Smartphone budgeting apps can help you save money

Tuesday, 23/06/2015

There are smartphone apps for most things in life, with many aimed at helping us save or add up. Whether counting calories or steps to keep you healthy, setting your smart thermostat to save energy or alerting you to a bargain to help you spend a little less, we're increasingly reliant on these apps to help us through the month. 

There are also apps that can help you better manage your money on a day to day basis. Some banking apps provide a range of useful information to account holders, but most aren't really that helpful; it's almost as if some banks or credit card companies don't want you to know when you're nearing trouble. 

Independent apps, like Mint or OnTrees, for most Apple, Android and other smartphones can help those of us who aren't great with our cash or have a poor banking app. They can help when it comes to budgeting, saving money, and pointing out the weak spots in our finances. They can show us where all our money is, regardless of how many banks or credit cards you have. Some apps can remind you when bills are due, like Chronicle Bill Reminder, while Pocket Expense can help you keep an eye on your cash spending. 

These apps can provide us with a guide on how to make money last, explain where much of your money goes - if your restaurant, lunch or other habit is getting out of hand. And, they can help plan for a future where we're not worrying about money all the time. Some will even provide you with information on better deals from other banks that could help give you some extra cash, or lower a credit or loan rate. 

Of course, not every month goes smoothly. If there's a problem that you can't navigate or save your way out of then a payday loan or instalment loan is one solution you might carefully consider to help tide you over until things get better.

These should only be used when you've exhausted other alternatives, and if you're confident you can pay it back. But, with the world of finance changing, don't dismiss these forms of credit out of hand. Used responsibly, they can be a very useful backup for when things get tight.

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