Getting to today! My story

February 4, 2014

Another of the most common questions I get asked is how did I get to be doing what I do! This up close and personal video tells most of the story.


Can you identify with my story?Let me know in the comments below or if you would like to do that in person click on this link and request a strategy session with me. It’s free and if you’re in Auckland I will meet you for coffee and I even buy the coffee! I can’t say fairer than that!!






For a few weeks now I have been watching an ANZ bank ad on television, and questioning it.

You know the one with the young woman and the bubbles above her head… which say ” I deserve a little splurge”, “I’ll buy myself an early birthday present” “It won’t be on sale for ever” and “I’ve had a couple of hard weeks”.This is a link to the web version.

This bit I really get. I used to use variations of each and every one of those statements, as justifications for my overspending and putting more “stuff” on my credit cards.  I knew a whole lot more I can tell you. So too do my clients now, those who are overspenders and/or chronic debtors! They know these excuses and variations of them eg. “I should be getting a bonus next month” ” I need this as I haven’t got anything to wear to Jo’s party, Sue’s wedding…” or whatever.

They are all examples of justifications or excuses for spending money when, on some level, we know that we shouldn’t, we know we can’t afford to and/or we know that other people probably wouldn’t be doing it if they were in the same place as us, financially that is.

The bit I don’t get is, that the person using those excuses would be drawn away from their overspending habits, by a savings account with a good interest rate and some other positive benefits.

Maybe some would see the error of their ways and start saving instead of spending, but I know I wouldn’t have  and nor would most of my clients. The reality is, that if you are an overspender or chronic debtor and using those justifications for your spending, in almost all cases you are struggling to pay your bills and debts and there is little money left over to save, if any.

The ANZ ad says ‘Saying no to temptation has never been so satisfying”. They may well be right; saving instead of spending is very satisfying. I just need a lot more convincing that the young woman in the ad, if she is using all those excuses for her spending, will be tempted by the prospect of saving and earning “up to” 4.5% interest. Taken altogether, those excuses spell to me a problem with overspending, which is not insignificant and requires some expert assistance.

I would be interested to hear your comments.

Today I was reading one of the blogs I follow  DailyWorth – Know Your Worth. and came across this gem:- BFB – best financial buddy!

MP Dunleavey (, who is also a columnist for MSN Finance, talks about The G.O.O.D. (get out of debt!) secret – Save.

One of the tips she has to help you is getting a BFB to hold your hand.

What do you think? Would it help you? Do you keep your money worries to yourself?

I’d love to hear what you think or any experience you have had.

Mine has been, and continues to be, my Financial Recovery counsellor, Danielle Ray. ( She has been invaluable.

PS MP’s other tips are fantastic too!

Over the past few weeks, the question of whether to use savings to pay off debt, or save first when an “injection” of money comes in, has come up on numerous occasions and under a variety of circumstances. I have been asked it directly by clients, by people inquiring about the services I offer, it’s been asked of a panel in the Sunday newspapers and it arose in our Counselors Club.

One of my colleagues and mentors, Mikelann Valterra, ( answered the  question  “Should I use savings to pay off debt” this way “Only if you never have another periodic expense” By periodic expense we mean for example: annual insurances, car registration, vacations, annual dentist visits, eye check-ups and new glasses etc. Things which we can plan for, but often don’t, and then when they come up and we don’t have money put aside, we use a credit card!

Mikelann also said that too often we are over-focused on debt and under-focused on savings.

It is better to pay off your debt slowly and never go into debt again, than to pay it all off, leaving nothing in savings and then having to use credit cards for “emergencies” because we have no savings!

This creates far better financial habits.