Is saving more money one of your goals? We’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you save more across different parts of your life!
Review your power, internet and mobile bills
We highly recommend an annual ‘health check’ of these bills and plans. Plans change all the time because this industry’s so competitive. So, the plan you signed up with five years ago might be well out of date now, and there are probably better offers out there. What’s my number is great to compare power companies, or try Broadband Compare, Glimp or Consumer NZ. Don’t be afraid to ring up and ask for a better rate, and always read the terms and conditions and contract before signing up.
Also, make sure you’re still using all the benefits of your plan – do you still need a landline? You could save money by downgrading.
Petrol and transport costs
If you live in Auckland or another big city, your work commute could be up to an hour each way. That’s a lot of petrol and parking costs each week, so it’s important to do the maths on how much your car is costing you.
For many people, it won’t be possible to cut out a car completely. But people living close to work could try public transport, walking or biking.
An electric scooter or e-bike might be a good option in the long run, or maybe an electric car. But run the figures before spending a lot of money, and look at hiring one first to see if you’ll get the use out of it.
Electric cars are coming down in price, so while they may not be an option for you right now, in five years they could be an affordable option.
And if you have a second car, ask yourself, do you really need it?
An insurance health check
Insurance options are endless in New Zealand, with many people paying for home and contents, car, health and life, mortgage protection, and pet insurance. These policies can add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year, so it’s important to review them regularly to make sure they’re still right for you. Always read the fine print before signing up or changing to a different insurance provider, and make sure you know what you’re covered for.
Food and groceries
Food spending’s a sore point for household budgets. Getting your food budget right can easily transform your finances, and you’ll make big savings.
Start by planning meals for a week ahead, and taking a shopping list for those items to the supermarket. Set aside a time each week to cook bulk freezer meals for work lunches, or dinners on the go.
Swap to budget brands where you can and use everything in your pantry.
If you often buy takeaways, look at options you could create at home instead - make your own pizzas, or fill your own tacos.
Cut down the lunches you buy each week – and every time you bring your own, put that money into your savings. It all adds up, and can help you feel good about your changes.
Check your subscriptions
Many of us have automatic deductions coming out of our account each month. Do you have food subscription boxes, entertainment like Spotify and Netflix, data storage, or a gym membership?
It’s easy to miss what’s coming out, so check you’re still using all your subscriptions, and then ditch the rest.
Or, if you’re on the fence, cancel that subscription to see if you can live without it.
Check your KiwiSaver fees
If you’re contributing to KiwiSaver, or have other investments, it’s important to check you’re not paying too much in fees.
Start by finding out how much you’re paying. Many investment providers calculate fees as a percentage, and you could be charged more than one fee. Your provider should be able to tell you exactly how much you’re paying.
If you’re only investing a small amount, the fees might make your investment not worthwhile.
Fees can really eat into your balance and future returns, so make sure you’re getting good value.
Published 20 January 2020
Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. You can read our Product Disclosure Statement. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. It does not constitute financial advice. We recommend you speak with an independent financial adviser.