NZ Money Diaries #1: Richard and Jill

Richard is 35 and works in admin for the local DHB (if you’re reading from overseas, DHBs are NZ’s District Health Boards, they run the hospitals and other health services in each district).
Tell us about your household. Who’s in your bubble?
Just my wife and me plus a cat named Albus.
How are you? How are you feeling during Covid-19?
It’s an odd time for us because my wife and I are both still employed, and both working for home at the moment.  We haven’t had a pay cut but both our Kiwisavers are down a few thousands. I haven’t been looking at my balance lately as it is just depressing. Seeing we’re quite far away from retirement, I hope there is time for it to bounce back. We have been saving for a holiday to Melbourne but I think we’ll put it off for at least a year now. I don’t know when we’ll be able to fly again and might be best to keep the money in savings.
Has your job or business been affected by Covid-19?
Only in the sense that we’re working from home. Our pay hasn’t changed.
Have your day-to-day spending habits changed? 
Sometimes I buy lunch at work so that’s not happening. No random shopping either, but I think that will pick back up after lockdown ends. It’s good in a way because we can see how much money we just randomly spend each week, mostly coffee and takeaways. Also aware that if we had different jobs we could be quite worse off financially so making more of an effort to plan some savings for the future.
Have you had any significant expenses or savings during lockdown?
At the moment we’re saving a lot because we’re not buying coffees, lunches or much petrol. But no extra expenses. I think we’re pretty lucky. I do worry about others who have had pay cuts and redundancies and business owners who have had to scale things back so suddenly.
Is there anything you’ll do differently with your money from now on?
I want to put more emphasis on saving, just having a cushion there. Our jobs weren’t affected this time around but it is a wake up call to think about how we would cope if they were. Its just luck of the draw whether people have jobs or not now, nothing to do with how hard they’ve worked. We would only be a couple of weeks away from serious financial trouble if we were both out of work, so I feel this is a wake up call for us to have a savings cushion for emergencies.
What are you looking forward to when we get back to Level 1?
I’d hope we can focus on not ramping our spending straight back up. I’d love to visit people, see my grandparents, go for a surf (although that may come in earlier). Can’t wait to get a flat white and some proper sushi.
What three words would you use to sum up your finances during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Wake up call.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us Richard!

Read on for our first round of Covid-19 Money Diaries, or send us yours.

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