As you can see from the information above, I am fortunate not to have any debt but I have also been slack with regards to my pension fund.
The reason for the lack of pension savings is down to 2 things:
I was trying to save as much money for my move to New Zealand.
I was oblivious to the importance of it! I thought I wouldn’t need to worry about pensions until I was older. This is the type of information we should be taught at school….. Maybe we were and I just wasn’t paying attention.
Anyways, my financial awakening took place about 2 months ago. I was very interested in the FIRE method of saving, generating passive income and aiming to retire early.
I haven’t fully embraced this method as I think it will be too restrictive on my current aspirations. I will likely be moving back to the UK in the next 2 years. Therefore, I want to enjoy my time in New Zealand by travelling the country, enjoying the landscapes and maybe a cheeky holiday in Fiji or Tonga.
I also have to save for a deposit, a wedding and the arrival of children all within the next 5-7 years.
Therefore, the complete conversion to a frugal spender is unlikely to happen…yet
I had never given investing a thought until 2 months ago. The most exposure I have had to investing is watching movies like The Wolf of Wall Street. Even in the movie a lot of the financial jargon went over my head.
But hey, you cannot deny that whatever Leonardo DiCaprio’s character was doing was making decent money (albeit illegally).
My interests were peaked one weekend I was at home alone. I was scrolling through Twitter and I came across an article about investments for beginners.
I had seen those plus500 advertisements which would give you a pile of fake free digital money for you to fake spend on stocks and shares. I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do with free money, never mind my own.
However, after reading the blog entry about shared funds it appeared that I would not be the one making the financial decisions. I had a review of a couple of different articles such as this one by The Smart and Lazy blog. It gave me a real understanding of what investment opportunities were available to Joe Public (me).
My main take away points were:
I had no debt
This seems to be important as debt interest is quite high. So even if you are making great investment returns the debt will stifle your profits.
I was already contributing into my pension
I am currently paying 4% into my pension and my employer is also adding another 3%. The New Zealand government add an extra lump sum by the end of the year too.
Investing involved placing money on certain companies. If they do well, you do well.
A good example is Apple, who have been valued as a trillion dollar company. Their share price have increased over the last 10 years. If you invested $1000 in 2008, it would now be worth $9,222.50 today.
Invest when you can
I am just beginning my journey of investing but every blog I have read and every financial advisor I have spoken to has recommended investing. In my case……only time will tell.
I have decided to start a blog tracking my financial path. My aim is to review how I can improve my financial position whilst also enjoying a relatively comfortable lifestyle.
A little about me first: I am a 28 year old physiotherapist who lives in New Zealand. I studied in the UK for 3 years and worked there for another 2. My partner and I decided we wanted to broaden our horizons and left our families behind and moved to Christchurch. I never really paid too much attention to my finances during my early twenties. I was fortunate enough to have the NHS fund the physiotherapy degree I completed which allowed me to leave debt free (I worked in a bar to support living costs). Upon leaving university, it was nice to have spending money but I didn’t overly splash out. I was oblivious to things like workplace pensions, savings accounts and money in general. The only thing I did was use an excel spreadsheet to manage my expenses versus my income. Since moving to New Zealand and getting closer to 30 I have had to focus on my personal finances. As per 90% of my age group, I am beginning to worry about mortgages, children and the future. I’m June 2018 I stumbled upon FIRE (FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE: RETIRE EARLY). You can read more about this here. I found the topic very interesting but the frugal lifestyle just was not for me despite the benefits. I enjoy my travelling and socialising with friends and family too much to cut back on all frills of life. However, I have taken plenty of tips and tricks on board and that is what this blog is about.
I hope to share some of my experiences with my readers