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Five ways to save without sacrificing the things you love

4-5 minute read

Saving – it’s something we all need to do, but go too hard and you could be setting yourself up for failure. The key is a realistic plan.

Cutting non-essential expenses out of your budget could be an effective first step towards reaching your savings goals. However, as admirable as that approach is, a super-restrictive budget can be hard (and pretty miserable if we’re honest) to maintain.

Luckily, saving doesn’t always have to come with extreme sacrifice. Here are five easy ways to reduce your spending and help save more money, without giving up the things that are really important to you:

1. How to get a better deal by shopping around

When it comes to choosing a product or provider, your first option is not always the best option. In fact, reading the terms and conditions is sometimes the only way to truly understand all the cost differences between different products and plans. Sometimes you might find a better deal for the same product or service – so it’s worth taking the time to check it out.

Shopping around doesn’t just apply to one-off purchases like a new toaster or new tyres for your car. You can also save a lot of money by shopping around for ongoing services. Here are something products and providers you may want to take a look at:

  • Mobile phone plan
  • Insurances
  • Electricity or gas provider
  • Streaming subscriptions and Internet plans
  • Gym memberships

Here are some basics to keep in mind when you’re comparing offers:

  • Does that contract offer a fixed rate and finite period?
  • What will it cost to change providers?
  • Can your new plan be cancelled if you change your mind?
  • It may be cheaper, but is it the same or better?
  • Have your needs changed since you signed up? Can you tweak your plan than cancel it?

Found a better offer from a competitor? Before you do jump ship, let your current provider know about the offer and your intention to move. They may be able to match it, or even go one better.

Bonus tip:

Avoiding missed or late payment feed on your bills and taking advantage of any things like prompt payment discounts could make a big difference too.

2.   Go greener and save

Saving money while saving the planet? It may sound too good to be true but being conscious of what you’re using, or choosing greener solutions, could provide cost benefits in the long term.

Here are some going green tips to take a look at:

  • Replacing household lights with energy-efficient LED light bulbs
  • Unplugging unused electrical devices entirely (appliances on standby are often using a lot of electricity)
  • Recycling rainwater or greywater for use on the garden – it’s better for the environment and if you live in an area where you’re charged for the amount of water you use, it could be better for your pocket too
  • Going meat-free more often could save you money on grocery shopping
  • Repair clothes or broken furniture where possible instead of repurchasing
  • Before buying new, try a second-hand store or website first

3.   Get the most from your reward schemes

Very few things in life are free, but a lot of things are on special. Look out for savings and deals on your weekly shop and tap into the world of discount codes, coupons and rewards cards.

Excess spending just to rack up point might not be the best approach, but if you use it wisely, a smart rewards scheme could help save you a few dollars down the track. A loyalty card at your local café won’t hurt either!

Check if any services you already use – such as your private health insurance, credit cards or phone and internet – offer any rewards such as shopping discounts or movie tickets to help you get back into socialising without blowing your budget.

4.   Get the most out of your bank

There’s no harm in checking in with your bank every so often to see if you’re using the best and most cost-effective accounts, products, or services for you and your current situation. If you don’t ask you’ll never know. For example, are there other accounts, products, or services that could help reduce the amount of fees or interest you pay?

You will need to consider what will work for you, taking into account your financial needs, situation and goals. Ask your bank or lender about your options.

5.   Work from home

The COVID-19 pandemic has made working from home much more accepted by many employers – and there are benefits on both sides. Many people have found that working from home comes with benefits, beyond the ability to concentrate. You don’t have to pay for transport to and from work, you’re less likely to eat lunch out, and you’re far less likely to go wild at after work drinks.

Test it out if you can and try to find a lifestyle groove that suits both you and your employer – and could save you money as well.

The first step towards saving more is to set a solid, smart target. Head over to the ANZ Financial Wellbeing programme to set a savings goal (that you’ll actually reach) today.

This material is for information purposes only. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 296, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see anz.co.nz/fapdisclosure

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