Summer hacks and apps to help you make the most out of our awesome Kiwi summer

It’s your time to shine

We’ve put together a selection of some of the best hacks and apps to help you glide through the summer months. From clearing your mind and relaxing, to improving your health, achieving goals and taking control of your finances. Read on to find some gems to help you get through Christmas in one piece while giving you a little peace.

App-y holidays

Calm

Apple’s App of the Year 2017 is still setting the mindfulness benchmark, with everything from 10 minute 'Daily Calms' to relaxing bedtime stories to set you up for a good night’s sleep. Calm offers specific support for a variety of mental challenges, but what really sets it apart is its addictiveness. It’s a paid app, but well worth the outlay. calm.com

Campermate

Hitting the open road in a campervan is the ultimate freedom and if you’re planning to camp or self-drive these holidays, the Campermate app should be your next download. A handy navigator, this app allows you to find the locations of all of New Zealand’s campsites, free wifi spots, public toilets, supermarkets, petrol stations, hostels and more. campermate.co.nz

UVLens

New Zealand has the highest skin cancer rate in the world, so this summer, make sure you and your family are protected with UVLens - a phone app that monitors UV levels and burn times - especially on overcast days when you might not wear sunscreen. Created by 2015 AMP Scholarship winner Daniel Xu, UVLens is free and it could be a lifesaver. uvlens.com

Smiling Mind

Kids can benefit from mindfulness exercises as much as adults and making mindfulness available to everyone from the age of 7 is what this free app is all about. Developed by healthcare professionals and psychologists, Smiling Mind has been downloaded over 3 million times with a goal of reaching million young people by 2020. A healthy experience for the whole family. smilingmind.com.au

Summer smarts

Making good on your goals

Goals. Like that classic Seinfeld episode says, they’re easy to make and harder to hold. So if you’ve been thinking about your resolutions for 2019, here’s a simple hack that can help you stay the course.

Every month, set yourself just three behaviour-change targets that you can stick to for 28 days. It doesn’t matter how small they are - it’s the sticking to it that counts. At the start of the month, write down each goal with a sentence about why sticking to it will improve your life. Then every day, start by re-reading your three goals and reasons. It’s the repetition that makes the goal stick and if you can make it to 28 days, chances are you’ll see through your goal.

Finding your perfect fit

At the end of the day, even the greatest fitness app in the world is of no use without your commitment. But if you feel that you’re ready to make positive changes to your health and fitness, there are some great tools available to help with planning, nutrition and that all-important one, motivation.

With the ability to track pretty much everything, MapMyFitness might seem a little daunting at first, but it offers amazing level of connectivity to your phone, fitness tracker and even some brands of smart shoes! If running or cycling is your thing, check out specialist app Strava.

Google Fit and Fitocracy offer a great range of free features as well as more personalised paid options, depending on your needs.

Getting financially fit

When you feel like you’re in control of your financial wellbeing, there’s often a noticeable flow-on effect with your outlook on life. Sometimes it just takes the right advice and a few small changes to make a difference. Make a start today by taking our Financial Fitness Test.

Blair Vernon, our Managing Director, knows a thing or two and he recently put together a series of videos, covering all aspects of money management and financial planning. A good place to start for the holiday season is Blair’s tips on budgeting. As Blair explains, you can still enjoy your money while ensuring that you have the important things covered. Check out the video here.

Once you’ve made the commitment, there’s are several great apps that can help you create your budget and really stick to it (that’s the important part). Check out Mint or YNAB (which stands for You Need A Budget!).