it with different wines. I thought it was an extravagant purchase but we found a nearly new one on Trade Me for a quarter of the price and haven't looked back.
It means more nights in, saving money.
6. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred form of investment and why?
Property seems a no-brainer, but the dream is to get something that also has accommodation so we can make money while also living near the water. A nearby boat ramp would be great too.
7. Does having more money increase happiness?
It definitely gives more freedom which brings happiness, however, I think there’s a lot of truth in the more you make, the more you spend.
It’s important to keep track of daily spending so you stay living within your means whilst also meeting your goals.
8. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
Cut up your credit card and save for the things you want instead.
I learned this lesson the hard way and always say to younger friends and colleagues to not fall into the same trap. It's just not worth it. Learn to be patient for the things you want most.