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Consumer NZ unveils guide to aid Kiwis in cost-of-living squeeze
Fri, 29th Dec 2023

Consumer NZ, the publicly servicing organisation, has introduced a new guide to assist New Zealanders in making significant savings in 2024. The suggestions come in light of the impending cost-of-living squeeze, forcing many to reassess their spending habits and search for savings wherever possible.

The first of the five steps begins with shopping for car insurance; the organisation found that a family of four could save approximately $672 a year by exploring other insurance providers. “While there is a perception that all car insurance is the same, there are some differences between policies which could save people money,” said Jessica Walker, Consumer communications and campaigns manager. Similarly, insurance premiums for younger individuals could draw a parallel drop in price.

Walker goes on to relay the story of a Consumer supporter, who informed them of their car insurance renewal requiring a whopping 75% increase in price. They found alternatives that offered the same coverage for $100 to $200 less, which did not include the additional excess for theft claims found in their previous arrangement.

Next, Consumer NZ turned its attention to Powerswitch, the independent service designed to help Kiwis find the cheapest power company and pricing plan for their needs. Walker recommends using this service annually to ensure users are paired with the most beneficial plan, and that this year, Powerswitch users saved an average of $385. It is a quick and painless process, comparing the market and coordinating the transition between providers.

Echoing the first step, Consumer NZ endorses a routine of shopping around for everything from power providers to your weekly shop, making price comparisons a priority for spending. Walker suggests using price-tracking tools such as The Grocer app, Gaspy, and PriceSpy. "Take a few minutes to find the cheapest prices out there and you could easily save up to $200 a year," she said.

In their fourth step, Consumer NZ advises a focus on energy efficiency. "The average household can save up to $500 a year simply by making some small changes around the home," Walker said. Their advice covered changes like washing clothes in cold water, taking quicker showers, and switching household appliances off at the wall.

The final step asks New Zealanders to critically review their subscription services. Walker mentions how easy it is to "set and forget", urging individuals to routinely audit the subscriptions they pay for. She said, "Don't forget to review the apps that auto-renew, too." However, she warns to check contract terms before making cancellations to avoid any unexpected break fees.

Consumer NZ's new guide is expected to make considerable strides in helping Kiwis combat the cost-of-living squeeze and save their hard-earned dollars in 2024.