Asking the hard questions


Provided by Mercer.

No one likes to have to watch their spending, but it's an unfortunate fact of life for most people, especially if you have a particular goal that you are working towards. If you're trying to cut back where you can, these "hard questions" might help you to do so.


Hard question 1: Where did it all go?

It's very easy to wonder where on earth all your money has disappeared to! The first step towards breaking this cycle is to review your current expenses, see what you are actually spending, and work out which expenses are fixed and which are variable. Make sure you set aside enough to cover the fixed expenses - whatever is left is "fun money."


Hard question 2: Do I really need it?

Is it a want - or a need? Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference, but in a cash crunch, cutting out the non-essentials can make all the difference. You might be surprised how often you can manage without.


Hard question 3: Can I do it myself?

It's lovely to be able to pay other people to do things for you, i.e. home improvement tasks, garden projects etc etc - but if you're watching the pennies, see how many of these things you can do yourself. You might even develop some useful new skills or interests while you're at it!


Hard question 4: Can I still have fun?

Yes! While going to the movies is nice, watching a DVD with some homemade popcorn and some good friends can be just as good! Saving money doesn't need to mean going without - for example, if you like eating out, try using coupon books and discounts to treat yourself to dinner in a nice restaurant (or buy an inexpensive cookbook, and make yourself a gourmet meal at home!)


By asking yourself some hard questions and being prepared to make a few adjustments, you can get the satisfaction of knowing that you are saving more money for whatever goal you are working towards.

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This information has been prepared by Mercer (N.Z.) Limited for general information only. The information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should not act on this information if you have not considered the appropriateness of this information to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. You should consult a financial adviser before making any investment decision.


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