Why doing good is good for the C.V.; The wonders of work; NZ Salary Guide; Dining out on a budget; Managing on an irregular income

Why doing good is good for the C.V.; The wonders of work; NZ Salary Guide; Dining out on a budget; Managing on an irregular income

By Amanda Morrall

Your daily dose of personal finance for Friday. I'd love to have more home-grown content so feel free to email me any links to local websites or blogs of a personal finance nature: amanda.morrall@interest.co.nz

Happy long weekend.

1) Why volunteering is good for your resume

According to a recent Linkedin survey, 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer work to be as valuable as paid work. That's good news for those who may find themselves involuntarily between jobs as a result of a redundancy and looking to keep busy.

Interestingly enough, only half of those with volunteer experience report it on their resumes, presumably because they think it has no place on the C.V.

CNN Money explains why employers are putting more weight on volunteer experience and how to play the volunteer card when it comes to job hunting.

2) NZ Salary Guide

On that subject, here's a loose guide to salary ranges in New Zealand by industry.  See also this story by yours truly for more tips on assessing your worth and getting paid what you want.

3) Kiwis most social creatures

If a job feels like drudgery it could be time to pack it in. One of the latest reports from the OECD measuring well-being found that work plays an integral part in it, and not just as a source of income. 

The Economist in a summation of the "How's Life" report writes that work is an essential component of well-being because it is a prime avenue for opportunity and also social relationships, a fundamental source of human happiness.

Interestingly, New Zealanders are ranked among the most social beings of all countries surveyed in the report, with more than 75% reporting at least one social contact with friends or family per week. Portugal was right up there with NZ. Curiously, Poland, Hungary and France reported the lowest level of social interaction.

4) Dining out on a budget

Dining out is a sure way to blow your budget. However, the occasional night out shouldn't have to be a drama. The trick is planning for it.

I'm looking forward to the day that mint.com gets hooked up with the New Zealand banking system as this nifty budgeting software tracks your spending across different areas and alerts you when you are going over or under budget. (For a review of other budgeting aps new to market check out this story from the Sydney Morning Herald.)

Here's some other tips from Globe Investor about how to keep your budget lean without starving yourself of the occasional night out with friends.

5) Getting by on an irregular paycheque

I love the idea of writing my own ticket, being my own boss (no disrespect BH) and living the freelance lifestyle. My reality is such that I require a regular pay cheque. Helps that we keep good company at interest.co.nz.

For the benefit of those striking out on their own, here's an item from helium.com how to budget for it.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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(5) -- Now there's a worthy goal worth saving for!

But, of course, Kiwi saver doesn't fit the bill for people trying to be self employed.

(1) -- It's very sad that we reduce the doing of good into "how to play the volunteer card".

Poor choice of words on my part. How to promote volunteerism as a part of good citizenship is a better way to express it perhaps. Most people who do it, do it selflessly I believe. There's an instrinsic reward. It's nice however that corporates and employers are acknowledging that what you -- and more importantly others --- gain from it, is valuable. 


#5 - yes, "going it alone" involves some risk and some stress. You need a well established client base to avoid it, but since that's usually not the case to start with you need some cash savings to help you manage cashflow/inter-contracts in the beginning at least. 

If you can make it work it's definitely worth it (speaking from experience here). Although personnally we wouldn't have taken the risk if we'd had a mortgage (having to provide for 5 kids is enough of a risk!).

#3 I do love my children and spending lots of time with them is great but for me, work is an essential component of remaining sane (well, more or less anyway).

#2 feeling quite smug here :)

#4 and what about the baby sitting cost that goes with dining out... (I sometimes wonder why we decided to go and live 22000kms away from family!).

baby sitting....yes, ouch $30 or $40 an evening.....but our no1 wants to do it for the $ so I think its a good idea to encourage it. Of course while thats happening we can go out for free!!!


I used to do contracting in London, the risk was minimal and the salary very good....in 92~93 it went to custard big time.....and it was very hard to get any work, however a lot of full time ppl were also laid off.....so financially they hadnt gained much...from teh "job security".

Here its vastly different IMHO....so few ppl that getting work, let alone decent paid and challenging/interesting work is very hard.


We'll have to wait for our oldest to be able to babysit as she's just turned 7 but I definitely have that (and a whole lot of household chores!) in mind for her & her brothers & sisters!

Your contracting experience is interesting. We used to be employees (very briefly in France and for a few years in the UK, and then here) and as far as pay/interest/challenge go, I have never learnt so much, been involved in such varied and interesting projects, and incidentally been paid so much, than since switching to contracting. That said, getting the contracts to start with isn't a walk in the park. But once people start to hear about you, there's a bit of a snowball effect.

From where I sit Elley, you've found the perfect work/life balance. Not without it's challenges I'm sure but sounds very much like you are the authoress of your great fortune. Maybe some great and giving soul will step up for some volunteer babysitting duties to build the resume.:) Well, we can dream right?!

There is always a bright little light shinning somewhere amid the Gloom.

It's Friday...well wackadoo..!



The Cremated Husband 


Martha recently lost her husband. She had him cremated and brought his ashes home.

Picking up the urn that he was in, she poured him out on the patio table.

Then, while tracing her fingers in the ashes, she started talking to him....


"You know that dishwasher you promised me? I bought it with the insurance money!"


She paused for a minute tracing her fingers in the ashes then said, 

"Remember that car you promised me? Well, I also bought it with the insurance money!"


Again, she paused for a few minutes and while tracing her fingers in the ashes she said, 

"Remember that diamond ring you promised me? Bought it too, with the insurance money!"




Finally, still tracing her fingers in the ashes, she said, "Remember that blow job I promised you?"

"Well, here it comes."  



 Have a most excellent weekend ..may the AB's get the job done this time....and GBH hope all is ok with you.

Are these your own jokes?! Maybe too much for our family friend site, but they're hilarious. 

Ditto re GBH.  Probably en route to watch the big game in person.



-The salary levels are shocking they are the same as when I was a grad in Auckland in the mid-90s.....in real terms what do they buy now.

-Working for myself and when small was the best time of my working life. Then I got stupid and built it into reasonably substantial business. Saw the light and have sold down and going small again... just loving it!!






Small is beautiful and more long-term sustainable I reckon. Glad you are loving it! That's inspirational. 

Salaries are a stretch here in NZ to cover the basics particularly in the big smoke. I console myself with the fact that this country is a beautiful place to live, you can find a beach to yourself quite often, water is potable, health care services there for you in an emergency and the people here are lovely. Not sure how far that will go in retirement....as savings requirement can't be ignored in your 40s and 50s.

A good friend is 70, can barely walk and is having to do manual labour to put petrol in her car. Lucky for her her house is paid for, she grows all her own veg, she's an avid cyclist and she enjoys what she does- otherwise she'd be stuffed.



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