Saving can be a tricky thing to do, especially if the budget only allows for day to day living expenses and not much else. Whether you struggle with the motivation to save, have unexpected costs preventing you from really saving or simply don’t know where to start with a savings plan, there is help out there!
Here’s a summary of some of the best free apps available which are designed to help you kick off your savings habit.
Pocketbook is probably the most popular budgeting app you’ll find in Australia. And there’s good reason for that - with it being easily integrated with most of the country’s major banks, you can easily sync your accounts and credit cards and track your spending in real-time. You can also tag outflows and inflows of money and the app will automatically be able to work out a monthly spend and ideal budget. So, for instance, if you have a regular bill payment, you can label it as regular and the app will account for it.
It also gives you the ability to categorise your expenses to make organisation simple, as well as attach photographs of receipts to certain payments so when it comes to tax time, you’ve got the reference waiting for you in digital format.
If you’ve got a particular savings goal in mind (think new car or a holiday), then Unsplurge is the perfect app to help you achieve it. Simply tell Unsplurge what your savings goal is, add a motivational picture of your goal and the amount of money you need to reach it. The app will begin tracking your spending and saving progress through your bank account and give you regular updates on how you’re travelling with regard to your savings goal. It’ll also tell you if you aren’t doing so well, providing a handy reminder of what the end goal is.
A very minimalist but very useful app, Daily Budget is designed to make saving as simple as possible. Once you tell it your income and recurring expenses, Daily Budget will automatically generate a budget for you that will include a savings percentage which you can either work towards increasing or decrease as you wish.
It doesn’t get much more simple than TrackMySPEND. The app’s functionality is basic and designed to be used by anyone, anywhere on the go. Whether you’re setting budgets by week, fortnight or month, all you need to do is add in your expenses, categorise them as you like (regular expenses is a good one if you’ve got recurring payments) and the app will generate a budget forecast. The added bonus with this one is you have the option to tag expenses as either ‘needs’ or ‘wants’ – which essentially means you force yourself to question whether or not it’s a payment you absolutely must be making.
Just like the other apps we’ve listed, Acorns is designed to help you set aside money for saving. However, unlike other savings apps, Acorns actually places your money into investments rather than a static account. The way the app works is to round up each of your purchases to the next whole dollar – then the difference between the actual purchase amount and the rounded amount is used to invest. So without even thinking you’re actively investing and generating passive income.
This is the perfect app for people who like to organise themselves by grouping things. The app uses the term ‘envelopes’, but essentially what’s involved is allotting certain amounts of money from your budget into different categories e.g. Groceries, Petrol, Fun, Electricity etc. You’re then able to track your spending within those groups, or ‘envelopes’, to measure whether you’re over or under spending.
One of the best things about this app is that you can share a certain budget across more than one device. What that means is that in a household, a couple for instance, who are restricted to a certain budget are able to measure combined expenses – rather than having the hassle of working out separate budgets and then having to compute a total when combined.