9 DIY ideas that will save you money

9 DIY ideas that will save you money

If you find yourself with more time on your hands than spare money, it may be worth learning how to DIY some of your daily essentials to help boost your savings.

Making things that you usually spend your disposable income on for less money than if you had purchased them will not only help your bottom line but give you a great sense of accomplishment.

While taking on DIY projects is an investment of your time it will free up your cash to put towards longer term savings goals. Here are nine things to start making or doing yourself:  

Cleaning products

Not only will making your own cleaning products save you a whole lot of money in the long run, it’s also a great way to eliminate harmful chemicals from your household and replace them with something a little more natural. There are recipes online to make everything from toilet cleaner to wool wash and most of them use everyday household products such as bicarbonate soda and vinegar as their base. The best part is that you can customise your products using essential oils for different scents, depending on what you like.  

Beauty masks

Before there were reasonably accessible day spas and Sephora stores across the world, women would use natural remedies to keep their skin fresh, blemish free and young. There’s no reason that hundreds of years of natural wisdom should go to waste now, especially when making your own home face masks is just as effective and way cheaper than what’s available in stores. Common kitchen ingredients such as yoghurt, honey and avocados double as beauty basics that will help keep your skin soft and clear.

Haircuts

This is a risky DIY project but for those of us who have relatively easy haircuts to maintain, and a loved one who’s willing to help out, a home haircut could help save hundreds of dollars a year, if not more. This DIY project is particularly good for people who have a fringe that needs constant maintenance or a shaved hairstyle that can be kept clean with a pair of clippers at home.

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Lunches

The temptation to buy a delicious takeaway meal for lunch can be very real for many workers who look forward to it as the highlight of their day. Even though we know that a DIY lunch will save us money, and most likely help our waistline, it might just never seem worth it. The answer to this dilemma is simple: spend time planning lunches that you actually want to eat. If you put in the effort to make meals that you like at home, rather than slapping together something at the last minute that you aren’t interested in eating, you will find that taking your own lunch to work isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Gifts

If you have a skill that can be turned into a gift then you should count yourself lucky and make good use of it. Whether it’s sewing, woodwork, photography or whatever else, making a personalised gift for a loved one is a great way to show you care. While you may end up saving some money as a result, the gift will still take up your time and effort which is a great way of showing the thought and love that went into it.  

Vegetables

A DIY veggie patch is a great way to reduce your weekly grocery bill and minimise your impact on the environment. By getting back to nature and growing in-season vegetables you’re reducing your ecological foot print by cutting out the travel emissions of your food coming to you and the packaging involved. If starting a full blown veggie patch seems a bit beyond you then you can always pick up a variety of herbs from your local nursery and start there.

Coffee

If you made your coffee at home or work every morning, how much would you save? Depending on your level of coffee addiction the answer will vary but for most people, investing in a coffee machine set up could lead to serious savings over time. While it is often the ritual of going out for a coffee in the morning that keeps us going back to the habit, replacing this with a short walk could help with undoing this purchasing routine.

Fertilizer

Once you’ve established your DIY garden and are making DIY coffee at home, you will have unknowingly started your own coffee grounds fertilizer factory. The left over grounds from your machine are great for use in compost or in the garden as they help to improve drainage, water retention and attract microorganisms like earthworms to your veggie patch.

Soda

If you have a soda water or soft drink habit, chances are you’re spending a good chunk of money a month paying for it. Much like coffee, switching to a DIY soda maker that you can keep in the office or at home will be an investment that will pay itself off quicker than you may think. 

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How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

Should I open a Commonwealth locked savings account?

If you have trouble saving money, a Commbank locked savings account could be a potential solution. A locked savings account won’t let you make withdrawals and as such, it can help you grow your savings balance if you keep topping it up. 

The Commonwealth locked savings account advertises high-interest rates and minimal maintenance fees, along with a host of other incentives that will encourage you not to touch the money. 

The account offers a higher interest rate for each month that you make limited or no withdrawals, as well as regular deposits. 

To qualify for a Commonwealth locked savings account with the advertised features, you will need to fulfil specific criteria such as:

  • Depositing a fixed minimum amount into the account every month.
  • Making a fixed number of deposits each month.
  • Making a minimum or no withdrawals each month.
  • Maintaining a minimum account balance.

Can you have multiple ING savings accounts?

Yes, you can open up to nine accounts with ING at any particular time. If you’re saving money for various goals, such as buying a car or taking a holiday, you can name each of your multiple ING savings accounts differently.

To get a Savings Maximiser account, you’ll need to deposit more than $1000 every month and make at least five additional purchases. If you also want to grow your savings, from 1st March 2021, you can earn up to 1.35 per cent per annum variable interest on one account with a balance of up to $100,000 when you also maintain an Orange Everyday account.

With ING, multiple savings accounts can help keep track of all your savings goals. All the accounts offer flexible withdrawals where you can withdraw as low or as high as you want without impacting your earning interest rate. However, you can only earn the bonus interest on one account. To apply for a Savings Maximiser account, you can visit ingdirect.com.au.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.

If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.

What is an ANZ locked savings account?

An ANZ locked savings account locks your money and prevents you from spending. You may use a standard savings account as the account where your salary is deposited. You can then withdraw funds when needed, but aren’t able to make purchases with it. However, this account may not grow much as the continual withdrawing of funds will limit the interest you can earn.

With a locked savings account in ANZ, you know your savings will grow because you can’t access the money. You can also qualify for a bonus when you deposit at least $10 per month and don’t make any withdrawals. To help you with this further you can set up an automatic transfer from your regular ANZ savings or transaction account so you don’t forget to make a monthly deposit.

Your ANZ locked savings account offers you a base interest rate of 0.1 per cent per annum plus an additional bonus interest of 0.49 per cent per year. The interest is calculated daily and credited to your account on the last working day of the month.

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

Can you direct deposit to a savings account?

Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria

What is a Westpac locked savings account?

The Westpac locked savings account (also known as "Westpac Life") can help customers reach savings goals faster through bonus interest. Customers receive 0.2 per cent standard base interest with a variable bonus rate of 0.35 per cent when the closing balance at the end of the month is higher than the opening balance.

There are some conditions to earn the bonus interest on Westpac's locked savings account, though. First, you’ll need to increase the balance each month either through a deposit or not making any withdrawals, and then link it to a Westpac Choice account and make at least five eligible payments using your debit card. Please consult your bank as to what an eligible payment is. 

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.