Jump to content

Welcome to the Sorted community forum! Please read our house rules and help us keep this a safe space to talk money.

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Last week
  2. Challenge of the month! Consumerism

    You are affiliated with MoneyHub though right? Just checking.
  3. Challenge of the month! Consumerism

    Wow that's such an interesting thing to notice - there is so much online shopping these days and things are simply a click away which makes the discipline of not spending even harder.
  4. Sorted Community Forum rules

  5. Challenge of the month! Consumerism

    Indeed. There is sooooo much consumerism. I believe spending habits come from aggressive marketing and "lenders will always give you money" mentality. Look at how "Q Card" is marketed. Disclaimer for the members who reported me to Sorted - THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT AND I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH Q CARD, ANY OTHER LENDER OR RELATED PARTY. Yesterday at the Air NZ lounge heading back to Wellington, so many computer screens on online shopping, despite it being 3pm. That's a window into NZ spending habits.
  6. Spotting Ponzi schemes

    Interesting summary. The problem is that you can detect a Ponzi on a micro-level, but good luck if you're an institutional investor. For example, if a friend (or more likely, a "friend of a friend") has a great "investment", you can ask questions, get financial statements, ask for a bank account confirmation, and in all seriousness, run away from it...fast. For institutional Ponzis, forget it. Santander (big Spanish bank) poured hundreds of millions into Madoff because it got a 1% trailing commission. The institutions follow the money, always have, always will. Sure, the fund prospectus says they will "stress test" assets they invest in, but in the end they'll take a piece of paper as confirmation the investments are real. As will the auditors, who will request it independently from the custodian, and any variances can be explained away if it's Ponzi. Jeffry Picower was a MAJOR investor in Madoff, knew the returns were bogus, but it didn't matter as they skimmed the top of it. My friend's sister was caught out by RAM. Who would have suspected the wonderful Mr Ross to be running a Ponzi, right? Right? All those parties. And I was at university with his son. None the wiser. And then there was the Auckland woman before that who ran a mini Ponzi to fund her lifestyle. She had written (an excellent) book on empowering financial skills for women (I've read it at the Auckland library). It's excellent, so how did she go off course? So when you say "asking challenging questions is a good place to start to protect ourselves" I would say Ponzis will always exist, and the only way to protect yourself is to never invest on a whim, and if you're being offered "consistent returns" (on something that's not commercial property or a fixed term investment) then it's likely to be Ponzi. Before I get criticized by other members (yawn), I would like to state on the record that I have a background in investment banking, and before that, funds management. And that work at one point involved unwinding a Ponzi.
  7. Spotting Ponzi schemes

    Hi everyone, just to keep us all investing safely, here's a post on how to spot a Ponzi scheme (with help from Robert De Niro)... https://sorted.org.nz/must-reads/beware-wizards-of-lies/ Stay safe out there, Tom
  8. Challenge of the month! Consumerism

    This month we're looking at consumerism... what we buy, why we buy it and do we need it? A few friends of mine have jumped on the bandwagon of not buying anything for a month or a particular item for a year. Could you get on board with that? How long would you stop buying 'things' for and what item would you stop buying if it was just one? For me I stopped buying clothes for a month, which doesn't seem long but because of my habits it felt very long!
  9. Awesome, thanks very much for the information Emily and RichLife—will definitely look into.
  10. Hi Dave, you might want to look into exchange traded funds (ETFs; NZ version of 'index funds'). In a nutshell, managed funds underperform the index they are trying to beat on average. For example, according to Vanguard 84% of actively-managed U.S. large blend funds underperformed their index for the 10 years leading up to 2007. Exchange traded funds generally seem to offer a more consistent return. You can invest in ETFs through ASB - or you can take a look at some other platforms like InvestNow, Simplicity, or Smartshares, which all offer much lower fees than ASB. Check out some NZ-based finances websites like The Happy Saver or Smart and Lazy for more info.
  11. Manged fund return—how to withdraw?

    Hi @davenz That is a really good question. Managed funds are a little complicated. Essentially what you are asking for is quite possible but as you know they are really quite differently to a term deposit because the return of managed funds is based on the value of assets your money goes into. By way of example if you were looking at a balanced fund it will most likely have 50% of the funds going into Cash and fixed interest (bank, govt and corporate bonds) and 50% would be normally invested in share and property securities. Like you said if after say 5 years you total value in the fund went up to $10,500 you would be able to withdrawal the $500 and leave the $10,000 invested. That said perhaps after the first year the value might only be $9,500 (which is because the share market has gone down) this is why it’s important to understand what you want to use the money for (retirement, home deposit, children’s education, overseas holiday etc) and this will determine whether managed funds is the best product for you. This is where getting a little bit of advice might help your cause as well. Hope this helps. In the meantime have a look on Sorted to learn more about managed funds here https://sorted.org.nz/guides/managed-funds
  12. Earlier
  13. Hi All, I'm looking to apply for investing in a managed fund, and I have a general question that I cannot find a straightforward answer to (stemming I'm sure from a lack of knowledge on my part). The managed fund I'm looking at is through ASB. They provide clear information on applying, minimum investment amounts, fees, adding lump sums and so on. My question is can I withdraw the return I've made on the investment, while leaving the investment itself in place? For example, I make a $10,000 investment in a managed fund, which subsequently makes a $500 return. Can I withdraw the return, but leave the initial investment in place? When I asked ASB about this they pointed out that managed funds did not work this way, and were different from, say, interest earned in a savings account. Is what I'm asking for expected, or am I misunderstanding how managed funds work? Any advice appreciated—thanks. Dave
  14. Kiwisaver Fees

    Hi everyone, if you're thinking about switching up your KiwiSaver, read this first! https://sorted.org.nz/must-reads/dont-switch-kiwisaver-funds-without-reading-this/ Cheers, Tom
  15. We'd love to hear your story!

    I’ve had a total financial review and makeover which started in the middle of last year. It started with a credit card that I’ve had for a while, which never ever got paid off in full. I got sick of just paying off that debt and never seeing a zero balance. I was also living pay to pay and ended up being sick and tired of not saving enough. Maybe it was me getting older (I’m only 33) and reading all about millennials and their spending habits, but I decided I needed to tidy up the financial section of my life and hopefully get ahead. Sorted has been a huge help, especially with the articles found online. I also ended up finding out about Dave Ramsey where a majority of his thoughts made sense and helped me a lot as well. I have done a lot of things since then to turn myself around, which include: 1.Paying off my credit card. It wasn't a huge amount, around $1300, but I just attacked it. I got to the last $200 and was just itching to get rid of it. I finally did and it felt great! I now only use that card to pay for items like Netflix and Trade Me fees, but as soon as it’s charged, I pay the amount off there and then (I should change to a debit card really). I have got one last hire purchase which is interest free, with $220 left, so I’m working on that as we speak. 2. I signed up to Sorted and a whole bunch of other financial blogs and bank sites. The emails they provide give such great insight into saving and other financial matters. It gave me guidance on their ideas to save and spend and how to implement them for myself. 3. I went through 4 months worth of spending by going through my transactions. This painted a bad picture of unwanted purchases, and purchases around food! It also highlighted what my usual expenses are and made me think about how I can cut back on certain items. This include food, which I now budget $100/week on (I'm a single person household). I then decided to take the $100 out in cash, and only spend on food with this cash. I have to say I now spend around $60-$70 on food with the $40 left over. It makes such a difference as you don’t buy all the unnecessary stuff (that usually isn’t good for you). I don’t starve myself, and I do get the odd treat every now and then, but using cash is the way to go for me now. I also cook about 6 days a week, and I only buy a takeout meal once a week (which comes out from the $100). 4. I created a budget, which I've never ever done! It took a couple of months to get it right in the end, but it works great. It is now a zero-based budget where I’ve listed all the expenses that I have during the year. I now make sure that each pay day, money was allocated towards it and put aside in a ‘Bills’ account. This includes everything from car services, WOF, petrol, AA membership, sports memberships, doctors/physio/optical/chemist costs, everything that I could think of. For yearly accounts (like AA membership) I divided the sum by 26 weeks (to suit my fortnightly pay) and I deposit that into the account each pay. I anticipated a number of these costs based on previous expenses (e.g. like optician and doctors bills), which hopefully prove if I’m on the mark or not. 5. I created separate accounts for ‘Travel and Gifts’, ‘Emergency Fund’ and’ Bills’. This way the money is split into these accounts on pay day and earmarked for any of these items. I have a ‘Savings’ and ‘Household’ account too. It’s the best decision I’ve made as money is allocated to these accounts (and grows each pay day) so when the expenses do arrive, the money is there ready to use. 6. I wanted to build my Emergency Fund, and although I pay into it every pay day, I decided to go through my flat and get rid of anything that I didn’t need via Trade Me. I sold old clothes, books, magazines; anything that was of no value to me anymore. I made around $900 from all of it and placed that into my Emergency Fund which I’m quite happy with. 7. I started investing by way of Sharesies. I heard about it when they started and thought why not, I have to start somewhere given I don't have a property as an investment. II place $25 each pay day into it and buy shares accordingly. My aim is to increase this amount, but I want to concentrate on building up my emergency fund for the next 6-12 months before I do that. In addition, I contribute 4% of my income to Kiwisaver, which I wish I started doing right from the start when it came out in 2007. Overall my thinking about money, how I earn it, how I save it, and how I spend it has completed changed in the last 8-10 months. I wish I had learned this way earlier (or even at School) but I know for a fact that these new lesson will help me in my life going forward and make me more financial aware and savvy. Thanks for the Sorted website and forum by the way. Such a great tool to use!
  16. Sorted Community Forum rules

    Hi everyone, We envision the Sorted Community as being a safe space to talk about money no matter what your financial situation. In order to do that, we ask that members please follow the rules of the forum and if in doubt, please message us directly. See a recap of the rules below and for a more detailed description of the house rules please click here. Please be aware of the following important points! Do not spam or flood the forum. Only submit a topic or comment once. Do not resubmit the same, or similar, topic or comment. Keep the number of topics and/or comments you submit on a topic at a reasonable level. Don't post abusive, profane, obscene or offensive content. Don't post personally identifying information (addresses, phone numbers, bank account details). Keep your comments relevant to the discussion topic and do not use the forum as a place to push your own personal agendas or personal grievances. Don't promote products or services. To register: You’ll need a registered Sorted account to contribute to this forum. We ask for your name and a valid email address as part of the sign up process. Your Sorted name will automatically be used when posting to the forum. If you’d prefer to use a different name on the forum, you can change your display name by clicking on your name at the top of the screen, then Account Settings, and then Display Name. New topics and replies will be post-moderated on working days. We may remove any content that doesn’t abide by the rules. Please be aware of the following important points! Thanks, and happy posting!
  17. Looking forward to chatting with you all!

    Love the community spirit!
  18. Looking forward to chatting with you all!

    Thanks @RainyDayRichard - that's what we're all about! Walking this money journey together and acknowledging that none of us get it right all the time
  19. Looking forward to chatting with you all!

    Loving the money confessional videos on the Sorted facebook page! That's honesty right there
  20. Children in KiwiSaver

    It's a great idea, but I believe you only get the $1000 once your child turns 18 per http://www.kiwisaver.govt.nz/new/situation/under-18/
  21. You and your partner's money personalities....

    "Your money personality is: Practical domestic" for me.
  22. What does an insurance broker do?

    Insurance is not easy. I recently found out when I reversed, by accident, my HILUX into a crate at Placemakers that my "insured value" isn't what I'm getting paid out! So needless to say I dropped the cover amount!
  23. We'd love to hear your story!

    My husband and I have a lot of debt but have made some really good progress over the past two years. Back in February 2016 we owed $40,000 in debt - three credits cards, one store card and a finance company loan. And this didn't include our mortgage. Enough was enough! I think I was browsing on Pinterest when I came across Dave Ramsey Baby Steps. It's a seven step process to getting out of debt and living life to the full. You commit to never using credit cards again and then start attacking debt! The first step is to save up $1,000 emergency fund which you can't touch unless it's an absolute emergency. The second step is to pay off credit card debt by focusing on the smallest debt first and making minimum payments on the other debt. Once the smallest debt is paid off, the money you were using to pay that is then used to pay the second smallest debt off, and so on (it's called the debt snowball). We're still working through step two but things are looking up for us. We've also got envelopes we use for expenses that happen now and we put aside money each week so we're not caught short, eg haircuts, clothing ($30 per week), home maintenance ($35 per week) etc. The guy who wrote the book is from the US and recovered from bankruptcy and now makes a living helping people get out of debt. Two years on and our debt is down to $21,000. The balances on our two remaining debts have come down from when we first started the plan because we ensured we kept making minimum payments while we were paying off the earlier debts. It was really encouraging to first of all get rid of our first credit card (we owed $2,000 on that) and then the store card (we owed $2,500 on that) quickly disappeared too. Eight months into the plan we were ready to start paying off our second credit card (we owed $9,000 on that when we first started our plan in February 2016). This took a while longer but we finally killed it off in June 2017! I joined a couple of groups on Facebook for moral support which really helped when things were tough. We now have one credit card (which is on $14,500) and the finance company loan (which is on $6,500) to go. We can't wait until we're out of debt and we feel really empowered that we've finally taken matters into our own hands instead of losing sleep at night worrying about the debt hanging over us. Once these debts are gone, we'll start step three, which is saving up a bigger emergency fund to cover three months of expenses and from there we'll be attacking the mortgage! I found having a structured plan has really helped us. We don't always manage to stick to it because we're not perfect, but it's like anything, if you mess up, don't let that defeat you, just jump back on the plan again and keep your eyes on the prize!
  24. We'd love to hear your story!

    I'd love to submit this one! It is from my own personal blog. - How I Saved $232 a Month While Looking for a Job Today I wanted to share with you how I reduced my monthly expenses, and talk about whether I’ve noticed much difference in my life. I’d like to thank a brief period of unemployment that motivated me to make these positive changes, some of which were only temporary – if it weren’t for my need to reduce expenses, I might’ve never truly evaluated where my money was going, and what was important to me. Here’s exactly what I cut back on. Spotify Premium | This was the first to go, as it’s obviously a want and not a need. By cancelling my subscription, I saved $14.99 NZD a month. Not a bad start. Have I noticed much? No. I still use Spotify, but less. Since I noticed that I always listened to the same artists & albums, instead I support them and listen ad-free to their CD’s. It’s a win-win in many ways. Having a tangible piece of work made with love, sweat, inspiration and creativity, is priceless. I love the original artwork, the lyric booklets, the quirky sentimental photographs, the artists’ personal thank-you’s – all of it feels so much more authentic than a digital music library. And buying a new CD for $20-25 every couple of months only when I’ve actually found something I love? Definitely beats paying $15 every single month. LinkedIn Premium (Career) | I was subscribed to this service because I enjoyed using LinkedIn Learning – the courses are well structured with helpful tutors and chapter quizzes to build your knowledge. You can find anything, from photography, to graphic design, to human resources, to leadership, to writing.. The possibilities are endless! Though I loved it, unsubscribing saved me $40.24 NZD a month. Have I noticed much? No. Shortly after unsubscribing, I subscribed to more Youtubers of lifestyle, organisation, productivity, minimalism, zero waste and personal finance. I also signed up to a two month free trial of Skillshare, another online learning platform full of exciting courses – plus earned extra months by signing friends up to a free trial! I’m divided – both LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare are great, so I’ll do an update further down the track as to my choice of online course self-learning. Mobile Phone Data | After my mortgage & car, my phone is one of the priciest expenses. Looking at where I could save, I realised I had a ton of carryover data – about 30GB – which is enough to last me months! Reducing my data from 7GB to 2.5GB saved me $30 NZD a month. Have I noticed much? Not at all – especially with my change of job and change of habits. I spend less time on my phone and when I do, I usually have WiFi. Office 365 | I’d used only Word and Excel all my life in school & work, so when it came to wanting to type things up at home, they were my first choice – but I didn’t think of looking around for better, more affordable or even free services. I was so determined to use Office to be more productive, but I just never used it as much as I thought I would – so unsubscribing saved me $10 NZD a month. Have I noticed much? No. After unsubscribing, I searched for something like ‘best free writing apps”. It took a bit of experimenting, but I ended up loving the brilliant WPS Office, which comes with Writer, Spreadsheets & Presentation, and have used it ever since. It does absolutely everything I need it to, like formatting text & pictures and converting to PDF. (And just for putting up with only one ad every time it opens – that’s all!) Gym Membership | I’ve always been part of Les Mills because the atmosphere is bright, energetic and colourful, with brilliant classes and motivating instructors. Luckily, they have an option for you to suspend your membership for up to 90 days per membership year, at no cost. I took the opportunity to temporarily suspend my membership and fortnightly payment of $49, saving me a whopping $98 NZD a month. Have I noticed much? Yes. I miss the runner’s high after a long treadmill workout, and feeling strong, refreshed and energised after a BODYPUMP sweat session. Unfortunately I’m not motivated to run at all in the drab winter weather. So while I’ve balanced out my lack of gym exercise with Blogilates, free yoga sessions (offered by Lululemon and Golden Yogi every Sunday morning!) and eating healthy foods, I’m delighted to go back soon. Mortgage | When I first took out my home loan, I was overjoyed that I could change my regular payments online with just a few clicks. Rounding up my fortnightly mortgage payments and increasing them by only $19.49 saved me 2 years & 7 months, hence I went ahead and did it. So when I really needed to stick to a budget, I reversed the change – saving $38.98 NZD a month. Since earning a stable income again, I increased it by $79.49 a fortnight – $158.98 a month – saving me 8 years and 3 months. Hooray! So how much did I manage to save? The things I managed to save on indefinitely: $95.24 a month. Including the things I saved on temporarily (gym, mortgage): $232.22 a month. The experience of reducing my monthly expenses wasn’t frustrating. In fact, it was enlightening and eye-opening. Much like decluttering my physical belongings, I felt lighter. Not only do I have less bills and less to remember, my life feels, once again, more intentional, devoting and allocating my time and money to bigger & better things! - Please let me know your thoughts on this - perhaps you found it helpful, or had a similar experience? (And of course, if you're from Sorted.org.nz and would like to share this and want me to rewrite/edit it in some way!) Sophia
  25. Children in KiwiSaver

    Thanks @TuiW - interesting. Great that the money doubled...and no issues with fees eating into the amount clearly.
  26. Superannuation payout

    Hi I am a 59 yr old woman recently resigned from a job I had for 18 yrs. I received a super payout from a fund that I had paid into ($87000) and wanting to invest $50000 and use the rest for a new vehicle. The problem I have is that I had just started to piggyback on my husbands super and am stuck as my govt super is income tested because I don't qualify yet. The new vehicle is a necessity at the moment but do I invest the $50000 or keep it to live on in case WINZ stops super or puts the amount down as they think I have money to fritter away. We do not have a mortgage either so are reasonably debt free except for normal day to day living. Any advice greatly appreciated. I have been open with WINZ and not trying to hide anything just do whats best for my husband and myself.
  27. Children in KiwiSaver

    Yes, as soon as I could. No maintenance at all unless you are interested in making sure they get the best deal in terms of fees and therefore might want to switch providers (this is so easy to do - took me 3 mins to complete forms online to switch my kids from Westpac to Simplicity). I signed mine up when there was the free $1000 from the government. I have not been in a position to make any further contributions however their money has already doubled. The power of the long game! I am at a loss to understand why anyone wouldn't do this for their children - enforced savings!
  1. Load more activity