Rona’s My Money Story

Rona signed up to My Money Kete after seeing an ad on Facebook. She says that it’s not only helped her make lots of changes to the way she manages her money, it’s also changed her life.

“I’ve learnt heaps and found it really empowering,” says Rona. “I had a lot of debt so it took me a while to work through the My Money Kete workbook. It is quite confronting and you have to be honest and write it all down. I didn’t want to share it with anyone but now that I feel like I’m getting ahead with my money, I’m telling everyone!”

Rona has always had debt throughout her adult life and had regularly used Cash Convertors and pawnshops. “It was just normal for me. If I wanted something that’s how I got it and rather than pay bills, I would throw them in a cupboard.”

While Rona was working through the My Money Kete workbook, she said she was pleased she’d kept the bills as it helped her to figure out what she owes. “I listed everything I owed and then moved on to the next stage of the workbook, which suggested things I could do to pay it off. I took a whole lot of stuff to the pawnshop and sold it. I also sold stuff to whānau, stopped buying takeaways, and cut down on the cigarettes and coffees. Giving up smoking has been the hardest!”

“It’s been an epiphany”

Rona says doing the workbook was like an epiphany. “There’s a question in the workbook that tells you to list where your money is going. Until then, I had no idea.”

“It made me realise I am a spender – I used to buy on impulse, so now I go shopping with a list and I stick to it,” she explains. “I’ve learnt so much and have set myself little goals. I’d never had a money goal before and it feels really good.”

Over three months, Rona has already paid off $1,000 in bills on her own. “The workbook said ‘start small’, which I did,” she says. “But once I got going, I thought ‘I’m going pay $10 off this week rather than $5’. It was such a great feeling and the more I paid off, the more I wanted the bills gone.”

“Now I have money left at the end of the month and that feels amazing. I used to have people ringing me, chasing me for money I owed. It was so stressful and not having control of my money felt awful.”

My Money Kōrero ‘really helpful’

She has also found the weekly emails really helpful, as well as the My Money Kōrero closed Facebook group posts and live sessions. “I love joining the group and hearing all the tips. There are so many things I never knew about, like the curtain bank. I went and saw them and they were really helpful.”

Rona attended the recent live session on KiwiSaver. After the session, she looked at her own KiwiSaver and was amazed at how much it had grown since she opened it. ”It feels great to have a bit of a nest egg,” she says.

Rona also likes that My Money Kōrero has a mix of presenters from different cultures, and said she’s amazed how many people are following from all over Aotearoa. “I’m sure they’re getting heaps out of it, like me. I had no idea that you can do things like just put in 50 cents a week into your KiwiSaver account.”

Taking control of her money

Since joining My Money Kete, Rona has contacted a financial mentor in her area. “I went to her and said, this is my money goal, and I want you to help me achieve it. We had a laugh but she was really impressed with where I’d got to.”

“My Money Kete is such a great thing to belong to – the workbook, emails, tips and people are there to help you get ahead and you really feel that. Belonging to a group like this makes you realise that you’re not the only one – and that there are people who can help you out. And it’s free!”

“I tell people they have to sign up,” she says. “The workbook is a good place to start, and there are so many ways My Money Kete helps you to get ahead – it really does show you the steps to take. Feeling in control of your money is life changing.”