She’s arguably New Zealand’s most trusted money expert – sharing straight-forward advice on her regular National Radio slot, the author of seven books on personal finance and answering financial questions in her long-time Herald newspaper column – but Mary Holm is adamant that money doesn’t absorb her.
“You won’t find me reading finance books in my spare time, that’s for sure. I read novels,” laughs Mary, who is coy about revealing her age. (“Let’s just say I’ve been getting New Zealand Super for a while!”)
In fact, her advice to people is often to try and “forget” about their money – once they’ve worked on reducing debt or have set themselves up with a rainy-day fund – and focus on their wellbeing.
For her, that means connecting with others and keeping active. “Good relationships with family and friends are what really matters,” she says. “Although I can be very happy being alone in wild places, like the bush or a beach.
“And health, of course, is important. But I’m just not interested in having a bigger or flasher house, or the latest car – or the latest dress for that matter.
“You don’t want to get so caught up worrying about your money that you lose focus on enjoying the important things in life.”
When the Weekly chats to Mary at her coastal Auckland home, she’s just been for a swim and shares that one of her favourite memories growing up in Wellington was swimming after school at the local Seatoun Wharf.
“The water was pretty cold though, so then we’d have to sunbathe on the warm concrete outside the dairy over the road.”
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