Posted January 2016 by Melissa Abraham-Smith
1. Get rid of your high interest debt
If you’ve been spending on your credit card over the Christmas season, you need to pay it off as soon as possible. If this doesn’t seem possible look at consolidating it into a personal loan. A personal loan will ensure it’s paid off by a certain date and will save you money on interest and weekly repayments.
2. Review your expenses
Have you looked at whatsmynumber.org.nz? Have a look to see what you could save on power bills each year. Also, take the time to review your phone, sky, internet and even insurances. Call around to ensure you are getting the best deal.
What’s your weekly grocery bill? Sit down and calculate what this costs you plus all the extra trips to the shops throughout the week. Set a reasonable shopping budget and write a template shopping list to ensure you always get what you need in one go. If you only visit the supermarket once a week you will be sure to save money.
3. What is your KiwiSaver balance?
What do you know about your KiwiSaver scheme? How much are you paying towards it? How much does your employer put towards it? If you’re unsure it may pay to find out. A lot of people just go into the default KiwiSaver scheme without knowing if it’s the right one for them. Call 0800 KIWISAVER to find out who your current provider is, then use an online tool such as fundfinder.sorted.org.nz to compare providers and select one that is right for you.
4. Put a little aside each week
Come up with a figure that is reasonable for you, that you don’t think you’ll miss e.g. $20 a week. Set up an automatic payment into a savings account and forget about it. Don’t set the account up on your internet or mobile banking, you don’t want to see it and be tempted to spend it. You’ll soon forget all about it and in a year you’ll have a nice fund of $1,040, in two years $2,080 in five years $5,200 – imagine forgetting about it only to discover that hidden nest egg.
5. Make a budget
Use tools on sorted.org.nz to help create a budget and revise it regularly. It’s not enough to just write a budget, you need to review it and adjust it often. Make a plan to sit down every fortnight or at least once a month and go over your income and outgoings over that time. See how you could improve on it then edit your plan for the next month. Make sure everyone in the family is on board with your plan. It’s a good idea to include your kids in this process, teach them how important it is to make a plan and stick to it. It also demonstrates where money comes from and where it goes, dispelling the rumour that is grows on trees.