"Being a content creator isn't as easy as people might think.
"A lot of time and effort can go into promoting something online: hours of back-and-forth conversations, signing contracts and going through detailed briefs.
"There's more to it than meets the eye."
Samuel Levi, influencer and former Married At First Sight NZ participant.
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 former MAFS participant Samuel Levi about whether it's possible to earn a full-time income as an influencer and what the job entails.
Having recently splurged on a brand-new car, and three nights in a five-star hotel (something he wouldn't have done in hindsight), to Levi, money doesn't increase happiness - it just allows more freedom of choice.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
If you'd asked me prior to COVID-19, I was an absolute spender.
But since the pandemic, having that financial backing for any emergencies that may arise has become a priority.
It's something I have a new appreciation for and suggest people take into consideration with their finances.
2. What's been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
My biggest financial success was launching my online business 'OneFigure Beauty', selling out in 48 hours, and making a six-figure salary within my first three months.
It allowed me to be in a comfortable situation financially and the flexibility not to work a nine-to-five job.
3. Is it possible to make a full-time income as an influencer?
If you have the time, energy and focus, then absolutely!
But the job can also be tiring also. Influencers need to make sure they have the right following (audience) - and continually engage them. New Zealand is a small market: budgets are possibly higher but opportunities can be much less than other parts of the world, such as Australia.
Being a content creator isn't as easy as people might think. A lot of time and effort can go into promoting something online: hours of back-and-forth conversations, signing contracts and going through detailed briefs.
There's more to it than meets the eye.
4. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider great value for money?
A brand-new car that I bought in the last month.
Working out the cost of a second-hand vehicle including maintenance, it was a no-brainer to go and purchase one right off the lot and drive away with it.
As it saves money and stress, I believe the cost is worth it in the long-run.
5. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
In all honesty, a three-night stay in a five-star hotel during a recent road trip down the coast. It was certainly on impulse, and at the time, felt like a great idea.
In hindsight, I wouldn't have done it.
6. What's your best saving tip?
Have a goal and put away a minimum amount of money each week.
I use a goal setting plan via my bank app which allows me to try to save a certain amount each month. It may only be $20 to $30, but whatever you can afford, put it away!
Have an account, where if you take money out, it costs each time (or possibly has a longer transfer turnaround time), to discourage spending it.
7. Does having more money increase happiness?
I'd strongly disagree that money increases happiness. But money can increase happiness by giving more freedom of choice.
We all deal with our finances differently. Sometimes, treating ourselves to small things can increase happiness in the long-run. Re-evaluating spending against a long-term savings plan helps.
8. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
To have enough savings for at least one month's rent/mortgage, bills and spending.
That way no matter what the situation, there's time to figure it out. Having a small amount of savings is vital: I think it's important and needs to be talked about more.
The views expressed in this article are personal and are not professional financial advice.