2016 has started out to be a good year generally across the global market place. Companies are reporting positive sales figures, the property market is moving in the right direction and tourism and travel have been on the rise too. All signs of a growing economy. So with more money spinning around the world it’s about time we started focussing on saving more of it with less strain via smartphone apps that do all the hard work for us.
It’s time to set new goals, make new financial plans and hopefully begin more targeted budgets. This year is no exception and with modern technology and smartphone apps making leaps and bounds in terms of progress, you will be happy to hear that there are numerous financial apps out there to help you keep on track. Here's my list of the top budgeting and money saving apps available on the market today.
Today’s focus of apps will be on Android and Apple devices because these are the two most common operating systems, (sorry Windows).
BillGuard – Free
Unlike the other free apps mentioned below, BillGuard automatically tracks your spending rather than you having to manually enter your expenses. When setting up the app asks if you would like to add your accounts and if you proceed then all of your transactions will be imported for you. The great feature that makes this app stand out from the rest is that it allows you to approve your expenses and it will notify you if you have been charged twice.
Dollarbird – Free
This is an app that uses all the colours of the rainbow. It's bright, clearly laid out and very simple to understand. Definitely one of the better apps available to get you budgeting (and at zero cost) in just a few easy steps. The concept is very simple too: how much do you have versus how much you are spending. Using their calendar view creates a really easy way to overview how much you have spent and on which days throughout the entire month.
Fudget – Free
Free and simple couldn’t be easier than with Fudget, because they strip away all the fancy things you see in most apps and bring it down to the basics of budgeting. Use this app to track your income and expenses and to see where you stand at any point during the month. Personally, I believe this is a great app for beginners because it’s simple, easy to use and provides an instant snapshot of your finances at any given point in time.
tapMortgage Australia - $4-49
If you are looking to buy a house or an investment property and you happen to own an iPhone, then this app can help you budget your move more efficiently. The app basically calculates mortgage, loan repayments and stamp duty all in one to give you a bigger picture of exactly how much you will be spending on your property. Along side this handy calculator it also has a wealth of information such as contact details for your local state revenue office or providing a comparison of mortgage repayments and interest rates currently available.
There are so many clever apps that have emerged for saving money that it seemed worthwhile giving them a mention here too.
Lasoo – Free
This free app basically does the same thing as its website which lets users search through digital versions of paper catalogues helping protect the environment and making it more convenient for people on the move. Lasoo lets you hunt for sales from retailers such as Target, Big W, IKEA, Coles, Myer and Officeworks. Information is also available such as if the product is on sale, where it’s being sold and the nearest store to you.
The Happiest Hour – Free
This is really one to be happy about because the free app provides up-to-date information on food and drink specials helping you save money on eating and drinking out. Use the app to search by the day of the week and in whichever city you are based. If you want to be more specific, search through their categories such as deals on beer, wine spirits, cocktails and food. You can even set up alerts for your favourite places and one-off specials. It’s currently available in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane.
Digit – Free
Certainly one of the more sophisticated apps out there for saving, Digit syncs directly with your bank account and will even analyse your spending. After analysing your account the app will recognise where it can save you money and take small amounts between the value of $5 - $50 and save it for you. The app operates via text message so each week the app will send you a text saying how much it’s saved you. When you want that money back simply text the app. This is truly the most painless way to save money that I’ve seen.
Qapital – Free
Qapital is unique in the way its concept saves you money, because it’s all based on rules or IFTTTs (if this then that) recipes. When one of the rules you have set is triggered then money will automatically be saved e.g. completing a 5km cycle ride or taking the bus to work. It doesn’t stop there though because if you break one of your rules then in return the app will take money away from you e.g. going shopping at a specific retailer or designer. The reason this app is so loved is because it puts a fun spin on the way money can be saved by making it a light-hearted game with yourself.