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How can you save money?


With the cost of living tight and families feeling the pinch, we asked the Upskills team for their tried and true money-saving tips.


Leftovers for lunch

It’s a classic money-saving tip.  Julz knows her mum was right all along!  You have to get organised with batch cooking she says. If you’ve got hungry tummies at dinner, cook extra so there are leftovers for lunch the next day. Invest in a thermos for school-aged children to help them safely transport hot leftovers to school.   


If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind

So reckons our Programme Coordinator Rachel! She suggests setting up an automatic payment going straight into your savings account.  Tania agrees and recommends putting a small amount of money aside ($5) in a separate bank account. “After a couple of months, ask yourself, can I add more?  Put it up to $10 a week, and so on,” advises Tania.


Be honest about needs and wants

Facilitator Julz has a simple but sensible recommendation.  “If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.”  


Live without it for longer

Facilitator Mel’s advice is when any regular payments stop (e.g. daycare bills once kids start school), keep them going and direct them into savings as you were already living without this money. 


Buy seasonal produce

If you can, from local markets as it’s always cheaper.  In Auckland Mel recommends trying Otara, or Avondale markets.


Plan your meals for the week

This was the most common advice from our team for cutting costs.  Planning meals and doing food shopping with a list, then giving kids a choice of one thing under a certain dollar amount. This works for our Quality Advisor, Sharon.  


Buy second-hand school uniforms

Uniforms for kids can get pricey for school and sports activities, so check out the second-hand options. Sometimes Facebook groups sell second-hand uniforms too, says Sarah.    


Hit the school fairs

Annette, our facilitator in Dunedin, recommends hitting school fairs for clothing and other things at very reasonable prices.  She also encourages a minimal waste approach to vegetables – chop up anything that’s past its best for freezing ahead for winter soups. 


Check you have the best utility deals

Our learning and design manager, Saran recommends checking to see if you can get a better power deal. “The guy I rent office space from runs a service that compares power suppliers and they seem to be able to save people heaps per month” 


Remove temptation!

Tāmaki team member Shelly recommends an email clear-out to unsubscribe from store emails, so you don’t hear about special offers and sales to tempt you.   


Consolidate debt

General Manager Janeke’s advice is also simple: get your head out of the sand when it comes to debt.  “It’s not going away, so get smart about consolidating it to make it smaller. Talk to your bank to roll it onto a lower interest rate to pay it off.” 


Useful sites


Useful courses

Future Ready Money Confidence

Future Ready Money Confidence 2


Read more about managing money

Find out how to get Money Fit


Upskills Ltd.

Address: 93 Church St, Onehunga, Auckland 1061
Free parking: 120 minutes, Gerrard Beeson Pl.
Phone: 09 622 3979