"As pay goes up over the years, make a specific point to take some of that and increase your mortgage repayments.
"Doing this saved me $46,000 in interest...I felt like I'd won Lotto!"
Angela Vale, CEO, Footprint.
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.
Angela Vale, CEO of Footprint, a company that provides online wills, says making a habit of upping her mortgage payments each time she received a pay rise saved her $46,000 in interest costs.
When people talk to her socially about her line of work, people often realise how little they know about wills and start a lengthy discussion about their own situation. This prompted Vale to start calling herself the "Queen of death"...a topic she says can also "kill a good party".
An advocate for starting to invest early and putting money into land, Vale suggests people don't borrow money for anything unless it's got potential to make them more money in return.
1. A challenge or benefit the COVID-19 lockdown has brought to your business?
Though there have been challenges, the opportunities are stepping out from everyday activities and thinking strategically.
We research more, brainstorm more, listen more and get emotionally in touch with what we're passionate about and here to do.
2. Are you a saver or a spender?
A bit of both.
I like to live life in the moment, but I don’t put my head in the sand about the future either.
3. What's been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
As pay goes up over the years, make a specific point to take some of that and increase your mortgage repayments.
Doing this saved me $46,000 in interest… I felt like I'd won Lotto!
4. What do you know about money now that you wish you'd known sooner?
To start investing as early as possible, while there's plenty of years ahead to recover from any downward periods.
People don’t get wealthy just by working their butt off and climbing the career ladder.
5. What's the biggest misconception about wills?
That wills are really time-consuming and expensive.
Another misconception is that people think they don’t have enough money or assets to warrant a will. But if you have an asset (or combined assets) to the value of $15,000 or more (even in Kiwisaver), it crosses a legal threshold which means the assets need to be distributed via a will.
Sadly, a lot of people think if someone passes away without a will, everything just goes straight to either their spouse or children.
While that can actually happen, there's not a guarantee - and it can take considerably more time and expense to get it there.
Also, a DIY will on a post-it note isn't valid!
6. What's your preferred form of investment and why?
Like many people, I'm influenced by my upbringing. Property was considered as solid and able to weather the ups and downs of the market.
One of the things I was told when I was younger was to 'buy land - they aren’t making any more of it'. Right now, we live on a lifestyle block.
7. What's your best saving tip?
Work out how much you'd need to live if you were unable to earn an income for a year.
Make that a saving goal and put that buffer aside (and out of sight), ensuring you can call on it if needed.
It’s amazing how much confidence a financial backup can give.
8. What’s the best money advice someone’s ever given you?
Don’t take a loan out on anything that doesn’t have potential to make more money.
The views expressed in this article are personal and are not professional financial advice.