Saving for your kids’ university vs saving for your retirement
I may be biased.
In New Zealand, everyone can get an education, if they are so inclined. Schooling is “free” (annual fees, or “donations” as they call them, are just short of being compulsory – but you can get away without paying them. I didn’t pay my fees in the last year of high school as I was financially supporting myself and that $150 or whatever was a lot of money. It does mean you might miss out on certain things, like getting a yearbook, and of course you have to pay for school trips and stationery and whatnot). And everybody is entitled to an interest-free government student loan to cover your tertiary education.
But you know what? No matter where in the world you live, some things don’t change. You, and you alone, are responsible for your financial situation. Nobody else will put your interests first. So if you don’t, what do you expect to happen to you?
Sure, you can help out your kids, if you would like to and can swing it. I know fees in the US are reaching ridiculous new highs. But you won’t be doing anybody any good by jeopardising your own twilight future and potentially becoming a burden on your offspring later down the track.
Do both by all means. But put one of these priorities – yourself – first, and don’t go for the other on its own.
Why buying name brand items is a waste of money and how a kitten/fairy/unicorn dies every time you do it
Look, there really is no difference sometimes. Budget milk is the same as Anchor (and even if not, the price difference is too staggering to make me fork out for the blue label). Budget pasta is the same as the next brand up, and a few more beyond that. Heck, T gets by just fine wearing Warehouse own-label jeans, though he does spend most of his time in Dickies.
Here’s the thing, though. Some generic brands are downright godawful. No-name ketchup. Instant noodles. Canned vegetables. I’ve done it, and never again. That’s wasted food I couldn’t stomach, that never got finished, and money down the drain. I know what items it pays to pay a little more for, and I stick to it.
Cellphones are a luxury and if you think otherwise, you’re a spoilt, entitled Gen Yer
I work in media. Having a cellphone is expected (and in fact I now have a work phone). But even when I worked in hospitality, I was still expected to be easily reachable for last-minute shift changes or in the case of another job, to be contacted in regard to my availability to serve at various functions and events. You don’t have to be super important and way up the hierarchy to be needed, if you know what I mean.
Cellphones don’t need to be expensive, either. I’ve had a phone since about 16 (I’m now 23) and in those years, I rarely spent more than $20 a month. A home phone costs more than that, with extra for voicemail. (Incidentally, we do have a landline with our broadband package, but doesn’t actually work with our modem – we have to unplug it to use the phone – and we use it so infrequently I can’t be bothered doing anything to remedy the situation.)
Any blog topics you’ve had enough of, finance or otherwise?