"It's been tough times in the COVID-19 era of 2020 and 2021. I've changed careers and had ups and downs in terms of financial stability.
"There were some moments when I thought my only option was to sell our home and rent to relieve financial stress."
Angela Bloomfield, actor, director and real estate salesperson.
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.
Leaving Shortland Street after playing Rachel McKenna for over 20 years, Angela Bloomfield says unlike a lot of actors, she was regularly employed. Experiencing the realities of irregular work made her realise she'd become conditioned to receiving a weekly wage.
Having bought her first home at 23, Bloomfield has bought and sold over half a dozen properties and says they've helped her money grow.
Changing careers during COVID-19 hasn't been without its challenges - there's been moments she's thought about selling her home.
Bloomfield is now working as a self-employed real estate salesperson, a move she says gives her more control over where the opportunities come from.
1. What has being an actor taught you about money?
Nothing - all that credit goes to my parents. My parents steered me towards financial independence and I'm so grateful.
Unlike a lot of actors, I was regularly employed for many years. When I left and experienced the realities of irregular work, I realised I'd been conditioned to operate on a weekly wage. The freelance life was not for me.
Ironically, in my new job as a real estate salesperson, I'm yet again self-employed. But it's different because I'm more in control of the opportunity.
2. Are you a saver or a spender?
A saver through and through. No matter how little I'm earning, I save a portion of my earnings.
Once again, my parents taught me about the need for a reserve fund. Things can happen out of the blue and a little stash helps alleviate the stress.
As I get older, my earning and lending time decreases and saving becomes even more important.
I have no idea what my retirement looks like, but I'd like not to be worried about how I'm going to look after myself.
3. What's been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
My biggest learning is not to live in fear of money.
Money is not to be feared - to each person, it's a vehicle to provide for life.
There's a few hard truths that come with living in a world full of wonderful objects and experiences that cost.
At certain times in life, these things are affordable and at other times, they're not. It's important to be really clear on when they're not, and not pine for them.
4. What do you know about money now that you wish you'd known sooner?
That money is a 'vehicle' to get me places in life, not a medal.
If someone has lots of money, it doesn't make them more important.
People can be driven by money to the point where they take on work they don't care about and eventually feel like a sell-out.
Learning to live on less and not live in want can take a long time to learn.
I think it’s helpful to think about money at some point in life, decide how you want it to feature and work from there.
5. A recent purchase you consider was value for money?
I've not made any big purchases in the last eighteen months. I've spent money on studies and getting registered as a real estate salesperson.
I'd say that's the best $1500 I've spent in a while.
It's been tough times in the COVID-19 era of 2020 and 2021. I've changed careers and had ups and downs in terms of financial stability.
There were some moments when I thought my only option was to sell our home and rent to relieve financial stress.
6. What's your preferred form of investment and why?
I’m a big believer in long-term investment.
Low interest rates don't provide a great return right now, but they still provide options to put money aside where it can't be touched.
I think property is a great way for people to grow wealth and create a passive income. But it does require a deposit or some equity upfront (and often requires cash injections).
I was fortunate to buy a house at a young age. As I wasn't paying rent, my asset made me money. I've personally bought and sold more than half a dozen homes in my life and have always made money from them.
Property (whether it's buying a home or a rental) is definitely a way to make money grow. As a freelancer, there were a few years where my house made more money than I did.
7. What's your best saving tip?
To simply save.
Whether it's 10 percent or $100 per week, save something consistently.
If there's credit card debt, pay it off. There's no point paying interest on credit cards - it's a massive waste of money.
8. What's the best money advice someone's ever given you?
It's easy for people to spout off what they know, but not always helpful.
I don't want to take away my kids' opportunity to live and learn from their own choices. With them, it’s about me recognising the difference between a growth moment and a choice that may impact them greatly.
In my work, the subject of value comes up a great deal - and value is often in the eye of the beholder.
We're asking buyers all the time to weigh up a property's value - generally with respect to the market.
But it becomes more about how much it's worth to them, in regards to how long they've been looking and how many they’ve missed out on - and what their budget is.
The views expressed in this article are personal and are not professional financial advice.