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Three people met using Uber. Now they’re saving Aussies $2k each

Lucy Dean
·4-min read
Tim Nicholas, Silje Dreyer and David Wareing launched money-saving app GetReminded. Image: Supplied
Tim Nicholas, Silje Dreyer and David Wareing launched money-saving app GetReminded. Image: Supplied

One morning in 2017, Tim Nicholas’ train from Sydney’s Chatswood was cancelled. He jumped into an Uber – and shortly, the idea for money-saving app GetReminded was born.

Nicholas, a marketing consultant, and Uber driver and marketer David Wareing, hit it off and spent the drive speaking about marketing and the way consumers were treated by companies.

A few months later, Wareing was driving and met technical design expert Silje Dreyer who had grown too tired of waiting for her late cab. The third piece of the puzzle was set, and the three launched GetReminded.

The app allows users to enter the bills, subscriptions and fees they would like to keep on top of, and then sends out a notification well before the renewal or payment date, giving users the chance to compare and save.

Nicholas said the app exploded during Covid-19 as families looked for new ways to limit expenses, jumping from 10,000 users to 20,000.

Nearly 12 million Australians are concerned about the economy, with 57 per cent predicting no improvement to their financial situation by May next year, Deloitte Access Economics and Compare the Market’s financial consciousness index found.

“What we also realised at this time with Covid and all of those financial constraints was that we actually had quite a good story to tell, because people were looking for ways to trim their costs where they could, especially as salaries and incomes were cut back,” Nicholas said.

“So in some ways it played into our hands a little bit, because what we're out there doing is trying to make sure consumers aren't spending too much on these documents and contracts.”

Nurse and mother of three, Rachel James, is one of those consumers. She saved over $2,000 in her first year of using the app. After being reminded, she switched out her $100 1.2GB monthly phone plan for a $70 plan with unlimited data and added two children to that plan, coming to $132.

She also set up reminders to compare her internet provider, finding she could get a better price and speed simply by calling at the right time and asking the right questions.

James also saved $48 a month by negotiating with Foxtel after discovering her kids were using different services, taking her bill from $147 to $99.

On her energy bills, James secured a 15 per cent discount by calling to negotiate just before the annual contract was renewed.

And James also has reminders set before her home and contents insurance is set to be renewed, and has never had an increase.

And she’s not alone: GetReminded finds that the average yearly expenses for families are $13,560 across their mobile, car registration and insurance, phone bills, energy bills, home and contents insurance and NBN. By shopping around, GetReminded found the average family could save 20 per cent on each expense, an accumulative $2,712.

The app can also track bills, meaning it can also act as a “little defacto budget planning tool”, Nicholas said.

“Once you’ve signed up, you can set up as many reminders as you like. It’s a free app, and we’ve had some amazing users who have set up 20 or 30 different reminders and that’s what we find - once people start setting them up, people get on a roll and it’s something that they quite enjoy,” he added.

“They say, ‘I’ll go put up that.’ They may be tracking loans on a couple of investment properties or might have a few members of a household, and once you start adding them up, we can see the reminders are going to cover 75 per cent or 80 per cent of most of the household spending.”

The app is live in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Norway and Ireland, with plans to take the app to all corners of the globe.

Nicholas said GetReminded’s mission purpose comes down to helping Australians save. And it’s not just bills - it can be things like passports or other documents where replacing them after they expire can be a painfully expensive exercise.

“That’s our number one reason for being, helping consumers. Helping them to remember when the time comes along, that they have to do something.”

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