6 Best Money Management Apps
Sticking to your home budget can be difficult — even for the most experienced among us. Recently, we spoke to a financial planner who admitted even he utilises a money management app to assist with tracking spending, budgeting accordingly, and paying off debt. There is no shame in taking advantage of what’s on offer in the ever expanding world of debt & money management apps. Not only could you pay off debt faster; many of these apps provide real debt management solutions.
We’ve done the leg work for you and scoured the web for the best finance apps we could find. Before you get started, make use of our expense calendar to first identify exactly how much you spend each week/month/year: www.debtmediators.com.au/calculators/budget-calculator/
Now that you’ve got a clear idea of how much you’re spending compared to how much you’re earning, let’s get into the best online budgeting tools we could find. Some are free but for those of you seeking extra functionality, we’ve added in a few you’ll pay a nominal fee for.
Money Management Apps
How it works: Pocketbook has been hailed one of the best Australian money management apps out there due to its ability to sync with all of the Australian major banks, inbuilt security features and automatic categorisation — providing a clear picture of where your money is going. It’ll help you manage your bills by auto-detecting your transaction history and will send you alerts when a new bill is due. It also offers a “SafelySpend” feature allowing you to set an amount of money you can “safely spend” on a weekly or daily basis — ideal for those on monthly pay. It’s been called Australia’s answer to the popular US-based money management app Mint, and in our opinion is number 1 in money management apps!
- Once you connect your bank account (which yes, is a little daunting at first!) Pocketbook does all the hard work for you and will categorise your account transactions where possible which means you don’t have to manually categorise i.e. shopping at Woolworths will automatically categorise to “groceries” and so on.
- Highlights potential areas where you can save (like ATM fees!).
- Manually enter geo-tagged transactions so you know not just when, but where you spent your money.
- Add notes and receipts to transactions.
- You can trash a transaction or flag it as important for tax purposes.
- Allows you to take photos of receipts and mark transactions as one-off payments or recurring.
How it works: The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) dreamed up this money management app so you know it’s gotta be pretty good if ASIC is endorsing it. It’ll help you record your weekly household budget, manage costs for special events, record work and travel expenses plus track cash expenses you find difficult to record (coffee, lunches, your Star Wars collectibles, etc) allowing you to get a clear idea of your spending habit and gain control of your money.
- Tracks your spending based on an amount you set (this can be per week, fortnight, month or year).
- It will separate “needs” from “wants” and will identify opportunities for you to save.
- Creates “favourites” allowing you to identify spending patterns.
- Your expense history is readily available.
- Categorise your expenses with tags and set spending limits for each.
- Texts you with expense reminders.
- It will auto-fill expenses based on past entries.
- Free data backup
- Syncs your profile to multiple devices
- Exports data to CSV file for Excel or other financial software.
3. Mvelopes (free for basic services: four bank account limit and 25 spending envelopes and $9.95 for premier services: unlimited bank accounts and envelopes)
How it works: Remember when you were a kid and your parents gave you a stack of envelopes and had you label each one: savings, entertainment, weekly expenses, etc, in a bid to teach you how to budget? Mvelopes is pretty much the same exact concept, but the budget planner app is all in the palm of your hand. You can see your past spending by linking your accounts and assign future money to ‘mvelopes’ to help you stick to a budget and pay off debt faster.
- Customised plans available that include one-on-one coaching.
- Ensures you don’t run up a balance on your credit card at the same time you’re emptying your checking account — so when you charge something, Mvelopes will move that amount out of your “spending” Mvelope into one allocated to paying your credit card bill.
- Pushes you into setting up a budget from the get-go.
- It can help you recover as much as %10 from hidden spending.
- Real-time view of all accounts and transactions with anytime and anywhere secure access.
- Of few money management apps that guides you towards eliminating existing debt and increasing your savings.
4. You Need a Budget (YNAB) $5/month or $50/year
How it works: It’s principles are grounded in zero-sum budgeting. Don’t know what that means? Basically, every dollar has a job. This online budgeting app syncs between your desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to enter transactions in real time because it wants you to be actively interested in, and in command of, your financial life. YNAB aims to help you live within your means, pay off your debt, save money and stop living paycheque to paycheque. We like the sound of that!
- Live online courses available to teach you how it works.
- The online version has a blog featuring articles to help keep you motivated and on track to changing your spending habits and behaviours. There is also a forum to interact with other users where you can get insider knowledge and ask questions.
- Newly added features include:
- Seamless syncing;
- Direct import from your bank;
- Making budgeting recommendations to help you achieve your financial goals, whatever they may be;
- Category inspectors to help you see when a category is underfunded (yellow) or when you’ve overspent (red) — this helps you identify potential trouble spots;
- The Inspector is a new feature designed for you to see summary information about your budget and will provide quick options.
How it works: Dealing with the ATO is never that much fun, but this app has been designed with individual taxpayers, small business owners or self-managed super fund trustees in mind. The ATO app allows access to relevant tax and super information with all the tools in one place — including managing records of car trips, work-related expenses, gifts and donations, plus it lets you know what interest, deductions, dividends and costs of managing your tax affairs. Sounds pretty good to us.
- Voiceprint for fast, easy and secure access.
- Pre-file your tax return and upload your financial year deductions within the ATO app myDeductions tool.
- Calculates the amount of tax to withhold from your own salary plus any wage payments.
- You can check an Australian Business Number (ABN), compare your business with similar businesses in your industry plus watch videos and access checklists.
- It will also set reminders and alerts for tax and super obligations.
6. Wally (free)
How it works: This expense tracker app will show you a complete picture of everything you’re spending. You can also view how much you’ve spent each day, week, or month, and divide those expenses into separate categories. It pretty much does everything all the others do except for one small and dare we say, extremely useful function: you scan your receipts and Wally will automatically input all the details of your purchase. In other words, this is one of the best money management apps for the
lazy man time conscious person.
- You can scan your receipts, need we say more?
- Just kidding, there’s a little bit more. You can also make your own notes on purchases:
- What category the expense is (personal, home, food and drink, clothes, etc.);
- The broad classification for the purchase (personal, social, work, family, etc.);
- Where the purchase was made/why you made it.
Have we missed any money management apps you love? Let us know via our contact us page!