Cost-of-Living: Three things you’re either doing or not doing that are costing you money

Are you lazy or a loyal? Is your Kiwisaver in a default fund or growth? Or do you need a change in attitude? These are the three things that you’re either doing, or not doing, that are costing you money according to Business Desk Editor Frances Cook.  

Despite inflation easing for the second consecutive quarter in June, the cost of everything is still soaring, and it’s hitting Kiwis in the pocket.  

Cook says these simple mistakes are costing Kiwis money, but they are easy to fix. 


Top of the list is negotiating your household bills.  

Cook says power, internet and phone bills are often more negotiable than Kiwis realise.  

"New Zealanders often pay more than other countries simply because we are too loyal," Cook says. 

Over time, she recommends picking one regular bill per evening and seeing if you can find better deals.  

"Call up your current provider and ask them to match them, or do a better deal," Cook says, "often you can save hundreds a year per bill." 

"I don’t know if it’s a loyalty tax, or a lazy tax." 


300,000 New Zealanders are in a default KiwiSaver schemes, and while Cook says they aren’t necessarily bad, you could be doing better.  

She says a lot of people just sign up to KiwiSaver, get put in a default scheme and they give it no further thought.   

"I looked at what would happen if I changed from a default fund to a growth fund, it was $200,000 difference, with no extra money from me," Cook says.  

She recommends using a tool like Sorted’s KiwiSaver Fund Finder to get the best results.  


Cook’s final tip is to educate yourself. 

"Don’t tell yourself you’re bad at money, you just weren’t taught." 

She uses the analogy of swimming.  

"If you meet a kid and they didn’t know how to swim, you wouldn’t judge them because none of us were born to swim, we go down to the pools and we learn,” Cook says, “most of us just aren’t taught about money." 

"There are simple solutions if you go look for it." 

Watch the full interview with Business Desk Editor Frances Cook above.