We all know that with takeaway shops and restaurants being shut during level 4 lockdown, we’re forced to save money. So with NZ starting to open back up across the country and level 3 being here for Auckland and other parts of the country too, now is the perfect time to take a look at your finances and see what saving tips level 4 can teach us.

Top Saving Tips During Lockdown

Even if your income is not 100% of what it was before lockdown, you may have found, like many of us have, that your paycheck goes a bit further than normal when you are not out and about. Now’s the perfect time to reassess where you are and set new savings goals for the months ahead. We’ve put together our best saving tips from lockdown and how we can take them into the future.

Remember, if you need a cash boost during this time (or anytime!), the friendly team at Instant Finance are ready to help. You can easily apply for a loan online and get a fast personal loan to help you out with that next purchase.

Top Tips to Boost Your Personal Savings 

Without having to travel to work, pay for childcare or being tempted by your favourite cafés or social events, you may have a little extra change in your pocket at the moment. While we may feel a bit restricted not being able to get a bite with family, a beer with friends, or take the kids to the movies, there are benefits too – the lack of those costs add up to extra in your bank account. Sooner or later we’ll be back to (almost) normal life and we don’t want those great money habits to fly out the window.

1. Reduce your expenses long-term

If there’s one thing that level 4 has taught us, it’s that we can live without takeaways, in-store browsing, and even things like reduced childcare expenses. The question is, can you live without some of these expenses long term? Maybe it’s a matter of eating out less or catching up with loved ones at home rather than going out to reduce your spending habits.

Remember that every dollar counts. Even if you’re only able to put aside $20 a week, that still adds up to $1,040 in the course of a year! Every cent you put into savings gets you a little bit closer to your goal. So no matter what the number is, don’t let that amount discourage you.

If you do need to purchase something, consider what you already have. Could you repair the washing machine instead of getting a new one, or mend your clothes instead of replacing them? If you can’t fix it, consider pre-loved or second-hand options – you can often find some great, reliable products in good condition on TradeMe or Facebook Marketplace to save a bit of coin. Check out our mates over at MyHome too – you can get great deals on homeware and entertainment products, all with a loan from Instant Finance so you can pay them off in weekly instalments. Win!

2. Save on interest by combining your debt

If you have multiple personal loans, they can be overwhelming to manage and you could be paying higher interest rates and multiple fees across some loans than you should be. Combining your debt into one loan simplifies your payments and helps you keep on top of how much you owe and when the repayments are due. Debt consolidation loans make budgeting easy too as you can predict what your repayments will be. At Instant Finance, we offer debt consolidation loans with fixed interest rates to give you some relief from multiple debts.

Find out more about our debt consolidation loans.

Debt Consolidation

3. Cook at home more often

Did you get into a cooking and baking groove this lockdown? Don’t let all your hard work and newfound skills go to waste! Keep up the good work in the kitchen with healthy dinners and snacks for your family then take packed lunches with you when you go back to work. You could even make this easier by meal prepping in the weekend or cooking extra portions of dinner so you have enough for the next day!

A slightly bigger grocery bill is going to take you much further than buying your lunches or hitting the bakery at morning tea – the $10-$20 you’ll save per day really adds up over a month and if the oven or stovetop's hot, why not?

4. Cancel memberships and subscriptions

Does lockdown have you paying for subscriptions you’re not using? Maybe you’ve realised you can work out at home rather than pay for a gym membership or that you’re really not using your Disney Plus subscription that you meant to cancel six months ago! Put some time aside to sit down and go through your bank statements each month and make sure you know exactly where your money is going. If there are any unused services you’re paying for, make sure you cancel them – they can be sneaky when they renew automatically.

5. Make saving automatic

If you do find you have some extra cash, start saving! Get onto your banks’ app or website and set up an automatic transfer to come out of your account on payday you won’t miss money you don’t see.

Another sneaky savings trick is to hide your savings accounts from view. You can always look at it when you want to, but you won’t be tempted by that money sitting there when you go to check your spending balance. Out of sight – out of mind!

6. Never give up!

The last and most important saving tip we have during and after lockdown is to never give up! Determination will get you a long way and sacrifice will all be worth it in the long run. It’s also important to remember that sometimes even the best intentions fall short so if you find you splurge, make sure you’re kind to yourself – that’s what will help you get motivated again and not see saving as a chore!

If your funds aren’t quite meeting the mark and you need a little cash boost for an essential purchase, help with your bills, or even if you want to splash out after lockdown, you can get in touch with our friendly team at Instant Finance. We can help you with a personal loan for whatever your purchase might be! Our online application process is fast and you can have money in your account just 24 hours after your loan’s approved.

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