Whether you’re concerned about your carbon footprint or just want to drive smarter, we can all save money on fuel consumption by following these simple tips. In fact, by sprucing up the way you drive and keeping your car in tip top condition you could save up to 20% on gas! If we were all able to make that change, New Zealand could save up to 620 million litres of fuel each year!
Here are some simple tips to help you save on fuel while you help save the planet!
- Keep an eye on your speed – You could save up to 10% of your fuel by simply reducing your speed by 10km/h.
- Reduce weight – Heavier cars use more fuel, so take heavy items out of the car when you’re not using them.
- Check your tyres – You can save fuel by making sure your tyres are at the right pressure. You can even look into Energywise approved, fuel efficient tyres which can save you up to 7% of your fuel.
- Reduce drag – Any storage units, bike or surf racks can have an impact on your car’s fuel efficiency. Remove them when you’re not using them to save on fuel.
- Check your driving style – Driving at an even and steady speed, and making sure to accelerate and brake smoothly, will save you on fuel.
- Look after your car – Regular servicing and wheel alignments will help you save money and also help your car run smoother, for longer.
- Watch the road – Look ahead, maintain a safe following distance and anticipate when to brake. This will save you fuel, as you’re not accelerating and braking as dramatically or as often.
- Reduce idling time – If you’re stopping for more than 30 seconds, turn your engine off to save fuel.
To get an idea of how much you could save on fuel, and more information on fuel efficiency, check out https://www.energywise.govt.nz/tools/fuel-economy for their great fuel economy tool.
- Drive Smarter This Summer And Save Money
- February 3, 2015
Summer is that time everyone seems to flock out of the city. Whether it’s to their run-down batch, a well-loved campground or just to spend some time with the grandparents, cities begin to resemble ghost towns. The beaches, once covered in brightly coloured towels and umbrellas, are barren and rolling tumbleweed wouldn’t go amiss.
This is the ideal time for you and your family to run amuck in the city that usually fills you with the inevitable traffic and parking anxiety. Plus this means you don’t have to worry about those long car drives or organizing children in early hours and your holiday budget can be stretched much further without accommodation and travel costs. Remember to have fun and relax! Take inspiration from the 1950’s where Americans would wear Hawaiian “Aloha Shirts” to escape suburban lifestyles and break away from the norm of everyday life.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your “staycation” this summer.
- Explore the area you live in! Head to your local council website to find information on local landmarks, regional parks and bush walks you probably never even knew were there.
- Send the kids to stay with grandparents or friends. This way your kids get a cheap change of scenery and you can spend some quality time with your partner, and re-spark that hopefully not too dormant romance.
- Make a ban on chores and other work while on your holiday. It can be tempting to get those household jobs out of the way while you have spare time, but it’s important you create a stress-free environment in your home so you can truly relax!
- Break up your day to day routine. Sleep in all morning and stay up all night if you wish! Treat this time as you would if you were staying in a hotel and don’t feel obliged to stick to your normal household times as this will take away from the holiday feel. If you feel like an afternoon nap, go for it, and don’t let knowing where all the clocks in your house are stop you from enjoying it.
- Make meal times just as exciting as they would be if you had a restaurant in your hotel/home. Have a Mexican fiesta one night and don’t worry about the mess until the morning, or order delivered food to your door step while you relax in bed. Have your partner bring you breakfast in bed or vice versa but think about it as a fun treat instead of an obligation.
- Hire a cleaner or a cook and really sit back and relax. It may seem like an unnecessary expense but compared to the price of a hotel, it’s a lot cheaper and will be worth it to get your well-deserved break from chores and make sure you really do relax in your time off.
- Do something exciting with your garden! Make a tree-house for your children, or create a water feature with a fish pond. Let your imagination run wild and have fun creating memories to look back on!
- Acquire a new hobby! If you’re anything like me, too much spare time can begin to feel monotonous, so immerse yourself in that hobby you’ve never had time for. Cool ideas are learning to sew, basic yoga sequences, learn a language or even try out a new sport like surfing! Lots of hobbies can be learnt for free online or with a book, so you can spend time not money.
- Pitch a tent in your backyard and pretend you’re camping in the wild. This is a great idea if you have children, give them the experience, minus the stress and inconveniences of no running water etc. Try to make everything as authentic as possible to really create the “wild” illusion.
- Stay home these holidays and save money
- January 13, 2015
Having a family is one of the greatest rewards in the world but most certainly isn’t free. When finances get tight, the solution is usually to either cut costs or increase income. So if you’ve already cut back the family budget, here are some cool ideas to help ease the pressure that the whole family can get involved in.
- Show off your skills in the kitchen by starting a part-time home-based catering business. Share those masterpiece birthday cakes with the world and make some money while you’re at it. You can even just start by advertising your beautifully baked goods on a free and easy Facebook page that your friends can like and share. Just make sure to research and comply with your local councils’ bylaws.
- Love animals? Well animal owners go on holiday too, and animal-sitting can be the perfect opportunity to get your animal fix, while making money! You can expand on the animal-sitting by offering dog-walking and bathing services too.
- Share your knowledge on something you’re clued up on! You could tutor school or university students, or even run your own class at your local Community Education programme.
- Hold a garage sale to make money while getting rid of household items you no longer need. If you live on a main road, put up a sign a few days prior, and make sure you have plenty of loose change.
- If you can’t move the products during your garage sale, or you just don’t have the time, list them on Trademe instead! This way you can sell your items closer to market value, and you can just sit back, relax and watch your items sell.
- Utilise spare bedrooms economically and rent them out. Especially good if the room is self-contained, has separate bathroom facilities, or if the room is already furnished, it will be worth more!
- Re-evaluate your transport situation. Do you need two cars, or could you survive on public transport? Sometimes it will actually even get you there faster, can be a lot cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about parking. If you don’t live close to public transport, then look at downgrading or even switch to a moped!
- If you live somewhere that has a lack of parking (so basically any central area of any city), look at renting your vacant car park out! Find out average weekly or monthly charges and advertise on your local community board and on Trademe.
- Start a market stall selling homemade crafts or show off your green thumb by repotting plants from your garden into decorated pots. Use your imagination and don’t forget to include your children in the fun.
If you’re still struggling to make ends meet, head to https://www.sorted.org.nz/ and check out their great tools to help organise your finances.
- Increase your family income with these great ideas
- January 6, 2015
As time goes on, we tend to experience more and more difficulties with our finances and how we are going to maintain a manageable lifestyle with our current income. Below are some common financial worries that you may be having with some solutions that will hopefully help you gain some perspective on what you can do to solve your financial woes.
What should I do if I lose my job?
People don’t realise that this could happen at any time, especially when you least expect it. If this is an issue that you find is keeping you up at night, there is something you can do to ease the stress. You need to prepare yourself for anything, if you lose your income, you could lose many other things in your life. You should be putting away a small part of your income into an emergency fund, this fund should be enough to last you 6 months without an income. This may take some time to reach it but it will be worth it if you end up really needing it.
Am I ever going to eliminate my debt?
The answer is yes. It may take some time and major effort to accomplish this if you have accumulated quite a bit of debt but it is possible. What you need to do it arrange your debt from greatest to least, keeping in mind the different interest figures. If you can organise your income to accommodate to your debt problem, you can start paying off some of the smaller ones so no more interest accumulates or you can start making more payments on the ones with higher interest.
How will I afford raising a child?
If you’re thinking about having children, you may want to consider sorting out some of our finances before. The best you can do is prepare yourself for all the extra costs, do not make the mistake of just jumping into parenthood and trying to figure it out on the way. You should take the time to save and balance your budget to accommodate the costs that you will be in your life. Try not to stress too much about what you are going to do, start planning and saving like the little baby has already entered your life. Being a parent entails that you will be responsible, reliable, and able to provide for your children, make sure you are a place in your life where you can be all of things and more. These are some tough questions that may not have foreseeable outcome in the near future for some, however, does not mean they need to continue to stress your life out. Take the time to organise, plan, and know your income and expenses. Enjoy your life and plan for the future so that financial stress is the last thing on your mind.
- Common Financial Worries That Have a Solution
- December 24, 2014
If you find yourself only using your phone for calls, texts, or social media, it may be time to look at some more impressive apps. There are multiple apps that you can use to actually compare prices of items that you are thinking about spending money. It may take some more effort, but it will be worth it if you can save some money.
The first is ShopSavvy, this app allows you to scan the barcode of a particular item and where you can find it the cheapest. Not only does it compare, but it will actually send you coupons, if there are any, for that item. There are other apps that are similar if this one does not work for you, for example, RedLaser is another app you can use to compare items.
If you are looking to find apps that will save you money on travelling you can download Trivago or Skyscanner. Trivago will compare a vast arrangement of hotels and try to narrow down the cheapest ones that you are looking for. When it comes to flights, Skyscanner will compare multiple airlines and find the best dates to fly for the cheapest flights.
When you are going food shopping, apps can be an effective tool to help compare prices and quality of certain items. The first must-have-app is the Grocery Exchange, which will allow you to see other food buyers post their own comparisons. You can also use an app called Consumr, which not only allow you to compare food but books, toys, and other objects.
If you can find at least a few apps that will potentially save you some money, they may be worth a try. It may be easier just to buy items without looking into where you can buy them cheaper but if you are really starting to struggle with money, try it out for a week and hopefully it will catch on.
- Best Apps to Compare Prices
- December 2, 2014
Even if you’re not close to retirement, it is still important that you start thinking about certain aspects behind what you are going to do while you are retired. You will almost be starting a new life when you decide to retire, so why not make the absolute best of it! Here are the 4 R’s that will lead you to begin thinking how you can make your retirement the best it can possibly be.
The first and a very important R to remember is maintaining your relationships. It may seem easy to preserve relationships because of all the time you will now have, but many people either move away or have new and different interests. You now have the time to also meet new people in your life but make sure that hold onto the important relationships as well.
The next R is resources, which in a sense, is money. When it comes down to enjoying your retirement, the key is having enough money to ensure you don’t have to go back to work. Make sure that your budget includes saving for your retirement, the more money that you have saved, the less stress you will feel.
Another R to consider is resetting your lifestyle. When some people retire, they end up getting stuck in the same routine all over again, which is not necessarily a bad thing. An option you may want to consider is organising your new retirement life into anything you want it to be. This is the point in your life where you can live a completely different lifestyle, so take advantage of it while you can.
The final R is making sure that you have a reason or purpose in your retirement. Once you are retired, a part of your identity is lost. You are no longer known by your job occupation, so it is important to find another title besides, retired. You can begin this by figuring out what you would to do with you new-found time, either by joining clubs, volunteering, or improving some of your skills.
Hopefully this has motivated you to become more excited about your retirement and start saving the money to have the exact retirement that you are looking for.
- Retirement with 4 R’s
- November 28, 2014
Your finances are something that needs constant care and attention, if you find yourself disorganised and not sure where to start when it comes to your money, hopefully some of these tips can help you begin the process.
One of the first things that you can start doing is thinking about a goal or item that is really worth saving for. Once you have chosen something, this will motivate you to begin saving your money rather than spending it. The reason for these goals is when you go to spend money on an item, you will remember how much money you need in order to get something that is actually worth more to you.
The next task that you should start thinking about managing is any debt that has accumulated in your finances. Getting rid of your debt can take some time and effort, but do your best to make this a priority but ensure that you tackle it the right way. Make sure that you do not miss any minimum payments, use the right tools to organise your payments, and say goodbye to spending your money on items that are not necessities.
Now when it comes to some necessity shopping, such as for groceries, there are some steps you may take in order to save money and keep your finances in order. Spending money can be a main reason you may find your finances out of control, the important thing to remember is to have a plan. Make sure you have a thorough list that allows you to buy the items you need without purchasing ones that you don’t. You should always take some extra time to find coupons before you go on your next trip, and try to plan ahead by buying bulk.
The last tip is to attempt to “do it yourself” projects around the house with the materials that you have. The easiest and most wasteful solution to solve some of the problems in your life is to spend money to fix it as quick as possible. If you are looking to get your finances in order, try your best to find other options before you spend too much on something that could have cost less. If you are looking for more financial advice, take a look at some of our other blogs or seek a professional, getting your finances in order is the first step to feeling better about your money.
- Tips for Getting Your Finances in Order
- November 25, 2014
It goes without saying that you are most likely going to be incredibly happy the day that you decide to retire. If you’re not even close to retiring now, you will probably feel stressed and anxious thinking about saving for retirement, but maybe you should take a second to think about how you are going to enjoy it.
One of the first things that you should do while you are retired is travel. I think it is fair to say that not many of us get to take a vacation any time of the year, especially with work and saving money. Take advantage of this new freedom and see the places you have always wanted to!
Another important idea that some people tend to focus on in their retirement is keeping busy. You can do this by either learning new skills or increase the ones you currently have. Retirement gives you the openness and freedom to do the activities that you love and most likely didn’t have time for.
Having said that though, this is also your time to start exploring different areas, retirement will give you the opportunity to discover things that you will actually really love. When you are busy with life, work, and a family, it can be difficult to have time to try new things, this is your chance.
To be fair though, you could actually spend your retirement doing absolutely nothing. The best part about retirement is you get to sit down and have a break from the constant stress and troubles that you have probably been dealing with since you started working. If you don’t feel like doing any of the above suggestions, then give yourself the chance to just kick back and enjoy your retirement anyway that you want. All you have to do is make sure that you have saved enough money so that you can afford to do whatever you please because you deserve it.
- How You Can Enjoy Retirement
- November 21, 2014
It is fair to say that a lot of us have jobs that are not necessarily our passions or what we thought we would be doing once we were all grown up. If you love your job and still want to make money from one of your passions, or you are prepared to leave your job for one of them, here are some tips to get you started. This is not encouraging you to quit your job unless you have a structured plan and know that you will be able to earn the income to support your current or future lifestyle.
The first is to teach someone everything you know about your passion, and of course, charge them for it. If you are sincerely passionate about something, it means you most likely love talking about it, so if it is something that you can teach, do it! You can even do this as a side job while you continue working. Make a post or market yourself to see if you can earn some extra cash and get to pass your knowledge on to someone else.
Another option is work on how you can use your expertise for your own leisure. What this means is that if you are passionate about films, travel, or another topic where you can take advantage of seeing things or travelling, why not go for it? People often get paid to review, critique, or give their opinion on certain things that you may actually have a true passion for. This could help you enjoy your passion and save money.
If you have a passion for creating things, why not look into starting your own business. Creating a website is easier than ever nowadays so it might be worth seeing if you can sell some of the items that you enjoy making so much. Once demand becomes high enough, you will be able to afford to create more, and with better quality materials. Even joining a club or group of people with the same passion can help get you started on making your passion into a steady income.
Funding your passions doesn’t have to be as hard as it may seem, all you have to do is get started!
- How You Can Fund Your Passions
- November 18, 2014
Although saving money has seemed to be taught to most of us since we started earning money, it still doesn’t mean that we actually do it. The major reason why people find themselves in debt is because they don’t know how to save their money properly. After reading this article, hopefully you will have a better understanding of the steps you need to take to start saving.
A common mistake that people find themselves making is that when they receive their pay, they often spend first and save after. You have to start getting into the habit of saving first and spending second because that way you are guaranteed a certain amount each pay instead of accidentally overspending what you should have been saving.
The other piece of advice is to keep your home and car simple. Do not think that you have to spend a lot of money on a car or a home, you can spruce up those items in cheaper ways to maintain a happier lifestyle without spending the cash to do so. This ties into keeping away from luxury items, you can always reward yourself after you have saved quite a bit of money but try not to spend too much on material items.
When it comes to spending money on clothes, do yourself a favour and find some cheaper options. Try not to do random shopping trips and only buy things that you really need, going to an op shop is another option if you are looking for designer clothes for a cheap price! Another idea you may want to consider is cutting your own hair. This may seem extreme and if you are unable to do so yourself, look for cheaper options rather than always going to the salon and spending way over budget.
The last few ideas have to do with how you are organising yourself financially. If you do not have a budget in place, make sure you start one as soon as possible. The best way to start saving money is having a budget and sticking to it. You should also be working on maintaining a good credit score and working towards fulfilling your goals. Apply some of these tips to your life and see if they help with your savings!
- How to Save Your Money
- November 11, 2014