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Francis Church

Fatten up your finances with the Three Naughty Things rule
Increase your savings with these three tips.

Ever been on a diet? A really strict diet? Chances are, you went crazy about all the things you couldn’t have, felt way too restricted, and had a blowout with a tray of donuts and a one-litre tub of salted caramel gelato. (No? Oh… OK, just me then.) Your finances are a bit like a diet, only in reverse: if you succeed, your bank account is the thing that gets fat. But just like being on a diet, if you’re…

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5 hobbies you don’t have to spend a fortune on

Everyone wants to go fishing without spending money, right? But how do you manage that? You need fishing rods and tackle, a boat (or a lucky spot on the coast) and bait. If you’re new to the game, you’ll have to invest in the equipment, and that expense can really add up. Taking up a new hobby on a budget is possible, but it requires forethought. We all want to try new things (golfing, fishing, off-roading) but don’t have the…

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5 things to remember about your finances when travelling

How long can you really afford to travel for? It’s a tough question to ask yourself, because ideally you’d constantly be jet-setting around the world and having a great time, but it’s unlikely that you can afford that. Even taking a month off can be a struggle when your income stops but the bills don’t. That’s why it’s vital you remember exactly what you have to pay for even when you’re not in the country, or staying at your home.…

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Using a credit card for everything? There are other ways to pay

Don’t believe you have to have a credit card. Paying interest sucks. It sucks the lifeblood out of your finances. That’s because unless you clear your entire bill within the interest free days, you pay interest. That interest means you’re paying as much as 22.95% more than your mates at the mainstream banks for the same things, which has a detrimental effect on your finances over time. Other (cheaper) ways to pay Thankfully there are way more credit-free ways to…

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Budget Betty: How much could you save by being smarter with your shopping?

Are you throwing money away every week on your shopping? Maybe you’re committing the Seven Supermarket Shopping Sins? Think online shopping for clothes you absolutely don’t need, or popping into a nice store because you like the look of something in the window and then walking out having spent $300. It’s okay – we’ve all been there. But putting thought into saving money on your grocery shopping can help you to keep your bank account healthy, which means you’ll have…

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‘Rate my tenant’ – what does your landlord know about you?

Did you know how landlords score you and why you should care? We caught up with Ian Barker, managing director of Tenant Information NZ (TINZ), to answer some frequently asked questions about your information, privacy, and rights, and how tenants can view their file. Tell us about TINZ and how my landlord might use it? TINZ is a tool developed for landlords to help landlords and property manager screen tenants.  The search returns data from 15 different databases and uses verified…

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Has Cupid’s arrow struck? Don’t date your way into debt!

We know your new girlfriend or boyfriend wants to go out every Friday. Even two drinks each, some snacks and an Uber ride home could set you back $50. It’s dead easy to blow $100 if you throw food in as well. What’s more, dating can send your credit score south. Fast. Let’s say you spend $150 a week going out, $300 a couple of times a year on a weekend away, $200 on his/her birthday, and flowers or chocolates…

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Power to the people! Want an alternative to your big electricity provider? We weigh up the pros and cons of the small, non-profit, and innovative power companies

Do you get worried when you receive your monthly power bill? Electricity and gas prices can be eye-wateringly expensive for some people. What’s more, the big companies want, naturally, to make as much profit as they can. There are alternatives.  In fact 48 brands from 32 parent companies are vying to offer their service to you. Some have quite different business models to the big incumbents. Power to the people: not-for-profit providers Did you know, for example, you can sign…

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How to get a better deal on your electricity bill. Power to the people! Here’s why you should shop around

We all want to save money on our power bills. Mine is eye-wateringly expensive. But I’m sure plenty of Kiwis can be just as apathetic as me and never quite get round to using What’s My Number and all those other switching sites. Okay, okay. I have switched phone, power and so on over the years. But I don’t do it anywhere near as often as I should. It’s as easy as calling the 0800 number When I’m feeling lazy,…

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Sick of paying through the nose for power? Here’s how to switch (and save)

Switching power companies sounds straightforward. And it is. So don’t let me put you off. It’s just not quite as simple to get the best deal from electricity and gas suppliers as it appears in the adverts. Armed with a bit of knowledge, however, I promise you it’s almost impossible not to find a better deal. Unless, that is, you’ve already switched in the past few months. Step 1: Choose your site There is a bunch of switching websites that…

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