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Sticking to a regular savings plan is a great way to achieve your goals and get your finances sorted. In most cases, it’s better to save for things than to go into debt to buy them. And thanks to the power of compound interest, the longer you leave your savings the bigger they grow.

Set realistic saving goals

If you’re serious about saving, it’s important to set realistic goals.  Often savings plans don’t succeed because people are too ambitious.  There are many ways you can be tempted to break your plan.  Once you have done it once, it is easier to ignore the plan at the next temptation.

If you can afford it, it's a good idea to leave a little bit in your budget for a ‘temptation fund’. That way you can have the occasional splurge without sacrificing your hard-earned savings.

Work out your realistic savings budget with the money planner.

Start small and stick to a plan

Tip: Keep it simple, set realistic goals and you’ll watch your money grow.

If you save regularly, even the smallest amount can turn into serious money through the power of compound interest.

Learning to be a regular saver is a giant leap towards having enough money for the things you want. There are three key things you need to do:

  • Work out your savings goals – whether it’s buying a house or going on holiday.
  • Start saving now – the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get there.
  • Have a clear plan to keep your saving on track.

When you’ve worked out your savings goals, use our savings calculator to help you get there as fast possible.

Ondine Grace

Ondine Grace has to pinch herself sometimes when she realises that she has bought her first home in Dunedin at just 20 years old. Her friends are astounded.

Read more about Ondine Grace

Open a savings account online

Setting up a savings account online can take as little as five or ten minutes, but there are different kinds of accounts to choose from. Generally you’ll want the one that earns you the highest interest and charges you the lowest fees. Some savings accounts require you to keep a certain amount of money in them, and some have set-up costs.

You can find interest and fees information on your bank’s website. You can also compare interest rates and savings account details at

Make it automatic

Once you’ve worked out how much you can afford to save, set up an automatic payment so the money goes into your savings account on pay day.

Or ask your employer to set up a salary deduction so the money goes directly from your pay into your savings account or retirement fund rather than your regular bank account.

KiwiSaver and other workplace savings schemes work this way – your contributions come out of your pay before you see it. And what you don’t see, you don’t miss!

We call this ‘paying yourself first’.

The power of compound interest

Compound interest supercharges your savings because you earn interest on interest. The longer you leave your money, the more powerful the compound interest effect.

Find out more about compound interest.

Saving for retirement

Saving for your retirement is easy to put off. But retired people who are now enjoying the benefits of their own savings will say that starting regular saving early was one of the best decisions they ever made.

Find out more about retirement plannng.

KiwiSaver is an easy way to save for retirement. It can also help you save for a first home.

Find out more about KiwiSaver.

Saving for an emergency fund

It's a good idea to put money aside for emergencies. Ideally you should aim to save up the equivalent of three months’ expenses – but every little bit helps.

Keep your 'rainy day' fund separate to your savings and everyday accounts.

Saving for an event

If you’re saving for an event, like your wedding or a family member’s birthday party, use our event planner. You can list all the things you’ll need to pay for and work out how much you’ll need to save.