Retailers spend a lot of money trying to lure you into buying things you don’t need at Christmas.
If you ask people what Christmas and the holiday season is really about, most will say relaxing and spending time with family – not spending loads of money.
So dodge the debt this year by staying away from the shops and reminding yourself that you and your family need a happy, debt-free summer.
There are lots of organisations around the country that can give you and your whānau free budgeting advice. The advice is completely confidential.
Most of these organisations are part of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services.
You can find one close to you. Just go to familybudgeting.org.nz, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call freephone 0508 283 438 – your call will be answered by a budget advisor Monday to Friday, from 8.00am to 4.30pm.
Like any heating option, heat pumps give the best energy savings when they’re used wisely.
Heat only the spaces that you’re actually using and shut doors and curtains to keep the heat in the room. The heat pump recirculates air, so it has to work harder if more cold air keeps coming into the room.
Don’t have the temperature higher than you need it – set it at 18° to 22° Celsius while you’re at home, and if you run it overnight turn it down to 16° Celsius.
New Zealand now has more electricity retailers than ever before, which means customers can get good deals.
It’s worth looking at www.whatsmynumber.org.nz to compare the different options available. You could save more than a $100 each year. If you don’t have access to the internet, ask your local Citizens Advice Bureau to check your options for you.