How to build a saver mindset

5-6 minute read

Saving is less about putting aside large chunks of money and more about attitude.

Want to grow that account balance? Your mental approach is key. Fear not, getting your brain into saver mode isn’t as scary as it sounds. 

Your savings workout

Ever heard the saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’? A bit like running a marathon, the key to saving is a good training plan. One that’s realistic, that doesn’t rely on you earning big bucks, or having to skimp and scrape, and that lets you have a life too. Simple measures, like planning out the costs of upcoming events, or regularly putting away a few dollars for a rainy day all adds up. Little and often will create habits that last a lifetime.

What is financial wellbeing?

Financial wellbeing is the ability to meet your financial commitments and needs comfortably now and into the future. 

From having an emergency fund, to tackling debt and staying on track, financial wellbeing is about being conscious of your money habits. According to ANZ research, 47% of Kiwis consider themselves to be "doing ok" in the financial wellbeing department and 25% have "no worries" at all. Find out where you're at by getting your Financial Wellbeing Score

Become an active saver

Active saving is the habit of putting aside money regularly. Our research shows that active saving is the financial behaviour with the strongest influence on your overall financial wellbeing. It also puts you in the best position to ride out economic ups and downs. Feeling financially in control was found to have a big impact on a person's longer-term attitude towards things like investing in property and shares. Some common active saving methods include saving a specific portion of your wage each week (or month) or even placing spare change into a jar.

Tips to think and act like a saver

Like training for that hypothetical marathon, consistent savings can help you stay on track and keeps your eyes on the prize. 

Here’s a number for you to chew over – it takes 66 days to form a habit. There are plenty of small and achievable changes you can make to foster yours. Be patient as you strive to become a better saver using some of these suggestions.

Setting a basic budget: Budgeting is a skill for life – and something everyone can do, regardless of your income or savings balance. By planning out your spending and available funds, you'll ensure you never miss a financial beat.

Saving here and there: It could be as simple as taking public transport, where possible, instead of catching a rideshare. Whatever your action, saving a few dollars where you can, as regularly as you can, means you'll always have some funds to fall back on, or to treat yourself with. 

Set a savings goal: Having a SMART goal and writing it down puts saving front of mind and gives you something to work towards. Plus, it feels really good once you achieve it. Make sure it's realistic, by settling on a small, achievable amount, you can put away regularly. For more tips, read about how to save without sacrificing the things you love

Asking yourself if you truly need something: If the answer is yes, go ahead. But if not, save the extra cash.

Whatever you’re saving for, the right habits and mindset will get you across the finish line sooner.

Which Saver Personality Type are you?

Take this nine-question quiz to find out if you’re a Spender, Striver or All-Rounder.

1. Download the Saver Personality Type Quiz (PDF 420KB).

2. Open the PDF in a desktop app, like Adobe, Javelin or Foxit (Note: if the PDF opens in your web browser, select 'Open in desktop app’ to make sure the quiz can calculate your score correctly).

3. Complete the questions to find out your Saver Personality Type.

Important information

This material is for information purposes only. Please talk to us if you need financial advice about your situation and goals or about our products and services. See our financial advice provider disclosure at