Liz Koh: What we can learn from our ancestors

By Liz Koh

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For our ancestors saving was vital because there was little Government help and it was considered shameful to ask for support. Photo / APN
For our ancestors saving was vital because there was little Government help and it was considered shameful to ask for support. Photo / APN

Our forebears lived through hard times and if they were alive today would no doubt remark that we live in luxury by comparison.

Despite meagre incomes and large families, they provided the essentials of life for their families without support from the Government and without going broke. Their expectations were simple - a roof over their heads, good food to eat, an education for their children and a few short years of rest at the end of their working years.

Theirs was a life without money machines and credit cards, where if you wanted to buy something, you paid cash, and if you didn't have the cash, you saved hard until you did.

Borrowing money meant a visit to the bank manager who would take some convincing to approve a loan. Yes, you could have accounts with the grocer or butcher, but they would be settled on payday. Trust and integrity meant bill reminders were seldom required.

Saving was vital because there was little Government help and it was considered shameful to ask for support.

Things were made to last, or you mended or recycled it. Work hours were long and there was no time or money for wining and dining or long holidays.

Entertainment was homegrown. It didn't cost money to have fun and people were more important than possessions.

The standard of living that was acceptable 100 years ago is not acceptable now, but if we applied the same money values as our forebears, imagine how much wealthier we'd be.

*Liz Koh is an authorised financial adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person. A disclosure statement can be obtained free by calling 0800 273 847. For free e-books, visit moneymax.co.nz and moneymaxcoach.com

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