How are you keeping up with your finances? In an increasingly digital world where we no longer pay cash it’s too easy to spend: just get your bank card or phone out, pay contactless and you’re done – but wait, how much did I actually spend?
To lose track of your outgoings is easily done and when we finally get around to checking our balance – oops, it was MUCH more than I thought. Additionally, we have all our automated direct debits for regular payments such as utilities, communication and so forth.
Yes, it all adds up, but luckily there are some tech and finance gurus out there developing fantastic tools and advice to help us keep on top of our spending and savings.
I absolutely love this app! It’s a smart online bank account manager meaning you can have all your bank accounts, including credit cards and savings accounts, in one place.
The nice and simple layout offers you a great overview plus you can see your incoming and outgoing amounts, which you can even categorise (travel, groceries). Wait, that’s not all! It even compares your monthly spending and shows you where you’ve spent more or less.
PLUS: you can set yourself a spending limit and it’ll tell you when you’ve overstepped it – yes, I do this regularly… but I obviously set it very low. Oh, and if you’re concerned about safety simply don’t do any online banking.
What I like about this app is that it works a little bit like a piggy bank (good old days) – whenever you spend money with your debit or credit card, which you register on the app, you are asked to round up the sum to whatever you like and the difference goes into an investment account set up for you.
You can choose between cautious, balanced or adventurous fund options in the form of either a general investment account (not tax-free) or a stocks & shares ISA (tax free to a certain limit).
I know many people are still sceptical of such investments, but with savings rates being very low this is a great alternative. I’ve been investing small sums into a stocks & shares ISA for over a year now and I haven’t made a loss yet. However, I went for the cautious option, but I still make about a 2-3% profit monthly.
So, if you have some change to spare don’t feed it to the pigs.
Now, what would we do without this all-rounder? I first came across it in Tim Ferriss’ book “4-Hour Workweek” and when I had a look at it I realised its potential: it basically organises everything you do as you can nowadays document everything with your phone.
I use it for many things, but it’s also great for all things money – whatever you spend, whether it’s in a restaurant, bar, shop, online, you can take a photo/screenshot of it and create a folder for each month for example (name it outgoings August).
No more need for going through endless paper receipts as you have it all there. When you check your spending on your bank account and you find things don’t add up, simply refer to all your documented payments and check with your bank for unauthorized payments.
Another way you can save with this app is collecting different offers in a folder. Say, you’re looking for a new watch and have a specific model in mind. Just search for different deals, take photos/screenshots of them, compare them – boom, go for the best one!
If ever I have any, and I really mean ANY financial queries, Martin Lewis is the man I turn to. Unfortunately, there’s no app (yet), but his website and weekly newsletter is full of amazing advice on bank accounts, savings/investments, mortgages/loans, energy/internet, travel and the list goes on. Literally everything is covered here from student finance to pensions and you can surely find answers to any finance-related questions you have.
I mainly use it to find out about the latest offers and to compare products and services. But I have also found a great guide on mortgages in the UK and a wealth of information about how to make money online.
I hope these few tips will put your mind at ease regarding your finances. Live your life AEAP!