SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Get back in the black this party season

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We are well and truly into summer and fast approaching the party season. With the endless Christmas parties and New Year's Eve, these are undoubtedly the year's busiest months on the social calendar.

All the extra fun and party frivolity, however, can end up putting a strain on the purse strings. Which is why keeping your hard-earned cash in a high interest savings account will ensure you continue to boost your bank balance while you kick up your heels.

There are a number of online savers offering rates above 5 percent at the moment, such as UBank's USaver with a maximum rate of 6.11 percent, or ING Direct's Savings Maximiser at 6.1 percent for four months (at the time of writing). Just be aware that to be eligible for bonus interest with some savings accounts certain conditions must be met. For instance, the USaver account requires a minimum monthly deposit of $200 to gain the bonus rate.

Of course there are hundreds of savings accounts out there, and the best way to find the one that suits you is by searching and comparing interest rates, fees, conditions and anything else on your checklist of requirements.

The great thing about a lot of these savings accounts is that they encourage you to set up regular contributions through direct debit. So you could be making fortnightly or monthly deposits into your savings, therefore boosting not just your balance but also the amount of interest you earn, while you boogie on the dance floor.

For example, if you start a UBank USaver account with an opening balance of $5000 and save $200 a month, you could earn over $380 in interest have a final balance over $7500 – more than enough to fund next year's festivities! To see how much you could save, try using a savings account calculator.

Term deposits are also a great way of making your money work harder, often paying more interest than a savings account. Unlike savings accounts, however, you may not be able to access the money for the duration of the term deposit (without penalty) – this can range from 30 days for a quick interest earner to five years for longer-term goals.

It is also likely that banks may introduce promotional rates or specials for the holiday season. Rather than wait, you should research the best options on offer right now, to ensure your money works hard while you party hard.