Just as businesses need to take stock of their cash flow and budget if they’re to survive the current levels of inflation as we push past COVID, we should also look at our personal spending and how we can handle the high cost of living in New Zealand by making savings at home.
Whilst there are many different ways to save money, we’ve focused on three main areas: food, household utilities and luxuries.
Meal Planning: before you head out to do your weekly food shop, plan what meals you want to have that week, write a list of everything you need and only buy what’s on the list. By only going to the supermarket once a week you’re less likely to overspend on unnecessary items - and don’t shop when you’re hungry, it’s all too tempting to buy extra snacks!
Freezing: it’s time to really make the most of your freezer to prolong the life of perishable food. Find you’re wasting the last slice or two of bread? Freeze the loaf instead and use it as toast or defrost as needed. If you’ve got vegetables or fruit that have seen better days but are still edible, freeze them ready for smoothies or cook vegetables into soups and freeze. Made too many cakes for an event? Freeze them. Bought some herbs and only needed a few stalks? Freeze the rest! You get the idea!
Cut Back: Find you’re buying coffees and lunch out more often than not? Cut back or if you want, cut it out all together. $5 here, $10 there, it might not seem much but it all starts to add up. Instead why not spend an extra couple of dollars for a better bag or jar of coffee and make your own. The same for lunches, why not make your own four times a week or when you do buy lunch opt for a cheaper cafe.
Discount Buying: It’s worth heading to the supermarket later in the day when items start to be reduced - if it’s a perishable item that you won’t use straight away, then (yes you’ve guessed it) freeze it. Buying in bulk when items are on special can also help reduce costs, especially if it’s items that you regularly use. Another way to find savings is to look at the cost per weight for different items - it might be cheaper to buy the smaller box of cereal, but if you buy the bigger box, chances are the cost per 100g is less and in the long run you’ll save money. Lastly, consider switching brands, you might have brand loyalty but for some ingredients you won’t notice a difference in taste but you definitely will notice a price difference.
Beware of ‘Vampire Energy’: Vampire Energy refers to devices that continue to leak energy even when not being used. Some examples of ‘vampire energy’ are: televisions being left on standby, chargers being left in switched on sockets even if they aren’t charging anything, ovens and microwaves using electricity to power their display timers. Where you can fully switch off devices to save on your power bill.
Compare Providers: When it comes to the likes of insurance, mobile plans and internet providers shop around to see if you could save money by switching. If your current provider is increasing their prices, look to switching to an alternative provider, you can often find introductory offers.
Reduce Water: There are several easy ways to reduce the amount of water you use and make savings. In the bathroom, reduce the amount of time you shower and turn off the taps when you’re brushing your teeth. In the kitchen use cooking water for your plants and only use the dishwasher when it’s full. In the garden install a water tank to collect rainwater to be used on your plants.
Subscriptions: One easy way to save money is to reduce your subscriptions especially if you don’t find yourself using them regularly. For subscriptions you can’t do without take a look at family and friend plans, which when split between a group, saves everyone money.
Make the Most of Op Shops: You might have to do a bit of hunting but op shops have lots of bargains for clothes, and household pieces-items like wool blankets can often be found in op shops for a fraction of the price.
Join a Library: Racing through novels but not enjoying how much it’s racing through your money? Join a local library instead. The latest titles will cost significantly less than if you were to buy them and most books and Ebooks are completely free.
Sell Unwanted Items: Next time you have a sort through your storage or wardrobe, put any items that you no longer need or use to one side and sell them on platforms like Trade Me, Facebook Marketplace and Depop.
For help with your business accounts and to get your business finances working for you, get in touch with Grace Team Accounting. Call us on 07 578 5416