With so many cards, accounts and transactions, combined with less time and more financial stress, we’ve been racking our brain on how to help our clients track their spending better and help them take some financial accountability.
So we thought we’d share a few easy to use, low or no cost ways of helping you track and manage your finances.
There are easy smartphone ways to budget, save and invest that don’t require much effort by you.
Q. How do I know how much I am spending?
Many of the lenders we recommend to you offer great online tools to help you track and manage your spend.
When you log into your online banking next time have a look around to see what they offer.
Every lender is different but some of the useful tools are money or expense trackers allowing you to:
• set budget targets and savings goals
• view and categorise your transactions
• select time frames to achieve these goals
• display your spending as a graph
You will be surprised at how they already categorise and split your spending without you even knowing.
Some lenders allow you to add all your loyalty cards into their app. This keeps your wallet from exploding to ensure you don’t miss out on all those loyalty points.
BUT BEWARE – if you add these to your lender’s app they will know all of your spending habits intimately from Chemmart to Dan Murphy’s.
There are many apps outside of your lender that offer the same convenience for storing all your loyalty, store and other cards for ease of use and the goal of having a smaller wallet (like Stocard and Apple Wallet).
Have more than one bank account?
If you are like most people, you may not keep all your accounts with one bank.
Enter Pocketbook and Finch.
These are FREE Australian budgeting apps that collate multiple bank accounts and track your expenses.
They automatically sync and categorise data from your bank accounts daily. You can then set a monthly allowance for each category or types of spend. You can even set bill reminders and it can send notifications when you are nearing your limits.
Pocketbook was named best money management app in the 2018 Mozo Experts Choice Awards, however there are some critics who say it isn’t very user friendly.
Finch will allow you to:
• pay your friends directly if you owe them money
• split the dinner bill
• help you track your spending and money owing from housemates
• collect fees from your sports team and
• help you split travel expenses with your friends!
Q. How can I track all my other finances such as super, credit cards, investments and loans?
There is an app for that too!
MoneyBrilliant. It works much like the others. This FREE app allows you to track bank accounts. For a $9.90pm plan you can also connect your credit card, super, loans and investments in addition to all your assets and liabilities.
PLEASE NOTE – there are many, many applications available now to help you with your budgeting, savings goals and tracking features – too many to keep track of really. (Maybe there’s an app for that?)
THESE ARE NOT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM US TO YOU.
This is an awareness article to let you know there are tools, MANY tools, to help you track and manage your finances.
Have a look at your lender’s tools as a first place to start. You will be surprised at what is already there.
As with everything to do with your finances:
• do your own research
• read the terms and conditions
• understand ALL the third parties who will now have access to everything that you do financially and the consequences of sharing your information
• call us first if you are struggling to meet your daily or monthly commitments We are, after all, your finance specialist who (other than yourself) cares the most about your personal finances and financial wellbeing.