Read Mary's current Herald column on-line now, or search the archives for previous subjects in her Herald and syndicated columns.
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 2 February 2013
Q&As: Interest-only mortgages have major flaws
Syndicated column 1 December 2012 - Self-insurance eases the pain
Have you ever thought, as you pay hundreds of dollars yet again for car or house insurance that you never claim on, that it would be better to bank the premiums and use that money if something went wrong?View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 10 November 2012
Q&As: Best websites for comparing banks
Syndicated column 22 September 2012 - Help needed for retirees to live it up a bit
I'm disappointed. Retired people have been gaining access to their KiwiSaver money for several months now, but there's no emergence of good new products to help them manage their savings.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 8 September 2012
Q&As: Time to check a reader's challenge about banks and gold
NZ Herald 1 September 2012
Q&As: The extra money retired people can get from the government, above NZ Super
Syndicated column 25 August 2012 - Retirement spending puzzle solved
It was a question that got people thinking. Massey University senior lecturer Claire Matthews had just finished a presentation at the Workplace Savings NZ conference on how much people spend in retirement. "How come most of the spending totals for two-person households are more than twice the one-person totals?," somebody asked.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 25 August 2012
Q&As: 3 readers are upset about morality and student loan repayment strategies
NZ Herald 11 February 2012
Q&As: A disadvantage of revolving credit mortgages - it can be hard to keep track of your money
NZ Herald 4 February 2012
Q&As: Most people still get their money doubled in KiwiSaver, or close to that ...
Syndicated column 28 January 2012 - Take action now to avoid bill blues next January
Ah, summer. Time for beaches, baches, barbecues - and facing probably the year's biggest credit card bills, or even demands for payment from loan sharks.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 19 November 2011 - Two thoughts about Christmas shopping
Look at any graph of credit card spending over the years and you see a clear pattern - spikes each December as we put Christmas gifts, food and drink and holiday spending on our cards.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 19 November 2011
Q&As: The "who and how" of KiwiSaver withdrawals before retirement - including what happens if you go bankrupt
NZ Herald 15 October 2011
Q&As: Is it wise not to save because if you do you'll lose some government subsidies - and to spend the money on cars instead?
NZ Herald 8 October 2011
Q&As: An idea for a woman who doesn't know what to do with all the money her husband is now making
NZ Herald 30 April 2011
Q&As: A reader's attempt to recover tax on finance company interest is a nice try, but ...
Syndicated column 29 January 2011 - Turning interest into your friend
New Zealanders are, apparently, a fairly satisfied bunch - except when it comes to our financial situation. But maybe that's not such a bad thing.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 4 December 2010 - Do we really need more stuff than Americans?
Something to ponder as Christmas gift giving approaches: New Zealanders apparently think they need more stuff than the people we often regard as most materialistic - Americans. What's more, older and male New Zealanders seem to be more into "things" than young people and females.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 18 September 2010
Q&As: The "I can't afford it" excuse for not joining KiwiSaver just went out the window - plus other points about kids and KiwiSaver
Syndicated column 27 February 2010 - Readers react over GST
Two readers sound angry about my last column about GST. Some of their points are valid, but over all I think they just didn't "get" it.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 13 February 2010 - Wanted: Clear thinking on GST
A lot of nonsense has been spoken about GST since John Key more or less said the government will increase that tax - probably to 15 per cent - and use the money to cut income tax rates.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 14 July 2009 - Recession could be a blessing for most
The response to a question in a recent survey bothered me a little. Asked what they would do with a $10,000 cash windfall, 54.3 per cent of the respondents said they would pay off debt or save the money - down from 58.3 per cent three months earlier.
NZ Herald December 6 2008
Q&As: Couple can afford to retire youngish, especially if they are willing to eat into their savings.
NZ Herald November 29 2008
Q&As: Repaying a mortgage - on a home or rental property - almost always better than saving with term deposits.
Syndicated column November 25 2008 - Christmas giving that makes you happier too
Struggling retailers aren't going to like this, but how about we make 2008 the year we stop spending ridiculous amounts on Christmas presents we don't need - and often don't even like?View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald November 22 2008
Q&As: Does charity begin in the home country? Salvation Army programme looks good.
Syndicated column September 2 2007: Is saving always good?
In some circles, saving has a bad name. People think it's about deprivation - "I either save or I spend, and spending is more fun."View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald july 19 2008
Q&As: Stop worrying about money, says former spendthrift, now in his seventies.
Syndicated column May 27 2008: If the Government can do it ...
If there's one topic that I should write about more often, but I avoid because I fear it will turn people off, it's budgeting. But with the government's Budget in the news, now is as good a time as any to consider the way we - as individuals or couples - spend our money. And I promise not to get preachy.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald April 12 2008
Q&As: Monkey story a great yarn, but it's not about the share market.
NZ Herald November 3 2007
Q&As: Why does the price of our milk rise when overseas demand goes up?
NZ Herald October 20 2007
THE OTHER B WORD
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.
NZ Herald December 16 2006
Q&As: Should man, 64, get student loan for the income, given that he probably won't ever repay it?
NZ Herald December 9 2006
Money column for December 9, 2006
NZ Herald December 2 2006
Q&As: A handy rule for quick money calculations
NZ Herald November 25 2006
Q&As: Is it a good idea to go back to 100 per cent mortgage on rental and invest the money in a term deposit?
Syndicated column November 21 2006: Look beyond the dividends
In share fund investing, keep your eye on the prize - the over-all return, not just the fees and dividends.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald November 18 2006
Q&As: Should we get bigger tax deductions for donations to charity? Also - give Christmas gifts to those who really need them.
NZ Herald November 11 2006
Q&As: What's happened to the price of pies over the years?
NZ Herald September 30 2006
This is the final week in which we are running excerpts from Mary Holm's bestselling book, "Get Rich Slow: How to grow your wealth the safe and savvy way." Mary's regular Q&A column will resume next week.
NZ Herald September 2 2006
Q&As: Some options for a whinging woman who can't afford a home.
NZ Herald August 26 2006
Q&As: What you should check out before you buy a house. And who should do the inspection.
NZ Herald August 19 2006
Q&As: The average New Zealander can't afford to buy a house, or can they? The poor don't stay poor.
NZ Herald August 12 2006
Q&As: A few fewer luxuries and many New Zealanders could afford to buy homes.
NZ Herald July 29 2006
Q&As: Should we have a new 25c coin instead of a new 20c coin, and also a $5 coin?
Holm Truths autumn 06
Stuff and happiness: Buying things you don't really need
NZ Herald April 1 2006
Q&As: Can he retire?, 40-year-old asks.
NZ Herald February 11 2006
Q&As: Couple should spend less?
Holm Truths summer 05-06
Can you get rich quick?: Only by taking big risks
Syndicated column December 13 2005: Can't see the forest for the houses? Also: Christmas shopping.
Quick question: Which of the following grew fastest in the last year: New Zealand house prices, New Zealand shares, hedged overseas shares (hedging removes the effects of foreign exchange movements), or unhedged overseas shares?
Syndicated column September 20 2005: Wellington and Christchurch dwellers big spenders and risk takers
So much for Aucklanders' image as the big spenders, risk takers and owers of debt!
NZ Herald July 16 2005
Q&As: When to declare share trading profits.
Holm Truths winter 05
Seize the chance: A great way to boost your savings
NZ Herald June 11 2005
Q&AS: Paying extra for using a credit card.
NZ Herald May 7 2005
Q&As: A letter to give a spouse who is mean with money.
NZ Herald March 19 2005
Q&As: Tips for a 12-year-old on how to save.
Holm Truths summer 03-04
Time is Money: A basic principle that helps you understand investing
Holm Truths autumn 02
Burrowing into borrowing: Buying goods and services using credit cards or hire purchase can hurt your wealth
Holm Truths summer 01-02
Pay yourself first: A way to make it easier to save