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Are you off your trolley? You could be, with our sneaky tricks to save money on your groceries

Are you off your trolley? You could be if your supermarket bill is creeping over $50 per person for a family. There are so many sneaky tricks to save money on food. You might even find that you’re healthier and happier when you buy more basic food. Don’t say it can’t be done. If your bill is out of control, try some of these tips. Budget. Start with a figure that you want to spend on food each week and…

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How to lose interest in presents (yes, it can be done)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that birthdays require delicious cake with lashings of icing and a complete lack of regard when it comes to calorie intake. However, it is a fib, unfortunately universally acknowledged as a truth, that birthdays also require presents – the rationale being that the more expensive the present, the more you love or admire the recipient. I have pondered this matter deeply, and after accidentally smashing my annual presents budget in six months, I have…

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Five ways to screw up your retirement: a lifelong project

Step One: Spend money you don’t have First of all, you probably want to spend lots of money. More money, in fact, than you’ve got in the bank. Let’s say you’ve got a good job and you’ve found a place to rent in the Auckland market and you’re happy with your lifestyle. Why not crank it up to the next level by moving out of your flat, buying a bigger car on HP and maybe going on that overseas’ holiday.…

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Is your food bill out of control? It could be that big lump of protein on your plate

Protein – at least the meaty versions – is expensive. And research indicates that we’re obsessed with protein, to our detriment. Most Kiwis spend far too much on that protein, by not eating and shopping consciously. It’s simple to cut the cost of a plate of food radically. First off, not all protein is created equal when it comes to cost. A nice sirloin steak for four can cost $25 before you even add veges to the plate. Even own…

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Feeling overwhelmed by your money problems? Here’s some free expert help

If it feels as though you’re struggling with money problems, the best thing you can do is ask for help. You’re not the first person to get into debt, and you won’t be the last. The sooner you get started on fixing the problem, the sooner you can put it all behind you. It can be amazing how much weight feels lifted off your shoulders once you sit down with someone and lay out your situation. FinCap can put you…

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Calendar dates
From our #lifehack file: Did you know you can change your billing dates?

Change your billing dates, change your life. OK, that might be a bit of a stretch, but getting all your financial ducks in a row can help you budget better. This one is an easy hack but one many Kiwis simply don’t know about. Did you know that many companies will allow you to change your billing dates? Companies such as Powershop, Vodafone and Mercury are just a few that will happily let you move your payment date (within reason).…

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How we grew our savings while shrinking our liquor cabinet

This year we paid someone to stalk us for our own financial good. Pippa is our enableMe financial personal trainer and we know she’s always watching what we spend. We also know that we’re going to have justify any shenanigans if we go too far over budget because when we met Pippa in April we agreed to: set savings targets set budgets for everything, including the pub set up joint bank accounts write wills use a programme to track our…

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Ho-ho-ho without the o-o-overdraft

It’s October when I write this, which means it’s been Christmas in retail land for about six months now. While a couple of weeks off in summer in honour of Baby Jesus’s birthday is an attractive proposition for most of us, it can also be a financial time bomb, set to go off when the bills arrive in January or February. So how can you make it through the silly season without spending silly amounts of money? Short of converting…

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Young woman looking astonished at her growing nose
Are your finances suffering from ‘excusitis’? Beat it, now

Liar, liar, pants on fire. We Kiwis are masters at coming up with excuses for our spending and debt. I’ve heard it called “excusitis”. We convince ourselves that “we’re different” or that “we need it”, or “everyone else does it”. It’s that six inches of grey stuff between your ears that’s at fault. And it’s getting worse. According to Payments New Zealand the average Kiwi made 58 credit card transactions in 2014, 86 in 2015 and 103 in 2016. Ouch.…

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Avocado toast
Forget avocados, smash the big stuff first

Avocados have gotten a bad rap lately. The real reason millennials can’t afford to buy their own homes, commentators said, was not sky-high prices or the banks requiring 20 per cent deposits, it was young people’s insatiable hunger for the creamy green goodness of smashed avocado on toast. And even if you don’t like avocado, the finger-pointers would point out (with their fingers) that while our parents got by with a cup of Choysa made from a tea bag that…

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