Keeping track of your income and outgoings is a substantial undertaking in and of itself, and basic money management is only the beginning. Personal financial responsibilities stretch beyond daily spending, you must also account for the month’s budget and plot a course toward your long-range financial goals. With so many different things to consider, people naturally lose track of their financial priorities, allowing details to fall between the cracks.
Innocent omissions and insignificant errors don’t always have dire consequences, short-term loans can correct minor spending shortfalls, but regular mismanagement will eventually undermine your financial health. The stakes are high, so many consumers seek help heading off avoidable errors. In addition to reducing the number of mistakes you make looking after your money, properly using technology also simplifies money management, removing some of the drudgery for individuals who don’t enjoy crunching numbers at home.
Among the many sources of assistance for personal finance, money apps can help you manage income, prepare outgoings, and track spending – all through a single interface that links to your finances in ways you choose. A change to the law last year now mandates Open Banking, designed to give consumers more control over their financial information. Under the new rules, big banks must allow access to third-parties, which are now permitted secure privileges, at their customers’ behest.
Open Banking has changed the playing field for consumers and app innovators; several worthy platforms are gaining momentum with workers eager to streamline their finances and ease money worries. A few financial apps were recently singled out for their features and effectiveness.
Bean is a free financial app for individuals. The app helps users
- learn to cancel unwanted subscriptions,
- compare deals on household bills,
- track payments,
- manage other tasks.
Bean links securely to bank accounts and credit cards accounts you choose, enabling you to conduct various business directly from the Bean dashboard. The app also scans online statements to identify recurring payments, providing alerts if it sees you’re spending money on forgotten service subscriptions. Looking for a better deal? If so, Bean will refer you to a comparison partner to shop for deals on household bills.
Squirrel is held by Barclay’s, assisting users with budget management. The app enables you to split your monthly money between categories such as
- household bills,
- personal savings,
- weekly discretionary allowance.
The app is particularly helpful for users who struggle to stretch their income all the way through to the end of the month. Squirrel separates bill payments from the rest of your money, ensuring your monthly minimums are met. What’s left over is divided between savings, pocket money, and other spending priorities.
Squirrel integrates with high-street banks and allows users to enter income information and specific savings goals. Using the provided information, the app then sets about release funds, as needed, to help you cover costs and reach financial goals. You’ll receive advice along the way, based upon Squirrel’s intuitive analysis of your banking and finance activities. The app is free for eight weeks and then costs £9.99 per month.
Chip uses artificial intelligence to work out what you can afford to put away each month, and then goes a step further, automatically earmarking the money for its intended purpose. The app has read-only access to your bank account, so it can analyse financial activities, but cannot make changes on its own.
Chip tracks spending with an eye toward saving money and finding spending efficiencies. Once identified, the app advises you to make the savings and divert the money to your virtual Chip bank. The app is free and available for Android and iOS.
Wally and its Android partner Wally+ assist individuals managing money. The insightful apps empowers users to
- compare monthly income and expenses,
- track spending,
- set and achieve financial goals.
Wally relies on information entered manually, so the app is well-suited for individuals wanting to track spending, without linking directly to their financial accounts.
Looking after personal finance can be an overwhelming responsibility, calling on household money managers to account for widespread concerns. Just when you thought you’d never get a handle on all your financial responsibilities, helpful personal finance apps lend a hand