Describe your relationship with money.
Respectful. I've always been careful with it. I've always known that being without it makes life tough, so I’ve tried to keep a bit of it around.
Are you a spender or a saver?
I'm evolving from a saver to a spender as I age. If you save to begin with, you have the luxury of being able to spend, but you also know how hard it is to save; that makes you a boring spender, not a splurger. As a kid I was an annoying saver. Not just money: gifts, Easter eggs, lollies, stickers, anything of 'value'. I'd wait until everyone else had used theirs and then get mine out. What a goober. My brothers stuck a Scrooge McDuck sticker on my piggy bank. They thought it was an insult. I took it as a compliment and inspiration. Who hasn't wanted to dive into a giant swimming pool of money? I suspect it would hurt, but it would be worth it.
How do you like to treat yourself in ways that don’t involve big splurges?
Tech. Even a new charging cable can brighten a dark day. When it comes time to upgrade my phone I'm beside myself. It's a big day. It only happens once every three years or so.
Who has influenced your relationship with money?
My parents initially. Somehow, they ingrained that you have to work to get money and money is important to a point. Wealthy people I have met seem to be driven by a passion for what they do, not solely by making money. It's a happy by-product. I think that's educational. Find the thing you love doing rather than the thing that appears to offer the most money.
Has there been a particular milestone in your life (like buying your first home or starting a family) that’s made you reconsider your relationship with money?
I had some shares in The Warehouse that halved in value back in the early 2000s.
A good lesson in the 'risk' side of 'risk and reward' is that I couldn't bring myself to sell and realise the loss. They're still worth half.
Are you working toward a financial goal?
My wife Megan and I are the same in that we both get excited by saving. We've been meaning to upgrade our car for about five years. Every time we save enough, we just look at that lump sum and can't let it go. We use it to pay off the mortgage instead.
Best financial advice or words of wisdom you’ve ever received?
Focus on working harder and earning more rather than trying to reduce your tax.
What does ‘retirement’ look like to you?
I hope that it still involves some sort of 'employment,' even if it's not paid. I think it's important to
still have jobs to do. Maybe it's just around the house. We dream of spending time between New Zealand's awesome beaches and annoying our kids. At the moment that's still a dream.
Jeremy Corbett is co-host of The Project, airing 7pm weekdays on Three and host of 7 Days, returning to screens in April 2021.
Reported by Monica Tischler for our AA Directions Autumn 2021 issue