Money Smart Tips and Guides

Budgeting tips

Budgeting is something that many of us don't like to consider as we think it will tie us down. But if you really stop and think about it, budgeting is simply a means of looking at your income and expenditure and deciding on what is most important to you. Once you identify what you want to achieve, a budget is a tool to help you get there. Tracking your spending Where does all my money go? Very few people can answer this question accurately. Learning how and where you spend your money is the first step in managing your finances. Keep a financial diary Select a defined time period eg a month or 4 weeks; Record all of your spending in a notebook, create as many categories as you need e.g. petrol, lunch, transport etc; Ensure you include small items such as snacks, drinks, parking meters, tolls, donations etc; At the end of the month, use the category totals as part of your annual budget; You may choose to look for any spending that was spontaneous, wasteful or a luxury that you could do without in the future. How to curb impulse buying Next time you are tempted by an unplanned purchase, ask yourself: Do I really need it? Will I really use it? Will I still like it next month/next year? Is the price likely to be reduced at an end-of-season sale? If I don't buy it now, do I want it so much that I will make a special trip later to come back and buy it? Planning a budget A budget can help you plan your expenses and save for things you want. Managing credit or simply covering expenses is not always easy but following these steps will help you control your finances: Add up your earnings each week (or fortnight or month) Subtract regular payments or basic expenses; Rent or mortgage repayments; Food and household needs; Utilities (phone/electricity/water); Transport expenses (travel passes, petrol, car registration, maintenance); Health needs; Insurance (health, house, car, travel etc) You should include yearly expenses such as car registration and insurance in your budget. You can divide these totals by 52 for the amount to budget for each week (or divide by 26 for the amount to budget each fortnight or by 12 if your budget is calculated on a monthly basis). Subtract regular payments for lifestyle bills and expenses: Entertainment; Clothing; Personal grooming; Home appliances If you are not sure as to how much you spend; either make an estimate and review it after 3 months; or consider tracking your spending for a month. Allocate additional funds to cover Loan repayments; Additional superannuation contributions The amount of money that is left can be used to buy things that you want or to save. Online budget calculator To help you plan your budget, you can utilise our budget calculator which takes into consideration all of your general expenses and gives you an idea as to how much you could save. Check our online calculators here. Saving Saving may appear to be difficult and disciplined, but think of the feeling of being able to afford to buy something you have wanted for a long time. Here are some tips to help you on your way. Set yourself a savings target Aim to save 10% of your gross annual income. This breaks down to 5% for short-term goals and 5% for long-term goals. Tip - the 10% rule If you've never been a successful saver before, start off slowly. Leave committing to medium or long-term goals for a while until you're confident a saving strategy is within your reach. Set yourself one short-term goal - perhaps 3 months away - that requires only a small amount of cash; Then set aside 10% of your income each week in a separate savings account; At the end of 3 months, withdraw the cash to pay for your small goal - perhaps a weekend away or a new piece of clothing - and if there is any money left over make that the first instalment in your next savings goal. Develop a safety buffer The key to successful money management is to put funds aside during the good times and to minimise financial stress during bad times. Remember to allow for unexpected debts and emergencies e.g. illness in the family, loss or breakage of possessions, career interruptions etc. Tip - how much is enough? Singles and couples should consider developing an emergency fund equal to 2 months take-home pay in case of retrenchment or emergencies. Those with young families should aim to build up an emergency fund equal to 3 months take-home pay. Quick budget reminders Don't make your budget so tight that it's impossible to keep; A budget is not set in stone. It is there to help, not hinder you. A sign of a successful budget is one that is flexible during tough times and able to reward you when your prospects are brighter; If you blow your budget one month, try to make up for lost finance in areas that are more flexible e.g entertainment or eating out; Revisit your budget every 3 months to see if there are any areas you can tighten up to improve your financial flow. Explore a Range of Savings Accounts for Your Financial Goals - Learn more.

Tips and Guides

What is the difference between the Member Number and Account Number?

A member number is a unique number that identifies you from all other Unity Bank members. An account number is a 9 digit number linked to each different account. When would I need my Member Number? When you log into Internet Banking (also known as User ID) When speaking with our staff, helping us to quickly locate your member profile when assisting you. When would I need to know my Account Number? For companies, government bodies and anyone who makes credits or debits to your Unity Bank accounts you need to quote our BSB number and the 9-digit account number linked to your account. You may notice you have a number with some letters available, for example 123456L1.1. This is your internal account number and can't be used for external credits or debits. How do I find my Account Number? You can locate the 9-digit account number in your Internet Banking by selecting BSB/Account Information from the Accounts menu: To find it in the mobile banking app select the relevant account from the Accounts page, then tap the blue coin symbol (for Savings accounts) or the blue money bag symbol (for Loan accounts) above your account details and it will be listed under “Account reference”. You can also find your account number on your bank statement or eStatement. If you need further assistance, please contact us on 1300 36 2000.

Tips and Guides

Let us know when you are travelling overseas

If you're going overseas, please let us know. It means we'll expect some transactions from overseas and can help look out for any suspicious transactions. Update us through the banking app or by phone Log into the Unity Bank app Go to the Menu Tap Travel Overseas Enter your log in details Add your trip details, including:- Your travel dates- The countries you plan to visit- Your contact details (email address and mobile number you'll be using overseas) Tap Finish If successful you'll see an onscreen confirmation. Alternatively, you can also notify us by phone. Left the country already? Don't worry, you can still tell us about your travel plans by following the steps above. Contacting Unity Bank when overseas If something goes wrong while you're away, the best way to get it sorted is by phone. Call us on +61 2 8263 3200 from 8:00am to 7:00pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. If you can't get to a phone, you can email us or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

Home Loans Personal Loans Tips and Guides

What do I need for my application?

Before you proceed with your application, make sure you have the following details sorted. Proof of income Income details for each applicant Two copies of your most recent payslips or a letter from your employer confirming your employment status and income Current Centrelink details if applicable (e.g. family allowance, pension) If you are self-employed you will need your tax returns and profit and loss statements for the last 2 years Employment details Your current employer's details (name, address and phone number) If you have not been in your current job for three years, the details of your previous employment Identity Proof of identity is not required to apply for the loan, however you will be required to supply suitable identification at a later date as listed below. If you are an existing member, your membership number If you have not been living at your current address for at least two years, the details of your previous address Assets Details of your assets including bank accounts, shares, life insurance, motor vehicles and personal effects We will require verification for certain assets, for example rates notice if you own a property or rent receipts if you have an investment property. Commitments Details of your financial commitments (eg. payments made on other loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc). We will require recent statements. Car Loan If you are applying for a Car Loan you will also need to provide details (where available) of the vehicle you plan to purchase: Dealer's invoice Copy of current registration papers If a private sale, copy of current registration paper Proof of insurance cover Home Loan If you are applying for a Home Loan you will also need to provide details (where available) of the property you are purchasing: Details of location Type of property Purchase price Your monetary contribution Name of agent or private vendor Name of your solicitor Consolidation Loan If you are applying to consolidate your loans you will need to provide: Current statements of all existing loans and credit cards Obtain a payout figure from the lender

Home Loans Personal Loans Tips and Guides

How does the online application work?

The online loan application process should take you no more than 10 minutes. You will be asked to complete a simple form asking you to provide information on: purpose of the loan; your personal details; your contact and address details; your employment and income; other financial commitments you have; and your assets. It is important that the information you provide is accurate so that we can assess your application in the most effective way. If you provide us with incomplete or inaccurate information, we may not be able to provide you with the loan you are seeking. Use of your personal information You agree that personal information about you which may at any time be provided to us in connection with a loan application may be held and used by us to assess and process the application, to establish, provide and administer the facility and to execute your instructions. See our privacy policy for further information. When you complete the application form, it will be transmitted to us via secure encrypted transmission (click here for all our security details).

Home Loans Personal Loans Tips and Guides

What happens to my application once it is submitted?

We will acknowledge receipt of your application at which time we will advise you of our initial assessment and, if necessary, seek other information from you for the purpose of fully assessing your application. We may also need to gather information from a third party, such as a credit reporting agency, to enable us to fully assess your application. Upon receiving all the relevant information, your application will be fully assessed and you will receive a phone call or email to let you know if your loan has been approved, subject to any conditions. At that time we will also discuss the next steps involved in progressing your loan application. Please note the following regarding the information you provide. In submitting your application you agree, in making an application for credit to us, that, in assessing the application we may seek and obtain personal information about you from a credit reporting agency or other financial institution or any other party necessary to assess your application and may give personal information about you to another financial institution. You also agree that we may hold and use personal information about you, which may at any time be provided to us in connection with a facility for which you make application to us, for the purposes (as relevant) of: considering any other application you may make to us; complying with legislative and regulatory requirements; performing administrative functions, including accounting, risk management, record keeping, archiving, systems development, credit scoring and staff training; managing our rights and obligations in relation to external payment systems; conducting market or customer satisfaction research; developing, establishing and administering alliances and other arrangements (including rewards programs) with other organisations in relation to the promotion, administration and use of our respective products and services; developing and identifying products and services that may interest you; and (unless you ask us not to) providing you with information about other products and services. For further information on the way we collect and use your information, please click here to view our full Privacy Policy.