Finance apps that will have you balancing budgets like a boss.
Last updated: 8 December 2016
Saving money may not sound like the most exciting thing you could be doing with your smartphone (unicorn selfies, anyone?), but, for some reason, being financially solvent is a thing people actually care about.
A recent survey we did found that financial tracking is especially popular with the millennial crowd, with 52.8% of 18-24-year-olds telling us that they’re using a banking app to keep track of their finances.
There are a host of apps out there to help you manage your finances and save some money along the way, so balancing your budgets doesn’t have to feel like hard work anymore. Or like any effort at all, in fact. It can even be sort-of fun – we promise.
We’ve rounded up the best apps out there to have you balancing spends and saving cash in no time. Thank us later, when your pockets are bulging.
Wally – iPhone, Android (free)
Not only does Wally track what you’re spending, it also tells you where, when and who you’re doing it with. You don’t have to connect this app with your bank account, but you do have to trust yourself to make a note of where your cash goes yourself (NB: while lying to yourself might work when justifying the purchase of something wildly inappropriate, it doesn’t actually save you any money in the long run).
The powers of your smartphone will then note where you spent the money and categorise it for you. The cool thing about Wally is that it sees expenses as experiences, so you can tag friends in your entries, add pictures and make notes on what you spend. Plus, it will help you single out that one friend that enables you on your payday splurge.
Monzo - iPhone (free)
A high-tech banking app with pre-paid credit card, Monzo categorises all of your payments so you can see exactly how much you're spending on groceries, entertainment and eating out. It's a smart option for those who like the feel of old-school banking... and plastic in hand.
Splitwise – iPhone, Android (free)
If you’ve ever felt the pain of organising a group holiday with friends or splitting bills with flatmates, then your saviour has arrived. Say farewell to awkward you-owe-me-£20 conversations and hello to Splitwise. You can use it to keep a running total of all the things each person has paid for and it will automatically work out the final amount you owe one another. You can then use PayPal directly from the app to settle the balances. It may well be the best thing to happen to you and your friends since bottomless brunch.
Daily Budget – iPhone (free)
If you want something easier to manage, Daily Budget could be for you. It does what it says on the tin, which would explain why the motto is ‘so simple you’ll actually use it.’ Just enter your income, fixed expenses like your rent and how much you’re aiming to save and it’ll calculate a daily budget. As you tally your daily expenses it will let you know how much of your budget is left, and if you ‘accidentally’ overspend on that emergency Uber home, it’ll automatically adjust the next day’s budget. EASY.
Shopitize- iPhone, Android (free)
OK, so this isn’t technically a budgeting app. But if like us, you’re a sucker for free money (obviously) then listen up. With Shopitize you get a selection of offers on a number of products which you can download and buy. But unlike other apps that simply give you money off products, Shopitize gives you money back for each shop. Just scan your receipt, let it calculate your savings and see the funds rack up in your account.
Idealo- iPhone, Android (free)
Another rogue addition, but the satisfied smug feeling of a bargain purchase makes this one worthwhile. There is literally nothing worse than buying something, just to find out it’s on offer down the street (OK, OK, some things admittedly are worse, but we can't think of any). With Idealo, all you need to do is find the item you want to buy, scan the barcode and sit back and let your wallet fill up with cash. Or walk down the street and buy it at the cheapest place available. All those extra savings will all help you work your way to that big buy you’ve been trying to justify.
Unsplurge – iPhone (free)
Unsplurge is ideal if you’re saving up for a big expense like a holiday, an iPhone 7 or an irrationally expensive new winter wardrobe. Just tell it how much you need to save, what it’s for, add a motivational photo and you’re good to go. Each time you save money – if on Fridays you normally order a takeaway but decide to cook instead this week – add the amount and indicate how you did it as an ‘unsplurge’. You can also check out the ‘Town’ tab to see what other users are saving towards and how they are doing it, so you might even pick up a few new tricks to reach your goal even faster.
Main pic: Modified from Unsplash