We could all use with a little more money in our bank account, especially for that rainy day. While summer feels like it'll last forever in this current heat, chances are that some rain clouds and the cold front are already forming on the horizon. As the economy adjust to the effects of COVID and the impact on businesses, it's a good time to learn new ways to make your dollar stretch a little further in 2021 and give you a financial buffer - just in case a curve balls pops up or unexpected case of redundancy hits you or your household.
Here are five big and small ways to help you save $5,000+ in 2021:
1. Save and earn with your groceries (save $3,000+)
Yes, you can actually both save and earn while doing your groceries. Read on.
If you're familiar with Eat Well For Less, you'd know how Ganesh Raj and Michael Van de Elzen, shines a light on the astronomical amounts of money that regular Kiwi families can spend at the supermarkets. The Atherton family that starred in one of the episodes had grocery bills that came up to $40,000 a year for a family of two adults and three children. Most, if not all, episodes showed how families like yours and mine can easily spend hundreds a week at the supermarket on unnecessary and unhealthy items that leave us heavier around our waist and lighter in our bank accounts. The Atherton's managed to cut roughly $300 a week from their grocery bills which works out to be a massive $15,600 a year.
If you're in a similar boat as the Atherton's, you can stop here and make savings of $15,000+ alone on your groceries. If not, keep reading on.
Try starting small and pick a couple of expensive and unhealthy items (e.g. chips, chocolate, cereals, ice cream etc.) that could save just $50 a week from your bill. This alone works out to be about $2,500 back in your pockets.
Wait, you mentioned earning with my grocery shopping? Yes, you can do just that by taking advantage of the Christmas Club Cards that most supermarkets offer. You don't have to wait till Christmas for this delight.
Essentially, it's getting high interest on the money you squirrel away into the prepaid card. Certainly much higher than any the banks are paying at ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Westpac and even Kiwibank. From our research, Pak'nSave and New World offers the best value here. Currently, both pays up to 6.4% interest. For example, if you put in $1,000 before the end of February 2021, you'll get $1,064 in your account come 1 Dec 2021. $64 paid in "interest" just for putting that money aside for 9 months. Putting in $5,000 will see you with an extra $320 that will pay for your Christmas shopping in 2021. The more you put in, the more you get back. That's how you can earn while doing your groceries! Don't forget to register your card so that you can protect the money you've put in and check the balance online.
2. Lift your workout game without the gym membership (save $1,000+)
COVID and lockdown has taught us many things, one of them being that we don't need to spend hundreds or even thousands a year at the gym. There are many ways to get fit and stay fit without the expensive membership, that if we're honest, we don't even make much use of most of the time. Go ahead and check out your weekly or fortnightly payments that are sneaking out of your bank account while you're in between your YouTube workouts. If you're a Les Mills member, you're paying roughly $1500 a year. For those of you that love the vibes of the gym where being amongst other sweaty and highly motivated gym goers makes you "go hard", then consider a cheaper alternative or have a chat with your gym about more cost effective options and save yourself at least hundreds, down from the thousands you're likely spending. Jetts is just one popular alternative that has popped up all over New Zealand with more than 50 outlets in recent years and with yearly membership for as low as $8 a week ($416 a year) for their 18 months plan. Here are our picks of some popular YouTube workouts - see if this could be your thing in 2021.
3. Beat the caffeine addiction this year ( save $1,500+)
If you're a two coffees a day at the cafe kind of person, we're looking at you. $5 x 2 x 365 days = $3,650 a year. That's how much you could put back into your bank account if you can kick the habit. Wean yourself off a caffeine over a couple of weeks and you may feel even more energised and ready to kick ass at work then before. But let's get real, going cold turkey is hard. But how about cutting back to 1 a day? That's enough to put some not so small change back in your pocket - $5 x 365 days = 1,825 in savings a year.
Alternatively, get on the Nespresso bandwagon if you haven't already. Instead of $5 coffees, you'll be spending closer to $1 for your caffeine fix each time. Even a couple of them a day won't break the bank. There are plenty of different beans and flavours in their line up so you'll get the delightful experience of a new brew in rotation, just as you would when you visit different cafes.
4. Insurance companies don't need more money from you (save $2,000+)
Let's face it, insurance is a pain. But we all need it.
Like most New Zealanders, it has probably been years since you've looked at what insurance you have and much less if there's a better deal to be had. Sifting through stacks of documents that you've locked away or binned isn't anyones idea of fun. Don't get us started on fine prints.
However, insurance is one of the biggest purchases we make each year. Shopping on car insurance alone can save you up to 50% of your bill. Instead of $1,500 a year, it could be $750 a year. Yes, it can be that much of a difference. Make a start today and you could potentially save thousands a year and tens of thousands over the next few years.
Quashed is a new way to easily sort out all your insurance and see it all in one place. It'll even help you find a better deal when it's renewal time. Did we say all it takes is a click?
5. Get a car wash and a workout at the same time (save $500+)
A trip out to the car wash can easily set you back between $20 and $30 for a wash. If you're a twice a month type of person, that's roughly $800 a year on car washes alone! You can save yourself up to $500 just by heading down to your local Washworld and spending $5 to get your car cleaned while getting a mini workout. Or you can head down to The Warehouse and pick up a bottle of car wash gel and DIY by filling up a pail (if you're in Auckland, don't forget to do your part to conserve water) and giving it a good clean with a sponge and dry off with a micro fibre cloth. That's a bit more of a workout for you and much more savings in your bank account.
Whichever way you choose to help you put a little more money back into your pocket, make a start. A little goes a long way. If you have any other tips to share with helping your fellow Kiwis maximise their savings in 2021, drop us a note.