Cost of living: How to kickstart your financial wellbeing in 2023

  • 20/01/2023
  • Sponsored by - ANZ
Cost of living: How to kickstart your financial wellbeing in 2023
Photo credit: iStock

The increased cost of living is making things tough for many Kiwi families and it's showing no signs of letting up in this new year.

Many are struggling in the current climate with everyday expenses, repaying debt and saving for a comfortable retirement, with four out of five New Zealanders saying they feel like they are either going backwards or just staying afloat

But it doesn't have to feel so stressful.

As we settle into 2023 it's a great time to get an idea of where you're at with your money and how comfortable you'll be in the year ahead - that means gaining a better understanding of your financial wellbeing.

"Financial wellbeing isn't about how much you have got. It's about being in a place where you can comfortably meet your current commitments while planning for future obligations, to allow you to enjoy your life," said ANZ Personal Banker Samantha Buchan.

"You can assess the state of your own financial wellbeing by taking five minutes to fill in the ANZ Financial Wellbeing Calculator on our website."

The simple assessment helps you know where you're at by finding out your financial wellbeing score. Once you know your score, you’re able to look at ways to improve your position by taking a suggested next step in the ANZ Financial Wellbeing Programme. 

If you feel like you're only getting by or just doing OK, that sort of thing might sound scary, but remember a lot of people are feeling the same way.

"Your financial wellbeing can be connected closely to your mental wellbeing. When the cost of living is rising things can feel challenging and you might feel like you're just staying afloat - that's OK and completely normal," said Buchan.

"It's important to remember that your bank is there to support you and work through options to help you feel more in control. When it comes to your finances you want to feel comfortable and confident and take into account future planning for things like rising interest rates and increases to the cost of living.

"If you're wanting to look at improving your financial wellbeing, the best place to start is to see what support you have available to you. On the ANZ website, our Financial Wellbeing Hub has some useful tools and ideas which could help change your money habits, in your own time and at your own pace no matter who you bank with."

If you want to undertake a deeper dive into your money situation with an expert helping you understand and plan, you could also reach out to professional services who can offer advice on budgeting and spending habits such as MoneyTalks.

"You can also get in touch with your local ANZ Branch to sit down with a Banker to go through an A-Z review to see if there's any ways we can help save you time and save money," said Buchan.

"That will allow us to understand what's important to you, your financial position and what your current and future goals are. This understanding helps us come up with solutions to help you achieve your goals faster, while maintaining your lifestyle but by also saving you money."

Key steps from ANZ's 6-step Financial Wellbeing Programme include:

  • Setting a savings goal and putting a bit aside each pay 

  • Planning your spend, understanding the balance between what's needed and what's wanted

  • Managing your debt

  • Organising your accounts

  • Planning for your future.

Your bank wants you to know they are there to help and you shouldn't be scared to ask for it.

Just like going to the doctor for a medical check-up or getting your vehicle's WOF, getting expert advice on your family's money situation should help bring peace of mind.

"If you've taken on board the steps to reach out to a professional, review your budget, and plan for the future this should make you feel more at ease with your finances," said Buchan.

"By reviewing your budget, you will have a better understanding on areas you could reduce or stop spending, while planning for your future allows you to have some funds put away for a rainy day. This should provide comfort amid the current environment or rising interest rates and living costs as you have some tools to help combat the effects on you and your family."

Article created in partnership with ANZ

This material is for information purposes only. ANZ recommends seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 296, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see