The Rebellious or The Conscientious

NZHL (New Zealand Home Loans) #1, Canterbury Metro Business Owner Emm McCartney says there are typically two human traits when dealing with tough times – The Rebellious and The Conscientious. 

With the double whammy of high inflation and sharp increases in interest costs hitting homeowners, the key to navigating these turbulent waters is acknowledging which reaction you relate to and use this to tailor a financial plan (alongside a qualified financial advisor) that feels good for you.

The Rebellious

Those with rebellious tendencies tend to feel financial strain and rebel against it, continuing to get that ‘feel good’ factor from discretionary spending – recreation, beauty treatments, and out-of-the-blue wants.

Common rebellious traits include:

  • Ignoring credit card statements – not even opening them
  • Purchasing big-ticket items (such as a car) on high-interest finance
  • Use buy now, pay later payment options (for non-essential purchases)
  • Keep purchasing nice-to-haves that are out of their budget
  • Use spending as a way to feel good
  • Lets their financial obligations/ bills snowball.

The Conscientious

Those who have already reviewed their expenses when their finances start to tighten – trimming wherever they can and looking for ways to increase income.

Common conscientious traits include:

  • Aware of how much they are spending and what on
  • Has a budget with clearly allocated spending (food, fuel, fun)
  • Actively identifies areas where they can pull back on spending
  • Have already shopped around for deals with their power/internet and phones
  • Looks for ways to not only reduce costs in the supermarket trolley but also feel better by growing their own.

But what next?

Acknowledgment of your traits is the biggest strength to moving forward (alongside the support of your Mortgage Mentor) to help you live the life you want without putting too much strain on your financial well-being.

  1. Reflect on your spending – Remove the guesswork and get a realistic view of your current financial position by reviewing the last three months of statements.

A review will highlight the areas where you have bad spending habits and equally where you can relax.

You may find yourself in a better financial position than you had thought at the time.

  1. Allocate – at NZHL, we believe in the importance of a smart home loan structure that utilises your money to reduce your interest costs (over the life of your loan). Likewise, when it comes to taking back financial control, a well-structured budget is a must.

Naturally, you may question how allocating a budget gives you more freedom?

By ring-fencing your discretional spending. Setting a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun, it’s about responsible rewarding so you can feel good about the money you’re spending and motivated to stay on track (food, fuel, and fun).

  1. Consider- it pays to think about cheaper alternatives and what can you do instead, such as:
  • Prioritising reducing your short-term debts
  • Comparing your power bill on Switch Me
  • Making what you can at home; from vegetable gardens to your own cleaners, every dollar counts.
  • Reviewing if you need a phone contract
  • People often increase their spending when gaining increases in income. To ensure a pay rise works to help you get ahead faster, a portion should be diverted to build up your savings.

Rebel with a cause. 

It’s easy to think the rebellious have more fun but they often carry more burden.

You can still be a rebel without the ramifications. I challenge you to identify your trait and pick at least one suggestion after you have completed your three-month spending review.

See how you feel afterward “a conscientious rebel can still feel great”.

A qualified financial advisor like NZHL’s Mortgage Mentors can work with you to tailor a plan specifically to you, your situation, and your goals – reach out and make an appointment.


Please note –Emm McCartney is a Local Business Owner and Mortgage Mentor at NZHL Canterbury Metro and has written this blog based on her experience. This blog is intended to be general in nature and should not replace personalised financial advice by your mortgage adviser.