8 Ways To Stop Wasting Money (And Start Saving)

By Natasha Van Der Laan
7th Nov 2018

Payday came and went and you’ve got nothing to show for it. Oops. It can feel as though money is slipping through your fingers—but it doesn’t have to. The little changes you make to your spending can add up to make a biiig difference.

We’ve teamed up with Westpac NZ to get clued up on all things money. They taught us how to be money savvy when it comes to saving and travelling, and now, we’ve asked them for tips and tricks around spending. To continue their money series, here are nine easy ways to help you stop wasting money.

1. Figure Out Where Your Money’s Actually Going

It’s time for a reality check. Sit down with a notebook, spreadsheet or app and track your spending (be honest). Use a budget tracker and pop things into categories for everyday expenses (groceries, eating out, shopping entertainment etc) using CashNav to figure out where your cash is going as well as identify trends so you can reign in any unruly spending. Work out a budget you can stick to and watch those savings grow.

2. Buy Things With RL Cash

Ditch the plastic card in favour of real-life cash. Withdraw a set amount of money for a set amount of time (try a week or two) and only buy things with this allocated cash. You’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases and really consider your spending.

3. Write A Shopping List

Turns out Mum was on to something. A shopping list will stop you from mindlessly wandering the supermarket and buying stuff you don’t need. Attach a notepad to the fridge and add things to your list as you run out.

4. Set Up Alerts

Never miss a rent payment again by turning on alerts for your bank account. Through Westpac One® you can get a heads-up when a payment doesn’t go through, your account goes under a certain amount or when your credit card bill is due. Laters, pesky late fees!

5. Align Your Payments On The Same Day

Organise all of your direct debits, automatic payments and mortgage payments to go out on the same day with Salary Splitter - ideally just after payday. This way your funds will be automatically split into relevant accounts for particular goals like a car, holiday or house deposit. You’ll also know what’s coming up so you can rest easy knowing all your bills are covered and exactly how much is being transferred to your savings.

6. Wait 24 Hours Before You Buy

So you found a dress you totally need. Don’t reach for your wallet so quickly. Stop, pause and give it 24 hours. During this time, ask yourself “do I need it?” and “do I love it?” If you still desperately want it after the waiting period, then refer back to #1 and see where this purchase fits into your CashNav app and budget tracker or where else you can skimp to accommodate the splurge.

7. Socialise At Home

When you head out and about, you pay a hefty markup on food and drinks. A glass of wine will set you back about $12, whereas a decent bottle at home will set you back $20 or so (and you’ll get five glasses out of it). Invite your squad over for a potluck at yours and you’ll not only cut your costs, but you’ll also get to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest.

8. Be Rewarded For Spending

Yes, we’re talking about saving but you do need to spend some money. Think: groceries, petrol and your caffeine addiction. Suss an Airpoints™ earning debit card and you could earn rewards to spend on travel, technology and more. If you use a credit card, you may also want to think about whether you could be earning rewards as well, but make sure you pay your credit card off in full every month so you don’t get charged interest. 

For more money tips and tricks, check out Westpac’s newly launched Helping New Zealand Grow—they’ve got articles and info to get you on track.

Editor’s note: This article is proudly sponsored by Westpac. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Westpac. Westpac does not endorse or approve any non-Westpac goods or services referred to. This content is intended as a general guide only, and does not take your personal financial situation or goals into account.

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