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KEZZA last won the day on January 25

KEZZA had the most liked content!

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  1. Debt or a savings stash?

    I WISH this stuff had been taught in schools. It's been a series of hard lessons, largely ignored in my irresponsible youth and into my 30s. Now, am realising that savings = freedom, because if I lost my job, homelessness and figuring out what I can afford to eat won't come across my radar again. Financial education in NZ should be a priority. I also watch my younger colleagues taking on these huge mortgages because the bank says they can afford to borrow up to, say, $300,000, so there all maxed out and job loss and illness would tip them over. Knowing what I know now, and it makes me shudder.
  2. Cash - a new standard

    Whoa - keep up the good work. Yep - I try and pay most things by cash now - not only do I get sweet discounts sometimes, but am tempted to spend less, as holding the notes makes spending too much way less palatable. (apparently paying by cash activates the pain sensors in the brain - worth it to save your hard-earned dosh). I understand that merchants get charged a fee to handle transactions by credit card, so it's costing society all round - debt to the merchants - debt to the consumer in the form of fees and interest charges. Meanwhile, the banks have the shiniest windows. People may think it's weird to use cash - I would rather see it used more often as I understand electronic transactions can also be monitored by government and business, with targeted advertising and statistics on spending by consumers on where and what they buy/use. with cash, you're practically invisible on that front. Also with credit cards, you pay for stuff that's in the past - like paying for 2017's Xmas presents in 2018 - so last year! And credit card rewards? Spending a tonne to get an extra $10 cash or a smidge of an airpoint? No thanks
  3. Using savings to pay off debt?

    @RichLife - thanks for the tag,much appreciated. @JSM - good stuff taking the reins of all this now and not burying your head in the sand. My thoughts ... like @Ford quite rightly said, establish exactly how much you owe, when and to whom. Also Ford also gives good honest accounts into experiences with bankruptcy - see previous posts to learn more. 1. As mentioned above, spreadsheet all your incoming and outgoings, with due dates, amounts owing and to whom to see exactly what you're dealing with and you'll have a modicum of control knowing where you're at. And not necessarily in this order, some suggestions ... some of which I am probably repeating what Ford mentioned. ... 2. Contact the bank/other debtors to see if you can negotiate a cheaper rate, knock off any fees if applicable (I did - the banks I dealt with were good when I was paying off those hideous credit cards and I got late fees wiped in exchange for committing to paying X amount per week/payment in full and final settlement and pulling the 'I've been a customer for X no of years' line). Re credit card/overdraft debt - crucial to kiss those bloodsuckers goodbye asasp, because unfortunately providers seem obsessed with stupid credit checks and reporting, and black marks against your record can affect your ability to borrow if you need to down the track. As for the car - potential profit by selling it and buying a cheapo in cash? Any other gear you own that could be sold for some extras $$ , say through Trademe, Facebook marketplace etc 3. Re automatic payments - potentially a good time to review and shop around for better deals for potential savings. 4. Great that you have some funds in the black re $26k - once debts gone, suggest holding a good balance of that aside for an emergency fund in case the fridge breaks, car breaks down etc, you can live for, say, 6 months sans credit card. Also as Richlife said, contributing to Kiwisaver (I think it's $1042.86 needed to be put in during the tax year to receive the govt contribution of $521), but I think this may be the maximum contribution to get the $521. 5. The written budget is EVERYTHING. Monthly, weekly, whatever works. Seriously. We started doing a method by US financial conservative whip-you-into-shape,host and author, Dave Ramsey as per @paul butler who posted a vid on reporting under debt tag on this blog around March 2017. Highly recommend checking YouTube for DR vids (The Dave Ramsey Show). DR basicallyadvocates living like living like a puritan to get out of debt; no dinners out, no holidays, nada until you're in a position where there's some cushioning to stop you going into further debt. Have been doing his suggestions since March this year and have not had to use a credit card, even with an irregular run of the mill income, still saving, and at times, patience has been tested when things going pearshaped re car repairs and dental bills, and no credit cards made a cameo appearance. DR recommends paying the smallest debt first (as opposed to the one with the highest interest rate) so you can get some quick wins by eliminating those debts (though this will depend on your priorities - and the spreadsheeting will help you work out what needs to go back to Debtville). That budget will ensure you know what's due for payment, with $$ set aside for essentials like food, petrol, fun money, etc etc. Fingers crossed, you get to a point where you ask yourself 'do I really need this?' and taking control of your finances, rather than finances controlling you, then, phew, some life stressors hopefully goneburger! Let's know how it's going- good luck (it took about 4 months to sort out a budget that was highly effective, but getting sick and tired of being sick and tired spurred some serious action).
  4. So ... the Silly Season is fast approaching. What are yule doing to protect against nasty debt hangovers? Setting limits on the spend? Having a staycation instead of a big holiday? We've said nope to excessive gift-giving and said yes to contributing to food and fun without starting 2018 in something resembling a post-Xmas debt nightmare(!) If the holidays derail the hard work of the budget that's been stuck to all year, then what's it all for? Here's to a stress-free break.
  5. Credit Card Debt - The best way to pay it off?

    This can't be shared enough - Americans call it a FICO score - we call it a credit score (cue Veda, Equifax or Dun and Bradstreet) and sometimes the information they hold about you is often wrong!!! But ask them to correct it? Not in their interests. Why? Because sharing (sorry, selling) data based on rubbish algorithms is everything. Will avoid borrowing in future (unless it's for a mortgage). A credit score is not a measure of success - it's a measure that you can take on credit and pay it back (or not)
  6. Debt to Eat

    @Hilinda I was in the same boat last year, but have had to be incredibly strict with a written budget (and I also follow Dave Ramsey) and a dialed down lifestyle. The frustration of one step forward and two back drove me nuts, as did periods of not working. Finding being intentional with spending is everything - and way less stressful. To show what's possible, this time last year, I had $5k of credit card debt that I paid off, as sick of paying the bank late fees, interest and the like to make their branch windows shinier. Then along came some pricey car repairs, dental bills and life etc. Now I have almost $5K to cover bills, emergencies, in between jobs if that happens, with some set aside to earn interest and chuck on the student loan before 31 March (fingers crossed it stays that way and my contract gets extended) - the Ramsey system can seem brutal when you start, but so worth it down the track - good luck.
  7. Credit Card Debt - The best way to pay it off?

    @Ford - I think the system is broken. The so-called credit rating is basically a measure of how you fare re borrowing. Not what I'd call a measure of success!
  8. @Gabs - am considering this as well at the moment. I have a Visa debit card and got an automatic replacement credit card in the mail. I used to have my c/card as an emergency fund, but now I've got near on $2k to fall back on, am thinking may as well ditch it and have my emergency fund as my ... err... emergency fund(!) If I had to do a big spend, repaying a c/card would be painful. I know of some that have a credit card for emergencies, but Xmas presents and a holiday to the tropics ended up being emergencies. And that's led to emergencies of another type; rectifying the debts to get collections teams off their case. Ugh - not worth it for the piddly rewards anyway. Good luck building up your dosh (have found the weekly written budget is everything).
  9. Credit card tips

    @paul butler - Still v grateful you put the Dave Ramsey vid up re FICO scores. Have been religiously watching his vids and following the methods and tips ever since - certainly made life easier.
  10. Credit card tips

    @Ford - One year on since credit card was paid off - has hardly been used since - has not gone in to debt - not a cent of interest paid to the bank. Have built up a $1000 emergency fund, so Murphy doesn't come knocking on the door as much. Have stopped buying stupid stuff too.
  11. Kiwisaver to clear debt

    Gutted you can't use KiwiSaver to pay off student loan debt. If I could use it to offset the remaining balance of my student loan, that would clear it out! (and would mean the onus on me to get intense re retirement savings, but hey could live with that).
  12. My journey to become debt free

    @FordWhat a story - thanks for the tips - didn't know about simplesavings.co.nz. The written budget is everything to avoid getting in to further debt. I know so many that are spiralling - low incomes and irregular work not helping.
  13. How to keep track

    There's a budget tool on Sorted website where you can add/delete categories and keep track. I use that, and still keep spreadsheet for anticipated expenses like car rego, WOF, dental hygienist etc. http://sorted.org.nz/tools
  14. Student Loans

    Also is there any way I could get rid of my student loan by taking it out of KiwiSaver? If I could do that, I would be debt free! Thanks
  15. Student Loans

    Hi there I returned to Uni as a mature student and have put the brakes on contributing to KiwiSaver whilst I pay off the loan. I realise the pressure will be on to save for retirement once loan paid, but the current 12% outgoing for student loan repayment will be put towards that. As there is no longer a Voluntary Repayment Bonus of 10%, is there any tax incentive (ie: likelihood of a higher tax refund) based on earning a part time salary for paying back voluntary repayments when earning under the current repayment threshold of $19,136?