Ready to build your money know-how? Get started with these 4 ideas and free resources

Tom Watson

14 Apr 2020

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Stuck at home? You’re not alone, because millions of other Australians and people around the world are doing their part to lessen the effects of COVID-19 by sticking to home as much as possible. 

It doesn’t have to be a bore though! In fact, it could be a great time to treat yourself, to relax, or to keep up your connections with friends, family and partners however you can. 

But if you’re in the mood to learn something new, or build up your existing money know-how, we’ve got a few ideas for you. 

So given that finances are (understandably) on a lot of people’s minds right now, we’ve pulled together a list of financial areas you might be interested in improving and a few free tools and resources to help you on your way. 

1. Set up a budget

Where to start: ASIC’s MoneySmart

What’s included: Free guides and tips

If budgeting is an area you’ve neglected or put off in the past, there’s no time like the present to add some structure to your finances by setting up a budget, especially if your financial situation has recently changed. 

Setting up a budget is not as daunting (or sleep-inducing) as it sounds, and it really can give you that peace of mind that comes with a better overview of your financial position. 

So where’s a great place to learn all about budgeting? MoneySmart - the website created by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) to educate Australians about all things finance. 

MoneySmart has an excellent guide on how to do a budget which outlines the steps you should take to set one up, the expenses you need to include and tips to help you stay within your budget limits. There are also budget planning and spend tracking tools to make use of. 

Speaking of tools, if you’ve just set up a new budget and you’re looking for a handy way to keep yourself on track, check out our article on the seven budget and savings apps every Aussie needs

2. Start a serious savings plan

Where to start: Mozo

What’s included: Free guides, tips and the latest rates

What goes hand in hand with a budget? A serious savings plan. Don’t worry if you need a bit more know-how before starting your own savings plan though, because we’ve got a couple of guides to get you started. 

Before we dive in, you might be wondering why you’d want to set one up in the first place. When you’re largely confined to home as most of us are at the present, it can be easy to lose sight of your longer term goals - especially in a time of uncertainty. 

But whether it’s a short holiday when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, or building towards a deposit towards a home, there are plenty of goals worth continuing to work towards… which is where a savings plan to achieve them comes in. 

Mozo’s guide on Setting up a Savings Plan is a great resource to get the ball rolling, and if financial security is on your mind then our essential guide to building an emergency savings fund should also be up there on your to-read list. 

Once you’ve identified your goals and set up a plan to achieve them, you’ll probably also be interested in a place to grow your savings. 

“But is a savings account or term deposit better?” It’s a common question, and while there’s no single ‘best’ solution, our guide on term deposits vs savings accounts can help you weigh up the benefits and drawbacks to each. 

For more information on both, check out our respective term deposit and savings account comparison hubs for the latest interest rates, news and a range of other useful guides.

Savings accounts 2020 - rates updated daily

  • Promoted

    MyState Bank

    MyState Bank

    Bonus Saver Account

    1.50% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    0.15% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yesup to $250,000

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

  • Promoted

    Bankwest

    Bankwest

    Hero Saver

    1.15% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    0.01% p.a.(for $0 to $5,000,000)

    Yesup to $250,000

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

  • Promoted

    Citi

    Citi

    Online Saver

    1.35% p.a. (for $0 to $500,000)

    0.35% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yesup to $250,000

    *Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

3. Build your share trading knowledge

Where to start: ASX

What’s included: Free videos, short courses and webinars

Whether it’s because of the increased news coverage of the markets or simply a greater interest in different investment options available to them, plenty of Australians are keeping a close eye on the share market for the first time with a view to including share trading as part of their investment mix. 

Sound familiar? Well if you’re interested in jumping into the world of investing, you’ll probably want a few pointers to help you get to grips with what can be a complicated space. 

To help you out, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has a heap of free educational resources available to help you get up to speed. For starters, why not check out their series of free short courses and videos on everything from Australian and international shares to bonds, options and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). 

Alternatively, if you’re ready to get investing but need a great online platform to start trading on then why not check out our article on Australia’s best share trading platforms

The article runs through all the winners in the 2019 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Online Share Trading, which highlight some of the best share trading platforms and apps in Australia for different types of investors. 

4. Get to know your home loan 

Where to start: Mozo

What’s included: Free videos and guides

If there was ever a great opportunity to get to know your home loan, it’s now. 

After all, with multiple Reserve Bank interest rate cuts in the last month, the cash rate has hit a level never seen before. Of course, that’s also flowed on to home loan interest rates meaning that now could be a great time to look at refinancing if you haven’t already thought about it already.  

What is refinancing you ask? Simply put it’s when you switch from one home loan offer to another. That could be with the same lender, or with a new one. Either way, the goal of refinancing could be to: 

  • - Secure a lower rate so you can reduce your repayments 

  • - Switch to a lower rate to pay off your loan faster. 

  • - Take advantage of a new home loan with more useful features 

Now could also be a great time to learn more about some of the other home loan features you might not be making the most out of. For instance, does your mortgage allow you to make free, extra repayments towards your loan and are you making use of any offset account? 

If that’s piqued your curiosity, we’ve got the ready-made resources for you to take a deep dive on all of these features. To start off, learn more about refinancing by checking out the explainer video and handy guides over on the Mozo refinancing hub

After that, take a look at our video on how offset accounts work or head over to our extra repayments calculator to see how much faster you could pay off your loan.

RELATED: Refinancing tips and tricks

Up for another challenge? Try out our Easter finance bootcamp: 4 days, 4 ways to get your finances in shape over the long weekend.

Otherwise check out all of the latest banking offers and interest rates by paying a visit to the Mozo savings account, term deposit and home loans comparison hubs.

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