Unlearning bad habits and learning new ones for a better future

Roimata Mihinui Kāhu ki Rotorua






Life has not always been easy for Anahera. To know her is to understand her and the journey life has taken her on which has brought her to where she is today. It is evident throughout our korero that Anahera has had her fair share of life lessons and hardships. What is clear is her resilience and tenacity for success and achieving her goals, not just for herself but for her whanau as well. Hers is an experience that could be motivation for other rangatahi as they navigate the unknown world of financial responsibility. With multiple influences throughout her life, both positive and negative, Anahera has seen it all. Some may say her life reads like the manuscript of a television show, however Anahera says it is what it is. She is on a journey of self-discovery and one aspect of that is a pathway to financial literacy – something Anahera fondly labels as mind blowing. After working in Tourism and as a Kohanga Kaiako and still struggling to ‘save’, one of the things that have become clear to Anahera is the lack of financial literacy among many maori and discovering that this is intergenerational and often a subject as awkward as sex education. Building assets through various channels was not discussed, if you wanted something you paid cash or got a loan or credit card, tamariki were not encouraged to question their elders about such things as how they had accrued money or equity in property. Without a solid foundation around financial education, Anahera obtained her first credit card and loan at the age of 18. That was the beginning of her financial journey, albeit on the other end of the scale. “People told me to save up if I wanted something, but I wanted it ‘now’ not some unspecified time in the future. “No one actually explained why saving was necessary or that there were avenues to do it. “From the ages of 15 to 18 I had a ‘poor me’ mentality. “Like many young Polynesians I had no idea about money except that you needed some if you wanted things. “Then I learned about financial literacy. It’s not just about money, it’s a life-changing experience.” Anahera has devised a system that works for her and her advice to rangatahi is to just do it, one step forward at a time. She admits her progress would not have been possible if she had not pulled up her pants and just got on with the job. Thanks to the influence by a Maori couple who share financial advice on Instagram @the.hiddenfigures, she has a simple recipe for dealing with finances — fifty, ten, forty. ■ Fifty per cent of her income is set aside for investing in shares, including books, courses or a mentor. ■ Ten per cent is for ‘ wants’, discretionary spending such as takeaways and movies. ■ Forty per cent is for utilities such as rent, kai, power, board. For this she needs four online banking accounts, the other being where her income is banked and then distributed as automatic payments, Anahera has $9000 in a kiwisaver account started by her mother when she was a child. One-off events like a whanau trip are covered by a $0-$100 envelope challenge where random amounts are selected weekly and banked in a special account. Now in her 20s and living with her mother Nichola in Rotorua, Anahera has firm goals for the future. Aside from paying down debt and setting up investments, the uri of Ngati Te Takinga and Ngati Wairangi alongside her whanau are looking at setting up a papakainga at Mourea. i Follow Anahera and her journey over on Instagram @anahera—rangitoheriri where she shares the tips and tricks she has learned along the way.