"My biggest financial success is leaving all sorts of negative emotions behind, and accepting that I deserve financial wellness.
"Studies have shown that people who experienced scarcity or negative emotions around finances growing up have a complicated relationship with money as an adult.
"There's a feeling of undeserving, so when it comes to finances, it can be easier to self-sabotage."
Kristen Lunman, CEO, Hatch.
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 Kristen Lunman, CEO of Hatch, an online platform that provides access to US share markets, about the impact of her childhood experiences on her ability to manage money as an adult.
As a spender, Lunman recognises the need to pay herself first, and to grow her money through investing.
Referring to herself as a 'lazy' investor, she prefers a 'set and forget' approach, putting her money into exchange-traded funds, KiwiSaver, and her family home.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
Did you know that spenders tend to be incredibly generous people?
Perhaps it's because we aren't concerned with holding onto our money.
I don't need nice cars, luxury items or brand named clothing. But I love good food, time with family and friends, and experiences.
While I enjoy the present, I do care about my future. Recognising my spending tendencies, I need to implement a few key money tactics (more on that later).
2. What's been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
My biggest financial success is leaving all sorts of negative emotions behind, and accepting that I deserve financial wellness.
Studies have shown that people who experienced scarcity or negative emotions around finances growing up have a complicated relationship with money as an adult.
There's a feeling of undeserving, so when it comes to finances, it can be easier to self-sabotage.
It's not uncommon to compensate for feelings of shame or lack of control by seeking instant gratification and frittering money away.
Over time, it's been fabulous accepting that I'm worthy of making money and growing it for the future I deserve.
3. What do you know about money now that you wish you'd known sooner?
Know your worth, and then add tax!
Earlier in my career, I wish I'd understood what I had to offer and then charged for it.
I work hard and can flex my unique skills to drive business growth - never chalk it up to a learning experience!
Knowing your self-worth and standing up for what you deserve is underrated, especially in women.
When you know your worth, you feel more comfortable negotiating a raise or promotion. It's also less of a problem saying no to things you don't want to do.
4. A recent purchase you consider was value for money?
Have you seen the price of a pet these days?
Working flexibly, we joined thousands of other families and got a pandemic puppy - a cocker spaniel.
She was $3000 (gasp) - not exactly value for money. But that sweet thing has brought us so much joy! We explore a new trail or beach each morning.
As she's brought so much colour to everyday family life, I'd consider her an excellent return on investment.
5. What's your preferred form of investment and why?
Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are the easiest way to put my money to work.
ETFs are a collection of pre-selected shares, like a bunch of companies in a shopping basket. This makes it easy for me to invest across a range of businesses.
I consider myself a 'lazy' investor. The bonus with ETFs is it doesn't take a lot of time. I 'set and forget' a fixed amount of money each month into ETFs, along with KiwiSaver and our family home. Sorted!
If I get an extra lump sum, I tend to choose individual company shares. I'd rather back a company that I believe in - one that's doing exciting things - than be a landlord.
6. The biggest misconception about share investing?
I'd suggest there's two.
Firstly, that the share market is not for 'me' - it is for my husband, father, 'that Wall Street guy' - or anyone else who seems financially savvy!
Investing can be for you. Find a podcast, blog or book to help grow your knowledge and learn to back yourself.
A second one is that getting started with investing requires a lot of money. People can start with as little or as much as they like. Investing small and regular amounts can snowball over time.
7. What's your best saving tip?
If you're a spender (like me), pay yourself first.
Instead of saving what's left over at the end of the month, pay yourself first and put that money to work.
When you get paid, place investing for your long-term needs and wellbeing ahead of any other spending.
8. What's the best money advice someone's ever given you?
Working and saving won't lead to financial independence for most people. It's important to make what you save work for you.
The best time to start investing was yesterday, and the second-best time is today.
The views expressed in this article are personal and are not professional financial advice.