Common Sense Budgeting – Taking the Power Back

As I’ve gotten older and grown into my role as a Mum and wife I’ve found there are more than a few things that I’ve gone back to or revisited from an earlier time in my life.  Though we ditched the CDs years ago (thank god!), my playlist only gains a few new tracks each year – yes, I still listen to the same bangers that have been pumping me up for over 20 years now!  Likewise, the circular nature of fashion means I’ve dusted off my Levi’s denim jacket that I purchased when I was at Uni, brightly coloured, oversized Tees and sneakers are back (no Jordache though, unfortunately!) and it’s totally ok to wear a rah-rah skirt 30 years after their eighties debut.

Mid-winter this year, Dave and I got serious (for a minute lol) and took a long hard look at our budget.  After purchasing The Barefoot Investor, I realised that there were quite a few areas in which we could tighten up our spending, and with the goal of daily expenses totalling no more than 60% of your income, I turned my thrifty gaze to our household expenses first.

Two areas really stood out for me; the amount we were spending on groceries and power.  We immediately paused our dinner subscription boxes, started meal planning again and began to look into what on earth was going on with our power bills.

Fibre arrived on our street earlier in the year, so when we were shopping for a provider, I was wooed by combo deals which offered ‘great rates’ for new customers who signed up for both fibre and power.  We switched companies and I didn’t think about it again until the winter power bills made their first appearance.

And then, I thought about power A LOT.

We have an old house, build in the ‘50’s, wooden joinery, no fireplace, three bedrooms to heat and a power-loving teenager.   Price per kw is really important to me because energy-proofing our house any further than we have already done just isn’t an option right now.  What I had neglected to factor into the budget when our fibre was installed was the good-ol’ Fixed Daily Charge.

I HATE the Fixed Daily Charge.

Easy, easy solution though.

I went back to an old and trusted provider,  and got them to handle the admin of getting us switched over and back on track.

10 years after we first signed up, we are back with Powershop and it feels good. Look!  Proof >

Choosing a power company NZ

The switchover process was ridiculously easy and fast.  6 simple steps to complete online and then Powershop took care of the rest – I didn’t even have to contact my previous provider to give them the flick!  We chose the Powershop Classic option which is how we purchased power from them previously.  What this means is I get control of when I buy power and at what price – HELLO regular specials and powerpacks.  Did I mention NO fixed daily charge and no fixed unit price?  In our first month, we used 200 units more than the prior month and paid $2 less than our last invoice with our old provider.  More power for less $$ = winning!

Power specials available to purchase in the Powershop app

The Powershop app is where I feel I really begin to take control of our power spend, as well as gaining some invaluable insights into how/when our household consumes power – why do we have big spikes every day at 12 pm????? I’m yet to solve that mystery.  I LOVE saving money, and pre-purchasing power for the months ahead is one way to do it.  As we head into Summer 2020 with a second heat pump unit I know that the AC will be cranking in both ends of the house.  I’ll tuck a couple of Future Packs under my belt and feel quite smug (and cool!) when Summer decides to show up here in New Zealand.

Household utilities are something that as a consumer, I feel quite ‘removed’ from in general.  We have so little control over what we pay for water, internet, phone services and power in general.  The switch back to Powershop has been (once again) quite revelatory in that, everything I need as a purchaser, is right in my hands – consumption, predicted future consumption, spending options (soooo many options), account history and if you’re really keen, the ability to earn credit by referring your mates! Seriously, if you’re watching your pennies, and watching your power, get sorted and switch over to Powershop.  Like I said over on IG, nothing gives you the thrifty-super-budget-conscious thrills like a new Powerpack hitting the Powershop Shop.  It’s 2019, we comparison shop for everything, it’s pretty cool to have the same flexibility from your power company.

Buying Shares 101: This. Is It.

Big news ahead guys.  BIG news.

Before you get too deep in this blog, catch up on how our family has been getting started with Sharesies so far this year; Post 1 > My kids have a share portfolio, Post 2 > Set and Forget – Investing just got easier.

Homework done?  Righto New Zealand families, let’s level up our investing!

When I was at Auckland Uni 20 years ago, I worked for years at a small owner-operated burger bar in Ponsonby you may have heard of, Burger Fuel??? Yeah. It’s quite yum aye?  Anywho, as employees, we were offered preferential purchase of shares when they listed publicly for the first time.  I remember seriously considering the option to buy and then remembering the seriousness of my lack of disposable income as a Master’s student.  I don’t regret many things in my life but taking a chance on a company I knew and loved is something I wish I had prioritised. Hindsight, they say lol.

I didn’t know how to begin investing when I was a student, nor did I know how to begin investing last year when I was a 39-year-old married mother of two.  Oh, how times have changed! Learning the ropes and taking some baby steps through the Sharesies portal during the past few months has been an easy, common sense and seriously accessible way to diversify our family’s ongoing savings.

Our Sharesies portfolios have been growing (helped along by the auto-invest functionality) and just this month, a new investment opportunity has been launched by the Sharesies team.  Everyday Kiwis like you and me can now buy individual shares in publicly listed companies via our Sharesies accounts – just like big-time investors do!

We’ve got some bucket list trips we want to do with the boys (big, expensive trips i.e. South America) so I’m starting to get a savings plan in place.  I’ve got my brand new copy of The Barefoot Investor lined up in the nightstand reading pile, and I am going to kick-start our next trip fund by pulling some money out of our low-interest bank accounts and buying some individual shares – for the first time ever!

Once I started looking at which companies were listed on the NZX, I began to get a little excited.  Some immediately grabbed my attention as they are companies I’ve either worked for or am a customer of – and putting my money with a brand I have an existing relationship with feels right to me.  Other options just make me excited because of their growth potential, ergo, my savings growth potential lol.  Lucky for us novice investors, the historical info provided on Sharesies is presented in an easy to understand, very visual way on my dashboard. 

Ethan (year 10) is saving hard right now for a new computer and wants to time his purchase around his birthday at the end of the year. The ‘upward trending’ graphs of certain investments are proving attractive to him, as well as the fact that he can sell shares, or fractions of shares, whenever he decides is right for him i.e. when he finds the best deal on his computer!

Buying shares feels like one of those ‘grown-up’ situations that mark certain, weird little moments in my life.  I felt this way when we purchased our first brand new king size bed, a new oven to replace the existing one (like, WTH, did our family just ‘wear out’ an oven???), and oddly when we lost our much-loved family dog last week to old age and illness. 

But,  investing is a very positive, grown-up thing to do.  I think the reason buying individual shares via Sharesies feels so different from purchasing managed funds or ETFs as I’ve previously done on the platform, comes down to one word – control.  I can invest exactly where I want, in amounts that are exactly right for me and our goals as a family.

Love it!

Our initial  Sharesies investments in ETFs and managed funds were an awesome way to dip our toes in and get our heads around putting our money somewhere other than a savings account. But now that Sharesies is an NZX participant, I’m totally inspired to diversify our savings even further and I’m so stoked that the boys and I can do it via the easy platform we are already used to.

Buying Shares

I’m legit excited about what this means for other Kiwi Mums, Dads and kids. Access to investment opportunities like this has not been available in NZ before, which is why Sharesies (and I) are so excited about this.  My first official trade was a ‘green’ one which was cool!  I purchased just over 140 shares in NZ Windfarms and the Sharesies transaction fee was only $0.10 – other providers could have charged up to $30 per trade!

Sharesies is removing many of the barriers to investing with their unique platform, letting everyday Kiwis like me invest whatever they can afford.  Over time I’m convinced this will usher in a fresh perspective on how we all think about ‘money in the bank.’

Set & Forget – Investing just got easier

Check out Part 1 of my investment series in collaboration with Sharesies here

Just like anything, instilling responsible financial habits in both ourselves and our kids takes both time, patience and practice. As I mentioned last month, we began contributing to the boys’ savings accounts as soon as they were born, setting up automatic payments of $10 per week and then essentially ignoring the accounts over the past 14 years. Obviously a very passive approach to saving but one that has easily become a fixture in the family budget.

Now that we are actively teaching the boys about investment diversity with the help of their Sharesies accounts, it’s time to level-up and get them thinking about their money, and where it’s going, on a more regular basis. If kids are earning pocket money, or if they receive money as a gift from friends and family, an easy way to foster a very intentional mindset towards saving is to introduce a spend/save/donate ratio which is in line with your family’s financial strategy. This is easy to implement from a super young age using low denomination coins and different envelopes, boxes or containers for spending, saving and donating.

Applying this practice of regular contributions to existing investments is also worthwhile implementing with our kids’ accounts. Many of us probably pay into our KiwiSaver accounts with uniform deposits via our pay schedules or, manually instigated automatic payments. As of last week, we can now do the same with our Sharesies investments – auto-invest is now live on the platform and it’s so easy to set up!

I’m all about automating as much of our family’s ‘Life Admin’ as possible – especially those voluntary tasks which can be easy to overlook like, savings and investment. I’ve had Christmas Club savings in place for over 10 years now at both a supermarket and The Warehouse and let me tell you, the value-add of decision free, locked-in saving each week results in a massive high five to yourself come Christmas time. Hooking up your Sharesies account with auto-invest is another one of those adult life hacks that you spend 5 minutes on now and end up patting yourself on the back for years to come.

Why use Auto-Invest

  • Sharesies auto-invest helps you stick to an investment strategy that’s right for you. For Dave and I, this means contributing small amounts regularly to each of the boys Sharesies portfolios.
  • Auto-invest helps you build on an investment when you don’t have a large, lump sum to begin with – which is what Sharesies is all about to be honest!
  • With Sharesies auto-invest you can choose between 3 pre-made orders (one of which is specifically for kids accounts) or you can build your own DIY Order.
  • Auto-invest is faster than setting up an AP via internet banking – I’m not exaggerating. I set up auto-invest on both boys Sharesies accounts in under 4 minutes total. The platform is so intuitive and easy I feel safe and confident with what I’m doing every time I log on.

I’m pretty excited about this new offering from Sharesies for a number of reasons, but probably top of the list is that from now on, the boys will be able to see the benefit and growth in their portfolios as a result of regular investing. Getting our ‘foot-in-the-door’ and being able to purchase shares in a way that is accessible and easy to understand is a game changer for families and individuals alike. Now with auto-invest, diversification of our savings investments is just as simple to automate and as free of fees as our Christmas Club at the supermarket (but maybe not quite so boring so I should be able to get the kids to pay attention at least once a month lol).

My kids have a share portfolio – why and, HOW?!

I’m partnering with Sharesies over the next couple of months to share our family’s experiences as we dip our toes into investing on the share market for the very first time.

I’ve long lamented how painful it is trying to discuss financial ‘anything’ as a Kiwi. If you’re talking money with anyone but your partner, cue the involuntary squirm and averted eyes in 5, 4, 3, 2………1.
But, it’s 2019 and we’ve come a long way baby.

As middle-class consumer spending and debt seem at peak levels here in New Zealand (“just chuck it on the house, she’ll be right”), there is a growing undercurrent of people and families that have said ‘ENOUGH’. The Declutterers, the No-Brand-New, the Mortgage-Free Masters – alternative spending lifestyles and habits are gaining traction and attention. To balance the equation, there is a complementary curiosity developing around alternative ways to save and invest the money previously spent on a more-is-more lifestyle. I can only imagine that by the time my kids are in the workforce, our views on the growth and protection of our financial futures will be even further removed from those grounded in the brick and mortar, quarter-acre dream of yesteryear.

To be totally cliché, the boy’s financial future starts now. Well, it actually started 14 years ago, which is when I opened Ethan’s savings account. Dave and I have been contributing $10 per week to each of the kids’ savings accounts, and that’s starting to add up to a couple of decent chunks of money. I’m also that parent, who has always banked any birthday/Christmas cheques and foreign currency from Dave’s family overseas into their accounts rather than let them blow it on more plastic toys. Instilling a pattern and expectation of saving from a young age is something I strongly believe in.

But, there’s definitely more than one way to skin the proverbial cat, and I’m all about NOT putting all of my eggs in one basket (and using as many colloquial phrases in one sentence as possible!).

As such, I’ve broadened my horizons and created an investment portfolio as of late last year with online investment platform Sharesies. Frustrated by low-interest rates being offered by traditional financial institutions i.e. banks, dabbling in the share market had been on my radar for years. But, like many Kiwis I’m sure, the problem was I had zero idea about how to begin. The launch of Sharesies Kids Accounts was the impetus I needed to register and create investment accounts for myself and both of the boys.

I’m a child of ¼ acre boomers who certainly never dabbled in shares and investments, so the financial acumen of risk and return is something I was never taught. Only around 20% of Kiwis own shares so, educating myself by using the Sharesies platform and passing on that confidence to diversify to Ethan and Nixon, will expand financial literacy in our family for years to come.

How Sharesies Kids Accounts Work

  • Anyone can open an account for kids under the age of 16, you don’t have to be a parent, but the account does need to be linked to an adult’s Sharesies account.
  • Kids subscriptions are half the price of adult subscriptions (adults range from FREE for a portfolio of $50 or less to $3 per month if the investment value exceeds $3000, or a $30 annual subscription).
  • Adding to anyone’s Sharesies wallet with GIFTS from $5 is easy – perfect for those astute friends and family who get the fact that there is a finite number of Hot Wheels that any small boy actually needs.

Working with the boys on setting up their Sharesies investments has been a really interesting process, creating an ongoing, real-world curiosity around some of their funds. One of Ethan’s chosen investments is Pathfinder Global Water, a managed fund (up 6.58% since 13/2/19) which invests in socially responsible companies around the world involved in the water industry. This is such an important social issue right now, the gravity of which is not lost on a young teen, so a vested monetary interest has seen him prick his ears up more often and take note of what’s happening around the world within the industry.

Nixon is pretty keen on the Australian Resources Fund (up 7.08% since 13/2/19), he’s always been obsessed with precious metals, mining, and gems so the pit mine in the thumbnail really spoke to him lol.

Anywho, I feel like I’m ticking something off my Life List so-to-speak by monitoring and growing these investments with the kids. The share market has always been a dark mysterious cosmos, even as an upwardly mobile, uni-educated woman with all the white-privilege one might expect growing up on Auckland’s North Shore (ha!). Using Sharesies has removed that inaccessible stigma and opened the door for some really great learning and increased financial literacy for both the boys and Dave and me.

I’ll be following up next month with another insight into how we are tracking with our Sharesies experience.

“You are NEVER ready” – Get Financially Dialled in for Baby

Thanks to BNZ for partnering to help make this post possible.

It’s true, “you are never ready” is more often than not my response when friends and I discuss the age-old question of now, or, later, especially when it comes to having a baby.

My feeling is that you can plan the heck out of the process – make all the lists, read all the books, take all the classes, listen to all the experts (actually, this is probably unrealistic as every person you meet is an expert on raising other people’s children!) but nothing will ever, ever prepare you for the life-changing, maniacal experience of welcoming a baby into the world.

That being said, prospective parents DO have nine months to at least attempt to get their ducks in a row.  I feel like I’ve said this 1000 times but, when Dave and I found out we were expecting Ethan, we had NOTHING.  Like actually, nothing.  I’d been drifting around America for 3 years, surfing and having fun, and Dave had been drifting around for 28 years in a similar state.

We didn’t even have a car and no family in the state of California to lean on.  Shit got real, really fast. So, we simply knuckled down and implemented our own simplistic but totally doable envelope based budgeting plan.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Travelblog Kid's Ready for Baby
Baby Ethan, California

As Dave and I were both being paid in cash, it made sense to save in ‘cash’ too.  I fully credit the tactile tangibility of the simple envelope system with keeping us on the path to financial responsibility and helping us save for our imminent life on a single income.  How does it work?  Easy.  Work out your monthly budget and create an envelope for each outgoing expense; rent, power, food, petrol, insurance, internet, phone etc. as well as one for saving and one for FUN.  On the front of each envelope, make a note of the total monthly amount due, as well as the amount you need to save per week for that expense.  Divide your income up weekly between envelopes and voila – complete financial control is yours.

Of course, digital technology and the way we use the internet has changed a lot in the past decade.  You can probably ditch the envelopes and use online tools to get your finances whipped into a family-friendly state.  

Check out the Baby Calculator, an awesome collab between BNZ, Plunket and Massey University that’s based upon the spending of NZ parents.  Since 2010, BNZ has been Plunket’s principal sponsor. As this special relationship builds each year, so does BNZ’s understanding about what families will experience with newborn and young children. If you want an idea of the expenses that will be coming at you – along with sleepless nights, stinky diapers, adoring baby gazes and the best snuggles you’ve ever had in your life – then spend some time online with this invaluable tool.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Travelblog Kid's Ready for Baby
(GIANT) Baby Nixon, Auckland

12.5 years later, Dave and I have two wonderful boys and to be honest, the way we view our finances hasn’t changed a whole lot. We are very debt adverse, we have savings plans in place, we watch our spending and we make a lot of cool stuff happen for our family on the cheap. When we began discussing baby #2 we were in a completely different place both physically (New Zealand vs USA) and financially. We had just purchased our first home and had (somehow) managed to negotiate the crazy-speak of fixed/variable/table/reducing/blah blah mortgage speak. Negotiating buying a house and its subsequent reno was the third-most grown-up thing I’ve ever done (the first was birthing a baby and the second was purchasing a BRAND NEW BED! That’s some adulting right there).
We didn’t use our envelope system to pay for our house, though it definitely helped us on our way. Make sure you take advantage of every helping hand that’s available to you, starting with your bank. Buying a house is a really big deal. Historical loyalties to a bank you’ve been with since you were 5 should go out the window if they’re not prepared to take care of you when the time comes to borrow a LOT of money from them.

Pro-Tip: Look for deals and packages specially designed for people like YOU. A comprehensive option is the Baby Bundle from BNZ which offers a range of advantages;
• Fixed home loans – 0.25% discount on the advertised fixed home loan interest rate for the length of your fixed term.
• Variable home loans – 0.25% discount off standard home loan variate rate, including Rapid Repay
• Legal / valuation costs – Receive up to $1,000 towards legal/valuation costs when buying a new home or refinancing with BNZ.
• Credit cards – $0 account fee for the first 12 months on new credit cards.
• Transaction account – $0 account fee for the first 12 months when you open a YouMoney transaction account.
• Personal loan – $0 loan facility fee and discounted rate on a personal loan.

I started this piece by saying that you can never be truly ready for the impact a baby is going to have on your life. This is fact.
But, you can be smart, you can be prepared and you can be informed.

Visit www.bnz.co.nz/plunket for more information

Save your money and love those babies people!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Travelblog Kid's Ready for Baby
Bali 2017

Winter

Image credit Gábor Sidó

It’s here.  

It’s foggy, it’s damp, it’s not particularly cold this week – but that’s on the cards for next week YAY lol.  Muddy sports are in full swing, the washing is piling up and our daylight hours are dwindling (making any kind of photography super difficult for this social-media mama!).  We just can’t deny Winter any longer.

It’s HERE.

Our daily routine changes heaps as the seasons do, probably because we, like many New Zealand families, live in an old house.  Our home is quite the silver-fox, most people don’t immediately realise how old she is.  Fully concrete block, sitting on what we assume to be a damaged concrete slab (damp).  Our early 1950’s 1/4 acre dream still has original plate glass windows in breezy wooden joinery, a really inefficient gas fire, a slightly leaky roof and one heat pump when we really need two.  We love the old girl though and are just so grateful we were able to purchase a house in Auckland just before this crazy market went into it’s upward swing.

As we’re not moving, our household habits need to adjust for the cooler, damper weather.  Here’s what we do to survive winter in an old house without having to sell our first-born to pay our power company!

Surviving Winter in an Old House

  1. #Dehumidifiers4life – I’m sure that hashtag is sooooo on-rend right now lol but it’s true.  I can’t live without our 2 dehumidifiers.  I keep the big one running in the playroom 24 hours a day as this area of the house is subject to shower moisture and leads to the bedrooms.  I also rotate our little one around the other rooms in the house.  Dry air is cheaper to heat than moist air, plus, removing excess moisture that creeps in through our slab, roof and dodgy windows is essential in maintaining all-around family health and preventing mould ::::::shudder:::::
  2. Before I even begin to think about heating in the late afternoons, I shut up shop in rooms that have already lost the light by closing windows and blinds and I shut doors in rooms we are no longer using.
  3. We identified that we were losing a lot of heat through two old-school glass panelled doors so replaced them over summer with composite fibreglass doors which are much more efficient at retaining heat.
  4. I’m always checking to make sure that we are spending as little as possible on electricity.  Shopping around regularly can make a BIG difference.  We switched last month to Electric Kiwi.  
    Pro-tip:  We now get one hour of off-peak power FREE every day!  This is when I run the dishwasher, pop things in the dryer to air, put another load of washing on etc.  For many families, hot water can be a huge part of the monthly power bill, if you’ve got older kids or teens that go to bed after 9 pm (off-peak), switch from morning to before-bed showers and get that water heated during your free hour!
  5. We have a clothesline under a porch roof so even in winter I still use this to get our clothes 80% dry saving money on the amount of time clothes need to be in the dryer or on the drying rack – TAKING OVER MY LOUNGE!

This is by no means a comprehensive list or guide, rather, just some easy to implement ideas that we use in our home on a daily basis.  I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got some awesome ways to survive winter in an old house so get in touch by leaving a comment below!

Thanks so much to Electric Kiwi for partnering with us this winter, love your work guys!

Smart Money – How I make my Credit Card Work for Me

Hopefully you caught my first Smart Money topic where I ran you through the importance of owning insurance and knowing when and how to use it (catch up here if you missed it).  This week we’re going to talk credit cards, which can surprisingly, be almost as divisive as the Trump/Clinton debates were!

Some people love their plastic, some swear they’ll never have a credit card (again!) or will never shop using credit in the first place.  I can only assume but I think such a hard-line stance on credit cards often comes from our parents. Back in the eighties purchasing everything on credit was as common as putting your kids to sleep every night with a hearty dose of Phenergan – or Knock-Out Drops as it was known in our house lol.  Buying household items on ‘tick’ or throwing down a high interest credit card used to be standard procedure but, perhaps learning from the financial stress of our parents before us, it seems we have moved into a period of much more conservative credit use, sometimes to our detriment!

Learning how to use credit cards wisely is an awesome financial skill that leaves more money in my pocket each month.  As such, I think there is definitely room to flip how we as a generation generally think about credit cards in general.  If we focus on how to make them work FOR us rather than the more common misconception that credit cards are a means to encourage irresponsible spending, we can add a valuable tool to our day-to-day financial acumen.

With a mortgage in place (a couple to be exact), one of which uses revolving credit, it makes sense for our family to keep as much cash IN our bank accounts as possible, thus minimising the amount of interest charged on our mortgage lending.  We do that by using our credit card for all day-to-day purchases and then paying this off in full each month to avoid interest.  This system takes a couple of months to implement as you get your cashflow in sync with your spending but it can make a big difference when aiming to reduce interest costs.

The added benefit of using your credit card in this way is being able to maximise your potential to earn reward points.  Warehouse Money offers two credit cards, one of which, the Warehouse Money Purple Visa Card, offers reward points (called Purple Dollars) on every dollar you spend.  Accruing reward points all year is a great way to help spread the financial load at Christmas time by spending your Purple Dollars in-store at The Warehouse.  That’s SMART shopping!

Four Things you NEED to understand about getting smart with Credit Cards

Keep in mind, I’m no financial advisor, however I’ve been using credit cards effectively for 20 years now and we run ALL our household and day-to-day expenses on our CC – because: reward points and cash in the bank!

  • Fees – Know what your credit cards will cost you each year.  My bank credit card charges $65 per year + $15 per year for a secondary card, another credit card we have charges $52 per year plus a $55 establishment fee!  Both cards available from Warehouse Money have NO annual fee, no establishment fee and no additional cardholder fee. 
  • Interest – How and when is it calculated? So I thought I knew how credit card interest was calculated but I was wrong. If you pay your total balance each month, sweet as.  No interest for you.  If you pay your minimum balance each month ie you don’t pay the full closing balance, you’ll pay interest on all transactions and some charges left on your account at the applicable interest rate, PLUS, you’ll also need to pay interest on any new charges that have been made since the statement period.  That’s a big deal guys and something you need to re-read if it’s news to you. 
  • How does your credit cards reward system work? Rewards are the awesome part of responsible spending on your credit card, I LOVE banking my rewards and using them throughout the year to help spread the financial pressure around birthdays or Christmas time.  Kiwis LOVE reward points as The Warehouse Money Matters Survey discovered this year with 42% of respondents who have a credit card saying they use their card to collects reward points/air points.
    Warehouse Money offers two great credit card options ;  Warehouse Money Visa Card holders will be rewarded with 5% off their shopping both instore and online at The Warehouse every day and that’s on top of sale items (some exclusions apply), so this is a reward you can benefit from every day.  Their Purple Visa cardholders earn 2 Purple Dollars for every $150 spent at The Warehouse and 1 Purple Dollar for every $150 spent anywhere else Visa is accepted. 
  • Why is building a credit history important? Being credit adverse may help you avoid interest charges and late payment penalties if you’re worried about your financial discipline – which is a good thing.  However, ignoring your credit history can make things a little trickier further down the track when you actually require finance – rather than simply choosing to use it.  Potential lenders will always check an applicant’s credit history, looking for payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, the variety of credit used.  In terms of securing manageable levels of lending and credit resources, it’s advantageous to you and your future financial assets to start earning some A+ grades when it comes to managing your credit. 

For more information check out the Citizens Advice Bureau, where there’s heaps of great info on managing credit and how to check your credit history.

Opening a line of credit can be a scary feeling and may fly in the face of everything a financially conservative background has taught you.  Get comfortable and informed about the product you are considering – ie do your homework, and align your money with a brand you trust and are familiar with.  If you’re considering a new card or your very first credit card, check out Warehouse Money and the two products they are offering kiwis.  Both are great choices, offer benefits other credit cards don’t and come from a brand New Zealand knows, loves and trusts.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Finances Credit Card Advice

This post was sponsored by Warehouse Money and was an awesome opportunity for me to get stuck in and learn about how my credit cards really work.