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Break Free From the Lazy Tax Trap and Get More out of Your Finances

Break Free From the Lazy Tax Trap and Get More out of Your Finances

Do you ever feel like you’re paying more than you should for everyday expenses? You’re not alone. Many Kiwis are unknowingly shelling out extra cash in the form of “lazy tax”, a sneaky surcharge that’s the result of sticking with the same service provider without exploring better deals. But there is help! With proactive effort, it’s possible to break free from the lazy tax trap and keep more money in your pocket. Here are 3 tips that may help.

Tip 1: Know What You’re Paying

Before you can make any changes to your spending habits, it’s important to have a clear overview of what you’re paying. If it’s been a while since you last assessed your expenses, take a moment to review your recurring payments.

It’s not uncommon for banks and utility providers to lure in new customers with enticing offers, only to raise the prices once the honeymoon period is over. And if you haven’t been diligent in monitoring these price hikes, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise!

Use an online budget tracker – like this one – to track your spending and closely monitor any increases in fees and utility costs.

Tip 2: Compare What’s on Offer

Now that you have a better idea of how much you’re paying out for each bill, you can compare what’s on offer to see how your expenses stack up. There are a range of insurance, utility and financial services providers in New Zealand so it’s worthwhile doing a comparison and switching if you find a better deal.

If the thought of navigating the multitude of insurance, utility, and financial services providers feels overwhelming, never fear! Websites like NZ Compare (for broadband, power and mobile), Powerswitch (power and gas), and Sorted for everyday money, KiwiSaver and financing tips, simplify the process of comparing and finding a deal. Some of these even set up the switch over for you, making it super-easy to change providers!

Tip 3: Ask for a Better Deal

Sometimes, just reaching out to your supplier or provider and asking for a better deal can get you the result you want. So don’t be shy about asking. If a business wants to keep you as a customer, they may be willing to negotiate or throw in something extra to sweeten the deal!

And if not, don’t get disheartened. Keep exploring your options. Contacting alternative providers and asking them to match or beat your current rate is a viable strategy in a competitive market.

Don’t Get Stuck Paying Lazy Tax

Are you spending more than you should on utilities and financial products? There’s a good chance you are. In fact, a nationally representative survey of 2,076 respondents undertaken by Finder in 2021, found 87% of Kiwis are paying ‘lazy tax’ on at least one financial product.

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