Read Mary's current Herald and syndicated columns on-line now,
or search the archives for previous subjects.
The following is a selection of articles mainly from January 2005 to the present. To explore this topic in more depth and access earlier columns, please use the search box.
Syndicated column 16 February 2013 - Financial misbehaviour disappointing
Ironically, a survey on New Zealanders' financial behaviour was released just days before Christmas - a time of much financial misbehaviour, when everyone's saying, "I don't care what it costs, I've just got to buy something for Uncle Fred."View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 14 July 2012
Q&As: Use accessible KiwiSaver money to repay credit card debt, and probably mortgage too
Syndicated column 2 June 2012 - Let's educate our way out of 500%+ loans
When I first saw "Annual interest rate 547.50%" on a New Zealand website offering loans, I thought there'd been a mistake. But no. That's the rate for a small, short-term cash loan from www.savemybacon.co.nz.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 24 March 2012 - How to join the new debt cutting trend
We're all living through three "great transitions", said the keynote speaker at a recent conference. One transition is from West to East - with the growing emphasis on China and India, another is from analog to digital, and the third is from debt to saving. Let's look more at that third transition.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 17 March 2012
Q&As: No clear-cut answer on whether's it's better to slash debt or save for Christmas
NZ Herald 10 December 2011
Q&As: Three readers offer advice to early 60s couple looking for jobs - go and look around the country; check out motels; try a B&B
Syndicated column 3 December 2011 - Columnist is wrong - mortgage repayment is well worth it
Contrarian investing - when you put your money into investments that most people are getting out of - sometimes works well. Such investments are usually cheap. But should we extend that to borrowing when most others are repaying debt?View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 16 July 2011 - Cries of indignation, shock and fear from Credit Card Land
Three readers coming from three quite different perspectives responded to my last column about repaying credit card debt. One slightly indignant reader always pays his credit card bills in full, another was shocked at what happened when he didn't one month, and the third has run up a $7000 credit card debt.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 2 July 2011 - Have I got a deal for you?
Pssst, want a fantastic deal? I may be able to get you into an investment with returns of just under 20 per cent a year, every year, after fees and tax. And it's risk-free....View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 2 July 2011
Q&As: How to find a good financial adviser
NZ Herald 11 June 2011
Q&As: Should couple with iffy job prospects sell their shares to slash their mortgage?
NZ Herald 19 February 2011
Q&As: Repaying debt should be Number One priority - with one important exception
NZ Herald 11 December 2010
Q&As: Earthquake victim faces an old question: whether to invest spare money or repay a loan
NZ Herald 30 October 2010
Q&As: What happens to your money when it seems to disappear for a few days in the bank?
NZ Herald 23 October 2010
Q&As: With extra to pay off a mortgage, should you add to principal repayments or shorten the term of the loan?
NZ Herald 2 October 2010
Q&As: KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the government - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't join
Syndicated column 11 September 2010 - Grab your big chance to painlessly boost your wealth
In the next few weeks, every New Zealand wage or salary earner will get a chance to considerably increase their wealth - painlessly.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 28 August 2010
Q&As: How can a woman persuade her partner to stop spending more than the couple earns?
NZ Herald 7 August 2010
Q&As: Does it make sense to try to pick where Baby Boomers will retire and buy property there?
NZ Herald 23 January 2010
Q&As: Should couple repay mortgage with redundancy money, or invest it in KiwiSaver or elsewhere?
NZ Herald October 20 2007
THE OTHER B WORD
NZ Herald April 7 2007
Q&As: A year-old letter shows the danger in trying to predict what the Kiwi dollar will do
Syndicated column March 6 2007: Digging your way out of the big hole
You're never in debt so deep that you can't get out again. At least one reader of this column will be reassured by this message from Raewyn Fox, chief exec of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column February 3 2007: Help for those in debt
Repaying high-interest debt is sometimes called the best investment. And there's a way to do it that, I suspect, many people don't know about.View - It's FREE!
Holm Truths summer 06-07
The other B word: While some people find it easy to follow a budget, others struggle. Here are some tips for the latter group.
Holm Truths Spring 06
Mortgage moves: How you can make the big loans work better for you
Syndicated column March 28 2006: What we don't know CAN hurt us
One of the first things journalists are taught is to make the first sentence of an article a "grabber", something that will perhaps surprise readers and make them read on.
NZ Herald February 11 2006
Q&As: Couple should spend less?
NZ Herald January 28 2006
Q&As: 27-year-old overseas doesn't need more than 4 rentals in NZ.
NZ Herald December 17 2005
Q&As: Should newly separated woman buy a house or rent?
NZ Herald December 10 2005
Q&As: $29,000 rental in Gore not the thing for a risk-averse man.
Syndicated column November 29 2005: The student loan lark - what students can and can't do
Student loans are back in the news. And there's some confusion about how students will be able to use - or abuse - the system when all loans become interest-free next April.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column November 15 2005: Borrowing is not all bad - it depends why we borrow
Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has been telling us off because we keep raising our mortgage debt. But, from the individual's point of view, how bad is that? It depends on why we borrow.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column November 1 2005: Borrowing tricky between family or friends
A quote recently caught my eye. "The easiest way to teach children the value of money is to borrow some from them," it said.
Holm Truths spring 05
Kids, cash and cards: Help your children learn about money
NZ Herald August 20 2005
Q&As: Should a youg woman put her savings into her rental mortgage or diversify?
Holm Truths winter 05
Seize the chance: A great way to boost your savings
NZ Herald May 7 2005
Q&As: A letter to give a spouse who is mean with money.
NZ Herald April 23 2005
Q&As: Is it better to repay your mortgage or invest in a work super scheme?
NZ Herald April 9 2005
Q&As: Where should a 13-year-old put his regular savings?
NZ Herald March 19 2005
Q&As: Tips for a 12-year-old on how to save.
NZ Herald February 5 2005
Q&As: Where to from here for 56-year-old rental property owner?
Holm Truths summer 04-05
Scattering the seeds: By diversifying, you reduce risk but not returns
Holm Truths spring 04
Investor beware!: How to spot a rip-off or scam
Holm Truths autumn 04
'His & Hers' investment styles - How gender affects the way we invest
Holm Truths autumn 02
Burrowing into borrowing: Buying goods and services using credit cards or hire purchase can hurt your wealth
Holm Truths spring 01
Taking on the world: Spread your share investment money across the world