Press Release

For immediate release

Rental payments are the top financial concern for Kiwis

        • Rent, groceries and energy bills the biggest causes of money stress
        • Baby Boomers most concerned about energy costs
        • Tips for managing your finances during the outbreak

30 April, 2020, New Zealand – Millions of Kiwis are anxious about their household finances according to new research by Finder, a global comparison site recently launched in New Zealand.

Finder surveyed 2,210 New Zealanders to find out which bills cause them the most stress. Rental payments took out the top spot, with 27% of Kiwis listing this as their biggest financial bugbear.

Consumer Price Index data shows that rental costs increased by 3.7% between March 2019 and March 2020.

Next on the list was the cost of groceries, with 26% of Kiwis feeling the sting from the supermarket. Household energy bills (21%) and petrol costs (20%) rounded out the top four causes of money stress.

Kevin McHugh, Finder’s publisher in New Zealand, said that a high cost of living means many Kiwis struggle to build sufficient savings.

“For many Kiwis, their expenses are equal to or greater than their income, causing a significant amount of money stress.

“Thanks to COVID-19, salaries have become increasingly volatile which makes it hard for households to plan for bills and budget.

“The good news is that petrol prices are falling to historic lows overseas. This should come as a welcome relief for drivers once we’re allowed to get out on the roads again,” McHugh said.

When it comes to the generations, energy costs are most acutely felt by Baby Boomers: 26% are most concerned about the cost of their power bills, compared to 11% of Generation Z.

Nearly one third of women (32%) said their grocery bill was their number one financial concern, compared to just one in five (20%) men.

McHugh said the fear of not having enough money can be paralysing and prevent people from taking action to improve their situation.

“One of the most important first steps is to compare your banking products to make sure you are getting the best deal – and it’s often worth the effort.

“As the fallout of coronavirus sets in and many lose their jobs, this is the time to review all of your products and bills, and save where you can.

“If the stress gets to be too much where you can’t make your payments, contact your lender or energy provider and let them know you’re in trouble as soon as possible,” he said.

Which bills cause the most financial stress?
Rent27%
Groceries26%
Energy21%
Petrol20%
Credit card17%
Mortgage17%
None of the above15%
Other8%
Personal loan8%

Source: Finder NZ survey

Tips for managing your finances during the outbreak

  • Build your emergency fund. Chances are you’re spending less than usual during this time. If possible, you should channel any extra funds towards your rainy day account to grow your savings.
  • Get your debts under control. If you get hit with financial stress because of the coronavirus, then your existing debts will only make it harder to stay in control. Extra money you’ve saved can go towards paying off your debts. Just be sure to prioritise urgent, high-interest debt over lower interest debt.
  • Find ways to make extra income. A side hustle can help to give your cash flow a boost. Sell unused items, drive or deliver food, take on freelance jobs online.
  • Get financial hardship support if you need it. Banks, lenders and other financial providers are offering hardship assistance schemes and may be able to help you negotiate reduced repayments or a temporary deferral.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Finder is a global comparison site, now available in New Zealand. Each month, 90,000 consumers turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. In New Zealand we compare credit cards, mortgages, travel insurance, shopping deals and more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has continued to expand and launch around the globe, with offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit https://www.finder.com/nz.

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