Kiwi women quizzed on spending habits

20:24, Jun 30 2013

We ask Kiwi women five questions about their spending habits.


Do you and your partner have joint or separate bank accounts?

Do you split the bills 50-50 or have some other arrangement?

Do you consult your partner before buying a pair of shoes or a new dress?

Do you have a personal allowance you're free to spend how you like?


How do you agree on priorities for big cost items such as new cars or holidays?


Sally Ridge, Auckland, socialite (partner businessman Warren Fenning)

We have separate accounts. We're newly living together, it's been a few weeks. I pay the household bills because it's my place. I would consult with [daughter] Jaime more. I think about the cost because there's lots of children between us. So it's not like I buy a lot of stuff because I have to pay two sets of school fees. But when I was in Wellington at the Andy Warhol exhibition recently I bought a couple of skateboard art pieces for $140 each. If I bought a car I would definitely discuss it with my partner.

Kerry Mau, Dorie in Mid Canterbury, farmer (partner farmer Geoff Mau)

My husband and I have joint accounts. We don't consult each other before we buy something. We bear in mind that we're drawing money from the business account to pay for the family accounts. But we both have access to the money. We always discuss larger purchases as a couple. Anything beyond our clothes or food is second fiddle because you have staff and you need to make sure the business is successful.

Jo Seagar, Oxford Canterbury, celebrity chef (husband businessman Ross Seagar)

We share a joint account and we each have our own money. We pay all the general household bills out of the joint account but we buy things like presents out of our private accounts, and clothes and other special things. My husband's mad about opera, whereas I love my cooking books. We pay for our private passions and interests ourselves, so we're not buying each other presents out of the joint account.

We shop together but I certainly wouldn't ask permission for some things. For big purchases like lounge suites we do our homework.

Nisha Madhan, Auckland, Indian-born actress (partner director Stephen Bain)

My partner and I have separate accounts. We're flatting so we split the bills.

I wouldn't ask before I buy a dress or shoes. But I always make things sound a little bit cheaper than what they were, which is what I did with my parents as well.

We split big purchases and holidays 50-50. We will have a rare holiday together and pay for our own tickets and split the costs. We have a car together which we split 50-50 to buy, and the running costs.

Janelle Taege, Bayswater, Auckland wife, mother and part-time masseuse (husband Matt Clements)

We have a joint account for the mortgage. I have a separate account from my job. I transfer money from that into the mortgage account.

I'm not tight but I'm not very spendy anyway. I'm a bit old fashioned, if I earn $100 I can justify spending it. I'm not one of those girls who sees a $300 pair of shoes and thinks I must have it.

If my husband moans about needing new clothes I'll know when to buy them in a month when the rego's not due. He doesn't have to ask but he knows I look at the account balances more. So I'll do the forecasting and know when to go shopping.

It was his 40th birthday at the beginning of the year and he really wanted a computer. The one he wanted was $3000 but he could get one for $1000 and build on it. Because it was after Christmas he couldn't have it in time for his birthday, he had to wait a couple of months.

We don't really do the personal allowance thing. But if my husband wants something that's say, $200, he'll ask.

Suzanne Prentice, Invercargill, country singer (husband Steve Dalton)

We have some joint accounts but because I run my own business. I also have separate bank accounts.

I pay all accounts arising from my business and some family accounts as and when they come up.

Because I travel so frequently I buy articles of clothing or shoes, etc, as I see them if they're needed. Sometimes even when they're not needed.

Neither of us has a specific allowance for ourselves. If we need something and we can afford it, then if we both feel it's needed or we really like it, we discuss it, have a coffee and make a decision.

If we decide to go on holiday we both discuss where we would like to go. We look at all the options and decide on a plan of attack. Neither of us would spend a large amount without discussing it with the other.

Laura Vincent, Wellington, food writer, blogger and reviewer (partner Tim Herbert)

We have had a joint bank account for about five years. We earn roughly the same and it saves on fees, plus makes it easier for us to pay bills and save.

I don't consult with my partner about buying something unless it's going to make a significant dent in our bank balance.

We don't have personal allowances, although we're considering it, to make saving better and to try avoid that bleak day or two before payday when your age is bigger than your bank balance.

Every big-cost item we've ever purchased has been the result of months of saving - we just put money away each week. Occasionally something will come up and we'll put it on the credit card, but we try to avoid it if possible. We're saving for a wedding now, so that's where our money will be dripping out to every week.

Lianne Dalziel, Labour MP for Christchurch East and mayoral candidate (married to lawyer Rob Davidson)

We have more than one joint account and we have separate accounts. We generally pay bills out of the joint account.

I don't consult (before buying clothes) and nor does he. In our case you would have to include motorbikes, Harley and Triumph. Holiday decisions are usually about whether we have them together, eg, I used my Christmas holiday this year to go to an overseas conference (without Rob).

Sunday Star Times