Household incomes are improving but only slowly from the impact of Covid-19.
The Commission for Financial Capability has conducted a survey on New Zealanders' financial wellbeing six months after the first lockdown.
It's found blue collar households and those reliant on income from traditionally female dominated jobs such as caring have been the hardest hit.
Retirement commissioner Jane Wrightson told Tim Dower more people are recovering lost income, but it doesn't mean people should splurge on Christmas.
There's no point pushing out the boat, when the next few months won't be easy. People do need to be careful."
Wrightson says people who've taken on different credit arrangements this year - like mortgage suspensions - need to be particularly prepared for when that finishes.