How to put your spare Easter budget to good use while in self-isolation
Wednesday 08 April 2020
It’s no secret this Easter will be unlike any other. With coronavirus distancing measures keeping us indoors, we’ll have to bid farewell to the classic way of spending the long weekend, whether that’s an epic house party or a road trip with family.
But the good news is, if you’ve put savings aside for 2020 Easter celebrations, there’s a few savvy places you could redirect those funds instead. Think along the lines of showing money kindness to others who are struggling, or improving your own financial health so that you’re more than ready to tackle these economically tough times.
Need a bit of inspo? We’ve put together four ways to make the most out of your Easter budget, without even opening your front door!
1. Give back to charities
If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that we can only get through this together. From checking up on elderly neighbours to supporting those without a safe home, any bit of help matters. So why not make a difference with that spare Easter budget you’ve got in your bank account?
Here are some services to consider getting behind:
- Meals on Wheels: Meals are delivered to the doorsteps of the most vulnerable members of the community. NSW residents can donate here.
- Foodbank: Every dollar donated is turned into $6 worth of essential foods and groceries for those in need. NSW residents can donate here or call 02 9756 3099. Foodbank also accepts donations of non-perishables and personal hygiene and household products.
- Red Cross: For those without sufficient income or a support network, Red Cross is providing support through daily wellbeing calls as well as emergency food and hygiene packages. You can donate here.
- Headspace, Beyond Blue, Lifeline, etc.: These mental health services all have trained counsellors who can assist anyone feeling stressed or struggling to cope amid COVID-19. A Sydney-based brand agency has also launched a physical distancing t-shirt range ‘#onepointfiveplease’ to raise funds for Headspace.
For other charities nearby that you can help out financially, head over to Ask Izzy.
2. Fatten up your emergency fund
Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus outbreak has left many people anxious about their own money situation. Maybe you’re a business owner who has had to close up shop indefinitely, or perhaps you’re one of the millions whose jobs are on the line because of the pandemic.
So whether you’ve already started stashing cash away for a crisis or you haven’t given it much thought, it’s a smart idea to put at least part of your Easter budget towards building your emergency savings fund. This is a money bundle dedicated to helping yourself through a financially challenging time.
The rule of thumb is that your emergency fund should cover all essential expenses for at least 90 days. This includes: energy bills, groceries, your mortgage or rent, and any personal loan or credit card repayments. Mozo research shows you’ll need around $7,000 up to $10,000 to build that three-month safety net depending on where you live in Australia.
But where’s the best home for your emergency fund? A high interest savings account!
While savings accounts have certainly seen better days, that’s no reason to overlook them as a viable option. The top maximum ongoing rate in the Mozo database still sits at a solid 2.00%, while intro rates go as high as 2.65%.
Need a hand with shopping around? Read our article on how to choose the right savings account for you, or check out some of your options below.
3. Keep your nest egg warm inside a term deposit
For funds that you’re confident you won’t need to touch for a while, including any leftover Easter budget, a term deposit could be a safer parking space.
By locking your nest egg inside a term deposit, you protect it from plummeting savings rates. Plus, with a host of providers including the big four banks and Judo Bank also boosting their term deposit rates over the past month, the time is ripe to snatch up a sweet deal and level up your savings.
Right now, you can snag impressive rates like 2.25% (available with Rabobank for five year terms). This is even better than some of the most competitive savings accounts in the Mozo database, which offer maximum ongoing rates of 2.00% at the time of writing.
Just how much interest can you earn with a term deposit? Let’s do the maths.
Say, you’ve saved up $5,000 for a luxurious long weekend getaway to Bali. But with your travel plans cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, you’ve now chosen to stash the money inside the Rabobank Term Deposit over five years at a rate of 2.25%. By the end of your term, you would have earned $563 in interest - without having to lift a single finger!
Head over to our term deposit comparison table to weigh up your options and check out today’s hot deals.
4. Treat yo’self
While the world may feel very doom and gloom at the moment, a small dose of self-pampering can go a long way to helping you unwind and recalibrate.
Although a manicure or a spa session isn’t exactly possible during these times, there are many other forms of self-care that you could spend a slice of your Easter budget on. From hopping onto a subscription that delivers wine to your doorstep to ordering takeaway from your favourite Thai restaurant, the sky really is your limit!
Even better, think about ways you could treat yourself while also supporting the wider community. For instance, sign up to online classes that your gym may be offering, or join virtual cooking lessons with your local restaurant’s chef.
For more ideas, check out our tips on how to practise money kindness while social distancing.