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Wedding bell blues; Brain Gain NZ; Language and savings; Dissolving your debt; Staying out of debt

Posted in Personal Finance

By Amanda Morrall

1) Wedding bell blues

Debt is bad for a myriad of reasons but here's another I didn't expect; it impairs marital prospects.. Research reported here by Forbes found a correlation between student debt levels and singledom among the female graduates in particular. Obviously correlation doesn't prove causation and the piece explores various reasons why there might be a relationship between the two, including the possibility more women are deliberately eschewing marriage because they have other things on their mind other than being wives. I'd be interested to see some longitudinal studies done in New Zealand given our student loan debt stands at a staggering NZ$12.9 billion. All I know is if you take on someone else's debt, there should be a lot of love invested in the relationship.

2) Brain Gain

Because I'm all about positive thought and action these days, three cheers to BNZ's Tony Alexander for taking a fresh new approach to New Zealand's economic challenges by championing all that is good, promising and worthy of NZ Inc. Alexander, already a prolific writer, has added to his oeuvre with a monthly newsletter called Brain Gain as a way to keep expats connected and up to speed with what's happening back at home.  Here's a link to the first edition. HT to a very positive soul for putting me on to it.

3) Language and savings

Economist Keith Chen, in the TED talk, below makes an interesting link between language and savings and the power of words to shape and influence outcomes in the future. Bookmark it if you don't have time to watch it today.


4) Debt dissolution

Proof positive where there's a will, there's a way, of getting out of debt. How quickly you dig out depends on just how devoted you are to the cause. Eating discounted food past the best by date is not my recommended way of doing it, but credit to the bloke brave enough to go this route whose story is mentioned in this personal finance blog on debt reduction strategies.

5) Staying out of debt

And more on what it feels like to be debt free. The video below carried by Fox News explores one couple's strategy of getting rid of US$52K debt and their determination to stay debt free. Their best bit of advice (in my humble opinion) is doing something you love and feel passionate about for a living so you don't waste money filling emotional voids caused by the misery of a dead end job you don't enjoy. Same message I carry in my book. When you are happy, you are less likely to spend money.

Happy Friday and have a most excellent weekend.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall or at

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#1 including the possibility

#1 including the possibility more women are deliberately eschewing marriage because they have other things on their mind other than being wives

Yeah Right. What are the chances of that??? ;-)

Re #1 Student loans I don't

Re #1 Student loans
I don't think the conclusions apply to NZ. NZ loans don't have the same properties as US loans:

  • They're not interest bearing (provided you stay in NZ)
  • They can be discharged in bankruptcy (and in death too)
  • No requirement to pay if you're not earning.

I'm always under the impression that student loans aren't really considered "debt" in NZ. Though having only paid off half of mine, I can confirm it's hard work!