Everyone saves money differently. From setting aside a portion of your pay, to choosing the right account, here are some tips on how to be a better saver and reach your financial goals.
Have a savings goal and budget
It’s much easier to be a good saver if you have a goal in mind. It might be a holiday, a house deposit, or just a rainy day fund.
To work out the amount you’ll need, be realistic about what you can afford to save each week, fortnight or month.
A well-planned budget will get you started on your savings path. You may also be interested in learning how to bucket your money, which is a great way to automate your savings.
Earn your bonus interest
Good savings habits can reward you with bonus interest on some accounts. Be disciplined and it will pay off in the long run by helping you save a little faster.
How it works
In some accounts, you may get bonus interest each month if you make no withdrawals and at least one deposit.
Then, if you follow those simple rules, you’ll receive your regular interest plus bonus interest at the end of the month. Learn more about how interest rates work and how they can help you save below.
In your first month, let’s say you’ve saved $4,000 and your interest rate is 2.50% per annum. This means you’ll earn approximately $8 in interest for this month.
Your bonus interest varies from different accounts—some need a minimum monthly deposit, some no withdrawals, and some have no conditions (check the account details before you open the account).
For this example, we’ll assume there are no conditions and your bonus interest is 0.90% per annum. So, for month one your bonus interest will be $3.
Every month, you’ll see your interest and bonus interest (if you stick to the conditions) increase along with your savings.
Think of your interest as extra money you might not otherwise have had. Eleven dollars might not sound like much, but at the end of 12 months you may have earned an extra $130.
Set up a regular payment
If you get your phone or power bill direct debited from your account, why not apply the same concept to your savings account?
Simply set up a regular automatic payment to go into your savings account every day.
It’s best to make your payment early in the month, because transfers could take a few days to reach your account – and you don’t want to risk losing your bonus interest.
Compare savings accounts
Just like with insurance and mobile phone plans, it’s best to compare which savings accounts are right for you. To get started, think about your needs.
Perhaps an account you can access at any time will work best. This means you can access your money any time without fees. Depending on the type of savings account you choose, you may lose bonus interest for any withdrawals you make.
Another option is a term deposit. A term deposit is a savings account where you lock the money into the account for a certain time and interest rate. The interest rate is usually based on the amount and length of time you put the money away for. This is fine if you don’t need access to the money during the fixed term. If you need to withdraw the money before the fixed term is up, you may be charged economic costs (not all the original interest you would have received will be paid to you).
What to do if you have trouble saving
Sometimes having quick access to your savings can make it tempting to spend money. If you’re finding it too tempting, we can help.
Hide your savings account
You can hide your savings account by changing your settings in internet banking. This means you won’t see the balance when you log in.
Please note, you can’t hide an account if it has periodic or future-dated payments set up.
Lock your savings account
Having a locked savings account means you can’t withdraw money from that account. With this lock in place, you can still deposit money to your account and watch your balance grow, if your account isn’t hidden from internet banking.
If you need help with your savings goals, call us on Ph 1300 136 508.
Reproduced with permission of National Australia Bank (‘NAB’). This article was originally published at https://www.nab.com.au/personal/life-moments/manage-money/budget-saving/successful-saving-secrets
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