Count cash not sheep to sleep

The Western Star - - MONEY SAVER HQ - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

FI­NAN­CIAL stress is keep­ing us awake at night, with two in three Aussies los­ing sleep over money, re­search from NAB’s sub­sidiary UBank found.

But ex­perts be­lieve this can be turned around if peo­ple em­brace money man­age­ment.

UBank to­day rolled out an on­line tool dubbed Free2Spend and the name says it all – money left­over is what the ac­count holder is “free to spend.”

Us­ing a daily trans­ac­tion ac­count, cus­tomers set goals, mon­i­tor whether they are over or un­der­spend­ing in real-time and see how it’s af­fect­ing what they’ve set out to achieve.

UBank CEO Lee Hat­ton said con­sumers needed to recog­nise their fi­nan­cial po­si­tion be­fore pen­ning out fi­nan­cial goals.

“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.”

For ex­am­ple, if a user plans to save $20,000 for a wed­ding, they can set aside cash for reg­u­lar ex­penses and see how much ex­tra they need to save each week to reach their mile­stone by a set date.

The tool pro­vides cus­tomers with real-time sav­ings goals and gives them a daily spend­ing al­lowance af­ter sav­ings and ex­penses are met.

Other banks have also launched in­no­va­tive on­line sav­ings tools re­cently, in­clud­ing ING, which rolled out an ev­ery­day roundup tool that rounds up card spend­ing to the near­est $1 or $5 per trans­ac­tion and tips “loose change” into a high-in­ter­est sav­ings ac­count.

Tribeca Fi­nan­cial CEO Ryan

Wat­son said on­line tools 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 spend­ing and hence how you are track­ing to­wards your goals,’’ he said. “Hav­ing an ev­ery­day spend­ing ac­count... cre­ates greater ac­count­abil­ity in a per­son’s spend­ing habits.”

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