February 28, 2017 Money apps I can’t live without
Ah, yes, technology.
Where would we be without it?
I can’t see it ever truly replacing real-life ‘human’ financial advice, but, in saying that, staying on top of your finances has never been easier.
In fact, apps and the like are a great way of weeding out unnecessary spending and bad financial habits.
For me, technology has a time and a place.
While I try to ensure I’m not fixated to ‘devices’ during all waking hours, there a few tools that my wife and I have been using over the past year or so the will can’t live without.
When it comes to using these, the trick is commitment.
What I’ve found works best is to commit to trialling a couple of apps for, say, 12 weeks. Think of it like going to the gym or working with a personal trainer. Namely, the key is to establish a routine and allow it become habitual.
Here are a few money apps I can’t live without:
My personal favourite. And the one we typically recommend to our clients.
It’s got everything, and it’s fantastic for tracking all of your money. It’s only available through an adviser so if you would like a free trial just email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Your bank’s dedicated mobile app
I use the CommBank app.
It’s absolutely seamless and miles ahead of some of the other bank’s apps that I’ve been privy to using over recent years. Features such as very quickly being able to see how much money I have in my account, transferring between accounts and, say, splitting a dinner bill with someone (and knowing they’ve received it) makes the CommBank app a no-brainer for me. It really is phenomenal.
I can’t lay claim to this one – which is probably a good thing! – but my wife uses Stocard whenever she’s out shopping.
It’s an app that effectively pulls all of your loyalty cards into one very-easy-to-use interface. She can’t live without it. You can download it here.
While this is available as an app, you can just simply jump onto the Getprice website.
In a nutshell, it let’s you compare prices around Australia for pretty much any product. Well, within reason.
We’ve saved some serious money using this over the past few years. Suffice to say, we’re hooked.
If you live in a major city, then you’ll understand the never-ending drama that is paid parking, particularly in the inner city.
Others aside, the app that’s been a true revelation for me is PayStay, which seamlessly manages paid parking – minus the need for coins – ensures you don’t overpay and don’t cop any unnecessary fines. You can find it here.
We’ve been using this one for eons.
It’s basically a local restaurant and entertainment guide that – and here’s the kicker – compiles outstanding offers for restaurants, movie tickets, hotels and the like, sometimes up to 50 percent off.
It’s also available as an app, which makes it even easier to find discounts locally. Add to this that a proportion of the book cost is donated to charity and it’s a no brainer.
If you’re like the bulk of my friends these days, chances are you buy a decent amount of stuff from the States via platforms like eBay – often saving a fortune compared to purchasing in Australia in the process.
With the $A constantly fluctuating against the $US, if you haven’t cottoned on to it already, do yourself a favour and start using XE, as eBay’s currency converter is notoriously over the odds.
Keeping a limited amount of money in PayPal (specifically put aside for online purchases) is a great idea.
That way, you’re not constantly drawing on your nominated bank account/s and you’ll be able to stay on top of what you’re spending online.
Otherwise, it’s really easy to lose track of your online purchases, as it can take a few business days to show up on your bank account.
For those of you who’re in the market for property, whether that’s your first home or an investment, there’s good reason that Domain is seen as the go-to property search platform. It’s easy to use and great at profiling and shortlisting a number of properties you’re interested in.