Now I’m all for going it alone, choosing the road not taken, treading your own path. To be able to say when you’ve knocked the bastard off, “I did it my way…”

But there are definitely times when running with the pack can work for you – provided, of course, the pack is running in the right direction! Just look at the way cyclists draught together in single file, or how picking a running partner who’s slightly better than you pushes you to run further or faster than you normally do.

Now think of your finances. What are other people doing that can help you lift your game? If you need a mental shortcut to figure out the best thing to do, the answer is often all around you. Birds flock, fish school, and we can all ride that herd when it works for us.

If you look at a survey snapshot of New Zealanders’ financial behaviours, it turns out most of us are on the right track with a lot of key things:

  • 57% of us review our insurance each year.
  • 58% of us pay our credit cards off in full each month.
  • 69% of us can access emergency money if we need to.
  • 71% of us put money into savings.
  • 74% of us would use a windfall to pay back debt.
  • 79% of households earn more or as much as they spend.
  • 80% of us have worked out how to reach a financial goal we have.
  • 95% of us have a financial goal we’re aiming for.
  • 95% of us pay off HPs within the interest-free period.

So collectively, we’ve got some good things happening. Individually, it may be a different story. I can’t say personally that I’ve been reviewing my insurance each year, for instance, but I should probably get on that bandwagon.

For a great way to gauge what shape your money’s in and take on some tips to lift your game, here’s a first look at the new Financial Fitness Check-Up, which is making its debut for Money Week (13 to 19 October).

Even if you’re a creative type or that rugged individual who zigs when everyone else zags, there’s no shame in taking a cue from those around you as to what works.

As long as it’s headed in the right direction, running with the pack can make all the difference.

 

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