Tips to Save Money with the Rising Cost of Living

The cost of living crisis has impacted many people in New Zealand and abroad. At the time of writing this blog, New Zealand’s inflation rate was at the highest level in more than 30 years at 7.3%. The prices have risen for many good and services and many of us are feeling the pinch.We share some tips on ways you can save money during this difficult time.

Make Sure You Have a Budget

Keeping a budget, whether it’s on a piece of paper, a spreadsheet or on your phone, is critical in knowing where your money is going. Once you’ve prepared your initial budget, look over it again and be firm in asking yourself “Is there any non-essential spending I could remove?”
Save Money

Be Smarter When It Comes to Food Shopping

It’s been discussed at length in the media – the cost at the checkout has increased and for some items, quite dramatically. Food is an essential item, so we’ve listed some tips to try to help reduce the cost of food each week.
  • Meal planning is key! Plan out what you’re going to eat for the week, create a shopping list and only purchase what is required.
  • Do grocery shopping online rather than going to the supermarket. It’s much easier to stick to a budget and you or the kids won’t be tempted to add treats at the checkout!
  • Limit your food waste – examples include checking your fridge before you do the shopping to avoid double ups, eating leftovers and storing food in the fridge and pantry well.
  • Look at the prices of items and see if there are cheaper alternative brands you could try instead or ways you can use items to your benefit e.g. cheaper cut of meat and put in slow cooker.
  • Eat what’s in season. This way you won’t be buying overpriced imported produce. Frozen fruit and vegetable can be a good cost-effective option too.
  • Take your lunch to work.

Return to Cash

Most of us don’t carry cash around in our wallets anymore, as it’s simple and convenient to pull out our debit or credit card when we need to purchase something. However, this habit means we are less likely to think too much about what we’re purchasing. We recommend you return to using cash, as when you hand over physical money, you’re more conscious of your spending, and more likely to question whether your purchase is essential or not.
Also, by having cash, once your money for the week is gone, it’s gone – you can’t keep spending what you don’t have.  

Consider Your Service Plans & Costs

When it comes to the likes of power, mobile phones, internet, insurances and bank costs, it pays to shop around. There are a number of comparison websites you can use to see if you’re getting the best deal for you.
And when it comes to power – turning off unused appliances, setting the thermostat to the right temperature and limiting the use of the clothes dryer can help.

Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions

Now is the time to review your subscriptions and be honest with yourself as to whether you use them regularly. Also, if you have multiple subscriptions for a similar activity such as streaming networks, do you really need them all? You’ll be surprised at the money you can save each month by cancelling unnecessary subscriptions.
While you’re at it, it might also be useful to cancel those promotional emails you receive from retailers – unsubscribe from marketing emails if you know you’re someone who receives the SALE email and then purchases nearly instantly!

Embrace Free Things To Do

If finances are an issue for you right now, we recommend you swap paid activities for free things to do…which there are loads of options! Most regions throughout New Zealand have websites that highlight activities you can do in the area that don’t cost.

Get More Out of the Petrol in Your Car

A few small things can add up and make the fuel in your car last longer. Plan your journey so you’re driving an efficient route and are not back and forth to home multiple times a day, drive smoothly to avoid excessive use of the accelerator, only have in the car what you require (make sure the boot is not filled with heavy items you don’t need) and check the tyre pressure to make sure it’s at optimal level.

Look at Refinancing

We understand the current cost of living situation can be extremely tough and stressful. Refinancing can be an option that may alleviate some of this pressure.
If you’d like to learn more about refinancing and whether this could be a beneficial option for you, please get in touch with one of our experienced financial advisers.