Negotiating household costs, mortgage repayments and the weekly fuel bill has many New Zealanders scrambling to make ends meet.
Add in attempts to save, and the problem seems to triple in size.
And although thousands of Kiwis are battling to get ahead, there are a few things people can do to stretch out their funds.
Last week marked the country's first ever money week. Timed to coincide with the start of spring, the initiative aimed to help everyday New Zealanders carry out a financial "spring clean" to make the most of their money.
Financial Literacy and Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan says although many Kiwis shun the thought of money-speak, the benefits of having your finances in order reach much further than just your wallet.
Here's a few handy tips:
GET SOME GOALS
Crossan says people should break down what they want into short-, medium- and long-term goals.
Once this has been done, they can then make a money plan to achieve them.
"Although your goals won't all be about money, they will have a money component."
Short-term goals could be saving enough money to send your children on a school camp or buy new shoes.
A long-term one could be saving for a home.
Either way, having a set amount and deadline is important to keep your goals within reach.
SORT YOUR DEBT OUT
Looking at how much you owe and the level of interest on loan repayments will cost you less in the long-run.
Crossan says addressing high-interest debt should be at the top of everyone's list.
"Whether it be a credit card or a hire-purchase loan, it should always be the first thing you pay off."
Doing this means you will pay less in interest over time.
MAKE A BUDGET
Budgets tabling household spending will help manage family finances, which can often spiral out of control.
The New Zealand Family Budgeting Services Federation recommends:
Writing down what you are currently spending;
Balancing it against your income;
Seeing what the surplus or deficit is;
Highlighting where you can cut down.
Remember that it's important to be realistic and honest when you make your new budget.
USE ANY SAVINGS WISELY
If there is any extra money left over, people should put it towards their mortgage repayments or invest it in a savings account.
Crossan says this will reduce the amount of interest you have to pay on your home.
CHECK OUT YOUR INSURANCE
Regularly checking your insurance policy and payments will ensure things most important to you are protected, Crossan says. "Some people get insurance and roll it over each year, and then they might find their house is more valuable or they might be paying too much in some areas."
GET SOME HELP
Bankers' Association chief executive Kirk Hope recommends people seek professional advice on their finances.
The New Zealand Family Budgeting Services have centres throughout the country which offer free budget advice.
Advisers can also be contacted online and over the phone, and don't forget to visit sorted.org.nz for practical advice on how to get your finances sorted.