Australians are being given innovative new tools to better manage their money.
Australians are being given innovative new tools to better manage their money.

Track your spending habits to save

AUSTRALIANS are obsessed with using fitness tracking devices to count their daily steps but they are not monitoring their money-making goals in such intricate detail.

And alarming figures show the stress of being on top of our finances is keeping many of us awake at night - two in three people admit to experiencing lack of sleep as a result of financial worries, new research from NAB's subsidiary UBank found.

But experts believe this can quickly be turned around if people get back in the driver's seat with their money management skills.

Borrowers can easily keep track of their finances using their smartphone.
Borrowers can easily keep track of their finances using their smartphone.

UBank has today rolled out a new online tool dubbed Free2Spend and the name says it all - whatever is leftover is what the account holder is "free to spend."

 

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Using the bank's daily transaction account, customers can set goals and monitor whether they are overspending or underspending in real-time and see exactly how it's impacting what they've set out to achieve.

UBank chief executive officer Lee Hatton said consumers needed to recognise their financial position first before putting penning out their financial goals.

UBank chief executive officer Lee Hatton said setting monetary goals can help reduce stress levels.
UBank chief executive officer Lee Hatton said setting monetary goals can help reduce stress levels.

"Set goals and understand where you want to go and you can turn it completely around so you are not stressed, you are empowered,'' she said.

"Having a tool that is proactive not reactive can empower you rather than beating you down."

 

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For example, if a user has set a goal to tuck away $20,000 for a wedding later in the year, they can set aside cash for their regular expenses and how much they need to tuck away each week to reach this monetary milestone by a set date.

The tool provides customers with real-time savings goals and gives them daily amounts of how much they can spend after all their savings and expenses are met.

Financial institutions are rolling out more innovative ways to help customers save.
Financial institutions are rolling out more innovative ways to help customers save.

Other banks have also introduced innovative online savings tools recently, including ING which rolled out an everyday roundup tool.

As the name states it rounds up spending on a card to the nearest $1 or $5 each time a transaction is made and tips the "loose change" into a high-interest savings account.

Tribeca Financial's chief executive officer, Ryan Watson, said using online tools could help people "keep things simple."

"A weekly check in on your spending habits and bank balances is a great way to stay on top of what you are spending and hence how you are tracking towards your goals,'' he said.

"Having an everyday spending account whereby when the money is gone and you simply have no more to spend creates greater accountability in a person's spending habits."

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth



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