5 easy ways to save hundreds by Christmas

5 easy ways to save hundreds by Christmas

With Christmas only a month away, now is the time to buckle down and save. However, unless you’re expecting extra cash to fall out of the sky, you may need a little help filling up the presents piggy bank.

Here are a few ways you can inject some extra cash into your savings account this holiday season.

1. Ditch the smokes and save $1,110

If the obvious health benefits aren’t enough of an encouragement, giving up smoking for just 30 days may save you $1,110 by Christmas.

According to Tobacco in Australia, a 25 pack of Winfields costs $37.00. On a pack a day habit, this would cost you $1,110 over 30 days. If you’re able to curve the cravings, even to one packet every two days, you could save big for the silly season.

2. Cut out one coffee a day and save $120

Most of us know that going without coffee wouldn’t see us lasting until Christmas. However, if you’re a multiple-cups-a-day drinker, cutting out one $4 coffee a day could save you $120.

If your office has as coffee maker, consider giving it a go to get your afternoon caffeine fix. It won’t be the same, but it’ll be worth it for the extra savings.

3. Switch UberEats for home cooking

It’s no surprise that eating out or ordering takeout can quickly get expensive. If, for example, you and your partner order $50 worth of takeaway once a week, this would cost up to $200 over four weeks. Cooking at home is far cheaper, and you can easily put those savings into your present piggy bank.

4. Install a discount code extension

If you’re planning on doing some of your Christmas present shopping online, consider installing a discount code browser extension, such as Honey. It automatically finds discount codes that you can apply on checkout.


Screenshot of website The ICONIC with Honey extension running

5. Follow a money saving challenge

If you’re not prepared to give up any of your vices, consider following one of many money challenges you can find online.

For example, here’s a guide to save $465 in 30 days:

1 $1 $1 16 $16 $136
2 $2 $3 17 $17 $156
3 $3 $6 18 $18 $171
4 $4 $10 19 $19 $190
5 $5 $15 20 $20 $210
6 $6 $21 21 $21 $231
7 $7 $28 22 $22 $253
8 $8 $36 23 $23 $276
9 $9 $45 24 $24 $300
10 $10 $55 25 $25 $325
11 $11 $66 26 $26 $351
12 $12 $78 27 $27 $378
13 $13 $91 28 $28 $406
14 $14 $105 29 $29 $435
15 $15 $120 30 $30 $465

High interest accounts to boost your savings

With interest rates so low at the moment, you won’t see your savings grow much at all in 30 days. However, if you get on top of things now, by next Christmas you could seriously boost your savings.

A good rule of thumb to follow is trying to keep your savings account rate above the rate of inflation. According to The Reserve Bank of Australia, this is currently sitting at 1.70 per cent.

If you have a conditional savings account with a max rate below 1.70 per cent, you may want to consider switching to a more competitive account.

Market leading conditional savings accounts:

Company Min. rate Max. rate Conditions
86 400 0.40% 2.25% Monthly deposit of $1,000
Up 0.50% 2.25% 5 card transactions per month
Bank of Queensland 0.35% 2.15% Monthly deposit of $1,000
UBank 1.04% 2.10% Monthly deposit of $250
ME Bank 0.35% 2.05% 1 Tap&Go purchase from everyday account

Source: RateCity.com.au

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this news?

Fact Checked -

This article was reviewed by Business & Finance Writer Rachel Wastell before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.



Money Health Newsletter

Subscribe for news, tips and expert opinions to help you make smarter financial decisions

By signing up, you agree to the RateCity Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Disclaimer.

Today's top savings accounts products


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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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). 


What are the two types of NAB locked savings accounts?

With a locked savings account in NAB, you can earn bonus interest and learn financial discipline. NAB offers two types of locked savings accounts, each with their own terms and conditions.

The NAB Reward Saver account pays a variable base interest rate of 0.05 per cent per annum and a bonus interest of 0.55 per cent. You’re eligible for the bonus if you make a minimum of one deposit on or before the second last banking day and have no withdrawals in the month.

Meanwhile, the NAB iSaver account provides 0.05 per cent as the standard base interest rate and a fixed bonus margin of 0.55 per cent during the first four months from the date of opening the account. You can park your cash in the account and enjoy unlimited monthly transfers between linked daily bank accounts without impacting the interest rate.

Should I open multiple savings accounts with UBank?

UBank offers customers an opportunity to make the most of their savings by opening multiple savings accounts. Having multiple savings accounts with UBank may be ideal for savers tracking different goals in separate accounts. 

It’s important to note that to earn bonus interest, you will still need to meet the conditions of the UBank savings account every month. If you don’t make these deposits, you will receive the standard interest rate, which is typically lower. 

Keep in mind that you won’t earn bonus interest on your UBank savings account in the month an account is opened and if you open multiple savings accounts with UBank, you'll start earning any bonus interest the following month. 

It's also not yet known how long the special interest rate will hang around for, so please check with your bank for more information. 

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. 

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.

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 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 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