- Track your expenses to modify spending as you go, and grow your savings.
- Set up budgets, create savings pots and view your spending history.
- Apps are available for download on both Android and Apple iOS.
- Be mindful that some apps will ask for your bank details, including passwords, so that they can access your accounts to use their tools.
At the start of the last quarter of 2019, according to 42 Matters, there were 3,070,750 Apps available in Google Play Store and 1,794,034 Apps available on iOS, with 3,756 apps being released every day across both platforms. It’s hardly surprising then, with such a large number to wade through, that it’s so difficult to find an app that perfectly suits your needs.
It’s lucky you’re a reader of Credit Card Compare’s blog, as we love to help you improve your personal finances. And when it comes to personal finance apps, because there are so many to choose from, we’ve sifted through the hordes available to find the latest and greatest currently available on the market. You’re welcome.
1. Credit Health
In case you’re a skimmer and don’t always read to the end of the article, we thought we’d save you time and list the best of the best right here at numero uno. It’s our very own Credit Health app.
Our research suggests that very few Australians know what their credit score is, or how to access it. Banks and lenders are able to access this data when checking your credit score, so really you should be able to, too. As of July 2019, all your financial movements – positive and negative – are collated in what’s called a Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) system. The information held about you makes up a number – a score – that is used by banks and other lenders as an indication of your creditworthiness. The Credit Health app allows you to be in charge of your own finances. It is the first finance app of its kind in Australia and allows you to track your credit health in real-time, for free. Find out more about the Number One finance app right here.
Pocketbook is an easy-to-use app that touts itself as a personal assistant for your money. Compatible with most Australian banks, once you sync the app with your account, Pocketbook offers a full breakdown of your spending by dividing the transactions into different categories. For example, groceries, entertainment, bills etc. Over time you can see what you spend the most money on, where you can trim down your spending and set budget limits to work within. Set reminders to pop-up on your phone when you've reached your ‘safe spending’ limit or when incoming bills are due. What’s more, you can add other bank accounts, credit cards, loans and savings accounts to the app so you’re able to keep track of multiple accounts in one place.
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If you’ve already got your budgeting and trackings apps lined up, the next thing you could look at is investing some of your hard-earned cash. Raiz (formerly known as Acorns) is a micro-investing app that automatically deposits your spare change into one of six diversified portfolios. Diversifying is a financial management strategy that mixes different assets within a single portfolio. Raiz spreads your investment across hundreds of the most widely held Australian and international companies, corporate bonds, government bonds and cash. The end result should be a higher return for lower risk.
The Raiz app works by rounding-up your expenses to the nearest dollar and investing the difference. For example, if you buy a coffee for $3.60, Raiz will round it up to $4.00 but invest the 0.40 cents on your behalf. A monthly management fee of $2.50 is charged on balances under $10,000. There are no withdrawal fees if you decide to take money out.
Cost: $2.50 per month management fee for balances under $10,000 or 0.275% per year for balances over $10,000
New Sydney-based startup Frollo is becoming a popular choice for those who are worried about using finance apps on their phone. They use the same security as banking apps so it’s 100% safe to use. After synchronising with your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, superannuation and investment portfolios, Frollo allows you to monitor spending across all accounts and to see where you can save money. You can take savings challenges within the app, and there’s a ‘Frollo Score’ feature which gives users a score from 1 to 1000. Designed to tell you how you’re doing financially, your score is based on your spending habits, level of debt, and whether you’ve managed to save anything.
MoneyBrilliant works in a very similar way to Pocketbook and other finance apps, so spending time comparing their differences is a good idea. This app connects to more financial institutions in Australia than any other app of its kind and has a premium product on offer. New users are given a free 30-day trial of the MoneyBrilliant Plus and can then choose to stay with that product or move to the free basic plan.
Both plans allow users to look after their money in one place – as well as syncing to your main bank account, you can connect with your investment portfolios, superannuation accounts, credit cards and loans. Expenses are categorised, and you can create budgets and get bill notifications. The premium plan allows you to sort expenses into tax deduction categories and has a net worth breakdown and a financial bootcamp amongst its offerings.
Cost: Basic plan is free. MoneyBrilliant Plus is $9.90 per month or $99 per year
Popular in the US, Goodbudget is also available to Australian users. It uses the old school system of envelopes for budgeting and saving. Labelling itself as ‘a budget tracker for the modern age’, Goodbudget offers a good replacement for carrying those pesky paper envelopes around, if anyone can remember that style of saving. Like a few other apps, you can set monthly limits on up to 10 ‘envelopes’ assigned to grocery shopping, clothes shopping, eating out, etc. The idea is you stick within those budgets and don’t spend more than you have. Via Goodbudget, you can track expenses, analyse spending, export data to Microsoft Excel and sync with your partner’s accounts.
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Winner of the Best Personal Finance App in 2018 and the Best Digital Wallet Fintech Australia 2018, Finch is one of the newest apps on the block. It’s the easiest way to track your social spending and is especially good for shared expenses – between housemates, while travelling, or eating out. Users can send and receive payments instantly, without requiring anyone’s BSB number, and split restaurant bills and rent bills. It sounds ideal for those who always feel like they lose out when bill-splitting. The catch is, it only works if everyone is signed up to the app.
Besides the shared expenses function, the app also tracks spending and offers tips on how to curtail spending and save a little.
We know, we know – tax is boring, but unfortunately, it’s totally unavoidable. So why not make your life easier and download the number one app to help take the pain out of doing your taxes. The Australian Taxation Office’s own app is a great tool to help keep track of all things tax. Surprised? Once you’ve logged on and connected with your tax file number, you can use the app to lodge and track your tax returns, upload your data to the ATO directly, record any tax deductions and expenses in real-time and access the ATO’s tools and calculators from within the app. If you have an aversion to spreadsheets or suffer – like most of us – from an inability to keep track of your taxes, this is the app for you.
Launched in Australia in 2017, Moneytree works a lot like Pocketbook and MoneyBrilliant in that it links all your accounts, cards and super in one place. However, the sweet bonus with Moneytree is that you can link to your loyalty cards, too, i.e. your frequent flyer or store card accounts. As with many other personal finance apps, you can use Moneytree to track spending, set budgets, and analyse your spending in an attempt to keep it under control. There’s also a work expenses tracker, which can be converted into a spreadsheet, and fancy graphs to give you a visual story of your finances.
At the end of August 2019, Moneytree announced its premium product, Moneytree Grow. This paid feature offers daily background updates, exports of all data across your accounts to an Excel or CVS file, and a monthly report to get a more detailed overview of your spending.
Cost: Basic plan is free. Moneytree Grow upgrade is $4.49 per month with a 12% discount for annual subscribers.
To make up for the fact that ASIC’s TrackMySpend is no longer going to be updated or available in Google Play or Apple Store, we thought we’d let you in on the secret about a new finance app coming to Australia – one that will help your small change grow big.
Introducing Carrott, a new microsavings app designed to help grow your personal wealth. Working in a similar way to Raiz, this personal finance app harvests your spare change by rounding-up card transactions on everyday purchases and depositing them into a nominated superannuation or savings account. The idea is that you save money towards retirement without even noticing.
Cost: Free to download.
Available soon on: Android and iOS. Sign up for the launch here.
If none of these personal finance apps float your boat, check whether your bank has a dedicated mobile app designed to help you track expenses and grow your savings. To keep up with the young kids, many banks have invested in creating apps to compete with those listed above. Which one you choose depends on your needs.