Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Organising Your Finances? 3 Apps That Can Help!

About The Author
Jennifer is a freelance writer with a passion for travel, and all things cats. When she's not writing, she can be found exploring fascinating and exotic destinations with her husband and young daughter. 

While the economy may well be in recovery from the recession, we’re still feeling the effects financially, and many of us are striving to cut down on our household spends. However, as you may know, organising your home budget, and sticking to it, can be more challenging than it sounds! So what sort of help is available for homeowners looking to live more frugally and keep track of their outgoings?

While a trusty pen and paper is the traditional tried-and-tested method, many of us are opting to utilise the latest technologies which can make it easier, quicker, and more straightforward to accurately monitor spending, identify areas that we need to focus on, and implement changes. Many banks are already offering mobile banking apps that allow for instant access to accounts anytime, anyplace, and it’s reported that more than half of all bank customers are making use of these – but what other apps could make our lives easier, and our wallets fuller? Here are three apps that will help you organise your finances.

Google Calendar
Using a calendar to help you keep track of your spending makes a lot of sense and can be hugely beneficial, but what happens when you’re out and about and need to know when your credit card payments are due, or when that cheque’s going to clear? The highlight of Google apps (which not only includes the calendar but also Docs, Sheets, and Gmail) is that you have access to your data from anywhere you have an internet connection, and from any device, which means you can check vital information from wherever you are, at any time. Google Calendar can be used to note standing orders and regular payments so you always know when money is due to be put into, or taken out of, your account. It can also be used to log bill payments, as well as to track refund times. By more closely monitoring and keeping track of incomings and outgoings, right down to the day, it makes it much simpler to stay within your budget.

If you’ve identified that your weekly shopping is an area that could do with a financial makeover, and you’re wanting to slash those grocery prices significantly, then ShopSavvy is your new best friend. This clever little app works in two ways. First, the app allows you to search for items on your shopping list. When you search, the app will check prices at all major supermarkets, finding you the best price on any particular day. This allows you to check the cost of your shopping at different shops before even stepping foot outside the house, helping you to make an informed decision on where to shop each week. Second, the app caters to those who like to be a bit spontaneous in their shopping habits. For products you simply like the look of while shopping, you can quickly and easily scan the barcode on the item and the app will tell you if you can get it for less somewhere else. Cutting down in grocery bills is one of the best ways to cut your spending.

GoodBudget is a LifeHacker favourite, and it’s easy to see why. This really is a comprehensive financial app, allowing you to allocate a set budget for every aspect of your life, from household bills and credit card payments to cinema outings and clothes funds. The app clearly shows each budget, along with the percentage of that budget you’ve used up for the month, which allows you to still have fun and live life to the max without going into the red. Adding receipt information is so simple, and it’s easy to split receipts into different budgets so you can keep your data as accurate as possible. The app allows for incoming payments to be monitored just as effortlessly as outgoings which means you’ve always got an up-to-date account balance at the touch of a button, and your transactions are held secure for five years, so you’ll always have a full overview of your past spending wherever and whenever you have an internet connection.

Budgeting Made Easy

New and emerging technologies are making it easier than ever before for us to take care of challenging and difficult tasks such as organising a household budget, and sticking to it long term. By making use of available apps for mobile devices, there are no excuses for spending too much, for missing bill payments, or for going into the red. Apps really can simplify even the most difficult of activities, saving you time, saving you money, and leaving you ‘appy!
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