Budget, save, spend: How CAP Money changed one Kiwi’s life!

Elizabeth* is one of the many Kiwis whose life has been transformed by the CAP Money Course.

Before taking the course, she held a full-time and a part-time job, but still couldn’t make her finances work for her. In fact, she was working nearly 60 hours a week just to make ends meet.

“Before CAP Money, I used to just respond to emergencies – like the car, or the dentist – and I made no allowance for regular expenses. Life was stressful and I was always broke.

Instead of having money set aside in case I needed a tooth fixed, I just reacted when something happened. A lot of times, that meant my dental bill would be paid out of money I needed for food.”

1. Track expenses

On the first night of the course, Elizabeth saw just how quickly small purchases here and there add up over time.“ What I found was that I was spending up to $50/week onc offees and chocolate bars without really even realising it,” says Elizabeth.

2. Use Tools

To help track all of her incoming and outgoing money, Elizabeth started using CAP’s online tool – free to anyone who takes the course.

“CAP Money online has a line for every possible expense you should come across in a household. It made my budgeting so simple,” she shares.

3. Pay Cash

To keep better track of her money, Elizabeth draws out a week’s worth of grocery, petrol and pocket money in hard cash.

“I was skeptical because it seemed too simple, but it’s really helped me a lot,” she says. “It’s good because you can see exactly how much you have to spend.”

4. Set Goals

Setting savings goals is another cornerstone of the CAP Money Course –whether it’s for a holiday, a home or paying off debt! Elizabeth now has a five-year plan in place, and is moving towards her goal of putting down a deposit on a house. “I’d say within the next two to three years I’ll be ready to go!”

“The CAP Money course is such a service to New Zealanders; you meet others in the same situation and it’s free – which is the big difference. Without a doubt, I can say the CAP Money Course changed my life – and I’ve ditched the part-time job!”

*Name changed at request of interviewee