Women talking

Understanding money and finance

There is so much advice and information on how to increase your income, how to invest it, and how to spend it! The simplest rule is to live within your means. That is, spend no more than you earn. And if you have any left over after bills and other essentials, save some of that for a long-term goal, like a holiday, the kids’ university fees or a deposit for a house.  

Making a budget is a good first step to controlling the family’s money. The Sorted website has calculators you can use to start managing your money.     

Most of us use credit cards or loans to help us get things we want. But be careful to read any conditions or interest fees. You may end up paying twice as much as the cost of your purchase, once interest is added on. If you do have a credit card, try to use it only when really necessary and pay it off in full every time you get a bill.  

Talk to your bank about putting some money into a savings account – often if you leave the money alone each month you can earn extra interest.  

The Kiwi Families, NZ Families and Understanding Money websites have some helpful ideas about managing your money and budgeting with a family. Another helpful site is Australia's FIDO.

To find out more about income tax, see the Inland Revenue website. You may be eligible for tax credits through the Working for Families.