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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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Learn more about savings accounts

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.

Do I have to claim interest on my savings account?

When you lodge your income tax returns, you must include in the documentation all your sources of income, including bank interest. Your bank will report any interest you earn on the funds in your savings account to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). When the ATO then compares this information with your tax returns,  you also need to have mentioned the interest earned. If there is any discrepancy, you’ll receive a letter from the ATO. 

Avoid this situation by ensuring you receive your bank statement with interest noted. Then declare the interest in your tax returns and pay the tax that’s applicable based on the income tax rate.

You only need to claim your share of the interest earned for joint accounts. If you manage an account for your child and receive or spend money via this account, you will also need to report any interest earned from said account.

What are the requirements of an ING Bank locked savings account?

An ING bank locked savings account - also called a term deposit - offers you interest in exchange for holding your money for a period of time.

The terms offered include as little as 90 days or as long as two years. Generally, the longer you lock your money away, the higher the rate of interest. 

The minimum deposit amount for an ING locked savings account is $10,000. 

To be eligible to apply, you must: 

  • Be an Australian resident for tax purposes
  • Be aged 13 years or older
  • Hold the account for personal use (ING offers business term deposits as a separate product). 

 

Do banks run credit checks on savings accounts?

When you apply to open a new savings account, some providers may conduct a credit check, meaning that they will ask a credit bureau for your credit history. This isn’t always the case on savings accounts though and depends on the provider, as you aren’t borrowing money. 

As you are opening a savings account and not borrowing funds, this credit check is considered a soft inquiry and should not affect your credit score. If the bank has run the credit check, you can often still open a savings account even if you have a poor score, provided you meet other requirements. 

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. 

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.

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 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.

Can you set up direct debits from a savings account?

It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.

Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.

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.

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.

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.