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5 golden rules for money management

Finding it hard to save up? These five golden rules can make it easier.

Everyone needs a nest egg of some kind, even just for emergencies. Saving money is important, and even if you can only put aside small amounts it can still prove invaluable. The main benefit of saving money is that every dollar you put away can save you two later by giving you more financial options.

  • Avoid debt. Having savings can keep you out of debt, and prevent you from needing to take out payday loans or other financing.
  • Grow your nest egg. Your savings can accumulate. Even just by sitting in an interest-earning bank account your money is working for you.
  • Make your money work for you. With some money saved away, you can take advantage of more investment opportunities.

Unfortunately, not everyone is hardwired to be a saver. It comes naturally to some, but others find it a lot more difficult. Whichever group you're in, these five golden rules of saving can help.

The five golden rules

Even if you don't have much disposable income to consider putting away, it's still important to get started. Having zero savings is always a risk as any emergencies will usually see you needing to take out loans, or borrow money from family and friends.

Every bit helps

  • Don't assume that there's no point to saving just because you're not making enough. No amount of money is too small to put away, and it all adds up over time. If there's any amount small enough for you not to miss, consider a system that lets you immediately put it in the bank. Try using apps like Acorns, which can let you round up transactions to the nearest dollar and automatically invests the rest how you want.

Find the right savings vessel

Compare and search high interest savings account below

Rates last updated January 25th, 2017
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
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
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser
Ongoing, variable 3.00% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday bank account and deposit $1,000+ each month. Available on balances up to $100,000.
3.00% 1.60% 1.40% $0 $0 / $0 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
CUA eSaver Plus Account
Ongoing, variable 2.75% p.a. when you make a total deposit of at least $200 and no withdrawals in a calendar month. Available on balances up to $1,000,000.
2.75% 0.25% 2.50% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
ANZ Online Saver
Introductory rate of 2.65% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.65% 1.25% 1.40% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Westpac eSaver
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.51% 1.05% 1.46% $0 $0 / $0 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 2.75% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.75% 1.00% 1.75% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
BankSA Maxi Saver
Introductory rate of 2.75% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.75% 1.00% 1.75% $0 $1 / $1 Open More
Westpac Reward Saver
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
1.75% 0.01% 1.74% $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
Bank Australia Bonus Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. when you deposit at least $100 and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.60% 0.15% 2.45% $0 $0 / $1 More

Make it regular

  • Saving money on a regular basis makes a substantial difference, even if it's only small amounts. It also, importantly, helps get you in the habit of saving. This is more than just a psychological trick, and means having a system in place to effortlessly put any extra money into your chosen savings vessel. Finance apps are one an easy way to create these systems and take them with you wherever you are.

Don't borrow money to save money

  • Don't borrow money just for the sake of having savings, because it will all flow back out of your bank account in the end, taking even more money with it when it goes. Borrowing money to take advantage of investment opportunities is also generally inadvisable because it could leave you in a very bad position. Generally, the only situation where borrowing money can immediately save money is if you are taking out a debt consolidation loan and using it to refinance your existing debt.

Use incentives to reward yourself

  • Rewarding yourself for hitting savings milestones, such as for every $100 you manage to put away, is a popular tip for a reason. If you're one of the people who naturally struggles to save money this can make all the difference. By choosing rewards that you might buy anyway and planning them around discounts, you can still effectively grow your savings while rewarding yourself. Choose incentives that interest you and look for deals. You might hunt for discounts on fashion or deals on new shoes, while keen readers may be more interested in coupon codes for books. Find the deals that interest you and consider using them to shop for incentives to help keep your savings on track.

Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com.au, comparing products, writing guides, sniffing out deals and looking for new ways to help people get the most out of their money.

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ME Online Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate


Standard Variable Rate

ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser

Maximum Variable Rate


Standard Variable Rate

Bankwest Hero Saver

Maximum Variable Rate


Standard Variable Rate

ANZ Progress Saver

Maximum Variable Rate


Standard Variable Rate


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