Welcome back to Savvy Shopper! Our popular column has returned to help you shop and save smarter during these crazy times. This week, we look at a couple of essentials and one non-essential – balance is important!

Switch your bank

Let’s start with interest rates on your savings. You’re probably aware that interest is at record lows at the moment, which is great if you’re paying off a home loan but not so great if you’re saving to get a home loan.

If you’ve got your house deposit sitting in your account while you save up and search for a property, you want to make sure that money is working as hard as possible in a risk-free environment (crypto, we’re looking at you!), so here are the best interest rates you can get right now.

We’re not big fans of introductory rates (where banks give you a good interest rate for the first four months) because they tend to drop super low after that period. Instead, we like ING’s Savings Maximiser, which offers 1.35% p.a. up to $100,000 ongoing if you meet a few easy conditions.

If you’ve got a $80,000 deposit in an account offering 0.05%, you’ll earn $40 interest in a year. But switch to the Savings Maximiser and that same amount will earn you $1,087. Worth half an hour of admin? We think so.

(If you’ve got more than $100,000, the AMP Super Saver account offers 1.25% p.a. up to $250,000, and MyState Bank’s Bonus Saver Account will do 1.20% p.a. up to that amount.)

Bundle your data

At Savvy Shopper HQ, we use Mate for our internet because they’re one of the less expensive suppliers, but we also find their customer service to be better than the bigger players. They also let us bundle a mobile plan with our home internet to save a few dollars.

Their soul mates nbn™ Home Fast plan gives unlimited data with good speeds for $79 a month, with no lock-in contract and no set up or plan change fees. This plan got the Mozo Experts Choice tick this year for Fast (NBN 100), but you can also bump up to Home Fast + ($89 per month) or Superfast ($89 per month for the first six months, $109 per month after that), both of which also got a nod from Mozo.

Their mobile plans (which use the Telstra network, so you’re guaranteed pretty solid coverage) range from $20 for 10gb to $30 for 30gb, all with unlimited calls and texts within Australia.

Their internet and phone plans are already reasonably priced, but when you bundle them, you save $10 a month – that’s an extra $120 a year in your pocket.

Reward yourself

With a little bit of admin, you’ve already saved yourself more than $1000 this year, so you can afford to treat yourself! But Savvy Shoppers never pay full price for treats, so we’ve always got our eyes open for discounts and voucher codes.

Vinomofo is an Adelaide-based wine delivery company that specialises in highly rated wines at marked-down prices. Why so marked down? The best deals are Black Market wines, which appear on the site with a region, varietal and description, but you don’t know exactly what you’re getting until it arrives. We’ve never had a bad drop from these guys, so we think it’s worth the punt – and it saves you a trip to the bottle shop.

And, as mentioned earlier, we love a voucher, so click here to get an extra $25 off your first order. PLUS, Savvy Shoppers in NSW can use code VINO4NSW at checkout for free standard shipping until 11.59pm Saturday 31 July to save another $9.

Cheers to that!

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