Take Charge of Your Money!
Is this you?
- I usually run out of money before my next pay day.
- I spend a lot of money repaying debt each month.
- I wish I could save more money.
The MoneyPACIFIC guide is here to help you take control of your money.
Everything you need to know about managing your money is easy – it just takes practise. Taking charge of your money will mean less stress and more control – you can move ahead with confidence.
It doesn’t matter how slowly you work through this guide – it’s important to just keep going. No matter where you are in life right now with your finances, it is never too late to improve your situation.
And there are tips in Samoan and Tongan, too.
A budget helps you to see how much you are earning, spending and saving, but more importantly, how much more you can save.
What should I do checklist:
- Decide if your budget is for one week or two weeks.
- Add up all the money you get (in one week or two weeks) from:
- Paid job(s).
- Benefit payments.
- Any other money received from family or people living in your home.
- Add up all the money you spend (in one week or two weeks). For example:
- Rent or mortgage.
- Bill for electricity, gas, telephone, insurance.
- Travel such as public transport and the costs of your car(s) (registration, petrol, insurance).
- Loans or debts you have to pay back (car loans, personal loans).
- Extras spent for school, church, sports, gifts, cigarettes, alcohol, newspapers/magazines.
You can start planning your budget today by downloading the free budget planner here.
If you are borrowing money, you have to pay interest. The interest rate can make borrowing money very expensive.
Always find out what the interest rate will be. Will the interest rate be monthly, quarterly or yearly? This can make a big difference to how much you have to pay back.
Is borrowing money really the best option?
If you are thinking about borrowing money, ask yourself these three questions first:
- What am I borrowing the money for?
- Is it for something I need, or something I want?
- Am I borrowing money to help my family or a friend out?
- Do I need money to pay my bills?
- Is borrowing the money my best option?
- Is there another way I can solve the problem or get what I want without borrowing money?
- Can I afford to repay the money I am borrowing?
- Can I handle repaying the money back?
- What if there is an unplanned expense or financial emergency during this time?
- Before borrowing the money, I have tried living on less to make sure I can afford to make the loan repayments.
- I have thought about things that could have an effect on my income. For example, how safe is my job, will I need to take care of a family member during this time, do I have any health issues that could mean I earn less for a while?
Where can I get more help?
The New Zealand Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income's Sorted website provides free, independent information on a wide range of topics dedicated to helping New Zealanders manage their money better at every stage of their life.
The MoneySmart website is run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to help people to be better informed and take steps to improve their personal finances. They offer free, independent information so you can make the best choices for your money.
The New Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs' website Scamwatch provides information on how to protect yourself from scams. Scammers are deceptive and will try to trick you into giving away your money or your personal information. The Alert section keeps you informed of scams so you can be aware and prepared for them.
The Young Enterprise Trust provides excellent information and programmes for schools (teachers' manuals and students' resources) in the areas of enterprise and financial literacy education. The Young Enterprise Trust is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring, educating and transforming students through the enterprise and financial literacy experience.
SendMoneyPacific provides important information on the many choices people in Australia, New Zealand and the USA* have when sending money back to their families and friends in the South Pacific Island Nations of Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, and Tuvalu.
*From the USA you can compare costs of money transfers to Fiji, Western Samoa and Tonga