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General Hints

These hints show you how to save money in many different ways.

Take every opportunity to save money even if it is only ten cents. Remember, that a lot of small amounts add up to a large sum over the course of a year.

Whiteware AppliancesBuy second-hand goods whenever possible. Doing this can save you a large amount of money. The Internet, garage sales, classified advertisements, fairs and auctions can provide some great bargains.

Find the bank and bank account that has the lowest charges. Operate only one general account and have a savings account for emergencies or long-term goals. Try to avoid counter transactions and using money machines and EFTPOS too often. Every transaction you have with the bank costs you money.  Check each bank statement for mistakes. Try to get the cash you need from the supermarket when you pay for your groceries each week. Paying for other things with cash will make you more aware of how much you are spending.

Make every effort to avoid buying on credit. Interest and other charges can greatly increase the amount you pay.

Work out how much you are paid per hour by dividing the amount you receive by the hours you work. Before buying something, think of how many hours work it will take to pay for it.

Fly buys and other loyalty schemes may cost you money if you do not buy from the cheapest retailer or if you buy things you do not need in order to get extra points.

Make it a rule that you do not buy anything at the door or over the telephone. If someone asks you to buy something or make a donation, simply say that you have a rule that you do not do this when you are asked at the door or over the phone. Decide in advance which charities you wish to support and only give to them.

Buying by mail or over the Internet can be risky. While there are many genuine sellers, there is a possibility that you could lose or waste your money if you are not careful.

If you receive an email which you are not expecting you need to be very suspicious. If it appears to be from a Government Department, bank or courier company etc, look for signs that it is not genuine. If someone you do not know offers to help you in some way, this is almost certainly a scam. Never click on a link or attachment without being certain that you can trust the person who the email came from.

If you have the slightest doubt about anyone who contacts you, visit the Consumer Affairs website for up to date information on a wide range of scams.

Whenever it is worthwhile, mend clothes, glue broken items and repair things that are not working.

PainterAvoid paying people to do work which you can do yourself or which you can learn to do from a do-it-yourself book or by taking a course. You could offer to do work for a friend in exchange for them helping you with a job requiring their skills. www.diynetwork.com

Only go into a shop if there is something you need to buy. Try and avoid window shopping or browsing through shops, as you will inevitably find things you want to buy. If you do need to buy something from a retailer, check out prices at other shops to find the best buy. If you are prepared to wait there is a good chance that what you want will come up in a sale within a few weeks. However, remember that a product advertised by one retailer at what is supposed to be a big discount, can sometimes be purchased from another retailer at a cheaper price. If possible, check out what a product is made of and how well it is made.  It may be better to pay more for a higher quality product because it should have a longer life.

If you need to get a tradesman to do a small job, find out the hourly rate and other charges before making the arrangement for someone to call. You may get a quicker and cheaper service from those who are not at the beginning of a list of names or those who do not have large advertisements. A tradesman living close to you will have lower overheads than a large centrally located business. For large jobs, write out all the details of what you require and get quotes.
If you need to use a dentist, check with dentists to find out the cost of an average filling. Your local hospital may provide some dental services for those on low incomes.

Keep instruction sheets with receipts attached in a folder or large envelope so that you can find them easily if required.

Do not waste money on health insurance and life insurance. If you ever have a serious health problem you will get treatment at a public hospital and if you die as a result of an accident or illness your dependants will be looked after by the State.

Do not gamble because over a period of time you are guaranteed to lose money and you will suffer many disappointments. It is easy to become addicted to gambling and if this happens you could end up losing everything you value.

Investing in Kiwi Saver is worthwhile because you get contributions from your employer and $1000 and tax credits from the Government.   The $1000 contribution only applies to those who joined before 2pm on 21 May 2015. New members who join after this date are not eligible for the payment.

Check to find out which Provider looks to be one of the safest and has low fees. Go to fund finder at www.fundfinder.sorted.org.nz.

If you are investing money which you cannot afford to lose, then bank deposits are the safest investment.

Consumer New Zealand can provide a lot of useful information to help you get the best value for money. Check the back copies of the Consumer magazine at your local library or go to www.consumer.org.nz

Borrow books, music, art, dvd's, etc from your local library. Join a toy library if you have young children.


Surveys show that what children want more than anything else is their parents’ time. Buying expensive clothes and toys is no substitute for your time.

Do not borrow or spend more than you can afford for birthday and Christmas presents. You could talk to family and relatives about cutting back on the value or number of presents. Try making presents or buy suitable items when you see them at low prices and keep them until they are needed.

Children do not know the difference between wants and needs and should be taught money skills. Only give pocket money if you know that it will mainly be used for essentials.

Products with highly promoted labels on them are often not good value for money.

Watch out for concerts and other activities that cost little or nothing to attend.

Hiring television sets, home appliances, etc is expensive and a cheap second-hand model is a much better proposition.

If you will only rarely use some expensive equipment it may be cheaper to hire it than to buy it.

When shopping make sure that you have been charged the correct amount for each item and that you have received the correct change. Also check through invoices and bank statements.

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Only use disposable items where there is no alternative.

Give up smoking and only drink alcohol on special occasions.

If you have pets that the family is no longer interested in and which cost you a significant amount to keep, you could save money by giving them away or taking them to the SPCA.

The best hobby is one that saves you money or helps you make some money.

If you need a holiday, try swapping houses with a family in another town or go to cabins in a camping ground.

If you need work done for you,  but can't afford to hire someone, why not consider time banking.  This involves people doing work for others and getting credits which they can later use to get work done for them by others in the group who have different skills. For further details and for your nearest Time Bank click  on http://www.timebanks.nz/

The Citizens Advice Bureau has a lot of useful information on the following topics:  consumer rights, government, law, money, education, health, housing, employment, travel and recreation.  Visit www.cab.org.nz

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