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5 Essential Tips to Beat the Cost-of-Living Crisis in New Zealand

5 Essential Tips to Beat the Cost of Living Crisis in New Zealand

Across the country, Kiwis are grappling with a higher cost of living that has left many feeling the squeeze on the household budget. The rising cost of housing, utilities, groceries, and other essential expenses have made it increasingly challenging to make ends meet. There are some steps you can take to regain control of your finances. From budgeting and maximising savings to reducing energy usage and making smarter buying decisions, here are 5 essential tips to beat the cost-of-living crisis.

1. Take charge of your finances: set a budget and stick to it 

Creating a budget is a fundamental step in managing your expenses more effectively. Start by tracking your income and expenditures to get a clear understanding of where your money is going each month.

  • Identify the areas where you could cut back.
  • Allocate specific amounts for essential expenses such as housing, transport, and groceries.
  • If possible, leave some room for a small savings or an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
  • Regularly review and adjust your budget as necessary to stay on track.

2. Save on utility bills: reduce energy usage

Energy costs can significantly impact your monthly budget, but by implementing a few simple energy-saving practices, it is possible to reduce your utility bills while minimising your environmental footprint.

  • Make a habit of turning off lights, appliances, and electronics when not in use.
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs and consider investing in energy-saving appliances.
  • Check your home is well-insulated to keep the heat in and the cold out.
  • Use curtains or blinds effectively to help regulate the temperature inside your home and reduce heating loss.

3. Save money and resources: cut down on food wastage

Food wastage not only drains your budget but also contributes to environmental waste. Here are some simple things you can do to cut down on food wastage and ensure your money goes further when it comes to grocery shopping:

  • Plan your meals in advance, using as much as you already have in your pantry and fridge.
  • Make a shopping list before you head out and stick to it to avoid buying unnecessary items.
  • Store and organise perishable foods properly to ensure they stay fresh for longer.
  • Embrace the “use it or lose it” approach: use leftovers creatively and repurpose ingredients.
  • Consider composting food scraps to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

4. Maximise value for money: shop for bargains

When it comes to shopping, being a savvy consumer goes a long way to beating the cost-of-living.

  • Prioritise quality and value over brand names by comparing prices, reading reviews, and looking out for discounts or promotions.
  • Compare alternative suppliers and consider bulk buying non-perishable items.
  • Explore local markets or online platforms for affordable produce. A
  • Take advantage of loyalty programs and cashback offers to further stretch your budget.

5. Make smart financial decisions: review your finances

Regularly reviewing your financial situation and making necessary adjustments can help you weather the current financial situation.

  • Get a mortgage review to assess your home loan and ensure you’re getting the most favourable interest rates available to you and that your home loan is structured effectively.
  • Review your insurance policies to ensure you’re not paying too much for insurance cover or not adequately covered.
  • Consider refinancing options if available to help reduce your interest rates and mortgage repayments.
  • Keep informed about changes in the financial market and get professional financial advice when needed to make well-informed decisions.

Smart financial strategies

While the higher cost of living in New Zealand continues to challenge Kiwis, it is possible to navigate through it with careful planning and smart financial strategies. By budgeting effectively, reducing energy usage, cutting out food wastage, shopping for bargains, and reviewing your finances regularly, you can take control of your financial well-being.

Talk to a Mortgage Express branded adviser to get financial advice with a view to refinancing your existing home loan or buying a first home.

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