EOFY personal finance check up - Are you maximising your savings?

Savings jars with cash in them
Source: Getty

We know it's fun to do mid-year shopping, but keeping tabs on spending is just as important. If you’re in your twenties and are new to full-time work, it can take a bit of getting used to tracking spending, paying bills and saving.

Let’s go through a list of checkpoints to help you get your finances in order.

Your personal finance check up

First, create a budget. Or revise one you already have.

To create a budget, you need to:

List and categorise your expenses. Your most important expenses should be at the top. For example your home loan repayments. Then you go with your phone plan, internet plan and credit card bills, and down the list in order of importance.

  • Next, deduct taxes from your paycheck to determine how much money you’re bringing in monthly. This is also a good time to learn about taxes.
  • Then you should add up all your important expenses and deduct them from your post-tax monthly income. (Don’t be alarmed at how little of your income is left. It just means you need to account for the extra costs).

This brings us to the point - cutting back! This is all about maximising your savings. Or, what is left after you’ve paid your essential bills. If you’re astounded at what you’re spending (like I was), now is the time to get serious about cutting back.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where is the majority of my money going?
  • Why is my phone plan so expensive?
  • Do I really need both Stan and Netflix?
  • Do I absolutely require that blow-dry every week?
  • Can I walk more and drive less?
  • Why has my Greece holiday fund got less money in it than I thought it had?
  • Can I buy my essential groceries for a better price? (Home delivery, anyone?)
  • Can I wear a jumper instead of turning on the heater full blast?

It’s important to remember that it's been a difficult few years, and inflation is at an all time high so basic necessities are a lot pricier than they used to be. Go a little easier on yourself.

Fix your savings

Time to see where you can cut back on your expenses (No, I really didn’t need three streaming accounts!).

Ask yourself: Is my money working for me?

Two key questions for this are:

  • Am I earning the best rate of interest?
  • Am I paying too many fees?

You may find out you’re earning 1% interest on your savings account. Trust us, you can do better. There are multiple ways to categorise which savings accounts are the best.

Things to take into consideration when choosing a savings account include:

Getting a high interest rate: this is actually kind of a big deal. Your research will pay off. Banks often offer sky-high introductory rates to bring you in before lowering them after a few months. Make sure to carefully consider the long-term numbers before making your decision.

Looking out for fees: these can be very sneaky. If you’re not careful, you may get stuck with bleak rates for a few months before the ‘better rates’ kick in.

Making your money accessible: You need to choose an account that's accessible for your needs. The bank might want a minimum monthly deposit. Or they may throw a penalty at you for making multiple transactions.

Choosing the right type of account: If you’re going to be withdrawing money, make sure the account you choose allows you to do that. If not, it’s better to have a few accounts so that you can place your hard earned money in for saving, and another ‘everyday transaction’ account that you can easily withdraw from.

Some features you should look out for when looking for a savings account are:

Ease of Transactions: Using your Savings Account to send and receive payments easily. 

Payment of Bills: These days, banks offer payment facilities such as BillPay with Savings Accounts.

ATM facility: is there a fee if you use a different bank’s atm for your card?

NetBanking and MobileBanking: Secure and easy online banking is everything you need, especially if you’re often on the go.

Debit Card: does the account come with a debit card? Or do you have to pay extra for one? Are there fees that come with the debit card?

Cross Product benefits: does opening up a savings account with this bank offer you a lower interest rate on their credit card?

At the end of the day, choosing a savings account should depend on what’s most important to you and your savings goals. To help you out and save you some time, check out the winners of the Mozo Expert Choice Award for Best Savings Accounts.

Or, you can check out our handy savings account comparison table below to start comparing now.

Savings account comparisons on Mozo - last updated 13 August 2022

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Boost Saver with Go Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    2.30% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    0.05% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate of 2.30% is made up of the Base rate of 0.05% and Bonus rate of 2.25%. Deposit $2,000 each month and make 5 eligible payments from your Go Account. If you are between 18 and 25 deposit $1,000.

    Enjoy a high interest savings account bundled with an everyday spending account. No monthly fees. And new customers can get a welcome bonus of 5,000 bonus Virgin Money Points (ends 31/08/22. Offer criteria & T&Cs apply).

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Life - 18-29 years old
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    2.75% p.a. (for $0 to $30,000)
    0.65% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Make 5 card purchases/month with a Westpac Choice account and min 1 deposit and higher balance than at the beginning of the month in Life savings account.

    Are you 18 - 29 years of age? Earn up to a generous 2.75% p.a. variable interest on your savings when you spend and save with Westpac. For individuals aged 18 to 29 on Westpac Life account balances up to $30k.

    Details
  • Save Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    2.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Deposit at least $200 to either Spend or Save account from an external source each month.

    Earn up to 1.85% p.a in interest. No monthly fee to pay. Split your money in up to 10 Save accounts. Track your progress on each of your save accounts. Instant access to cash via PayID and Osko. Deposits guaranteed up to $250k per customer.

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Bonus Saver Account
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    2.10% 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.

    Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice Award 2022 in the Regular Saver category. No monthly account fees. Available only on balances up to $250,000.

    Details
  • Grow Saver
    Maximum rate
    standard interest rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    1.80% p.a. (for $0 and over)
    0.05% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Make at least 1 deposit per month and no more than 1 withdrawal, including internal transfers or external payments. Must enable the Lock Saver feature. 32 days notice for withdrawal and T&C's apply.

    Pay no monthly fees. Set-up to 9 personalised savings accounts and choose to lock as many accounts as you like to earn the maximum variable interest rate. With just 32 days notice to access your money again, your future self will thank you.

    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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