Money matters: Duncan Garner

Broadcaster and journalist Duncan Garner shares his thoughts on finances. 

Does money matter to you?

Of course. It gives you more options and choices. Not having it teaches you how much we throw it away. We simply buy stuff now for the sake of buying something. Ask yourself, do you actually need it?

Describe your relationship with money…

Fleeting. One minute I have it and next it’s gone. I have four kids and with everything that brings, I’m rinsed. 

Are you a spender or a saver?

Spender mainly, but since KiwiSaver started I have now been a regular saver for 10 years. Sir Michael Cullen will go down in history for being the architect of it, and in many ways it’s his legacy. Not many politicians have something they can say they left behind, but he certainly can. And remember your employer must contribute, too, so why wouldn’t you do it?

How do you like to treat yourself in ways that don’t involve big splurges?

Can you treat yourself without involving big splurges? Sleep is free. I guess that’s a treat at times.

Who, if anyone, influenced your relationship with money?

Dad was always cautious. Mum was sometimes cautious but mostly generous if she could be. Dad's family worked in banking and I guess they were naturally conservative. Mum would slip us the odd $20 when we would go out on the town. She always said: “Use it for a taxi.” “Yes,Mum…” It never got past the first bar.

Has there been a particular milestone in your life that’s made you reconsider your relationship with money?

Having kids means you no longer do things just for yourself. 

Are you working toward a financial goal?

Yes. Being debt free. 

What is the best financial advice or words of wisdom you’ve received?

If you can stretch yourself to getting the better house rather than the average one, you won’t regret it. 

What does retirement look like to you?

Fishing, fun, friends, travel, work

Reported for our Autumn 2022 issue

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