11 December 2006
Media release – for immediate release
Financial Prescription for a Happy New Year
People tempted to spend too much over Christmas are urged to think about the January hangover that may follow.
Traditionally retail spend lifts by about a billion dollars in December* - 27% more than other months, says Blair
Vernon, Bank of New Zealand General Manager Personal Financial Services.
“We encourage all New Zealanders to take control of their finances and think carefully about their spending in the
Raewyn Fox, chief executive officer of Family Budgeting Services says it’s important that families don’t suffer in the
long-term as a result of short-lived good times at Christmas.
“The desire to provide expensive gifts and holiday treats can make January difficult and stressful for many families.
Basic budgeting is fundamental to not overspending. Regardless of circumstance, we would suggest planning in advance how
you’re going to spend. Set a budget and stick to it,” says Fox.
“If you need help working out a budget, speak to a budget advisor who can assist with planning budgets, not only when
things go wrong. There are budget advisors in every major town. To contact your local budget service look in the Telecom
White Pages under ‘Budget Advice Services’.”
It is important that people make their money go as far as possible, says Vernon.
“Two simple and effective things that people can do to better manage their money and lower their interest costs are:
- Switch to a low interest rate credit card – for those who think they are unlikely to pay their credit card off in full
- Consolidate high interest debt into a personal loan or low interest rate credit card – for those who have a number of
HP or store card debts.
“It’s important to lower other interest costs when home loan interest rates are not expected to fall significantly
anytime soon,” says Vernon.
“If any customer finds themselves getting into difficulty - at any time of the year - we invite them to come in and
arrange for a free review of their banking arrangements. There are simple things that we can do to assist, like
arranging for a one-month home loan holiday, or a top-up on a home loan. We can also make sure that the customer is on
the most cost-effective account structure.”
*Retail spend in November 05 $3.7bn, December 05 $4.7bn source: Statistics New Zealand.