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personal finance

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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Why being a credit ‘deadbeat’ is actually a good thing

Are you a deadbeat? When it comes to credit cards, that’s actually a good thing. Yep, a ‘deadbeat’ is a term for someone who pays off their credit card in full and on time every month. Why a deadbeat? Well, if you pay off your card each month, the credit card company doesn’t charge you interest  –  so they won’t make any money off you. (Credit card companies also use the much more polite terms ‘non-revolver’ and ‘transactor’.) As a…

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Man breaks ceiling drywall while doing DIY
Insurance own-goals: Mistakes that lead to declined claims

We love to hate insurance companies. But they do pay most claims. The trouble is that a lot of us don’t understand the basic concepts of how insurance works and we get caught by some mighty expensive fishhooks. Imagine this scenario. You borrow mum’s car, but crash it while dropping a mate home. “No worries”, you say, “mum’s insurance will pay the claim”. The claim is declined because you breached your restricted licence by carrying a passenger. What are you…

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Female cutting her fringe
I cut my own hair for seven years (and saved nearly $4,000)

Yep, you read that heading right. (Welcome to the Credit Simple blog, where I confess all my deepest, darkest money secrets.) For seven years, I cut my own hair. Of course, it’s not as drastic as it sounds, but the end savings result is rather gobsmacking. For seven years when I was in my twenties, I DIY’ed my tresses. Why? Well, I’m slightly introverted and I hate the small talk you have to engage in at the hairdresser. I’ve also got…

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Man using ATM outdoors
Does your bank reckon you should have your KiwiSaver with them, all under one roof? Read this first

I banked a cheque the other day (yes, I know! Some people are still using cheques) and as I stood there at the counter, the teller asked me if I had my KiwiSaver with the bank. “No, it’s elsewhere,” I said. “Why don’t you bring it to us?” he asked. “Because I’m with Simplicity and their fees are lower,” I said. (More on that here.) “But you should have your KiwiSaver with your everyday bank,” he argued. Now this made…

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Drones flying
Five ways technology can save you money

Robots – artificial intelligence, chatbots, robo-advisors and the rest – are big news in the banking and finance industry. Packaging financial smarts into a programme or algorithm looks like a great way for big banks, insurance companies and airlines to help guide customers through complicated decisions and save (the company) money along the way. It’s early days though, and chatting with a robot can sometimes feel a bit like, well, chatting with a robot. Take this experience I had the…

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Swiping right on Tinder? Watch out for STDs. (That’s Sexually Transmitted Debts)

It’s the great untold illness of personal finance. That’s sexually transmitted debts (STDs). It’s bad enough to build up your own debt. But when shack up with someone else you often take on their debt as well. It’s easy to do. You spot someone across the bar, or on Tinder. The next thing you’re wildly in lust and then you become one. Bet you didn’t ask how big his or her debt was before falling head over heels for the…

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In the market for a credit card? Check out our credit card matrix before you decide

What’s the best credit card for you? Chances are it’s not the one (or ones) in your wallet. We Kiwis are terrible at trying to justify our credit card choices. We come up with all sorts of ‘facts’ to confirm our poor decision. If you have an open mind, however, and navigate the complex matrix that is credit card choice, you are the one who will reap the rewards. When it comes to the matrix of credit card choice, the…

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Man behind trolley in supermarket
600,000 Kiwis are taking advantage of this money hack – are you one of them?

Recently I heard a story about a turkey who fills up his car with $40 worth of petrol, hangs up the pump, pays for it inside, then immediately fills up with another $40 and goes back in and pays for that too. He reckons he’s getting a better deal by hacking the AA Smartfuel system. There was much eye rolling and sighing at this seemingly silly caper. But it turns out this turkey is one of 600,000 Kiwis (not turkeys)…

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Five ways to hack your mortgage and put money back into your own pocket

Big mortgages are daunting. Many Kiwis pay almost as much in interest than the entire value of their home. The faster you can say “goodbye, mortgage”, the less your bank will make out of you and the more money will stay in your pocket. Try these clever hacks to cut the amount the bank makes off your mortgage. Better to keep that dosh in your back pocket than pay it to the bank. Hack 1 Make fortnightly payments If you cut…

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