Face Value: Money no laughing matter

FRIEND FOR LIFE: Comedian Cori Gonzalez-Macuer with his best investment ever – Luca, his rottweiler.
FRIEND FOR LIFE: Comedian Cori Gonzalez-Macuer with his best investment ever – Luca, his rottweiler.

Comedian Cori Gonzalez-Macuer says his worst financial mistake lasted seven years. 

Cori Gonzalez-Macuer was born in Chile but has made comedy in New Zealand his home.

A regular on Seven Days and at stand-up clubs around the country, he performs in Palmerston North on July 18.

Gonzalez-Macuer can currently be seen on big screens in What We Do in the Shadows, where he plays plays Nick, a Gen-X slacker vampire struggling to get on with his older (think hundreds of years older) flatmates.

How big are the pay cheques from films?

With New Zealand if you get anything you should be happy: You get free food and someone picks you up from the train station. I'd probably lose my s... if I did a bigger Hollywood movie.

Why's that?

Because work is so sporadic at times, I'm either broke because nothing is on the horizon or nearly broke because I've gone crazy spending the one big pay cheque I would have recently got.

How do you sum up your feelings towards spending?

You always feel slightly better for being broke if you look back and know that you spent some of that on friends and family.

What was the first job you had?

I worked in a fish and chip shop in Hataitai where I grew up. It paid $8 cash an hour: I bought a surfboard and went to the pictures.

Are you in KiwiSaver?

I think I am. Not too sure, to be honest. Might have to ask the fish and chip shop.

Do you think you'll be financially set to enjoy life in retirement?

I hope so. I have little if no savings at this stage of my life so it's hard to say. If I start saving now I might be able to enjoy a couple years of retirement.

How did your upbringing in Wellington shape your attitude to money?

Well, we never really had much. I watched my parents struggle when we first got to NZ, but I remember we were always happy. My dad cleaned toilets most of his life till he got a "proper" job but the happiest I remember things being were when we had little. I definitely appreciate things more now that I'm older and see how money isn't the be all and end all, something I should probably take note of more often.

What's been your best investment decision?

Buying our dog, Luca. I could never justify spending more than $200 on anything but I highly suggest an animal to people: Best friend for life right there.

What's the best advice you could give to a child about the best way to make money?

Don't do a film degree.

What was your worst financial mistake?

Drinking almost every night from 2004 until 2011.

Was cutting back a financial decision, or based on something else?

It was a bit of everything: A life decision. And it's working out pretty good.

What about gambling?

I went through a stage of betting on the NBA last year and I'm going to bet on a few games during the World Cup. I've had about $7.50 on Chile getting through the group stages.

You must have been stoked with their 2-0 win over defending champions Spain?

Chile were third ranked, out of four, to get through in the group. I'm not too sure what the odds were, but they weren't too bad.

Do you have any vices with collecting things?

Nope, I wish I did but I've had very messy rooms in my lifetime and after a while I just gave up trying to find, tidy, arrange, or collect things.

What's the biggest lie about money that people routinely tell or fall?

That people with more money are better looking.

Do you trust the money men?

I don't trust any men. The "money men" sound like dicks, to be honest. Like a really s... name for an indoor soccer team made up of accountants.

Sunday Star Times