In the past, when it came to managing and saving money as well as adding value to our investments, we relied on expert financial advisors for this. Today, however, with the surge in smartphone popularity there are a number of digital tools that have become available in the form of apps to assist us in this respect.
Whether you're trying to figure out ways to put more money aside each month or learn how to create and manage monthly budgets more effectively, I'm going to tell you about a few of the best apps out there for precisely this sort of thing. By utilising these tools as well as following the latest deals and bargains on Buckscoop, you should have no problem significantly increasing your spending budget this Christmas.
Pocketbook is one of the top money saving apps in Australia helping users budget better. This app will allow you to sync directly with your bank account, giving you very accurate analytics on exactly what you’re spending your money on. It will also assist you in calculating your tax returns and even help you file it. One of the best features is that it can also categorise an entire month's transactions in literally a second - after all, time is money.
All apps are known for their alerts (which can be somewhat annoying), but when it’s saving you money, you don’t mind receiving an alert, i.e. 'you’ve got an overdue bill’ or ‘the bank has just charged you $25’. Additionally, in line with my recent Tax Deductions article, Pocketbook can also recommend eligible deductions.
The title is pretty self-explanatory; it tracks how you spend your money and recommends areas in which you can make savings by changing your spending patterns. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) are the creators of this app. Other functionality within it allows you to set a budget each month and track your spending in relation to those goals.
A key area to saving money is making sure that you get the basics right and if you want to save morn, you need to distinguish between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’. This is one of the app's main strengths, because you can mark expenditures as either needs or wants helping you easily identify where costs can be cut each month.
This has to be the no.1 app on the iOS marketplace for mortgages. It is featured in the ‘Made in Australia’ section of the app store and is applicable to numerous personnel within the Australian property market. The app can help you calculate government costs, territory fees, transfer fees, loan repayments and much more.
The most useful part of this app for me is that it shows analytics and graphs on how much money you can save through weekly and fortnightly payments vs monthly and quarterly payments. Also if you pay extra per month, it will calculate the savings based on these overpayments.
Not so obvious from its title since every smartphone has a calculator, but this Mobile Calculator app from Money Smart is far more complex and way more beneficial to big money based decisions. This app was developed by MoneySmart.gov.au and is run by an Australian Government agency called ASIC. It combines 5 calculators together to factor in all the calculations associated with a loan, mortgage, superannuation and interest free deals, for example, to help know whether you're getting a bargain or not.
If you have an expensive Christmas coming up, this app may just help you understand the implications that these purchase will have on your savings and disposable income.
Some of you may be surprised to see Twitter in this list of apps while for others it may seem totally obvious. Although it's not a financial app, Twitter is one of the best ways to stay 'in the know’ when it comes to trending information. A great money saving tip is to follow all of your favourite financial advisors, financial commentators, banks and key government bodies, so when changes happen you are at the bleeding edge.
It's also commonly used by bargain hunters as one of the best ways to keep abreast of the best retail promotions and special discounts (both online and in-store). Give it a try this festive season by following some of your favourite brands and retailers, you'd be surprised at how much useful information they often share in those 140 character tweets!