Nine pūtea tips to kickstart your Matariki New Year
Matariki is here – a time of reflection and renewal, in Māori culture, Matariki marks the changing of the year. So, we thought this could be a perfect opportunity to take stock, celebrate where you’re at, and plan for the future.
Each star of the Matariki cluster reappearing in our skies tells its own story. And together, they can help you navigate your long-term financial future – just like they used to help voyagers in their journey across the Pacific.
So, what are the aspirations that you can plan for during this time of Matariki? Let’s look to the stars, starting with the brightest one.
Traditionally associated with health and wellbeing, Matariki means reflection, hope, our connection to the environment, and the gathering of people. It’s also viewed as an omen of health and good fortune. So, what better time than now to take a closer look at your financial well-being?
Hohenga (action): Write down the three biggest financial wins and three biggest financial ‘mistakes’ you made in the past 12 months. Maybe you paid off a personal loan in full (win!) or boosted your emergency funds (another big win). It’s important to celebrate your wins and learn something from your losses.
Waipunarangi is about the relationship between water and our lifecycle, and it’s tied to the rain. Water evaporates from the lakes, rivers and oceans to fall again as rain, nourishing Papatūānuku (the earth). This reminds us that giving is receiving: what we give to others will generally come back to us, making us ‘wealthy’ in more ways than one.
Hohenga: Think about what ‘wealth’ means to you. For many, it just means pūtea (money). But wealth can also be measured in time, health, and relationships with your friends and whanau. Reflect and write down what wealth means for you - maybe even be brave enough to share it with those around you and get their thoughts.
Tupuārangi is associated with food and growth above the ground, with a strong connection with plants, fruits, and birds. It signifies renewal of our nature, new plantings and growth. From a financial standpoint, it can be a reminder of the importance of understanding and maximising your earning potential.
Hohenga: Create a list of all your current income streams, and others that you may like to explore. Don’t worry about how far-fetched a side hustle may sound: sometimes it’s worth being bold.
Rivers, lakes, springs – Waitī shines for all sources of fresh water and for the food sources that they help sustain. If you think of pūtea as a river, then a budget is a powerful tool that helps you see where your pūtea is flowing to by keeping track of your spending and ensures that your money is going where you need it most.
Hohenga: Now can be a good time to revisit or create your budget. Start by looking where you are sitting currently in the two categories of in-flows (money coming in) and out-flows (money going out) and build from there. A sound, well-organised budget can provide a steady flow for your investments, maximising the opportunity to compound (grow) over time.
Waitī’s twin, Waitā shines on the ocean and is associated with kai harvested or gathered from salt water. Just like Waitā cares for the treasures of our coasts and oceans, the goal of financial planning is to give you ways to save and protect your pūtea over time. And you can do so by developing a good, easy-to-use system for your spending.
Hohenga: It’s a good idea to divide things up into four buckets: everyday/transactional, emergency funds, generic savings, long-term goals/retirement. Try doing this now.
Tupuānuku is connected to kai that grows in the ground, to be cultivated and harvested, or gathered in the wild. As the legend goes, the brighter Tupuānuku shines in the sky when Matariki rises, the more kai will grow within the soil, ready to be harvested in the coming year.
The key thing is to be careful about what and how much we’re putting into Papatūānuku (the earth).
Hohenga: Considering your own financial goals, are you protecting your treasured investments or are you taking too much risk? Review your investment and KiwiSaver, to make sure that it’s right for your risk tolerance and your goals.
According to legend, it’s the star that determines the nature of winds for the year. Set apart by her tenacity, excitement and a positive attitude. Ururangi is a reminder that a good attitude is always key to success.
And the same is true for long-term investing. By staying patient and consistent with your investments - understanding that consistency over the long term is the goal you should have in mind, and continuing to maintain this positive attitude will be part of the key to success.
Hohenga: Did you know that KiwiSaver is designed to help you maintain a consistent long-term strategy? Unless you’re planning to withdraw for your first home, keeping a long-term focus is crucial. Use this time to think about your time horizon (how long you are wanting to be invested for) and objectives, and make sure that your KiwiSaver reflects this.
Through this star, we remember those who have died in the past year. Pōhutukawa encourages people to hold tight to their memories of those who have passed on, taking time to remember them and celebrate their legacy.
Hohenga: Reflect upon what and who is precious to you, and what you’d like to leave for your whakapapa. What do you want your legacy to be?
If there’s something you desire during Matariki, you can send your wish to Hiwa-i-te-Rangi: her stellar job is to look after people’s wishes and make them a reality. Of course, when it comes to planning for your financial future, you may need a bit more than that. You’ll need a plan linking together all the steps we’ve talked about – like a bright cluster of stars.
Hohenga: You’ve thought about where you’re at, what wealth means to you, developed a budget, and assessed your investment plans. Now is time to hold firm to your goals and make them happen, step by step.
To celebrate Matariki and the building of financial journeys we are giving away three awesome financial well-being & planning books to three lucky winners over on our Instagram, so be sure to go check it out!