• Link love (the contemplative edition)

    NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

    One of our Class of 09 journalism grads went straight into a combo PR/marketing/admin role at $60k a year. I remember her telling us that, and I’m pretty sure my jaw literally dropped when she named the figure.

    $60k is, and has always been, an interesting number to me. I feel like it’s quite a polarising one.

    To a huge section of the population, it’s a number they’ll never hit. To others, it’s an entry-level income.

    A colleague recently asked for my thoughts on a piece of work that he was involved in. It will reach thousands and thousands of people – from all industries, regions, life stages, etc – and it had to reference a certain number as an example. Specifically, it had to be an example of an average salary over a lifetime.

    Was $60k too high to cite as an average salary over a career, he wondered?

    Old me would have said yes. New me, no.

    But I’m not sure if I’m in the majority on that – I suspect possibly not, given that NZ is such a low wage economy.

    I used to think $60k was so much money. But realistically, in Auckland, it is not. It’s possible to survive on a $40k journalism income, but if you aspire to more than just survival…

    I wanted to hit $60k when I left journalism, but it felt like so much to ask for. I could not imagine my work being worth $60k. They offered me a salary even higher than that, and at that point my jaw literally dropped, once more.

    Failing to value yourself is a key trait of underearning – a concept I’ve really only stumbled across in the past year or so. And that, my friends, is the topic of my very next post. Stay tuned.

    This week’s links

    How much do flight attendants really make? 

    How to buy a house in your 20s 

    Don’t let your debt depress you

    Yes please. Stop telling your friends to become an entrepreneur

    How to spend money on yourself and your own happiness!

  • Link love (the ranty edition)

    NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

    Indulge me, if you will, in getting a few things off my chest:

    WTF: Steamrolling your fiancee into changing her name (if you care that much, you better damn well be just as open to changing your own surname).

    WTF: Caring more about whether a baby is born, than the quality of life it is going to have as a human for all the years beyond that

    WTF: Believing that you, as a non-indigenous person, have more claim to the country that you live in than any other immigrant

    I think that helped.

    Need to let off some steam? Blow all your steam off in the comments. Go for it.

    This week’s links (the first link love of 2017, if you can believe it!)

    For 90% of us, LESS money is NOT the solution (Couldn’t agree more! People who espouse this sound so hilariously oblivious to me, and I wrote about this exact topic late last year)

    How to stop expecting certain things of people

    Bullshit reasons not to buy a house, refuted

    How to let go of financial regrets

    10 daily money affirmations 

    8 money moments for your bucket list

    The underlying privilege in minimalism

    How to deal with food boredom

    5 ways to spend on your marriage

  • Link love (the year-end edition)

    NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

    I’m SO excited to be spending my first Christmas / summer in my own house. It’s the best feeling!

    I got a bit excited about Special Housing Areas back when they were introduced – parcels of land where development was intended to be fast tracked. Of course, I didn’t wind up buying in one – between location, affordability, and properties actually getting built (or not) things did not align.

    To be honest, it feels like SHAs, and new construction in general have been a bit underwhelming to date. A bunch of SHAs recently got cancelled (probably just land banking for the gains), it’s damn near impossible to actually find information on those that are proceeding or to figure out how to try to buy one, and meanwhile a number of new apartment projects have fallen through of late.

    Interestingly, a couple of large scale housing projects driven by Chinese developers have been announced in the last few weeks. Hope they’ll do it right. Unfortunately, I think it’s fair to say most Auckland apartment/townhouse complexes of a certain era are pretty shoddy (and I’ve lived in 3 of those myself). They tend to leak and require recladding, if they haven’t already been reclad by now that is.

    Those complexes I lived in? They haven’t really appreciated in value over the years, plus owners have had to fork out who knows how much to repair them. Overseas, newer developments might be sought after for their amenities, but here they often spell trouble – an acquaintance who recently returned to NZ with his British partner fell victim to this, and are now in their second leaky townhouse in a row (I thought they might have learned from the first… but ah well).

    To be fair, as a renter I’d rather live in a newer but leaky house – they’re warmer and drier, whereas older houses are where I’ve had to deal with mould and damp. But as an owner? I’d buy an older one over a 2000s era house any day. (Brand new excepted – things have improved since the crisis came to light.) Insulating a roof is a lot cheaper than recladding a whole house.

    This week’s links

    What you probably don’t know about negotiating

    How to get through your performance review

    I can absolutely get behind these 5 core money beliefs!

    Reflections on a layoff

    It’s not about money goals

    When it pays to buy what you wanted in the first place

    Relationship advice – distilled from 1500 people (I love this one – That said, I cannot emphasise how vital it was for me to talk to other people about my marriage struggles. Don’t shit talk your partner, but don’t bottle up emotions, either. Of course you need to communicate with your partner. But some things you genuinely need outside perspective on.)

  • Link love (the feeling-the-pinch edition)

    NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

    Although we had a nice surprise last week coming in under budget for groceries, money has been flowing out seemingly non stop overall. We were meant to have 2 more months of flea treatment stuff for the dogs which has vanished; we’ve started our veggie garden; had to spend a fair chunk on dog-and-bird proofing it; replace a window the dogs shattered (glass panes down to floor level are NOT COOL); plus we’ve got our wall map project and my ongoing quest to get photos printed for the walls as well. Life!

    This week’s links

    Financial stability makes Mel thankful (I’ll drink to that!)

    Amanda has a hungry mortgage

    It’s about more than living within your means

    Dealing with financial shame

  • Link love (the shaky edition)

    NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

    You’ve probably heard about the earthquakes in New Zealand. I’m very thankful to be untouched and unscathed up here in Auckland – zero impact for me personally – but it sure has got me thinking about how we really should get an emergency kit together.

    Sometimes a small town stirs something in you that mutters ‘man, maybe we could retire to a place like this’. While Kaikoura’s township itself did not hit that particular nerve for us, we did so admire the weathered old bloke who ran our chartered fishing trip and the lifestyle he clearly enjoyed – and the vibe he emanated was definitely of the ‘wow, one day I hope that’ll be us’ variety. And most memorably, the scenery around Kaikoura was just breathtaking. Here are a few photos from our 2013 trip (via this blog post)

    Kaikoura alps - mounains and cloud

    Albatross landing on water off Kaikoura coast

    I’ve donated to the Red Cross campaign – here’s the link if you would like to, as well.

    This week’s links

    5 lessons from 5 years of marriage

    The subsidies that make success possible

    Greed – the PF topic nobody talks about

    Good things in the wake of a life collapsing

  • Link love (the emotional edition)

    NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the weekWell, well, what a week it’s been.

    Rather than dwelling on the hideous, let me share with you a short film that made me bawl in a good way this week. If you can’t watch it right now, bookmark and save for later. It’s a beautiful thing.

    This week’s links

    Every word rings clear and true – read this if you are a woman, or in fact a human being with a soul: We were woefully unprepared

    Juggling priorities: money, community and a full life

    The financial impact of kindness

    The terror and beauty of not knowing

    Dealing with dissatisfaction in ourselves

    If nothing else, remember this. Happy weekends.

  • Link love (the viral edition)

    Link love NZ Muse

    I’ve been struggling with whatever heinous virus seems to be doing the rounds lately. All I can say is, good thing we have a pretty well stocked kitchen this week, with lots of soup! Otherwise I’d have been dropping money left right and centre on easy comfort food.

    This week’s links

    You’re allowed to be wealthy. You’re allowed to like money. You’re allowed to want more money.

    I should be able to do money but I can’t

    Scary things people say about money

    Some things in life you can’t get for free

    A sensible hot take on poverty

    How to face your financial fears

    Can’t find a mentor? Look to your peers

    Striving for compassion in a world of judgement

  • Link love (the fragility edition)

    NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

    This week has me questioning the fragility of everything. Physical health. Mental health. Careers. Relationships. Life itself.

    I’ve been left reeling, in particular, by the passing of someone I know, not very well, but who was one of the Good Ones. Universally liked. A net contributor to the world. The unsalubrious circumstances of his death, however, may overshadow everything else. It’s heartbreaking and so hard to come to terms with.

    More links

    Coulda woulda shoulda been a property investor

    Avoiding trendy spending traps

    3 crucial skills for life

    A PF blogger who can’t PF

    How to avoid buyer’s remorse

    What it really means to do what you love

    Is early retirement a lie?


  • Link love (the overstimulation edition)

    Another stranger appeared in my Twitter feed recently. Though not a stranger as it turned out, just another woman going through a divorce who had changed username. They were one of those cute couples who had the same last name and similar @ handles.

    (What is the average divorce rate among celebrities? I’ve never understood celebrities who change their names after marriage – the odds are so stacked against you, and if you’re likely to change back in the event of a divorce, why risk the double hassle? And to a lesser degree, I think the same goes for us plebs. I know we all think we’re going to live happily ever after, but many of us won’t. After the mostly terrible past 2 years – even with the buffer of some decent months since – I’m still personally not 100% sure myself. But eh, call me cold.)

    Maybe there is some truth to the theory that often, the people who post the most about their wonderful relationships are usually not that solid. The people who aren’t posting are actually busy living life and building their relationship rather than spending time crafting an online narrative about it.

    I remember, in the wake of one of my darkest posts here, a reader raising the question – why stick around? What are you getting out of it?

    Fair enough. There probably isn’t very much positive stuff on the blog. When things are good I feel no need to write and post. When things are bad, I work through it by writing. I could have said, trust me, there are good things, occasionally. I could have listed them, even. But I suspect they would have sounded weak and generic.

    Because … generally the things that make you a good person and a good partner are fairly universal. Honest. Kind. Giving. Dependable. Encouraging. Perhaps good with kids/animals. That kind of thing.

    But it seems to me there are many more ways in which to be a bad partner. Lazy. Unmotivated. Dishonest. Selfish. Volatile. Physically abusive. Emotionally abusive. Have an addiction problem. Controlling. Indifferent. Dismissive. Critical. Unsupportive. Unethical. Unreliable.

    Maybe. Maybe that’s just my end-of-a-long-week brain going off on illogical tangents. Too many other thoughts swirling around about money and financial literacy and society and systems after the conference I was at, but that can wait till next week’s post. I need sleep.

    To the links…

    Why I stopped travelling full time

    The reality is that when we look at those living in poverty, they often experience multiple issues that cause or are caused by their poverty

    We must learn to say no 

    The myth of the lifestyle entrepreneur

    The first $100k is the hardest (although the majority of it will be tied up in real estate, I hope to hit this by 30)

  • Link love (the democratic edition)

    NZ Muse link love

    I think this is the first time I’ve voted in my local body elections.

    I can’t say I really understand how local boards work, but I plan to be staying put for the indefinite future and so, I’m more invested in my community than I ever have been.


    Young candidates, at least in my area, have no idea how to sell themselves. I ain’t going to vote for you just because you’re young! Tell me something, anything, about your beliefs, policies, etc.

    There’s so much pressure to keep rates (our equivalent of property taxes) low. It’s mentioned by so many candidates, and heck, there used to be a party called Citizens & Ratepayers (now changed to the more inclusive Communities and Residents)! Does anyone care about keeping rents affordable? I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about escalating rents any more – just interest rates.

    Anyway. To the links. SO MANY GOOD THINGS TO READ THIS WEEK, YOU GUYS. Hope you have an hour spare!

    This week’s links

    What nobody talks about when they say DO WHAT YOU LOVE

    The economics of dining as a couple

    Why I don’t want other bloggers’ financial goals

    There’s more to life than being an entrepreneur

    Contemplating a next job move

    Want to earn more? 5 things to do differently

    Ponderings on our obsession with happiness

    4 financial principles of a healthy relationship

    Why you can’t afford low paying freelance gigs

    Investing is the savings account I’ve always needed

    The myth of gross used things

    Anxiety and the hustle mindset