Upgrade your finances with the Upsider community

How to Up, Saving, Spending and Budgeting, Upsider Stories

Upsides swapping brains

A fresh new year calls for a fresh new start. Call it a detox, call it a reboot. Whatever you call it, we’ve never needed it more than after the giant trash fire that was 2020.

So put the kettle on. Because today our Upsider community is sharing their best advice for small-but-slick financial changes that’ll really pack a punch in 2021. And you could get some of them sorted before the coffee’s done.

PS...If you're new around here, there's no time like now to try Up. Use the code JOINUP5 (conditions) and we’ll start you out with a free $5.

1. Close your eyes and make a wish.

I graduated this year and got my first job! I had my leavers trip coming up and was concerned whether I'd be able to save up enough. I opened a saver for it and it worked so well, I was proud of my work to be able to pay and sustain myself while I was away.
- Heleen

You know the dream, because it lives deep in your heart. The trip. The full sleeve. The foster doggo.

To really tell that goal you're coming for it, you can call it out in your Savers, and give it a goal and an emoji.

But why stop there? It’s your dream, go hard.

You could also spin up a widget for your home screen, and match a live visual of your Furdinand Saver to a pic of your dream doggo. Those big brown eyes will be there to remind you of your goal, every time you open your phone 🐶

2. Little wishes matter, too

Music is bliss but expensive when you're into vinyl. I set up a saver that moves money weekly, and without even realising it, the money's there, ready to be spent on shiny new records! The latest (will be after this weekend) Bowie Legacy, so imagine that beautiful lighting bolt of yours in red and blue 😉
- Seb

Seb, we are imagining it. We’re actually having a little Bowie-shaped daydream over here and he says hello from Mars.

Having a little cash just for treats makes everyday life brighter. So once your critical Savers are taken care of, why not consider keeping a littler one stocked with change you can spend?

You’ll never have to think again about whether you can grab a sneaky Snickers. If the money’s there, it’s all yours.

3. Start an emergency fund today.

The first thing I did when I downloaded the app was create and fill an emergency account. Less than a month later I found out I was at risk of losing my ovaries and being unable to have kids. When they asked how I planned on paying for all the appointments, scans, therapies and surgeries, I felt empowered knowing my rainy-day fund was full!
- Clare

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that life is what gut punches us when we’re busy making other plans.

Want to share Clare’s peace of mind? Kick off an emergency Saver today. You might never need it. But you might also sleep better knowing it’s there.

4. Get ahead of payday.

Early in 2020 I quit my job to freelance. I started structuring my savers as 'months' of runway. I've got November, December, January, etc. Now I feel comfortable that I've always got money for at least this month and next month. Then I just have to do work to fill up the month after that (or more). Now I'm a few months ahead I feel much more stable than I did when I had a salary! It's been nice decoupling my income from my living expenses.
- Ben

Ben’s got an unusual way to use Savers and we 👏 love 👏it 👏.

The beauty of Savers is that they’re yours to design. Ben’s figured out how much he needs for the month ahead - Up’s insights can help with that, too! - and little by little, he’s earning freedom from payday stress.

Is a month too massive? Try getting one week ahead of your spending, and give yourself time to get there. A buck or ten at a time, whatever you can punt into a payday Saver adds up. Add one more week, and one more… and you see where this is going.

When next December rolls around, you could be richer in both dollars and serenity 😎

5. Clean up casual cash

As an actress with a fluctuating income, being able to easily categorise everything without spending hours on it has just made the world of difference. I feel like before I joined Up I barely looked at my account, I was afraid of what I would see (probably more accurately what I wouldn't see) and that fear kept me in the dark.
- Paige

Casual income can spell stress. Have you been paid? Do you have to (ugh) hassle someone? Is it instant noodles for dinner tonight?

But Paige is floating on a calm sea of well organised info. A few minutes of setup and you can be too, no matter how many jobs you’re juggling.

First, Up will notify you instantly when you’ve been paid - and who paid you.

Then, you can mark those payments as salary and use Pay Splitting to tell us how you'd like the money stored. Our robots will remember and tuck away money for bills, travel, and spending - all before you wake to tread the boards once more.

6. Kill credit with kindness

Up helped me pay off my credit card with another bank! I could see my goal so paying it off became a challenge rather than a task. I've been able to save like I never have before by being able to allocate my money, which when Covid hit and stole my job for 7 months came in super helpful!
- Nicole

Seeing that you’re in the red can make you feel somehow less than the shiny human you are. Give yourself a hug, because to us you are perfect 💜

Then let’s get solving.

Nicole set up positive Saver goals for her credit payments, and that's what she keeps in touch with. Because goals are for 🏅winners 🏅 and bad vibes can get in the bin.

Bonus tip: if you need to pay off fees every week or month, you can automate payments on those bad boys and use your brain space for nicer stuff.

7. Make it yours, and make it fun.

I set fun interactive goals, I am saving for a MacBook and a house and I tell you what throwing the little digital laptop around keeps me super entertained and I love watching the little dollars pile up.
- Abbey

We deliberately build Up to be a little bit like a game, because a) we’re a team that spends a great deal of time on Mario Kart and b) we reckon the more time you spend choosing the perfect Upname, building out dream Savers, and playing with your Saver Pools, the more you’ll engage with your money.

We’re pretty sure that you'll find your own way to customise Up, that brings a song to your heart and your dreams one step closer.

8. Line up your spending - and saving - with your values.

The fact I learned that I spend more money at pubs and bars than I do on rent made me laugh…
- Dave

We don’t know if learning that also made Dave cry, and that’s cool - cause it’s nobody’s business but Dave’s.

Do you want to knuckle down for tomorrow, enjoy the moment, or balance the two? There’s no right answer, except the one that’s yours. Up gives you a world of insights, so why not take the time to consider whether the money you're spending now matches your values.

You can start with the core 4 categories Up shows you: Good Life, Personal, Home and Transport. From there you can dig down and see how much you’re spending on Maccas, the local cafe, or the local.

Then you can make some calls. The stuff you value least is going to be easier to cut from your budget. Trying to save, but music is life? Walking instead of driving might hurt way less than missing out on tickets.

9. Redirect your Round Ups

Auto-round ups made the Christmas present $$$ stress so much less this year! I created a Presents saver with a goal of $800, enabled auto-round ups (+$1 extra) and hit that goal before the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. So I have all my presents sorted earlier than ever, and I'm not feeling the post-present purchase stress!
- Jessy

Did this holiday season hurt you? Show the next one who’s boss. Or pick anything else that’s giving you money worries, and point those round ups in its direction.

Round ups kick the ‘price’ of each purchase you make up to the nearest dollar, and send the difference into the Saver of your choice. Boost for extra glory - you can customise the Round Ups amount anywhere up to ten bucks a pop. Jessy picked a buck, enough to get her just where she needed to be.

10. Stack your Savers for real life.

Just this month I was experiencing some money stress because of car insurance (like seriously, why is it so expensive?). BUT earlier this year I put away a grand into a special rego/insurance saver which saved my ass. So, cheers, past Ethan, we couldn't have made it without ya.
- Ethan

Ethan’s living one of the most important personal finance rules: know your true expenses. It’s easy to forget bills that come around only once in a while, and they’re the ones that’ll whomp ya. But you can be ready.

So stare them down. Check your Insights - especially for last year’s big bills. What did you have to pay for last year, and is there a Saver stacked for it?

Set em up, knock em down. Ride on down the highway cowboy, cause that horse is paid for.

11. Don't need it? Don't pay for it.

The upcoming charges always saves me from the stress of constantly using free trials.
- Marcus

We love a good streaming service and chill. We freaking hate getting charged for something we don't use any more. It’s too easy to forget before the month rolls around again and takes yet another $12 out of our pockets 😡

Up learns about your regular charges and predicts when they'll come around again. Like Marcus, go find charges you don’t want: then get out your cancel hammer and go 🔨

12. And make a little room for change.

My wife and I were blowing the budget with little takeaways, clothes, treats, and all the ‘good stuff’. Thanks to the spending tracking we've curbed our spend down, which is essential because as of 3 weeks ago we've got a little baby boy. Finding out we were expecting a bub just at the start of Covid would have been scary if we spent like we used to. But everything is under control.
- Blake

Congrats to you Blake. You don’t know what it means to us to have been part of your little family’s growth. May you, and all our Upsiders big and small, thrive in 2021.

Here's to you, and a bright New Year.

Thanks to the Upsiders who sent us their best suggestions and also photos of their doggos being good doggos. We never get tired of doggos.

From all of us at Up, here’s to a chilled out New Year 🎉

Please remember that Up does not provide financial advice, this is general advice. Up has not taken into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the Up terms before making a decision to use Up. The information on this website is for general information only.

Get the gist

We’ll swing our monthly newsletter and release notes your way.