Six ways to save money this year

Co-author: Michelle Norton

“Help! I can’t save. We all feel that way from time to time but the reality is that people who really want to save will find a way.

Just look at KiwiSavers: many otherwise non-savers have built up thousands of dollars in their accounts. A little bit each pay day soon adds up!

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Try these six serious savings tips:

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Savings tip 1: Dream with deadlines.

Think big to supercharge your savings and set yourself some goals. That could be as simple as having $1000 in the bank by Christmas, or it might be to pay for the wedding of your dreams.Once you have your goals written down, add deadlines to those goals. Make notes in your diary to review your progress periodically.

Savings tip 2: Milk your mind.

Mind over matter is one of the best ways to boost your savings. Find a method to stop yourself frittering money. That may be with a mantra you repeat to yourself such as: “do I really need it?” You could even use your smartphone or computer’s screensaver to display a picture of your savings goal.

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Savings tip 3: Automate it.

So you want to put extra money aside but you never quite get around to it? A simple strategy is set up an automatic payment to your savings account once per fortnight or month. Ideally, split your pay as soon as it hits your account. Open more than one account and have your pay automatically split between savings, bills and spending accounts.

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Savings tip 4: Save your cents.

New Zealand's cash rate on hold

Loose change can really add up.Why not empty the change from your wallet or pockets and put it in a jar each evening?At the end of each month add it up and bank it into a savings account. This strategy works best if you only allow yourself a certain amount of cash per pay period and once it’s gone it’s gone. Or see if your bank offers a service that rounds up everything you spend and transfers the difference to your savings account. Either of these methods will add up to a nice little nest egg by the end of the year.


Savings tip 5: Keep a spending diary for a month.

If you’re not saving as much as you know you could, find out where the leakage is. A spending diary is a great way to see where you could improve. At the end of the month, add up all the totals and think long and hard about whether your money is being allocated wisely. If you prefer to do things the digital way, there are also apps available to help with recording your spending.

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Savings tip 6: Save your pay rise.

Don’t be tempted to fall for lifestyle inflation when you get a pay rise. Bank that money and live the way you always have. Treat any salary bonus the same way. So you don’t feel cheated, maybe consider putting aside a small percentage of the bonus that you’re allowed to spend and then put the remainder in savings.

Discover your savings personality

Revealing your savings personality

Remember that people have different approaches to saving, as well as different reasons for squirrelling away the money. So while you’re taking on board these six savings tips, also take some time to discover your savings personality.

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