reader report

Money tips I wish I knew then

20:18, Aug 21 2014
DOLLAR SMART: Make sure you save money directly from your pay, don't wait for what's leftover.

These are the things I would tell my younger self (I am now in my 40s).

Don't worry about money too much. Just focus on your goals and the money will come.

Always have a job, no matter how menial. It will pay the bills and enable you to acquire capital.

Don't worry about what people think of you. Your friends will like you anyway. Those who are not your friends won't care what you do anyway.

Favour earning money over acquiring status. Status involves spending money, working involves earning it.

Buy good second hand goods rather than brand new ones.


Only buy things you can afford. Don't buy things on credit (apart from a house if you know it will appreciate).

If you buy a house, buy a much cheaper one than you can afford and stay in it for a long time. Save and invest your money rather than continually upgrading your house.

Start saving for your super early (when you are 18). That way compound interest will work dramatically for you.

To save, dock money into savings as soon as you are paid. Then live within your means. Don't just save what is left over. You won't have anything left to save.

Avoid the latest trends and just be satisfied with looking smart. Being trendy wastes money.

Buy what you need and don't buy things to impress people. They don't care.

Don't ask friends and family about how to save and invest. Most of the time they don't know any more than you do. Instead read books from writers with good credentials.

If you start investing and saving early in Kiwisaver when you are young, you can easily become a millionaire by your 50s. Einstein didn't call compound interest the 8th wonder of the world for nothing.

Travel when you are young and free. Beyond your 30s it becomes too hard and expensive for many people to travel and even then you can only go to safe places like Australia and the Cook Islands.