5 ways to save money in 2024
We share top tips to help New Zealanders hold onto more of their hard-earned dollars in 2024. As the cost-of-living squeeze continues to put pressure on New Zealand households, we're all adjusting our spending priorities and habits to see where we can save.
1. Save up to $670 by changing car insurance provider
In November, we found that switching car insurance providers could save people hundreds of dollars per year.
Jessica Walker, Consumer communications and campaigns manager says while there is a perception that all car insurance is the same, there are some differences between policies which could save people money.
“We found that a family of four could save up to $56 a month, that's just over $672 a year, by shopping around for their car insurance,” said Walker.
“Younger people could save nearly $38 a month, and older people could keep an extra $40 a month in their pocket, just by shopping around.
“A Consumer supporter recently shared their experience, telling us of a 75% increase in the price of their car insurance renewal.
“They said, ‘[the insurer] also whacked on an additional excess of $1,200 for claims of theft (on top of the $500 excess). I understand premiums have increased across the board, but I can still find policies with the same cover for $100 to $200 less, and none had the additional excess for theft claims.’”
For more information, check out our tips on how to find the best value car insurance.
2. Save up to $385 with Powerswitch
Powerswitch is a free and independent service that helps you work out which power company and pricing plan is the cheapest for you, from among participating retailers.
“Power prices change all the time, so we urge New Zealanders to use Powerswitch every year to make sure they're on the best plan to meet their needs,” said Walker.
This year, the average saving netted by Powerswitch users was $385.
“It literally takes minutes to enter your details into Powerswitch and see what you could be saving.
“If you compare the market and decide to switch providers, the power providers take care of all the admin– it couldn’t be easier to save.
“There is one caveat with this tip – double check you’re not tied into a contract before you switch providers. Otherwise, you might have to pay a contract break fee.”
3. Save $200 by shopping around
Shopping around for the best price shouldn't stop with insurance or power providers. Walker encourages New Zealanders to make the most of free price-tracking tools for the everyday essentials too.
“In August this year, we did a price spot check on fruit and vegetables, comparing prices between the supermarkets and a roadside produce seller. We found a 55% price difference for lettuce, 57% price difference for spring onions and 91% price difference for watermelon.
“The Grocer app makes identifying what can be pretty massive price differences across supermarkets fast and easy.”
Gaspy, a crowd-fed app, enables people to compare fuel prices quickly and easily between retailers.
“If Gaspy shows that a retailer in town is offering cheaper fuel but you’re based in the suburbs, it may not be worth it. But combine it with a trip you need to make anyway and you could be onto a winner.”
PriceSpy is a price and product comparison engine, which shows current and historical pricing data for products across over 1,000 New Zealand shops.
“If you need to replace your vacuum cleaner in the new year, find a few suitable options on PriceSpy and create a price alert. You’ll be notified when it’s listed at a price within your budget.
“Take a few minutes to find the cheapest prices out there and you could easily save up to $200 a year.”
4. Save $500 by being energy efficient
The average household can save up to $500 a year simply by making some small changes around the home.
“Washing clothes in cold water could save over $100 a year. Taking 5-minute showers can save up to $260 per person per year. Switching appliances off at the wall can lead to savings of more than $100 per year,” said Walker.
Read about all the free and simple ways to reduce your power bill on save500.org.nz.
5. Save some cash by reviewing your subscription services
Walker encourages people to take stock of their weekly, monthly and annual subscription services.
“We all tend to set and forget. Do an audit of the subscriptions you pay for to figure out which ones are no longer providing you with value. Don’t forget to review the apps that auto-renew, too.
“Depending on the services you use, you might decide to cancel them entirely, downgrade your plan, or search for a cheaper alternative.
“Just make sure you’re at the end of your contract before you cancel or change your plan to avoid break fees.”
Are you paying too much for power?
Powerswitch is a free price-comparison website that helps you find the best electricity and gas plan. Check now to see if you’re getting the best deal.