How much debt is too much? We all have different risk appetites when it comes to personal finances.
A student loan in my 20s (now paid off) and an Auckland mortgage have left me debt averse and overly diligent about paying off credit card bills and keeping cash on hand.
In reality the housing boom and low interest rates on offer have left me with enough equity to be leveraging myself more cleverly and making all sorts of smart investment choices ... or at least driving a nicer car.
That's just me though. I'm not a personal finance writer so feel free to go crazy with your credit card. I'm sure you deserve that new lounge suite and four-day beach break in Bali.
But what about our collective debt? Does New Zealand have too much?
National debt is a more controversial topic than how we leverage our own lives.
It's not talk-back radio controversial, like gender-neutral toilets or whether Tana Umaga should apologise for that tackle, but among those who worry about macro-economics it is one of the biggies.
New Zealand has a lot of debt and it worries people.
When you tally up all our private and public liabilities you get a whopping $528 billion outstanding as of April 30.
That's a gross figure. Economists like to offset that against our national savings to get a net debt figure.
That's not particularly flash either.
Our net debt levels are somewhere between 60 and 65 per cent of GDP. For the record, nominal GDP is about $260b a year and growing - which helps. But that's still a net debt of about $165b.
The debt debate keeps turning up on my Facebook page in memes accusing the Government of being fiscally reckless.
They try to shock people with the extent to which nominal crown debt levels have skyrocketed since National took over.
It's true that government debt spiked shortly after National took over in 2008. Like almost every country in the world we borrowed to get through the financial crisis. On top of that we borrowed to cope with the Christchurch earthquake.
With our economy in the doldrums net government debt spiked from less than 10 per cent of GDP to peak at around 25 per cent of GDP in 2013.
It's been tracking down since and the Government is on track to have it below 20 per cent by 2020. It has set a new target of about 10-15 per cent of GDP by 2025.
Hopefully, we have a few years yet to get the books in order before we face the next financial crisis or natural disaster.
Far from being reckless, the Government has borrowed cautiously through two historically significant crises and applied itself rigorously to getting it back into line.
Surely, if you believe that a significant portion of New Zealanders have been left behind in the current economic cycle, if you believe that infrastructure, health and education have been underfunded, then it makes more sense to accuse National of being miserly and overly prudent.
We are living through an era of low interest rates, borrowing has never been cheaper. Regardless, government debt is not our problem. In the past decade it hasn't ever been at the kind of precarious levels we see in Europe.
New Zealand's problem is private debt. Our addiction to property investment, soaring house prices in the past 20 years - this is what keeps our Reserve Bank governor awake at night.
New Zealand's total household debt (mortgage debt plus consumer debt) has soared from $53b in April 1997 to $250b as at April 30 this year.
That's mostly due to house prices and the amount we have to borrow to buy them. We owe a quarter of a trillion dollars to the (mostly Aussie) banks.
To say that this makes us vulnerable to a housing crash is a bit of an understatement.
It's what has driven the Reserve Bank to introduce Loan to Value Ratio restrictions on bank lending over the past four years. It's why they want the power to introduce debt to income restrictions if house prices start to lift again.
Mercifully, the housing market has started to cool. While the nominal level of household debt is still rising, the rate of growth has eased in the past four months.
Our GDP growth rate remains strong and our savings rate is improving.
So our overall net debt position (government and private debt) has started to improve. While a net 60 per cent of GDP is high for small nation it has been as high as the mid-80s during after the GFC.
We're not out of the woods yet. In many respects we have been lucky that this economic cycle is taking its time. The US and Europe are still in recovery mode. Hopefully, we have a few years yet to get the books in order before we face the next financial crisis or natural disaster.
That's what worries Bill English and Steven Joyce. They are paying down crown debt based on the expectation that New Zealand will eventually face another external shock.
It's a typically grim Kiwi outlook that fits my own fiscal conservatism.
But when I look at my finances with a business eye I know I should be more expansive. I should back myself to take more risks.
I can't help wondering if this Government should too.