How to host the best NYE party at home

There are some things money can’t buy, like spending New Year’s Eve at home with friends. For everything else – like drinks and nibbles – there’s Mastercard (or Visa).

For many of us, New Year’s Eve (NYE) means getting dressed up, getting out there amongst it, blowing your budget and maybe indulging a little too much as well.

But what if you don’t feel like braving the crowds, or you have the post-Christmas cash blues? As the saying goes, it’s the simple things in life that are often the best.

If you’ve decided to stay at home this NYE, it doesn’t have to be a dull affair. There are plenty of ways you can usher in the New Year on a shoestring.

Here are a few tips and tricks to being a super host for less:

  • DIY catering
  • Be your own DJ
  • Invent a NYE-themed party
  • Design your own professional e-invite
  • Host a potluck dinner
  • Throw a fundraiser

Turn your home into party central

One way to create a memorable NYE without breaking the bank is to host your own themed gathering for friends or family.

If you’re nervous in the kitchen and not up to the task of catering, you could opt for a potluck dinner where each of your guests brings a plate to share.

To help set the mood, use technology to your advantage. Build a playlist in your music program of choice, then set and forget as it plays via Bluetooth through your sound or TV system.

If you decide a themed party would be fun, add this as a dress-code requirement in your e-invite. There’s a variety of free apps (like Canva) where you can create simple designs that can be texted, emailed or posted on a social media group.

In fact, some of the templates available look so professional they would give invited guests the impression you hired a graphic designer for the task.

If you wanted to style your home based on your party’s theme, there’s probably an op-shop nearby that could provide a cheap assortment of props (and outfits).

You could make your party memorable by hosting a fundraising event with admission by donation (whether it be at the door or online).

There’s plenty of online crowdfunding sites (like GoFundMe) that would help you raise money for a cause close to your heart.

More money could be raised throughout the evening by auctioning the op-shop finds too.

Spending NYE at home doesn’t need to be boring. You’re only limited by your imagination and motivation, not your budget, which is a bonus.

You could celebrate a great NYE at home among hand-picked company without spending a fortune. It could even inspire a New Year’s resolution to spend every NYE at home.

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Learn more about savings accounts

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 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. 

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.

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.

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.

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

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.