Living costs are rising and many of us are feeling the pinch. How can you inflation-proof your finances? We have tips to help.
Inflation means a rise in average prices (usually goods and services). As inflation increases, your money is worth less. In January, annual inflation hit a three-decade high at 5.9 per cent in New Zealand. So, what can you do to reduce the impact of higher inflation?
Earning more and spending less are the two key things that can help you beat inflation. But as we know, that can be easier said than done! Bringing in more income can make a big difference. Not only will it help you reduce the impact of higher inflation, if you’re enrolled in KiwiSaver you’ll have more money going into your KiwiSaver account too. It’s a job hunter’s market out there right now, with many staff shortages. Could you change jobs or upskill? Perhaps you could transition into a more profitable industry or sector. You could try asking for a pay rise too (though you often have more salary negotiating power when applying for a new job). Side hustles or second jobs can be good, but do your research first.
Review your savings and investments
If your savings are in a bank account, higher inflation means the value is going backwards. It’s great to have some emergency money somewhere that’s accessible and not exposed to investing ups and downs. But if you don’t have at least some savings invested, you could be missing out on better returns. See a financial or investment adviser and check the risks involved before investing.
Check your regular costs
You’ll likely make savings over the long term by reviewing your providers annually. Think power, mobile, internet, gym, insurance, and other regular subscriptions you have. https://www.powerswitch.org.nz/ by Consumer NZ is a great comparison site, but there are plenty of others too. Even saving a few dollars a week can make a decent difference over the long term in a higher inflation environment.
Big ticket items are more expensive
If you had planned to buy a certain item later in the year, you might want to fast track the purchase while prices are lower. Things like appliances, flights, and renovations are likely to increase, if they haven’t already. Always compare and do your research first.
Monitor your food spend
Food is one of the top expenses for most households. It requires more work, but doing your research can bring big cost savings. Mindful shopping, comparing prices, switching to budget brands, and reducing waste are just some ways to reduce your food spending. We have lots of other tips here.
Fuel costs - ouch!
If you own a car you’ll notice the increase in fuel prices. The government is helping out but you still might want to make changes. Using your car less, using cheaper modes of transport, fuel discounts, buying an economical car, and shopping around for the lowest fuel prices are just some ways that can help. The Gaspy app helps you find the cheapest fuel in your area.
Information correct as at March 2022. Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer and manager of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. Click here for our Product Disclosure Statement. Any advice is given by Pie Funds Management Limited, and is general only. It relates only to the specific financial products mentioned and does not account for personal circumstances or financial goals. Please see a financial adviser for tailored advice. You may have to pay product or other fees if you act on any advice. As manager of the Scheme we receive monthly fees that are determined by your balance and whether you are 13 years or over. We will benefit financially if you invest in our products. We manage any conflicts of interest via an internal compliance framework designed to ensure we meet our duties to you. For information about the advice we can provide, our duties and complaint process and how disputes can be resolved, visit www.junofunds.co.nz. All content is correct at time of publication date, unless otherwise indicated. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. Returns can be negative as well as positive and returns over different periods may vary. Please let us know if you would like a hard copy of this disclosure information.