Tag Archives: blogging

Link love (the fees-will-get-you-every-time edition)

NZ Muse link love roundup

Indulge me, if you will!

I remember the first time I learned that banks could charge you for the privilege of holding your money, when my ex’s mother spoke about the $10 monthly fee on her day-to-day account.

More recently, I got to hear about some of the stuff that regulators are involved in within the consumer protection space. Changes to the law last year put a much bigger onus on lenders to disclose, disclose, disclose – to be upfront about fees and costs associated with credit contracts, as well as be more responsible and ethical about how and who to lend to. Noncompliance can apparently result in borrowers not being liable for fees/interest if lenders don’t play by the rules. And one finance company has been caught out charging excessive and irrelevant fees – eg high loan establishment fees due to building in overheads beyond the scope of any work involved with actually setting up a loan. The view is that lenders shouldn’t be making huge profits off these kinds of fees, to which I say amen.

Another much more mainstream topic of late has been KiwiSaver fees. On average KiwiSaver fees are 1.3% per annum and now that the scheme has been going for a few years, balances are getting higher and thus providers are getting an ever-bigger cut each year. There’s a new provider, Simplicity KiwiSaver, launching soon that will be totally passive – the international part will be handled through Vanguard. Given that I might be paying up to $40k in KiwiSaver fees over my lifetime, I’ll be keeping an eye on this to see if it’s worth switching. Maybe other KiwiSaver providers will up their game and sharpen up.

This week’s links

Still not quite sure how to answer this: What are you proud of?

The best financial advice

What’s harder: saving or repaying debt?

8 financial commandments

Finally, I’m feeling this post on first home ownership so hard right now.

Link love (the cake-for-breakfast edition)

The best weekends start with cake. Always.

And then they segue into bumper link roundups. One that’s had me mulling it over is this HuffPo piece on honest marriage vows. My 2 cents: I couldn’t agree more on the dishes – this is why a dishwasher is a must for me when we renovate; and so far, working towards a place of trust around managing money seems to be working.

This week’s links

The power of financial surrender

And of changing your money mindset

Frugality takes time

Bleeding on the job

Rent rage

Mind hacks for money stress

The stories we tell ourselves matter (and here’s my version of this)

You’re not meant to do what you love – you’re meant to do what you’re good at

Working in your passion is overrated

Affiliate income for beginners 

The allure of shiny better vs real  better:

In my humble opinion, real better has these characteristics.

It brings a deep, calming happiness rather than a shopping-thrill kind of rush.

It doesn’t rob future you of comfort, stability and choice.

 

Link love (the is-winter-over-yet? edition)

NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

I always imagined that once I bought a house I’d like to get a cleaner in maybe quarterly for a deep clean.

This month I bought a GrabOne daily deal for a house clean from a local company. I’m not sure I’d use them again – they don’t have a website and only a cell phone, and despite confirming spare key access over the phone (because I’d be at work when they came) I got a text that morning saying that nobody had answered the door. They sent someone back and I came home to a clean place, at least.

While they did more of a regular clean rather than focusing on the other stuff like windows and baseboards and high cobwebs (maybe I should have been more specific? Definitely looking for a specific spring clean package next time) they did a 1000x better job on everything than I do. Shower, floors, etc. I could easily get used to this, I tell ya.

This week’s links

The reality of renting. Fuck that shit (pardon my language, but seriously). I’m so glad to put that phase behind me. I get enraged just thinking about it, especially our last tenancy – though at least it wasn’t on this level of bad

Another reality check: the financials of being a best-selling author (a great if not surprising read from my perspective as someone who would kinda like to write a book one day if I could come up with an idea)

 The importance of (good) coworkers

Ain’t no room for shame in your budget

You’re allowed to leave any story you don’t love yourself in. Sometimes leaving is the best thing you can do for yourself (I know this to be true)

Link love (the grumpypants edition)

NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

I’ve come to realise that I have a deep seated mistrust of authority.

I – and people close to me – have had too many sour experiences with authorities. Just a few examples:

  • Police who profile and fabricate charges.
  • Property managers without scruples.
  • The driver licensing tester who literally got out and kicked our car.
  • Telcos that overcharge, have opaque billing practices and that make it impossible for you to contact them.
  • Agencies that fail to communicate with each other and send you to debt collection.

I’ve dealt with great cops and case managers, to whom I am forever grateful, but equally have seen so many instances that were not up to scratch. It makes it hard to trust people in authority roles to be honest and to do the right thing.

This week’s links

The many, many problems with ‘follow your passion’: “Most people’s passions just don’t fit well with the world of work… Our interests and passions also evolve over time…  And while we’re at it, the idea of “following your gut” to find work you love is also terrible advice. The evidence suggests that we’re bad at predicting what will make us happy.”

Experiences often require THINGS:  “All of the people who are all “experiences are more important than things” are using a lot of airplanes, backpacks, hiking boots, and $200 bottles of wine to get those experiences. YOU CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT THINGS, PEOPLE.”

Racism and inequality (and how fascism thrives): “Racism, and fascism, are very successful scams that sell to the desperate. Fascism understands that people want to feel valued and integral part of something larger. Racism is, sadly, the easiest and cheapest way to do that… If you hate racism, then you really really really should hate any economic and social system that creates and rewards massive inequality. Because when you get that. You get racism.”

The career crossroads checklist: “This crossroad looks unfamiliar—for the first time in your career, you have options. You now have experiences under your belt, connections in the industry, and a work history that reflects your talents. This next decision is different than your first career decision because where you land and the work you do influences your trajectory.”

A financial sanity fund: “I don’t know exactly when I will spend the monies in the fund but I know that I eventually will. Like an emergency fund, this fund helps me sleep better at night, knowing I can still live the life I want to now while building a better one for my future.”

The changing world of media employment: “The system seemed broken on a variety of levels but especially for those actually creating the content. On the other hand, brands seemed to be doing the opposite; they were paying writers on time and had the marketing side figured out in a way the industry I worked for simply didn’t.”

What makes a good marriage: “Is it bad if you’re not happy every day? Is it bad if your partner cheats? Is it bad if it ends in divorce? Or does badness come down to the big stuff, like abuse?”

Link love (the sleep deprived edition)

An assortment of random, workplace related thoughts:

  • Instead of getting caught up in jealousy and insecurity, I’ve been really trying to consciously focus on learning from other people at work.
  • The outcomes of something I worked on came in for some criticism the other week. A couple years ago I think I would have been devastated, but I took it in my stride. I’m confident enough in myself, my judgement and skills these days to stand by what I do, especially when a number of others came in to bat on my side.
  • Suddenly it seems a bunch of people I used to work with have snagged shiny new jobs as “Head of Something or Other”. I have zero desire to be head of anything, but I do get a small pang of professional envy…

This week’s links

Bored of all the jobs, don’t know what to do with myself (Two great points from Ask a Manager here, I think: Funding your ability to live life is the core of success; and why are some people expected to be okay with working for a paycheck while others are encouraged to settle for nothing less than their dreams?)

The biggest lie I ever told

Forget cardboard houses – sometimes you’re sailing through life on a cardboard boat

The truth about work-life balance

Why I don’t want to be self employed

How can you tell if an experience is worth the money?

Motivation is a myth

Money questions to ask before the wedding

How to feel good

Polling people on their lady parts

What keeps me in Auckland? Work. Loved ones. Malaysian food. The landscapes. 20 degree days in June.

Nip up Mt Eden and look out across the city at Rangitoto. How great is that view? Swing round and look back out at the Waitakeres. We live in a tree city set among volcanoes. It’s like Endor. Ewoks would be happy here. We have relaxing beaches on the North Shore and full-on ones out West. Jump on a ferry to Waiheke, have a sniff around Rodney. It’s bloody great around here.

 

 

Link love (Powered by cake and coats)

NZ Muse link love

Dispatches from our animal kingdom:

  • Our chickens have probably grown about 50%. They are huge compared to when we first brought them home! They still aren’t laying yet. Not exactly sure how old they are but their combs haven’t turned red yet (they are in the beginning stages)

 

  • We started off feeding them pellets, which the dog used to try and steal. Now we feed them mash, which she doesn’t really seem interested in.

 

  • The dog tends to follow them around curiously but I’m pretty sure we’ve drilled into her that they are friends, not foes.

 

  • But she will try to chase birds. In fact, she actually managed to catch one the other, unbelieveably. It eventually died 🙁

 

  • She is me in dog form – seriously food motivated, and prefers drinking warm water to cold #asianforlife.

 

This week’s links

Don’t follow your passion. I wholly agree, as per this and this

What if you just don’t make enough money to get ahead?

Auckland house shopping with a $550,000 cap

Personal finance lessons from Buffy

This has been a sad week for humanity. But let’s remember the vast majority of us are good folk and let’s do our bit to preserve that. Here are 2 pieces from Captain Awkward and Ask Polly that made me cry while on the train to work.

Link love (the winter edition)

Link love NZ MuseI’ve been reading a lot lately. Books about money, even! While it’s wildly idealistic and rather fluffy in parts, there were 5 particular passages in The Soul of Money that stood out to me.

  • “I have seen the powerful grip that money has on our lives, the wounds and hardship that it can impose on us, and the immense healing power of even the smallest amount of money when we used it to express our humanity – our highest ideals and our most soulful commitments and values.”

 

  • “We all have an identifiable, though largely unconscious and unexamined, relationship with money that shapes our experience of life and our deepest feelings about ourselves and others. Whether you count your change in dollars, yen, rupees, or drachmas, money is one of the central, linchpin issues in all our lives. It is in mine, and it is a central issue for everyone I’ve ever met, no matter how much or how little money they have.”

 

  • “We are born into a culture defined by money, and our initial relationship with money is the product of that culture, whether it is one based primarily in poverty, in a country like Mozambique or Bangladesh, or a culture of affluence and wealth in a country like the US or Japan. From our earliest experiences, we learn money’s place and power in our families, our communities and in our own lives.”

 

  • “No matter where we are in the political, economic, or financial resource spectrum, the myths and mindset of scarcity create an underlying fear that we, and the people we love or care about, won’t have enough of what’s needed to have a satisfying, happy, productive, or even survivable life.”

 

  • “No matter how much or how little money you have flowing through your life, when you direct that flow with soulful purpose, you feel wealthy. You feel vibrant and alive when you use your money in a way that represents you, not just as a response to the market economy, but also as an expression of who you are.”

This week’s links

Why a paid off house is so important (hell yes to every point)

The importance of a ‘don’t be boring’ budget (hell yes to this too)

Things to move towards, and away from

Chatting about self employment

How to squeeze more out of your limited holiday time

Link love (the looking back edition)

I’ve just finished reading How To Be An Adult In Relationships, which a couple of people have recommended.

It was probably the wrong time to pick it up, as in months too late; and to be frank it didn’t meet my personal expectations overall. It got off to a slow start and I almost gave up but I’m glad I didn’t, as it improved from there. If it reinforced one thing for me, it’s how much our parents and childhood shape our ability to relate to others as adults…! There were definitely quite a few parts that spoke deeply to me, and I thought I’d share them here.

  • Are you happy together more than half the time? Would you stay in a relationship with someone you loved if you were unhappy?
  • Here are the words of an adult: “Even though ……… I have to let you go because you do not meet me at my soul/adult level.”
  • We need conflict in order to evolve from romantic projection to mature self-affirmation.
  • Am I in a relationship with someone who presses down on my lively energy like an incubus, an invisible yet nonetheless weighty presence? Why do I allow anyone to limit my energy?
  • Ask for what you want 100 percent of the time. Say yes to yourself twice as often as you say no, but be willing to compromise.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to let my feelings happen without acting on them. Sometimes holding is more important to my growth than releasing. This means surrendering control over my feelings and riding them where they may go or stay.
  • Being compassionate does not mean becoming a caretaker. (And there’s an excellent chart contrasting the two)
  • “How shall I proceed? Do I wait for her to change, or do I find a way to take care of myself and attend to my concerns using my own resources?”

This week’s links

Stop telling me to quit my job!

“One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women …the constant message that being sexy means being naked.” Preach, Alicia Keys!

On keeping creativity and money separate

Calling out a racist

On balancing saving and life (I can’t handle multiple goals at once either!)

Letting go of stress

All the ways we get ripped off just by living in NZ

Spending no more than $150 on food for five days ‘do-able but pretty miserable’ for family of six (we spend about this much for 2 people for a week and are reasonably frugal -we would struggle to pull this off even if we cut right back!)

Link love (powered by fires and rain)

 

  • The other week I went to my first ever No Lights No Lycra session. Basically, you get together in a public hall, turn the lights off and dance to music for an hour. Sounds weird but it’s incredibly fun! Look for the Facebook group if you’re interested.

 

  • I realised I’ve been undersalting food all my life and only now am I really starting to understand what a difference salt makes to a dish (no surprise, I’m a far superior food critic than I am a cook)

 

  • At all of my jobs (minus the first) my boss has either left, or gone on parental leave at some point. I inevitably get asked if I’m going to apply for the position – and in every case I’ve had no interest in doing so. Not quite sure what that says about me and my aspirations.

This week’s links

7 fresh ways to save money with heart

The privilege of chasing your dreams

When your romantic partner isn’t holding up their end of the bargain

A fascinating read on class and politics in the Trump era

Money => security => easier to save money

27 lessons about money

(Mostly) free ways to show love

Life lessons from growing up poor

Good vs bad reasons to quit

10 things to know about work by age 30

Banking happiness for tough times

Finally, I’m way late on the party to this one, but for anyone who feels they’re falling behind:

“Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control — and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. “

Link love (the hustling edition)

NZ Muse link love

In the past I’ve said yes to freelance opportunities that turned out to be huge pains in the ass, more often than not. So I was a bit wary about one that recently crossed my path. But happily – even though it was in an industry I have zero interest in – between their ridiculously lovely and passionate boss, the great brand story, their willingness to pay good rates and just generally being nice to work with, it was surprisingly fun.

Finding satisfaction in work is a multi-headed beast.

This week’s links

What to do with your broke but wonderful boyfriend (such a surprisingly common problem!)

I work hard to meet my needs – and even harder for my wants

The real problem with all those ‘How I got out of tons of debt fast’ articles

The tenets of financial wellbeing

A lovely story of compromise and coming together on money

When to give up and when not to

Finally, there’s lots of good stuff in Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement speech, which I’m just catching up on now. I am glad she acknowledges her immense privilege – it completely aligns with my post earlier this week on the value of financial security when you’re going through hardship. Sucky times suck bad enough without having to stress about money, too.