Household living costs rise 6.2%

Household expenses continue to bite, but there is a silver lining: prices are increasing at a decreasing rate.

The cost of living for the average New Zealand household rose 6.2% in the 12 months to the March 2024 quarter, according to Stats NZ.

That compares to 7.0% in December 2023, 7.4% in September 2023 and 8.2% in December 2022, the most recent peak.

You might be surprised to learn that these household cost increases are higher than the consumer price index (CPI) – which is the inflation statistic the media commonly reports, and which has fallen for five consecutive quarters:

  • December 2022 = 7.2%.
  • March 2023 = 6.7%.
  • June 2023 = 6.0%.
  • September 2023 = 5.6%.
  • December 2023 = 4.7%.
  • March 2024 = 4.0%.


The reason household living costs have been rising at a faster rate than the CPI is because the former includes mortgage repayments while the latter doesn’t.


7 ways to reduce your living costs

  1. Refinance your mortgage to a lower-rate loan.
  2. Pay down high-interest debt (credit cards and personal loans).
  3. Delete apps that encourage overspending, like Afterpay and Laybuy.
  4. Build a savings fund so you can shop with cash.
  5. Cancel subscriptions for services you never or rarely use.
  6. Shop around for better deals on your power, insurance, internet and phone.
  7. Reduce your water and electricity usage.



Published: 23/5/2024