"Don't buy something unless you have the money right now!
"I've prematurely spent money that I knew was coming, only to have unexpected bills or car problems arise.
"I wish I'd just waited!"
Sean Hill, host of The Edge Nights.
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 host of The Edge Nights Sean Hill about controlling spending vices by trying to cook more at home, upping contributions to KiwiSaver and why it's important to spend money after it's received, not before (or least have a buffer in-place for unexpected bills).
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
I'm a bit of both.
I like to save for short-term things, like travel (RIP) and new phones. My vices are eating out and buying new clothes.
2. A money goal you've set for this year?
To cut back on eating at cafes and restaurants and cook more at home. If I can be completely truthful, so far it's going appallingly!
3. What's been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
Don't buy something unless you have the money right now!
I've prematurely spent money that I knew was coming, only to have unexpected bills or car problems arise. I wish I'd just waited!
4. Give an example of a recent purchase you consider great value for money
After umming and ahhing over whether to buy the new Apple AirPods, I bought some wireless in-ear headphones from QCY, a chinese brand, for $40!
They actually still work really well. I saved at least a couple of hundred on that one.
5. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
It was a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers that I definitely didn't need - but really wanted!
The aftermath came in waves of guilt and the occasional 'Looking fly mate - great purchase' (that I'd tell myself).
6. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred investment and why?
To be honest, I'm bad with small investments. Right now, I'm focusing on maxing out my kiwisaver contribution for the future.
I then plan to save whatever I can for travel, to use when the borders eventually reopen and the world comes back to normality.
7. Does having more money increase happiness?
I truly don't believe that it does.
There's a baseline where having enough to live comfortably can reduce stress, but beyond that, I don't think happiness comes from material possessions.
My dad is one of the happiest men I know. He's at a point in life where he could be working hard to buy the next boat or car like others his age.
But instead, he chooses to prioritise his time. He works reduced hours, spends less and does free things that bring him genuine happiness, like walking the dog along the beach, cycling and tramping.
I've learnt a lot just from watching how his life has changed over the past 20 years.
8. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
When I was younger, my dad gave me this advice, which I believe is really solid:
'If you can't afford it now, don't buy it now.'
It's helped me avoid getting trapped by loan sharks, or getting stuck in debt for things that I really can't afford, which adds stress down the line.
The views expressed in this article are personal and are not professional financial advice.