Untitled design

Guide to Saving: How to save Money

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

Your guide to saving money: budgeting tips and more.

As many people already know from experience, saving money has become increasingly difficult over recent years, with many of us having to cope with overstretched finances stemming from higher living costs, economic uncertainty and other factors. However, in some cases it is possible for people to save money, even if it is just a small amount at a time, simply by looking more carefully at their income and outgoings and making cutbacks on unnecessary spending and outgoings.

Some people make the mistake of assuming that just because they only have a very small amount of money to put aside into savings, it is not worth putting it away at all. However, this is the wrong way of thinking, as small, regular amounts of money put into savings can add up to a generous nest egg over time, so no matter how small the spare amount of cash you have it can still benefit you if you put it into a savings account.

Saving money is something that can prove invaluable to you in the future – and it is something that you should also try and teach your kids about, as the earlier they learn about the importance of saving the more successful they are likely to be in the future when it comes to putting money aside rather than frittering it away.

Finding money to put aside in savings

No matter how much our income increases over time, we always seem to find ways to spend the additional money we earn. Of course, some of it gets eaten up by the rising cost of living, so as our income increases so do our outgoings. However, many of us are also guilty of frittering more money away when we earn more, often on things that we do not need. In fact, sometimes we do not even realise that our spending has increased in line with our income.

With this in mind, there are probably many people who spend a significant amount of money each month on a range of non-essentials and many may not even realise how much they are spending. Assessing your income and your outgoings thoroughly will help you to see just where your money is going each month and will also make it easier for you to make changes and cutbacks to claw back some of the money you spend so that you have a little spare cash to put aside into savings.

Many people are surprised to find just how much money they can salvage each month simply by spending a little more time looking at their income and their outgoings and making a few small cutbacks on their spending. Even cutting back $5 here and there can add up to a nice amount to put into savings each month and you can then enjoy watching your money grow rather than watching it vanish without a trace every month!

There are many different areas in which you can make these cutbacks in order to have a little more money to put into savings. For example, if you tend to put aside a certain amount of money for going out each month, reduce that amount by $10 or $20. If you pay for costly subscriptions that you no longer need or use, such as magazines or gym memberships, be proactive and get them cancelled rather than wasting money on them when you don't really use them any longer. You can even look at switching services such as utilities and broadband to a cheaper provider in order to reduce your outgoings and have more cash to save.

Set goals to help you save

For many people, finding the motivation to save can be hard work. If you have nothing to look forward to and no clear goal to aim for, you are more likely to feel that putting money aside into savings is a pointless exercise. By setting yourself goals, you can increase your chances of feeling motivated enough to put money aside, as you will have something to aim for.

When it comes to setting goals to help you to save it is often a good idea to start with small goals to get you into the habit of saving money. You will find that when you get into the habit of saving money, it will come more naturally and easily to you, so putting your money aside rather than blowing it will become far less of a problem.

To start with, you could set goals such as saving up for a short break or holiday, which means that you will have something to look forward to. This will help to keep you motivated and if you know you have a holiday waiting for you once you have saved the required amount of money you will feel far more inclined to look for ways to save money and to ensure that you do put your spare cash aside. Whether you decide to save towards a holiday or whether you choose something else for you initial goals, the best way to save money towards it is to follow these steps:

  • Work out how much the thing you want to save towards is going to cost
  • Take a look at your finances to see how much spare cash you could realistically put aside each month or week depending on how you get paid
  • Set up a suitable savings account if you do not already have one
  • Consider setting up direct payments from your bank account for the amount that you can afford to be transferred directly to your savings each week/month

Once you have got used to setting small goals and achieving them by saving up, you can then start to look at bigger things. This could be anything from saving towards buying a new car to saving towards a deposit to put down on a house. Because you will have become more used to saving from having set smaller goals to start with, you will find that it becomes easier to start saving towards larger goals.

Finding the right savings account

In order to make sure your money works for you, it is advisable to look for the most suitable savings account. There are many different savings accounts available, some of which offer instant access and can be opened with very little money and others that require notice for withdrawals and require larger opening deposits.

When you first start off with your savings, you should be fine with a basic savings account, especially if you are only putting small amounts in and you are planning to withdraw it once it hits a certain level. However, as you become more used to saving and find ways to put aside more money, you may want to consider a more suitable savings account that offers more by way of returns.

You can compare savings accounts from a wide range of financial institutions online, which makes it easier to compare the features of the various accounts such as the rate of interest offered on your money, the withdrawal requirements and the minimum or maximum deposits if applicable. Remember, once you start saving larger amounts of cash you can really make your money work for you simply by choosing the right account, such as a high interest account. This enables you to make money on your savings by doing nothing other than putting it into the account and leaving it there for as long as you can. If you do find a suitable savings account, avoid becoming complacent. Keeping an eye on the savings account market is a very good idea, as you may find that a better deal on savings comes along, so you may be able to transfer your savings to an even better account and make even more interest on your cash.

Teaching your kids about the importance of saving

After the turmoil of the past few years, it has never been so important for consumers to not only develop good financial sense themselves but also pass this on to their children so that the next generation is less likely to fall into the same financial pitfalls. Even if your kids are relatively young, it is still worth teaching them the importance of saving – in fact, it is easier to do this when they are younger, as they are less likely to want to spend their pocket money on material things and you can make saving fun for them by turning it into a game or competition.

Teaching your kids about the importance of putting money aside means that they are more likely to grow up with good financial sense and will already be in the habit of saving for the things that they want and putting money aside rather than spending it as soon as they get it. This will prove invaluable to them throughout their lives and could ultimately help them to achieve more goals in life and avoid issues such as being burdened with debt.

Compare savings accounts below

Rates accurate as at: December 10th, 2016Learn about our information service
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
ME Online Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 3.05% p.a. rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
3.05% 1.30% 1.75% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Citibank Online Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.70% p.a. Available on balances below $500,000.
3.00% 1.70% 1.30% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.00% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000.
3.05% 2.00% 1.05% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Bankwest Hero Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.65% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
2.65% 0.01% 2.64% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
AMP Saver Account
Introductory rate of 2.55% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.10% p.a. Available on balances below $5,000,000.
2.55% 2.10% 0.45% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
ANZ Online Saver
Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 6 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.85% 1.25% 1.60% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac eSaver
Introductory rate of 2.71% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.71% 1.25% 1.46% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
HSBC Serious Saver
Introductory rate of 2.25% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
2.25% 1.60% 0.65% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
BankSA Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
3.00% 1.05% 1.95% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
BankSA Incentive Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you make at least one deposit each month and no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
ANZ Progress Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.91% p.a. when you link to any Australian everyday bank account and deposit $10+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.91% 0.01% 1.90% $0 $10 / $10 Open More
Westpac Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.85% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.85% 0.01% 1.84% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
ANZ Access Advantage
Earn a $100 shopping voucher.
For opening a new account by 18 Dec 2016 and shop three times with your new Visa debit card by 8 Jan 2017 (conditions apply).
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
AMP Access Account
An everyday transaction account with fee-free banking.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited fee-free transactions at rediATMs, $0 transaction fees using BankNet, mobile banking and BankPhone. Open More
AMP Cash Manager
Ongoing, variable 1.50% p.a. when you link to an AMP Visa debit card and deposit $2,000+ each month. Available on the entire balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No transaction fees and waived monthly fee when at least $2,000 is deposited. Open More
Westpac Choice
$0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases.
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Open one in less than 5 minutes with Cardless Cash available.
Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 in the account each month. Free access to BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Open More
BankSA Express Freedom Account
Get Cardless Cash, free SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $1,000 Avoid ATM fees when using BankSA, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. Avoid the monthly fee if you deposit $1000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
Get Cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card. Customise SMS and email alerts.
Visa $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George or Westpac ATMs. No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2000 into this account each month. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
Get Cardless Cash and PAYG branch and cheque services.
Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More
BankSA Sense Everyday Account
Save and budget – get two accounts working together and save faster.
Visa $0 $2,000 Use over 3000 BankSA, St.George, Bank Of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs in Australia for free. Open More
$
3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. 36 Mths p.a. 48 Mths p.a. 60 Mths p.a. Min Deposit Interest Earned
Bankwest Online Term Deposit
Bankwest Online Term Deposit
2.30% 2.50% 2.70% 2.70% 2.60% 2.60% 2.65% 2.65% $1,000 Open More
RaboDirect Term Deposit
RaboDirect Term Deposit
2.40% - 2.60% 2.70% 2.90% 3.00% 3.05% 3.30% $1,000 Open More
St.George Term Deposit
St.George Term Deposit
2.20% 2.00% 2.30% 2.60% 3.10% 3.20% 2.80% 2.95% $1,000 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit
Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit
2.20% 2.00% 2.30% 2.60% 3.10% 3.20% 2.80% 2.95% $1,000 Open More
BankSA Term Deposit
BankSA Term Deposit
2.20% 2.00% 2.30% 2.60% 3.10% 3.20% 2.80% 2.95% $1,000 Open More
Citibank Term Deposit ($75,000)
Citibank Term Deposit ($75,000)
2.50% 2.50% 2.95% 2.35% 2.35% 2.35% 2.35% 2.35% $75,000 Open More
Westpac Term Deposit
Westpac Term Deposit
2.10% 2.00% 2.20% 2.50% 3.00% 3.10% 2.70% 2.85% $5,000 Open More
ING DIRECT Term Deposit
ING DIRECT Term Deposit
2.10% 2.60% 2.10% 3.00% 2.70% - - - $10,000 Open More
Rates are displayed for the terms and minimum deposit sizes listed in the table above. The rate you receive could vary depending on your deposit size and interest payment frequency.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Savings Account Offers

Learn about our information service
ME Online Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

3.05%

Standard Variable Rate

1.30
Citibank Online Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

3.00%

Standard Variable Rate

1.70
Bankwest Hero Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

2.65%

Standard Variable Rate

0.01
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

3.05%

Standard Variable Rate

2.00

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback