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Five clever household budgeting tips

Five clever household budgeting tips

Consumer confidence might be at a two-year high but its always worth saving for the next rainy day. We show you how in five quick tips that will help you build up a healthy savings account and rely on your credit card less.

Cost per gram

When you’re shopping for groceries it’s easy to be swayed by slick packaging which can make big brand products stand out from their budget counterparts.  But if you’re out to save money, looking for the ‘price per quantity’ labels is the easiest way to make sure you’re getting bang for your buck.  

Buy in bulk

Coles, Woolworths and Aldi and now all competing on price so its time to use these supermarket wars to your advantage. If you’ve got the storage space in your house, buy up big on any heavily discounted items – just as long as it doesn’t have a ‘used by’ date.

Credit card health

Have you completed a credit card health check recently?  A quick review of your annual fees, interest rate and any special deals will take a matter of minutes.  If you think you’re paying too much in fees or interest, then compare credit cards and find a better card for you.

An overall check of your financial health is also a good idea.  ASIC’s MoneySmart site does a great Money Health check which lets you know whether you’re on track financially or not.

Energy overhaul

Switching energy providers can be one of the fastest ways to save money on the household bills but it will only get you so far. Saving energy from the outset is the best way to secure savings year-on-year. Ditch inefficient heating options, invest in thermal-backed curtains to keep the heat in and take a look at your property’s insulation. If you’ve got an empty roof space that’s not properly insulated, you could be losing a lot of the warmth in your home.

Set up a visual guide

Pick up some chalkboard paint from your local paint store and spend an afternoon creating a ‘budget wall’ to help keep your finances on track. It might seem over the top when guests come round but you never know – it could be the conversation starter you need to swap budget tips with your friends.

Rainy-day account

Consider opening a special rainy-day savings account, which you can dip into to pay for unexpected car maintenance, doctors’ bills or last-minute flights for special events. You can put as little or as much as you like into the account — just make sure you do so regularly.  

If you’ve already got a transaction account and an everyday savings account, you might hesitate about opening another, but as long as you aren’t paying annual fees, a separate account may mean you raid the funds less.

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Learn more about savings accounts

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.

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.

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.

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.