Money Matters – July 2009

I have just returned from 5 weeks in England where I stayed with friends and relations the whole time, so that accommodation was not a problem.
It was interesting to note that as a budget advisor I must carry my own little calculator in my head. Almost every purchase became a comparison, and I have to say that New Zealand came out very well. I was surprised to find that on the whole, wages are not as high as I expected them to be. I am not talking about the bankers, consultants etc in London who earn so much money they are unlikely to ever return to New Zealand, I am talking about ordinary people like you and me, where the minimum wage (approx £4.50 per hour) is very similar if converted to NZ currency, but baffling when petrol is £1.06 per litre, and rents out in the Midlands are £680 per month.  Clothing costs the same amount of pounds as we would expect dollars. I didn’t even buy T shirts for my grandchildren.
I have returned to New Zealand with my eyes re-opened. I can drive my car without my heart in my mouth, cars usually park where one expects them to, and maybe petrol isn’t as expensive after all. The point of all this, is that wherever one lives, budgeting has to be a big part of our lives, and we should never lose sight of the reality of putting Needs before Wants .
by Pearl Pavitt

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