Top ten best blogs to save you money

Top ten best blogs to save you money

It’s amazing that so many of us take time out to read blogs in the fast-paced time-poor world we live in. But some blogs aren’t just a way to kill time on the trek home from work, they can actually save and make you money.

Check out my favourite money-saving blogs.

1. MoneySmart

Who knew the Australian Government could produce such an informative, easy to understand website?  It’s a haven for anyone looking for up-to-date advice on tax, superannuation, family benefits, insurance and more.  They’ve also got a huge range of tools to track your spending, draw up a budget or do a money health check.  Money Smart has something for absolutely everyone.

2. The Savings Guide

If nabbing a bargain on the weekly grocery shop leaves you on a bit of a high then this site will make you smile all year round.  It’s overflowing with tips on how to save money at the supermarket, the petrol pump and every other step in your daily routine.

3. Get Rich Slowly

Learn how to make breakfasts faster and cheaper than takeaway from McDonalds, when to start investing for your retirement and money-saving lunch strategies. There’s plenty for everyone on this site with engaging content that will get you thinking about your finances in all sorts of different ways.

4. The Hip Pocket

The Hip Pocket is exactly as described – hip.  Pitched squarely at people in their 20’s, it’s fresh, frank and has a host of money saving ideas.  It asks questions as well as answering them, so if you’re someone that likes to part of a conversation, rather than just at the receiving end, this site’s for you.

5. Wisebread

Find out when you should ask for a pay rise, why clutter makes you poor and how long your appliances should last.  It’s an American site but there’s enough universal stories on here to make it well worth your time.

6. The Barefoot Investor

The Barefoot Investor is perfect for people who want to generate money, rather than just saving it. Its easy going style makes it a great resource for anyone starting out in the investment game and founder Scott Pape is only too happy to use his wife, kids, parents and other real people to explain how to make the most out of your money.

7. Cuffelinks

One for the savvy investor, Cuffelinks’ contributors have extensive financial experience and they are more than happy to share it.  From stock tips to retirement planning, this site is for anyone with considerable investment and savings ambitions.

8. Simple Savings

More than a blog – this is a secure online community where members freely share money savings resources and advice.  Build an e-Money jar, cook 120 biscuits for $4 or get a cheap massage at a natural therapies college – this site has it all.

9. Hey Little Spender

Founder Larissa Ham has a work-life balance that will turn any nine-to-fiver green with envy.  Swapping the shackles of her desk for a year-round sun tan in Bali, she provides some clever insights into just how achievable it is to work a four hour day. 

10. Frugal and Thriving

This blog is not only exceptionally practical, it has an amazing sense of calm that seems to radiate from the screen.  Focused on healthy living, it’s hard not to be inspired to take up a simpler, healthier lifestyle.

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Learn more about 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.

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.

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.

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.

How can I get a $4000 loan approved?

While personal loans and medium amount loans don’t offer guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of your application being approved, including:

  • Fulfilling the eligibility criteria (providing ID, proof of residency, proof of income etc.)
  • Checking your credit history (you can order one free copy of your credit file per year, and make sure that there aren’t any errors that may be bringing down your credit score)
  • Comparing carefully before applying (making multiple loan applications can mean having your credit checked multiple times, which can look bad to some lenders and reduce your chances of being approved by them)

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.