New Zealand is like “Godzone” Right Now
In an economic sense, things in NZ seem to be progressing at a fast clip.
Unemployment is at low levels, mortgage interest rates are at very low levels, inflation is low so the cost of living is not increasing significantly, exports are going well……NZ is a great place to be right now.
Along with new immigrants, significant numbers of New Zealanders have also been returning home to work and live.
It really feels like “Godzone” right now.
Favourite Time of the Year
My dad always used to say “make hay while the sun shines”.
He was a farmer, and he worked as an agricultural contractor at one stage.
Haymaking was his favourite time of the year.
He couldn’t wait to get the hay cut.
He would walk through the hay paddocks to check if the grass was long enough and thick enough.
He would watch the weather forecast every day and plan to cut for when he was sure that he would have at least 4 days with no chance of rain.
He would turn the hay every day to spread the grass out to dry it, and wander around the paddocks checking the hay.
When it was ready, he would rake it into rows, and then bale it.
I always thought that Dad was happiest when he was out on his little Massey Ferguson.
However, sometimes when the sun is shining, people get out in the sunny weather having fun, and they forget about making the hay until the rain starts.
And for your non-farmers out there, you cannot make hay when it rains.
5 Ways How You Can Personally Make Hay Right Now
1. Don’t get lazy
It is SO EASY to get complacent when things are going well.
It is easier to spend more and more when you are feeling good about your prospects.
But don’t get too lazy with your cash management.
Try to be vigilant, as you would be if times were tough.
Make sure that you don’t have too much leakage in your spending – try to make sure that too much money is not being wasted.
2. Stockpile some cash
If you have a regular income, put some of it aside each payday for a rainy day.
You need to have some funds for an emergency – whether it be a large vet bill, a large car bill, a large medical bill or a large house bill.
Get some money behind you while the going is good!
3. Get ahead with your debt
While your loan payments are probably as low as they are ever going to be, pay a little bit extra on your mortgage.
If you refix your loan at a lower interest rate, keep the loan payments the same.
It might not feel like you are making much progress, but it could potentially reduce the term of your mortgage by years.
4. Add to your retirement savings
If you are paying 3% into your KiwiSaver, could you pay 4%?
To increase your KiwiSaver contribution, all you have to do is to download a KS2 form from the IRD website (www.ird.govt.nz), tick the 4% box and give it to your payroll person at work.
If it gets to be too much, you can drop it back to your previous contribution by filling in another KS2 form to take it back a notch or 2. Self employed people – you can just change your direct debit amount if you would like to increase your contribution.
Easy as that.
5. Make sure that all of your hay bales are lined up
Make sure that you have a will and an Enduring Power of Attorney in place.
Make sure that you have insurance.
Make sure that you have a “Plan B” for that rainy day.
As the saying goes:
“into every life a little rain must fall – make sure that your umbrella doesn’t have a hole in it!”