2 million kiwis are cracking their credit card spending

January 24, 2022, New Zealand – Kiwis are taking serious steps to manage their credit card spending, new research from financial comparison site Finder shows.

The nationally representative survey of 1,507 respondents found that more than half of Kiwis (55%) — equivalent to just over 2 million people — are taking steps to curb their credit card use.

More than 1 in 5 (21%) has set a spending limit on their card, while 1 in 10 (10%) keeps their credit card out of sight to avoid temptation.

Other creative ways people limit the urge to spend money include unlinking their credit card from their phone (5%) and cutting their card into pieces (5%), with 2% admitting to using their card in put the freezer in a block of ice.

Angus Kidman, Finder’s editor-in-chief in New Zealand, said some of these drastic measures may be funny, but there are more effective ways to manage your budget.

Hiding or even freezing your credit card is a bit like throwing out all the goodies in your house when you start a diet. It’s a short-term fix, but you’ll still be tempted to buy more when you hit the stores.

“Instead, try to take a long-term approach by thinking about how your credit card spending fits into your financial goals.

“If you find yourself impulsively reaching for the plastic when you’re in the stores, it’s time to start a budget.”

Kidman encouraged Kiwis to consider the 50/30/20 rule with their money.

“Here, 50% of your income goes to crucial accounts such as rent and groceries, 30% is for ‘fun’ such as new clothes and dining out, and the other 20% goes directly into your savings account.

“You can also ask your bank to lower your credit limit. This removes the temptation to spend more than you can repay at the end of the month.

“Switching to a low-interest credit card is a smart move for those months when you’d otherwise struggle to pay off everything.

“Remember, credit cards can save you money by giving you points for flights and groceries — as long as you pay off your balance at the end of each month.”

As of October 2021, there was $2.9 billion in outstanding interest-bearing debt nationwide, down 12% from the previous year.

The Finder survey found that 27% of Kiwis do nothing to manage their credit card spending, while another 27% don’t have a credit card.

Millennials (74%) are the most likely to reduce their credit card spending, compared to 43% of Gen X.

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