14 Jun 2018

Your Money with Mary Holm

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 2:23 pm on 14 June 2018
black and white photo of umbrella in heavy rain

black and white photo of umbrella in heavy rain Photo: 123RF

A new source of rainy day money would be available to many New Zealanders if an idea proposed at a conference this week is taken up by the government.

The Commission for Financial Capability is suggesting that some Kiwi Saver contributions could be diverted into a rainy day fund which people can draw on in a financial crisis.

Mary talks about the advantages and disadvantages of this idea and talks about the current situation; where people can get emergency cash or take a contribution holiday.

"The Commission did a bit of research that found 44 percent of New Zealanders only had enough money to survive for a month or less if they lost their income, and the experts say you need between three to six months money. "

Mary says the first steps towards building financial resilience is to first pay off expensive debt and then have a rainy-day fund. She believes this idea could work.

"The perfectionist type people say hey it already shouldn't even be letting people take their money out to buy their first home this is a retirement project."

Mary says that's a valid argument but when people get into strife they can turn to ruinous forms of finance.

"People running up huge credit card debts and worse payday lender debt when they get into trouble. Some of that payday lender debt has got an effective annual interest rate of 800 percent."

Mary argues that it's better to have an offshoot fund linked to your Kiwi Saver that builds up to a certain level and is always replenished for a rainy day, than resorting to high cost debt when the car breaks down or the roof needs replacing.

You can listen to Mary's other podcasts here.

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