Elizabeth Kerr gets personal with her reasons for building a money machine

By Elizabeth Kerr

People decide to build their money machines for all sorts of different reasons.

There is no right or wrong reason.

I’ve personally never heard someone say they wanted to build a money machine so that could have a big ole house on the hill and drive around in luxury sports cars whilst blowing their loose change on the good looking and good cooking. Nope, never!

Typically people share more subtle reasons for wanting the financial independence that a money machine provides. Reasons that are more reflective of their inner values – such as:

  • “I want to be able to take my kids to school each day”
  • “I want to be able to coach my sons cricket team”
  • “I work in an industry where job security is fickle”
  • “I want to provide for my children and the generations that follow”
  • “I don’t want to have to worry about how to afford healthcare costs when I’m older”
  • “I want to go into Ministry for my local church”
  • “I’ve want to travel home every year (and escape the NZ winter)”.
  • “I’d like to do a PhD one day”
  • “If I loose my job I don’t want it to affect my lifestyle”
  • “I want to stay home for the kids”
  • “I’d like to become a yoga instructor”
  • “I’m passionate about giving my kids a private education”
  • “I’m interested in volunteering overseas”

You get the idea … There is no single or right reason to decide to build a money machine, but you must have a reason.

When times get tough and temptation starts nipping at your heels; or Harvey Norman has a half price sale, it’s your reason that will keep you accountable to saving and then investing your hard earned money.

So why did we start a money machine?   Motherhood made us do it!   Pull up a chair folks I’m about to get personal.

*cue classical story telling music*

Once upon a time our accountant sent through an email suggesting we attend a seminar doing the rounds about Property Investing.   (Note: when your accountant emails you suggesting you need property education that’s a pretty strong red flag that you’re not doing it right!).

And in that seminar we realised we were certainly NOT doing it right.   We had a few properties but two of were leaking like they were made of weetbix, a block of money-sucking land and our PPR.  Not exactly the stuff early retirement dreams are made of.   Oh and we only had one income and some small savings.

In our personal life at that time we had just been blessed by our first son. And quite honestly I thought it was a shitty time (no puns intended).

I did not evolve into the earth mother I had envisaged myself to be. Besides the fact I had the cutest child the world had ever seen, he didn’t feed or sleep and I was quite sure I was never going to physically survive the experience. Hubby and I spent a lot of time wondering how people managed to go on to have more than one. I was always generously swinging between pride and elation to boredom and depression.

But in amongst it all I had this GENIUS idea!!!   With the few brain cells remaining, and the seminar fresh in my mind, I thought –

“What if we could build a Money Machine that could replace my husbands’ income?”

Obviously we can live off one income and if he didn’t have to go to work then he could stay home and we could do this parenting thing together.  Genius!!!   In my imagination we would spend the day pushing the most beautiful sleeping baby the worlds ever seen around trendy café’s drinking lattes and reading newspapers every-single-day!   (The only realistic part of that is of course the money machine part).   The baby latte experience wears off as soon as sleep depravation kicks in and you figure out coffee is medicinal and don’t give a flying hoot for trend.

Anyway, achieving this goal became my entire focus. The idea of having someone to tag-in to parent at any time was a pretty powerful motivator. I dedicated every spare moment to thinking about it, I scoured the internet for blogs from others who had pulled it off and bored the pants off anyone who would listen. Every financial decision we made was in light of this goal.   Every single spend was questioned. Our lifestyle design suddenly became very intentional.

Bye-bye went the BMW X5 and random block of beautiful but money-sucking land, hello leaky building remediation, excel spreadsheets and saving 30-50% of our take home pay. Added to that was a selection of the smartest property investors I’ve ever met whom had access to up to date market knowledge and ta-da…. one self sustaining property portfolio and the bones of our money machine was born.

My reason for building a money machine was so powerful for me that I was going to let nothing distract me from achieving it.  Those that succeed with their own money machines have powerful reasons.  

You need a reason!

Comment below, find me on facebook or email me at Elizabeth.Kerr@interest.co.nz.

(I’m very pleased to report that I eventually got the hang of parenting and did go in and do it all over again a few years later. But I cannot stress enough how empowering it is to know that whatever happened we can flick on the machine and I can tag him in at any time).