How to be a proactive saver in a low interest world

Woman wearing yellow dress with a red roses print stands with arms up, mid-dancing pose.

With interest rates at an all time low, now might be the time to reevaluate our motivations when it comes to choosing a savings account. After all, these days savings accounts come with a lot more features than an interest rate. Think round ups, spending insights and so forth.

In fact, if anything now is the time to master those thrifty skills and start using these handy features to help you save more.

How do I start saving into 2021?

Now that interest rates aren’t a huge motivator, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and become a proactive saver. Here are our top tips to get your finances in order:

  • Work on clearing your debts. To get yourself closer to a clean money slate, think about transferring any credit card debt you have to a balance transfer card. Just make sure you choose a card with a 0% balance transfer rate and that you can pay off your debt within the limited time period that that rate applies.
  • Take stock. Review your incomings and outgoings to see what you’re spending money on at the moment. Once you have a full picture of how you use your money, you can start thinking about where to cut back or adopt better spending habits.
  • Make a budget for yourself. This can be pretty loose - whatever works best for you or motivates you to spend less. You can create spreadsheets, make lists, use a savings app or if you don’t want to do any of that just keep outgoings below a certain amount.
  • Find a savings account with lots of extra features. These days savings accounts come with a number of useful tools to help you proactively save, including round ups, spending insights and savings buckets.

What should I look for in a savings account?

While interest rates might not be the biggest motivator right now, there are still plenty of useful tools to take advantage of with a savings account. Some of these include:

  • Round ups. This is where a bank rounds up your everyday transactions to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into a nominated savings account. It may look like a lot of small change transfers, but it can really boost your emergency savings fund.
  • Savings buckets. Or as plenty of banks call this, the ability to open multiple savings accounts, at no extra cost. This is helpful if you have a number of things to save for, or even if you want to manage your spending. For instance, if you have rent to pay and want to make sure you don’t spend it, you could transfer the exact amount over to one of your savings accounts.
  • Direct debits. If you have a regular income and want to eliminate the temptation to spend it, set up a direct debit to put a percentage straight into your savings account. You can arrange it so that the money is transferred automatically on the day it is deposited or the day after.
  • Spending insights. From funky pie charts to spending snapshots, a lot of banks these days offer useful insights into your personal spending habits. These insights are useful to help you review what your regular expenses are and whether or not you could rethink some.
  • A decent interest rate. Although interest rates may not be the biggest motivator when choosing a savings account these days, they are still worth looking at. For instance, it is still possible to get a savings rate above 1.00% p.a. and make yourself a tidy little sum each month, to up your savings. Compare savings interest rates here.

Not sure where to start? Here are five savings accounts with some pretty nifty features:

Head to Mozo’s savings guides hub for more tips on how to start stashing cash for a rainy day.

*Averages and figures taken from information available in the Mozo database, correct as of 13 November 2020.

Compare savings accounts

Mozo may receive payment if you click the products below. We don’t compare the entire market, but you can search our database of 274 savings accounts.
Last updated 19 July 2024 Important disclosures
  • 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 4 months.

    Competitive introductory variable rate for first 4 months (on deposits up to $250,000). No account keeping fees to pay. Multiple 2024 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

    Compare
    Details
  • 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.

    Compare
    Details
  • Savings+Bonus

    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    2.00% p.a.(for $0 to $250,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Minimum $100 monthly deposit and no withdrawals to earn bonus interest each month.

    Earn a generous interest rate on your at-call savings (T&Cs apply). Interest is calculated daily and paid to you monthly. A $5 monthly membership fee will not apply if your total account balances with First Option Bank exceed $1,000 or you have a credit card or loan with the bank.

    Compare
    Details
  • Bonus Saver Account

    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    0.05% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate when at least $20 is deposited each month and five Visa Debit transactions are made each month using linked Glide transaction account.

    Start saving and earn interest with just a $20 deposit and make 5 eligible transactions each month. No fees or penalties for withdrawing money.

    Compare
    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Savings Maximiser

    5.50% p.a. (for $0 to $100,000)

    0.55% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    For customers who have an Orange Everyday account, deposit $1000 into a personal ING account, make 5 eligible transactions and grow their nominated Savings Maximiser account each month.

    Great variable rate every month when you grow your balance each month in addition to other eligibility criteria. No ING fees to pay. Save even more with ING Everyday Round Up. Mozo Experts Choice Awards Everyday & Savings Bank of the Year winner for 2024.^

    Compare
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.