Let’s all be honest with ourselves here. Keeping track of our money and our daily expenses is really hard. We spend so much money on so many things, not just from day to day but from month to month, even year to year. If we don’t have any way to keep track of where our money is going, then how can we even hope to know how we should budget our money for next time? Lucky for us we live in a time of smart phones with the ability to download applications that will help us manage our finances. Here are some prime examples of what’s out there to help you.
For the people who may need to work on a lot of expense reports, this is one free app with four big buttons on its main page: SmartScan, Add Expense, Track Time, and Track Distance. Hitting “SmartScan” will allow you to photograph, categorize, and tag receipts. This is useful for if you have reason to hang on to a receipt, but don’t want to stuff your wallet or your bag with the paper versions. “Add Expense” lets you enter the same information manually. The “Track Distance” and “Track Time” options are mainly handy for those freelance jobs that involve keeping track of driving distance in need of reimbursements and hourly rates working on a project. Expensify can also link to your debit and/or credit card, and the web browser version will allow you track your total account balances alongside your daily expenses.
This app is designed to make sure you’re staying within the budget that you’ll be setting for yourself, tracking your many daily expenses. DailyBudgt will ask you to input a budget for the week, and then for the day, and then has the option to send you notifications about what you’ve spent from your daily and weekly budget so far. This is meant to help you slow down your spending. In some ways, it’s a little bit like trying to go on the “Cash Only Diet” without actually keeping cash in your wallet. The app will also keep a history of your spending, so that you can track yourself long term as well, and can be set to display your budget by day, week, or month. And then it’ll put together some nifty, colorful little pie charts for your personal benefit!
If you’re the sort of person who charges just about everything to your debit or credit card, this is a great app for you to use. Once you have a secure connection with Check, you’ll be asked to add all your bills to your account. When it asks for all of them, it really means all of them. Credit card bills, gas, electric, car payments – If you have it, Check wants it. This is because the app will notify you when each of those bills are due, what the minimum payment is, and will even let you pay off said bill through the app. Although Check is a free app, you can pay a small amount for an additional feature that will track your credit score for you. You’ll even get an e-mail alert if you end up using more than 30% of your credit limit’s total credit, since that could damage your credit score.
This app is best for tracking month-to-month expenses, allowing you to divide your spending into the five categories of food, personal, tran or sportation, bills, and education. The viewing mode can be customized to have a different start of the week, for anyone with more irregular work schedules. One of its thus far more unique features is the ability to mark an expense as “repeat”, such as classes you take or weekly social outings you might attend. Another is the option of entering your income along expenses, allowing you to see just how much is coming in, how much is going out, and what the overall balance ends up becoming.
MoneyWise not only helps you balance your budget and track your expenses, it also helps you create expense reports, bank on the go, and even help you find the nearest ATM. Its interface is straightforward, with clearly marked buttons to get you exactly what you need when you need it. The app also gets to have a little fun by giving you quick tips at the top of the screen. It’ll be like having your very own financial consultant in your pocket, without having to pay them a cent.