Kaimahi Kōrero: Nesmie Kaye, Toi Tupu Assistant

Reconnecting with her iwi and being able to help whānau through her every day mahi were two key factors that inspired Nesmie Kaye to apply for her role in the Toi Tupu team.

Having previously worked in insurance, Nesmie shares that initially she had little experience in the finance industry. However, she was excited to embrace what the role would offer and understood just how beneficial it would be to become better acquainted with the finance world.

 “It’s important for anybody to understand finance” says Nesmie, “especially their own. If you know where your money is coming and going, then you’ll have a much better perspective on your financial goals and priorities.”

Nesmie spoke about why she feels it is imperative for whānau to want to better understand their finances, and in turn, improve their financial literacy. “I always encourage people to think – think about what you’re spending your money on, think about if it’s a want or a need purchase. You frequently need to be re-evaluating your goals and key focuses when it comes to your personal finances, eventually it will help you to subconsciously step back and make informed spending decisions in the moment.”

“Interest, withdrawal fees, tax rates, short-term goals and savings would be some great key terms to get started with learning if you’re not yet familiar with them,” shares Nesmie.

Working with whānau on their financial needs and goals through the Toi Tupu savings and investment scheme, Nesmie has seen the impact that finances can have when people feel unequipped or uninformed. “Debt is real and when it’s out of control it can take a toll on your stress levels and mental health. Being able to manage and understand your finances effectively may help you avoid those struggles,” urges Nesmie.

She shares that often people feel like they can’t treat themselves with their hard-earned money, particularly kaumātua and parents, but that it is just as important to “give yourself permission to have a splurge every now and then.” Reinforcing that moderation and planning is key, but that you should allow yourself a set time to spend your money on “those fun things in life.”

When asked about her thoughts on the importance of tamariki being educated around finance, Nesmie urged parents to start having regular kōrero with their children about where money comes from and what it is spent on. “You should be starting them as early as possible. It helps kids to understand where money goes and how it can grow, if not spent frivolously.”

“When they’re old enough to understand, try to have a conversation with them about how much you earn and where it goes. Sometimes physically showing them real money in their hand, as opposed to writing it down, helps them really understand and look at the true essence of money, where it goes and why there is such thing as a budget,” says Nesmie.

Explaining to tamariki what Toi Tupu is and what it can help them achieve in the future is a great start to building their financial literacy. Nesmie shared that the reason why she signed her children up was so that they could learn the importance of saving and investing.

“It’s important that they understand and are thankful for this opportunity supported by their iwi. Being enrolled means that they’ll have a nest egg to use in the future, whether that be to help them pay for studies, a first home or to continue to save.”