Christmas shopping early? You’ll need a good savings plan

Father and daughter are going Christmas tree shopping after saving

With less than 100 days to go before Christmas, you may be thinking about your tree and decorations, but how about all those gifts?

If you don’t currently have the funds to do all of your shopping, it could be time to come up with a short-term savings plan.

So here are some tips to help you meet your savings goals, plan your shopping and prepare for the festive season ahead. 

Track your finances and save

Woman is at her desk tracking her finances and saving money for Christmas

Shopping for gifts can chip into your saved money, so you need to be extra aware of how much you might spend at the end of year. So when it comes to reviewing personal finances, tracking your spend can help you get a clearer picture of where your money is going. 

Here are a few methods to track your budget: 

  • Creating a spreadsheet. By inputting your spending data, a spreadsheet can generate an overview of your finances while making calculations for any future bills that you’re expecting.
  • Pen-to-paper. While this manual approach typically takes longer to draw up than a spreadsheet, you could potentially spot some avoidable recurring costs that you’d miss with a digital method.
  • Budgeting apps. A budgeting app can be a useful tool, with some providers offering the option to link your bank account to the app so you can review your spending habits at a glance.

There’s no right or wrong medium when it comes to budgeting. As everyone is different, it’s best to pick the method that you’re most comfortable with. Next you’ll need a few goals ahead of the holiday season.

Set a savings goal

The next thing you might consider is who you’re planning to buy gifts for, and how much you’re willing to spend on each present. This is because a brand new coffee machine will probably set you back more than a video game would, and the stuff you buy one person might be different to someone else. So it’s good to get a rough idea of how much you’ll need to save for each gift.

Then you can plug the numbers into a savings goal calculator to see whether your savings target is do-able based on your income and expenses, or if some adjustments need to be made. 

Have you got enough to meet your Christmas goals?

Save by limiting discretionary spend

Woman is window shopping to limit her discretionary spending and save for Christmas

If you need to temporarily cut back on spending to meet your savings goal, check whether you have any expenses that you would classify as a discretionary spend. It may seem small, but things like frequently getting take away food or restaurant dining can eat into your savings balance. To help your wallet, you might instead consider meal planning and cooking at home to save on service fees and delivery. 

Additionally, if you have any memberships or subscriptions that you haven’t been using, you could think about pressing pause. For instance, a weekly $13 gym membership is about $52 a month out of your pocket. And by the time December hits, this expense adds up to roughly $117 - by reviewing your bank statements, you may be able to save on some costs.  

Next, is a good place to park your festive savings.

Look into a savings account

Woman is looking into a savings account on her computer and her house is decorated for Christmas

While you stash away some cash, it’s a good idea to check the interest rate on your savings account as a higher interest rate usually means a better return. 

As it stands this month, there are a fair amount of savings providers offering interest rates of more than 5.00% according to Mozo’s database. Some are even offering an additional 0.50% as a bonus rate if you satisfy certain eligibility criteria, such as making a number of withdrawals each month, or depositing money into the account.

However, if you don’t want to stop and check whether you’ve met the monthly requirements for bonus interest, there are still competitive savings accounts with an unconditional base rate that you could opt for. At present, the highest unconditional base rate for Aussies over 30 (as at 27 September 2023) is 5.00% in Mozo’s database, or 5.25% if you’re under 30. This means that you may be eligible to receive the full 5.00% without having to meet certain conditions like opening a new transaction account, for instance.

When deciding on a savings account, it’s worth investigating your options and doing your research to get the best deal for your circumstances. Not all savings accounts are the same.

Christmas countdown begins!

Let’s quickly recap what you need to do over the next few months: first track your spending; second, set some savings goals and limit your discretionary spend; third, find a better savings account. With these simple plans in place, you might just have enough time to save for the gifts you need. 

Find a savings account

Looking for a savings account to help meet your goals? Check out some of the best savings accounts that our experts at Mozo have tracked this month, or start comparing your options below.

Savings accounts - last updated 2 March 2024

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Reward Saver Account

    5.25% p.a. (for $0 to $1,000,000)

    0% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 5.25% for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months, reverting to 3.25%. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals.

    Introductory bonus rate for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals. Start your account online in under 10 minutes and earn interest on balances up to $1,000,000 (T&Cs apply). No monthly account fees, helping you save smarter and faster.

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    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    High Interest Savings Account

    5.75% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)

    4.40% p.a.(for $0 to $250,001)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    Reward yourself with a higher rate for your good savings habits with the Rabobank High Interest Savings Account . Receive the maximum rate when you grow your balance by at least $200 each month. No Account keeping fees. No minimum balance.

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  • Hero Saver

    4.60% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)

    1.00% p.a.(for $0 to $5,000,001)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Minimum deposit of $200 and no withdrawals in the month.

    Earn a generous variable rate on balances up to $250,001 each month you deposit at least $200 (excluding interest) on or before the last business day each month and make no withdrawals during the month. $0 account maintenance fees. Create a goal, set up regular deposits and track your progress on the Bankwest app.

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    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Savings Account

    5.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    4.75% p.a.(for $0 to $1,000,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus variable rate is available for the first four months.

    Competitive introductory variable rate for first 4 months (on deposits up to $250,000). No account keeping fees to pay. Multiple 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

    Compare
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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