Money Week Q&A: Sonia Coupe

CIO, New Zealand Home Loans

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NZHL helps you achieve your goals of being free. Free from the chains of a 25-years mortgage, free to pay off your home loan years earlier, and free to achieve your dreams. NZHL advocates that it is not the rate you pay but the rate at which you pay it off and their home loans and insurance services coupled by personalised market leading tools and apps, help you do just that!

Tell us a little about yourself, Sonia!

I am the CIO for NZHL based in Hamilton. I look after Technology, Data, Innovation and the overall Digital Strategy. Prior to joining NZHL, I spent just under 20 years at Cisco in various roles all over the world and in recent years as Head of Global Operations, creating business efficiencies for the business & their clients and championing Innovation.

I also recently performed a short-term engagement to help a NZ health-IT company develop its business plan, and market footprint as well as assisting them deploy some really cool technology in hospitals, helping enriching the health care experience for patients and also deploying technologies aimed at protecting hospital staff from ever increasing duress situations.

What’s the best money advice you’ve received?

Definitely to go for an offset mortgage. This not only saves you years in interest but also educates you about your spending!

How do you manage your money today?

Goal settings! Set goals and work towards them, each day. It is just amazing that tiny savings towards your goals each week enables you to reach goals you never thought possible. This also allows you to create a spending plan, rather than a budget, and that feels way more fun.

What’s your best money hack?

If you are struggling to save, try a $o day. Start with one a month, to at least one a week. But don’t stop there, put away the money you have saved. This will soon become second nature.

If $o days aren’t for you, make a rule to always put aside what you save. For example when you go to the supermarket and your products are on special, you will see on the receipt your total savings. Keep the receipt and make a point to move these savings into a saving account straight away. In fact, put a weekly appointment in your calendar to do these transfers.

Same rule applies for what you might be saving on petrol or anything else for that matter. Personally I save this money into my childrens’ savings account, which I have set up in order to plan for their schooling and further education.

It’s amazing how fast this can add up. Give it a try and you’ll soon master the art of blind saving!

What’s the worst thing you’ve spent money on?

Definitely uncomfortable shoes (but they looked great!)

What’s the most money you’ve found?

Just the other day we found with my husband a ten pound note. I changed it to NZD, and as you’ve guessed it, put it into the childrens’ bank account.


This interview is part of New Zealand Money Week (NZMW) 2017. NZMW is led by the Commission For Financial Capability, and it involves events all around the country to encourage New Zealanders to talk about money and develop greater financial capability. To further the conversation about money we got in touch with some of our favourite Kiwis to get their perspectives on their finances.