Budgeting, at the best of times, is a hard discipline to crack. Tallying and counting money is rarely a fun exercise; especially when you're on a tight student or graduate budget. Many apps that try to make budgeting simple fail. All too many make saving and budgeting a boring chore, with all the fun of an excel spreadsheet. Thankfully, there is more to budgeting than simply counting your pennies. Here are 10 apps that’ll really make a difference.
Toshl Finance is a great way to manage your monthly expenditure. This free app uses a tag system to make it easy to input expenses, and helps you see at a glance where you need to curb your spending. Toshl can even remind you a couple of days ahead of an incoming bill - so that you can budget accordingly. Coupled with the desktop app, Toshl is a powerful way to manage your budget; so long as you keep on top of logging your expenses in.
Though competitors may look more swish, Toshl is available for practically every device, including Windows Phone.
Every once in a while it’s necessary to call a 0800 number from your mobile, which unfortunately still costs far too much at almost 30p a minute on some networks. Coupled with the potential for long hold times on most 0800 numbers during peak hours; and you could be looking at a large and unexpected bill.
Not so with the 08 Wizard app, which routes the call to an alternative landline number, reducing the amount you are charged. Get the app now.
RedLaser is a simple app that can help fight impulse buys through the power of price comparison. Those offers in supermarkets look tempting, but if you scan the barcode with RedLaser you can check the prices online instantly, enabling you to see if you really are getting value for money.
More often than not you’ll find that the offer isn’t as good as advertised, and by the time you’ve arrived home and really thought about it, you didn’t really need or want it anyway.
Vouchercloud is the defacto king of mobile vouchers; perfect for restaurant deals and the odd 10% off in a shop. As with most discount apps, be careful to only check Vouchercloud when you really need to!
With Team First, you can choose to support university societies simply by redeeming deals in your university city or online. It’s a nifty way to help others while your wallet breathes a sigh of relief. It’s available for iPhone and Android.
Do you find yourself putting extra items in your basket when you’re at the supermarket, only to wince at the bill later on? mySupermarket lets you create and edit shopping lists from your phone, whilst comparing the price of individual items from major supermarkets. Supermarkets on board include Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Poundland! You’ll even get price alerts on certain items, helping you to keep the cost as low as possible.
One of the biggest challenges with budgeting is keeping track of all your various expenses. A bus fare here, an amazon package there... With OneReceipt, you can keep up to date with all your receipts. For paper receipts, just take a photo with the app, and the cost will be stored and indexed. E-receipts are stored too, so you can get an idea of exactly where all your money is going. It’s available for iPhone, but if you don’t have an iPhone it’s also available as Chrome Extension – you just need to have a OneReceipt account.
Spend Today – Save Tomorrow!
Sometimes when budgeting, you need more immediate goals, which is what this app has in mind. Spend Today – Save Tomorrow! includes a daily allowance that you can spend up to. You can see how your recent spending will affect your weekend and your whole week. It’s great if you’ve got an event at the weekend and you don’t want to damage your wallet too much. Available for iPhone.
Various banking apps
Pretty much every bank has a mobile app these days. The app brings your online banking to your phone, allowing you to see how much money you really have in your account. They’re perfect if you just want to see an overall balance without too much hassle.
Find my iPhone
This app could help prevent a dent in your wallet that would be felt for weeks. Available on iPhone (clue is in the name), it syncs to your iCloud to help you locate your phone when you’ve misplaced it. If you still can’t find it, you can lock your device remotely and display a custom message on the screen. Android and Microsoft have their own versions, called Android Device Manager and Find My Device respectively.
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