With living expenses still high, finding clever ways to manage and save money can require a little creativity but even small savings add up.
We’re all about Kiwis helping Kiwis, so recently, we asked our audience for their tips on managing and saving money.
In this blog, we share some of the responses.
Read on to find out more.
Whether it’s taking a break from takeaway coffees, bought lunches, or alcohol for the week – any money saved goes directly into savings. A wee bit of healthy competition never hurts so why not turn it into a competition with your family, partner, or friends?
The winner could be relieved of dishes or washing for the next week or be treated to a home-cooked meal.
Keep it fresh by choosing a new mini goal each week, or month!
The 24-Hour Rule
To avoid impulse purchases, wait 24 hours before making a non-essential purchase, giving you time to evaluate whether you need or have a good reason for purchasing the item.
Additionally, an ‘inbox detox’ will help you limit temptation when your favourite retailer announces a sale – unsubscribe or file the promotional emails away.
Food and Grocery
Food costs can make up a sizeable portion of your weekly budget, so it makes sense that finding ways to cut down on grocery bills featured heavily in your responses.
Top tips include:
- Using apps such as Grocer (or Gaspy for fuel) to search for the cheapest place to buy the items on your shopping list
- Source in-season fruit and vegetables locally and participate in your local community garden
Also, if your lettuce has roots, replant it!
- Grocery shop online – the ability to remove items if needed, avoid temptations in the shopping aisles and surprises at the checkout helps you stay within budget
- Plan your meals weekly and create a shopping list based on these ingredients. You’ll avoid wastage and reduce the need for a pricey dairy dash
- Meatless Monday – while vegetables can be costly, adding grains and beans (lentils, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.) can make for an affordable and tasty meal
- When cooking, make a double batch and freeze the leftovers – also consider bulk cooking (multiple meals) to make the most of your heated oven
- Cut up and freeze (or pickle) leftover produce.
And if you’re shopping in-store – stick to your list and never shop hungry!
Keeping a household running can be costly – there are simple things you can do to reduce power usage – replacing lightbulbs with LEDs, using lower energy electronics, turning appliances off when not in use, using a cold wash cycle, and avoiding a dryer. However, some Kiwis are going beyond this with some clever hacks:
- Using an air fryer rather than heating the oven it’s quicker and uses less power
- Alternating video streaming services – so you’re only paying for one subscription at a time and still get to view a variety of content
- Family black-out nights; weekly, fortnightly, or monthly pretend there’s a power cut, turn the lights and electronics (not the fridge or freezer) – have a picnic, and play board games via candlelight.
Regular reviews of your providers (power, phone, internet, etc.) will also help get the best deal. Upfront annual payments (insurance and registrations, etc.) can seem like a large chunk of money, but if you can manage it, you often get a decent discount and can save significantly.
Out and About
While cutting back on spending can seem like a bore, it’s still possible to go out and enjoy yourself – it’s about setting a budget for entertainment and treats rather than splurging on impulse. Take cash with you and limit your spending to what’s in hand.
- Pack snacks for the kids (and yourself) to avoid additional spending on food
- Walk or bike where possible – you’ll save on gas and benefit from the exercise (and fun)
- Invest in a coffee machine and travel mugs – you’ll save in the long term if you take your coffee with you
- Try a No Spend Weekend – find free activities such as hiking, picnics, or exploring your local community – you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have without spending (bonus points for taking a homemade lunch with you).
Don’t forget to take advantage of discount cards and loyalty points – some offer discounts on specific products or give you a voucher once you reach a certain number of points.
Clean out, Recycle & Resell
Decluttering once a year and selling what you no longer need is a great way to make back a little cash and help others save money by not having to buy brand new.
Kid’s clothes are a great example – often they are in good condition when they no longer fit; why not try selling to buy the next size up?
Reach out to your local community pages and noticeboards if you need to make a particular purchase or need a trade/service – often you can find what you need cheaper than elsewhere. Plus, you can pay it forward by offering goods and services to others.
Managing your household budget can be a juggle (especially with a home loan), so at NZHL, we recommend reaching out to a qualified financial adviser to ensure you’re set up to make the best use of your money.
Your NZHL Mortgage Mentor is here to help. We support Kiwis every day with their financial goals – big or small and if you have questions about your home loan, chat with your local NZHL Mortgage Mentor (qualified financial adviser) who can help access your options to take control of your home loan and possibly become debt free sooner.
In the meantime, check out our Mortgage Mentor’s tips for Resetting your Finances.
Please note –This blog is intended to be general in nature and should not replace personalised financial advice by your mortgage adviser.