Better with money

6 simple ways to be better with money

Money – it makes the world go round, it doesn’t grow on trees, and there’s a never-ending debate about whether it can make you happy. Luckily, it’s not just about how much money you earn, it’s also about how you handle it. Here’s 6 simple, everyday money tips that will make a real difference.  

Meal plan

 Planning out your weekly (or bi-weekly) meals can really help you save. You’ll only buy what you need, reduce food waste, and won’t be as tempted by takeaways. It will also give you a chance to check your current pantry stock before hitting the supermarket. Grocery shopping online can help you stick to a budget. If you still love a good supermarket trip, you can pre-shop online to plan meals around meat specials then save on delivery.  

Cancel a TV subscription 

Just about every household these days has some form of Netflix, Apple TV+, Neon or Amazon Prime – in fact, plenty of people have multiple! If this is you, it might be time to choose just one subscription at a time. While they might seem cheap, they can really add up over the year. Plus, you can only ever watch one show at a time! Once you’re done with all the new series on Netflix, pause it while you get your Neon fix, and so-on. 

Vow to take your lunch – everyday! 

Eating out at work can equal hundreds each year. It’s an easy to habit to fall into, but it’s almost as easy to get out of it. If you’re the kind of person that might forget during that rush out the door, set a daily alarm on your phone, or place your keys on top of your lunchbox. Consider lunches when meal planning – aiming to make a little extra for leftovers, and choose meals that are easy to pack and heat – like soup (take frozen to avoid leaks) or curry. Always try to have easy, affordable ‘back up’ lunches in the pantry (or desk drawer) – such as microwave flavoured rice.  

Set yourself a monthly ‘no-buy’ rule 

Got something that’s regularly chewing up your cash? Set yourself a rule that for the whole month you’re not allowed to buy anything in that category – whether it’s clothes, takeaways or kids toys. While some might attempt to reduce their spend on certain items, you will probably find it easier to have a blanket ban.  

Think second-hand 

Before you buy any item, ask yourself whether you could buy a pre-loved version. They’re often far cheaper, better quality and can be sold for similar value when you’re done with it. Check out local op-shops to support a good cause, or hit up TradeMe for some bargains. If you’re already a fan, you could set yourself a second-hand only challenge for a month or two.  

Get creative with gifts 

Studies have shown that spending more on a gift doesn’t actually guarantee it will be better received.  If you’re spending too much on gifts it might be time to start thinking outside the box to save cash and still give something thoughtful. Gifting to a busy Mum? Make a home-made dinner. A wine lover? A bottle of wine might be more appreciated than a pair of socks. A sweet tooth? Home baking will always go down a treat.