Kill Bills: Vol. Recreation

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Everyone deserves a little leisure time, even uni students struggling to balance study, work, and everything in between.

But for many students, the terms ‘Bachelor’s Degree’ and ‘financially stable’ are often mutually exclusive.

Devoting time and money to recreation can seem impossible when you’ve got a list of bills set to bleed your bank account near-dry. For those relying on subscription services and apps like Netflix, Spotify, or UberEats to keep them relaxed during their down time, keeping track of these billing cycles can become all the more stressful. Then there’s the students trying to manage these responsibilities while saving for larger-scale recreational activities like holidays, flights and festivals. When you throw these varying elements into the mix, you’d be forgiven for losing track of your finances – or for not understanding how to use certain banking tools to help you better manage your monetary situation.

This is where Up comes in.

Up is a app-based digital bank that comes with a collection of nifty features designed to help you kill Your bills’ and streamline your money management. Designed so they’re super easy to use, Up is made to give you more time to relax – while enhancing your financial literacy, of course!

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After you’ve set up Up Savers for all your big recreation goals for the year, you can give them emojis and target amounts so you know what you’ll need to save for each holiday, music festival or big purchase you have planned. Then you can start the hard work of chipping away at them by splitting out a percentage of your pay, auto-transferring money or rounding up each time you buy that morning coffee. You’ll also earn interest across all your Up Savers*, which is sweet.

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Figure 1: Set up multiple Up Savers to map out your 2020 goals

Keeping track of direct debits and your seemingly endless array of bills, apps and paid subscription services is an important element of healthy financial management. Yet it’s also something that everyone tends to forget about – until we receive that dreaded unprocessed payment email.

Up has automated the billing cycle process for you to predict your upcoming bills, charges and subscriptions. This feature helps you better understand what bills are coming up so you’ll better understand what you’ll have left money-wise for the weeks ahead, after those pesky payments are taken care of.

After learning about your regular charges, Up is able to predict when they will next occur. So rather than relying on an anxiety-inducing email from Optus informing you that your phone bill wasn’t paid because you didn’t have the funds in your associated account, Up will send you a notification about each bill ahead of time.

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Super insightful, right?

Alongside these notifications sits the ability to auto-track your previous bill payments – or indeed how much you’ve spent at any particular merchant over time.

If you want to analyse which service you’d be better off pausing so you can save enough coin for that holiday later on in the year, this feature will be your best friend. By simply clicking into the Up app and tapping on a biller’s logo or bill payment, the nitty gritty numbers are provided to you, in real-time. You’ll be able to see just how many Netflix-related transactions you’ve made over the past year, for instance, while also witnessing the exact dollar amount you’ve devoted to coffees at your favourite coffee shop.

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Figure 2: Up helps you track how much you spend at merchants over time

These insights aren’t designed to make you feel guilty about your Netflix subscription, or how much money you devote to your phone bill per month, by the way. They’re designed to help equip you with the tools necessary to understand how much of your bill-related money is going where. Knowledge is power, and with these specifics at your disposal, you’ll be better primed to make the financial choices that will propel your quality of life.

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Figure 3: Up Auto-Categorises your spending into a range of categories

Continuing Up’s empower-through-insight nature are the real-time monthly spend reports provided to users.

By categorising each transaction you make into an automatically assigned category this feature is like a nifty little budgeting toolthat does all the reporting and categorising itself, rather than placing the often-tedious onus on you. The important thing to note here is that Up can automatically provide you with comparisons against your average spend. This way, you can track where you’re at compared to where you were previously over the last three months, category-by-category. You can also set up tags for things that don’t fit the categories provided – or to curb habits you want to change over time. Whether you’re wanting to cut back on unnecessary spending in the “Good Life” or “Groceries” so you have extra spending money for your next uni break, or whether you want to see how a new recreational expense will fit into your life, Up has you covered.

Balancing bills, expenses and leisure more often than not seems like a stressful and/or boring chore. But when you use a service that takes the hassle out of the spend and save cycle like Up, you become much more empowered to reach a healthy balance between being responsible and engaging in downtime – whatever that looks like to you.

Who wouldn’t say up yeah to that?

If you’re keen to try Up, use the invite code “SWIN2020”to join and get $10 you can use instantly** through Apple Pay or Google Pay to try it out.

Disclaimer: Up has supplied much of the info required for this post. T&Cs @ up.com.au. *Up Saver rates subject to change. 5 txns req’d. Cap $50k. **Invite code offer conditions @ up.com.au/huam. Product issuer Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.

Published by SWINE Mag

The official magazine of the Swinburne Student Union.

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