Most of us spend our money without realising the consequences of the dwindling dollars in the adjoining accounts. We’re a country hooked on tap and go, pay now and think later payments, including PayWave and credit card purchases.
However, if you’re keen to curb those impulse buys, enforce a budget and save some serious cash for that house deposit or holiday you’ve been dreaming of, these tools will get you back on track.
Even if you only save $100 a week, it can have a huge impact on your financial stability. Don’t rely on random bursts of income from your tax return, that mate who FINALLY decided to pay you back or the cash in a birthday card from Gran; start with one of these easy saving tools.
10 tools to help you save money
The Pocketbook app is like having a personal assistant for your money at your fingertips. It can track your expenses over multiple bank accounts, categorise your transactions into smart spending habits, alert you of upcoming bills and let you know how much you can ‘safely’ spend to keep to your chosen budget.
Budgeting and saving money can seem quite daunting and time consuming to put a well structured plan together (let alone sticking to one). However, Commonwealth Bank have some excellent saving and budgeting tools and you don’t even need to hold a CommBank account to benefit from most of them. On their website you can use the Savings Calculator to find out how long it will take to reach a desired savings goal or their Budget Planner to organise a budget based on your income, household expenses and lifestyle expenses. The CommBank app also helps you track your savings easily on your mobile device, allows you to lock, block and limit payments made from your credit card and also set up regular transfers to your savings account.
Get proactive with tracking your data usage on you phone, as sometimes waiting for the telco to message you telling you that you’ve reached x per cent of your data usage leaves you in data limbo. While you can turn your data off or pay an extra surcharge for a buffer in data, you can often still receive another message shortly after saying that you’ve still gone over and incurred the fee. The Date Usage app, as well as similar ones that you can get through specific carriers, monitors mobile data and Wi-Fi usage and allows you to see where you use the most data and where you can cut your usage down. Perhaps that game or dating app is using it all?
Shout out to all the ATMs making us buy our own money. Don’t ever pay a surcharge again, by using this app to find where the nearest ATM for your bank is. Those $2 transaction fees slowly, but surely, add up.
Sensible, smart and realistic spending limits; this app might not be exciting, but it’s simple to help you track your savings and stick to a set budget. The app has been designed by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission) and can track personal expenses and group spending into categories, set limits and budgets and allows the user to separate spending ‘needs’ from ‘wants’.
Remember when you used to keep a piggy bank or a spare change jar around the house? As more of our spending moves from physical to virtual coin, the Acorns app helps you invest your virtual change in a simple saving manner. The app works by rounding up daily purchases and automatically saving the extra or investing it in certain chosen share portfolios. This app is coming to Australia at the start of 2016, but you can try the Beta version now or sign up for updates and notifications of its release on their website.
Digit is sort of like a pickpocket with Robin Hood’s morals, stealing from rich you and giving to poor you. Let me explain here; the app analyses your income and spending habits and removes and sets aside small amounts of money every few days. You may not notice the amounts removed, but it appears on your transactions as ‘Hello Digit Inc’.
Curbing your spending doesn’t always mean stopping your spending altogether. So when you do need (or want) to purchase certain items it helps to know there’s an app to tell you where you can get it at the cheapest price. RedLaser will make you a more informed shopper, providing you with deals, as well as searching the barcodes and QR codes of your desired items to find the best prices at various locations and stores.
If saving or budgeting is hard enough on your own, it can be amplified when trying to save or budget with a partner (especially if you have a joint account). This app is designed with couples in mind off the effective envelope budgeting system and displays budgets according to expense categories and early warning systems for possible budget disagreements. Better Haves allows you to track expenses on the go, make easy decisions on those extra impulse buys and lets each couple spend less time worrying (or arguing) about finances and more time focusing on their romance. Hey, the extra dollars you save could totally be used for a dinner at a fancy restaurant or a weekend away.
10. Your Freezer | FREE
Is it time to freeze your assets, like literally? Sometimes apps are a little confusing and you need to go back to basics, like freezing your credit card in a block of ice in the freezer. It’s not that crazy when you think about it… It is totally safe for the card’s magnetic strip and makes you consider whether it is a completely necessary purchase, as you will need to wait to thaw it out of the block of ice.
Just a quick note: This post is sponsored, but we only write about things we reckon you’ll think are awesome. We’re all about sharing the love here at Style, and it’s the love from sponsors that helps make that happen. Thanks for the easy saving inspiration CommBank.