There's good debt and bad debt
Good debt is when you borrow to invest and your investment produces more income than the cost of the borrowing. It’s also good debt if, despite the borrowing costs, the investment is likely to increase in value after you have invested.
A student loan is also generally considered to be good debt, as it should enhance your career prospects.
Bad debt happens when you borrow to invest but the value of the investment declines over time, or if you borrow to fund your lifestyle. Bad debts include things like a car loan or borrowing money to pay for an overseas holiday.
It isn’t always possible to avoid bad debt, but it’s worth trying to minimise it. And if at all possible, avoid credit card debt that can easily spiral out of control with such high interest rates.
Know your debt options
Whether it’s a mortgage on the family home, a loan for the new car or an unpaid credit card, debts come in different varieties.
Here are a few steps to help you get on top of what you owe:
- Understand the nature of your debts - which are good debts and which are bad debts?
- Understand the terms of your debts - some debts may be more flexible than others, so it helps to thoroughly understand the terms.
- Look into which debts are the most expensive or the riskiest - this will help you prioritise to decide which one to reduce first.
Prioritising your debt
Prioritising your debt means identifying the ones costing you the most in interest, penalties or fees, then addressing these debts depending on which one is the most expensive or has the highest chance of you missing a repayment. This can help you stay ahead of your debt and minimise the fees and charges you pay.
Consolidating your debt
Over time, it’s easy to build up small debts here and there. Individually, they may not seem like a lot, but it may mean you’re paying higher interest rates and lots of extra fees, which can keep you in debt longer and really impact your lifestyle.
You may have the option of consolidating your debt. This means you put debts into one loan, with the goal of getting a clearer picture of what you owe and to cut down on paying multiple sets of fees.
A financial Adviser can help to understand your debt situation, and work with you to make a plan.
Change your spending habits to reach goals more quickly
If you want to do more with your money, making small changes to your spending habits can have a big impact over time.
- Keep track of where your money goes - try recording what you’re spending for a period of time. You may be surprised how much you spend on expenses like eating out or petrol.
- Look for room for improvement - with a view of your spending habits, you can consider options for reducing expenses. This might include cooking at home more often, or using your car less.
- Thinking long-term - it’s challenging to make drastic cut backs, so ease yourself into any changes. The idea is to make sustainable changes so you can keep them up long term.
By being more aware of where your money goes, putting together a plan, and cutting back on unnecessary spending you’ll be able to save more, without impacting the lifestyle you want.
A good way of saving for longer term goals, can be to invest in KiwiSaver. With KiwiSaver you may get member tax credits from the government. If your goals are a first home, or ultimately slowing down or stopping work after age 65, KiwiSaver can be a great way to help you save for your financial future.
Make the most of KiwiSaver
KiwiSaver is a work-based retirement savings initiative, set up by the government to help New Zealanders work towards saving a retirement nest egg.
KiwiSaver offers a range of benefits that you may be eligible for. Find out more about how to make the most of KiwiSaver.
Important informationShow more
AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the issuer and manager of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme (the 'Scheme'). The Supervisor of the Scheme is The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited.