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Free2Spend and Financially Fit

You’re drinking your two litres of water a day, hitting 10,000 steps a day and cutting out that afternoon sweet treat. Each day, we do our bit to stay on top of our fitness goals, and build a healthy mind and body. But how about a healthy bank account?

Savings goals: expectations vs reality

Financial fitness is something that goes on the resolutions list each year. In the first few days of fist-pumping enthusiasm, you’ve pinned up a savings vision board, downloaded five different money apps, and drafted a colour-coded spreadsheet.

But just like that gym membership that gathers dust after we decide it’s too cold and dark for weights at 6am, financial plans can fall limp when we lose sight of what the end-goal is.

Maybe you’ve blown your budget on a big weekend, after diligently bringing your lunch to work during the week. Or, the effort of juggling multiple budget numbers is just too much. Either way, it can be really demotivating, and make you fall back on your old spending habits.

One number, no worries

This difficulty in maintaining a budget is something we heard from our customers a lot. So the team at UBank got busy, and developed a tool within the UBank app called Free2Spend.

Essentially, the in-app tool gives you one number. This one number is a daily number based on your savings goal, which adjusts in real time, and enables you to spend your money on whatever you want. In the same way your fitness app will tell you, say, how many steps you have left to hit your daily goal, Free2Spend tells you how much you’ve got left to spend, each day. That’s it.

“With fitness apps and wearables, you can quickly glance at calories burned or distance travelled and instantly know if you’re on track or not. It was that same ‘in the moment’ and forward looking decision-making that we wanted to bring to customers’ finances.”

Peter O‘Malley, UBank Digital Product Manager

And don’t worry if you blow out your budget on an online sale or impromptu dinner – Free2Spend is dynamic. If you hit the red, Free2Spend will simply re-calculate your daily Free2Spend for the remainder of your spending cycle. This means you can log into the UBank app whenever you like for an accurate snapshot of how much money you’ve got left to play with in that moment.

“Investing time in budgeting can be hard, particularly when we have so many other distractions each day. Therefore, it was incredibly important for us to allow our customers to quickly check in.”

Peter O‘Malley, UBank Digital Product Manager

And in the background, Free2Spend never loses sight of your savings goal – a set amount of money goes into your savings account every spend cycle (which can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on when you get paid and what you find easiest). Free2Spend also considers your fixed and essential expenses like bills & rent so all you have to focus on is your daily Free2Spend number.

Free2Spend allows you to take control of your financial health in a sustained way, as opposed to restrictive and unrealistic budgets that get ignored after a couple of weeks. Just like getting active or eating well, financial fitness shouldn’t feel like a chore. Instead, we want you to be able to check in on your progress, feel motivated you’re achieving your goals and then get on with living your best life.

Find out more about how Free2Spend works here.