Sachie shares her financial recipe

SACHIE NOMURA: 'I actually love saving. I don't like wasting money.'
SACHIE NOMURA: 'I actually love saving. I don't like wasting money.'

TV cooking celebrity Sachie Nomura tells Josh Martin about not wasting money, even on food.

Sachie Nomura's kitchen creations were so in demand that five years ago she ditched a job as a business development manager and set up her pan-Asia cooking school, which led to a TV cooking show. Sachie's grandmother and mother passed down financial advice and lectures on money as well as their family recipes.

When it comes to food shopping, do you splurge more than you budget for?

It comes back to ‘you get what you pay for' in many cases. If you buy fresh and often there is far more nutritional value and taste and it's better for you in the long run than buying cheap, processed foods. New Zealand has so much fresh produce, so shop around, you can have it both ways.

Are you financially savvy?

I am pretty good now, I think I balance saving and spending better than some. I actually love saving. I don't like wasting money.

What do you put your financial awareness down to?

My parents' tough love. They taught me saving, hard work and sacrifice. Also, my husband is even more conservative with money, so we balance each other.

You've spent equal parts of your life in Japan and New Zealand, what is the strongest cultural difference regarding money that you have noticed?

Asian parents teach saving quite strictly, from an early age, just in case something happens. I don't think people over here do that as much. People over here use credit cards much more.

So you don't put much on the plastic?

I didn't have one for so long because I didn't like the concept. I just got one in the last five years, since setting up Sachie's Kitchen. It is now for convenience. I pay it all when the bill comes.

What was your first job?

I grew up in a town called Aichi in Japan. It's the home of Toyota and all of my family and friends work there. I'm still not allowed to drive anything but a Toyota. But I was too young when I first wanted work so I became a waitress. I used the money to pay for my English lessons.

If a child asked you the best way to make money what would you say?

Not to waste it is important, so I'll say what my school principal told me when I was young ‘if you see something you like in a shop, don't buy it that day. If you think about it again, go back to the shop, but still walk away. If you daydream about it again, go back and buy it, because you must really want it.'

Do you collect anything?

I'm very minimalist, I don't even collect recipes. Every New Years Eve, I do a huge clean up and chuck out or give away things that I haven't used in the past three years.

What was your best investment decision?

Leaving my office job and following my dream and opening Sachie's Kitchen nearly five years ago. But it has paid off the most, and now it's like Christmas has come again, we are so busy.

Do you trust the money men?

No! I just trust myself, when I invest; I take responsibility and don't just dive into it without researching.

Are you in Kiwisaver and if so, what fund?

Yes, just to keep my mother-in-law happy. I think I'm with ASB. It's a good idea if you don't naturally save.

Do you fancy a bit of a flutter or even a Lotto ticket?

I have no luck when it comes to that, it just isn't for me. I would rather spend that money on wine with friends.

Sunday Star Times