Top five ways to save money in 2024 according to Consumer NZ

Saving tips for 2024
Saving tips for 2024 Photo credit: Getty Images

If you're on the hunt to hack your finances this year, Consumer NZ has just released their tips for better holding onto your bucks in the new year.   

Changing car insurance topped the list, with Consumer NZ finding switching providers could save hundreds of dollars per year.   

Jessica Walker, Consumer communications and campaigns manager, said while there is a perception all car insurance is the same, certain policies can hike up the cost.  

"We found that a family of four could save up to $56 a month, that's just over $672 a year, by shopping around for their car insurance."  

She added younger people could save up to $38 a month and older people an additional $40.   

She also said to be wary of price increases, with a consumer supporter alleging her insurance renewal increased by 75 percent in 2023.  

The second recommendation was to use Powerswitch - an independent service that helps you work out which power company and plan is cheapest for your household.  

"Power prices change all the time, so we urge New Zealanders to use Powerswitch every year to make sure they're on the best plan to meet their needs," Walker said.   

If you do decide to move, the power companies take care of the admin making it a very easy way to budget, she added.  

This year the average savings for Powerswitch users was $385.  

Another consumer tip was to shop around.   

Shopping around for the best price should be a blanket rule for all big costs and purchases and shouldn't be limited to insurance and power providers.  

Walker encourages Kiwis to make the most of free price-tracking tools for everyday essentials.   

"In August this year, we did a price spot check on fruit and vegetables, comparing prices between the supermarkets and a roadside produce seller. We found a 55 percent price difference for lettuce, 57 percent price difference for spring onions and 91 percent price difference for watermelon.  

The grocer app is a great tool for finding the best supermarket deals, but Consumer also recommended Gaspy for finding cheap fuel and Pricespy for a lot of household items and furniture.   

She said comparing options could easily save Kiwis up to $200 a year.   

Being energy efficient is the next thing that should be on Kiwis 2024 goals, with Consumer NZ revealing the average household could save up to $500 a year by simply making some small adjustments around the home.   

Washing clothes in cold water could save over $100 a year with the click of a button and is one of many nifty little hacks that can help you save big.   

"Taking 5-minute showers can save up to $260 per person per year. Switching appliances off at the wall can lead to savings of more than $100 per year," said Walker.  

And finally, monitoring your subscription services, which can very easily sneak up on you.   

"We all tend to set and forget. Do an audit of the subscriptions you pay for to figure out which ones are no longer providing you with value. Don't forget to review the apps that auto-renew, too.  

This doesn't mean canceling completely, but even downgrading plans or searching for a cheaper alternative.