Small steps for a big future
Like many millennials, Nick Gaston knows how hard it will be to get into the property market. That’s why, at just 21, he’s thinking ahead. He has a four-year plan to save for a house deposit with his girlfriend, while he completes his double degree and plans his future.
"I realise how difficult it is to buy a house," he explains, "but I think if I get into the habit of checking budgets, managing savings and spending, and setting goals, then hopefully I can do it."
The task isn’t easy, but Nick is willing to make sacrifices. He says, "My girlfriend and I plan to buy an investment property – which means as much saving as you can really."
I feel like Macquarie is offering above and beyond what any other bank is at the moment.
He admits he is lucky to have supportive parents. "I’m living at home, I work four days a week and study full-time. I try to put 90% of my income in savings – I’m fortunate to be in that position where I can."
According to Nick, his parents have played a big role in shaping his financial values.
"I used to work for my father in his nursery, and when we’d get paid he’d say ‘well you don’t have enough this week to buy what you want, but if you save for the next few weeks you will,’ so saving habits were something that were definitely instilled."
However, a lofty goal like home ownership comes with challenges. Budgeting takes effort, and Nick, who is very busy with study and work, wanted an easy way to track his savings.
He tried a few apps, but wanted everything in one place. That’s when he learned about Macquarie’s new transaction account.
"Before the Macquarie app, I was doing it all in Excel. There were your bank apps, and then you’d have your budgeting apps. Macquarie combines it all on one dashboard."
As a tech enthusiast, Nick was impressed by the flexibility of the Macquarie banking app. He liked the way he could personalise the landing page with his own picture, change the structure of the app to suit his own needs, and set his own savings goals. But most importantly, the front page had all the information he needed, in real time, with at-a-glance graphics.
"It’s really accessible. With other apps I’d think, ‘Oh I should check my money,’ and it meant going through pages to see how much I’d spent, looking through accounts, and using charts," he explains.
"Now I can take a quick look while I’m on the bus, or walking somewhere, and see how much I’ve spent because it all shows up straight away."
The real-time notifications also remind him he’s spending his hard-earned money. "When I purchase something, a notification comes up – even if it’s just $4 at a cafe.’"
Nick isn’t alone in his desire for a better digital banking experience. 74% of millennials say mobile banking is very important to them 2, with millennials far more likely than any other demographic to switch banks if they aren’t servicing their needs.
Of course, low banking costs are the most important feature for a hard-saving student – so Nick says when he tells his friends that Macquarie has no account fees and they can use any ATM in Australia without charge, they want to switch.
"I feel like Macquarie is offering above and beyond what any other bank is at the moment, they’re definitely offering the best product they can, and I say that to people when I recommend it."
Nick found it easy to set up his new account online. "It was very simple, I could even do all the ID checks online," he says. "They sent me a few emails to confirm certain things and I was on my way."
Although he’s sensible when it comes to his finances, Nick does understand the importance of enjoying life in the now.
"My girlfriend and I are planning a holiday for when I finish uni, so I’ve factored it into my savings goal – I want to reap the rewards of studying and working at the same time by saving and trying to accumulate wealth. But it’s not what my whole life is about." As for his HECS loan, he’s not concerned, saying, "HECS seems to be the lowest interest loan I’ll ever get."
In 10 years’ time, Nick sees himself living a balanced life. He says, "I’d like to think of myself as established where I work, and paying off my mortgage, with enough time and money to go on trips with friends and family."
With his positive approach to saving and his willingness to plan ahead it looks like Nick is on his way to achieving his dreams.