9 fast & free money saving ideas. #6 makes a lot of...cents

Posted May 2018

money sacing ideas for kiwis

Check out our sensible ways to save money...fast!

Kiwis can always use a little more money in their back pockets.

When you consider that recent reports show some 25% of New Zealanders don’t have any cash savings, we think you’ll agree.

That’s a whole lot of New Zealanders out there struggling to make ends meet.

It’s hardly your fault, either.

With the cost of living on the rise, it’s a little tough to spare some change for the savings account when you don’t have two cents left to rub together. And when you do finally start saving? It can all be a little tedious.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.

Whether you’re saving for a holiday, dream home, or wonderful winter wedding, today we’re sharing some great money saving ideas that will help you find some spare cash even when you’re all out of ideas.

This includes:

  • How to save money on your next grocery bill.  
  • Cold hard savings facts you need to know about streaming your favourite shows.
  • Why buying second-hand can mean good things for your bank balance.
  • Some great ways to maximise your return by investing your savings.

Let’s kick things off with a tasty savings idea.

That’s right, we’re talking groceries…

1. Save in the shopping aisle

supermarket shopping savings

For the average Kiwi family, even a simple trip to the supermarket can be a stressful affair.

Making ends meet can be tough these days. Even more so if you have younger family members tossing snacks and treats into the cart at every turn.

Like your grocery bill at the end, the stress all adds up.

In order to make your life easier, consider a few of these super simple ways to create a more relaxed shopping experience the next time you make a trip to the supermarket:

  • Buy in bulk as larger quantities are usually that much cheaper.
  • Consider multipurpose foods that could be used in a bunch of different dishes. 
  • Never shop when you’re hungry, because you’re far more likely to buy snacks you don’t need. 
  • Avoid paying for the name on the box by shopping for budget brands instead.

2. BYOL 

No, that doesn’t stand for Bring Your Own Loan.

Rather, we’re talking lunches.

The pace of modern life can often leave you running short not just on change but of spare time, too.

At times like this, it’s easy to fall back on some simple time-savers, such as grabbing lunch from a local cafe. But while this may be saving you time, how much is this convenience really costing you?

Let’s say you save $20-$30 a week by preparing your meals in advance.

Do this each week for a year and you’ll be saving yourself upwards of $1,500. That’s easy-as!

If you want to maximise your savings, do something similar for the kids and their school lunches.

You’ll be saving money in next to no time!

3. Shop around for utilities suppliers

utility bills

A lot of savings advice will tell you to cut costs, but there are some expenses you just can’t escape.

Telephone. Internet. Electricity. Gas. They’re all pretty essential parts of everyday life.

Sure, cutting yourself off from the outside world may save you money...but could you really last that long without your smartphone?

We didn’t think so (neither could we)!

These expenses might be essential, but that doesn’t mean there are still savings on offer.

In fact, just like finding the best lender for a loan, picking the best service provider can save you heaps.

Since you last signed on the dotted line, there’s a chance a competitor may have popped up with new deals or even better offers.

If not, even mentioning the fact that you’re considering taking your business elsewhere may prompt your current provider to offer some form of a discount to keep your service.

4. Swap the Sky TV box for streaming services

Once upon a time, services like Sky TV held the exclusive rights to all the great shows.

Nowadays however, most all of the shows you know and love are available to watch online via streaming services like Netflix, Lightbox, and TVNZ On Demand.

What’s more, you’ll often find they’re streaming online first!

This alone is reason enough to switch, long before you consider the financial savings.

Subscriptions to services like Sky TV start at $24.91 a month, and that’s just for the basic package.

In comparison, services like Netflix and Lightbox start at just $11.49 - $12.99.

Making the swap could save you upwards of $160 a year, if not more.

5. Make a better budget


How long has it been since you last revisited your budget?

Wait, you do have one, right?

Sure, we get it, budgets can sound boring, but they’re actually anything but.

The ability to quickly and easily see how much money you have coming in, what’s going out, and where it’s being spent can seriously help you sleep easier at night. It also makes it that much easier to adjust where this money is going.

Are you spending too much?

Saving too little?

Now you know, and you can make adjustments accordingly.

It doesn’t matter if you’re making one for the first time, or revisiting an existing one for the first time in a long time: building a better budget sets you on the fast track to cutting unnecessary expenses, redirecting excess funds, and saving more money.

It’s that simple.

6. Save on school supplies

Do you ever feel like back-to-school time has a habit of creeping up on you?

You can’t blink without another school trip, sporting event, or supply run eating into your budget.

You’d think the kids were sure money grew on trees!

Unfortunately, we haven’t found the money tree just yet, but until such a day our go-to guide for going back to school while avoiding the budget blues provides some easy-as ways to save on school supplies and keep the kids smiling.

7. Buy used, not new

second hand items

Ah, that new car smell!

There’s nothing quite like it.

But...is it really worth the cost?

Buying new might feel great, but there’s no reason why you can’t also save some money and buy second hand from time to time. In fact, plenty of Kiwi families do this every day, and they’re all the more savings savvy because of it.

If you’re looking for some great deals, check out your local Op Shops, Garage Sales, and Facebook ‘Buy / Sell / Swap’ Groups. Oh, and of course can’t forget the king of all things second hand here in New Zealand, Trade Me. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking to snag a bargain.

8. Separate your savings account

Saving money can be tough if you attempt to go it alone.

Are you storing that spare change on the top shelf, the swear jar, or maybe in a piggy bank?

Oh, perhaps even under the bed?!

Storing cash around the house is one way to save, but it isn’t all that effective.

In fact, it makes it all too easy to dip back in pilfer from your savings for your next purchase.

This is why super-smart Kiwi savers start storing their money in a high interest savings account that maximises the return on their hard-earned money.

Compared to fixed term investments, savings accounts offer a good return while keeping your money close at hand. These accounts do offer incentives for leaving your money as-is, but if you find yourself facing a financial emergency, you can take out what you need when and where you need it.

9. Multiply your money with smart investments

investing savings

So you’ve made the cuts, and you’re starting to become a savvy shopper.

...now what?

Well, that’s up to you!

With the extra money you’ve saved, you could tackle your student loans or repay money you've borrowed.

But if you’re looking for a way to maximise your savings, it may be time to think about investing.

This may sound scary, but saving is more than just about Stocks. In fact, there are numerous investment options available to Kiwis just like you that range from super safe Term Deposits through to riskier options that offer higher returns on investments like Property or Shares.

With a term deposit, for example, you simply set the money aside for a set amount of time and let the guaranteed interest rate work its magic to multiply your money. How’s that for easy-as?

Saving money doesn’t have to be a struggle

We all know saving money is a smart idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Maybe you're saving for retirement?

A big purchase?

Or just looking to put some spare change in your back pocket?

Whether you’re saving for retirement, a big purchase, or just looking to put more money back in your back pocket, the tips we’ve explored today should at least set you on your way to becoming a savings superstar.


Want to know your options?

Try our personal loan calculator.


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The article published on this page is not financial advice and should not be relied upon as such. The opinions published in this article is not those of Unity Credit Union.