Whether you want to track your daily calorie intake or the number of times you check your phone in a day, there is an app out there for you. The good news is that there are also a number of apps available to help you manage your money and stick to your budget. There are four such apps available locally and they all do more or less the same thing: keep track of your income & expenses and organise them into a budget that you can monitor. Here is a rundown of what you can expect from each app.
This is one of the latest money management apps on the market and was launched by Momentum in December last year. One of the benefits of MyFinTrack is that you can link different bank accounts to it. For example, if you have a cheque card with First National Bank (FNB) and a credit card with Standard Bank, you can link both accounts to MyFinTrack and the app will give you a cumulative view of your spending habits. Your income is also monitored, which can be quite useful if you earn income from more than one source. Your data can be viewed as a pie chart, which has a greater visual impact than plain numbers and Momentum says the app uses encryption technology so that your bank accounts are still safe. Note that you do not have to be a Momentum client to use this app.
My Financial Life
You can use Nedbank’s My Financial Life to get a quick snapshot of your net worth. So, if you input information regarding your investments, assets and debts, the app will calculate your net worth. As with the other money management apps, you can track your spending and budget your expenses into different categories. You do have to manually set up categories and the app then recognises purchases the second time around, for example, you would have to set up “Pick ‘n Pay” as groceries expenditure manually the first time you use the app.
One of the nicer features of this app is that you can use it to set savings goals in terms of a timeline or an amount you want to save and the app will calculate how much you have to set aside each month to meet your goal. For example, if you want to save R30 000 for a deposit on a car, the app will use your budget to calculate how much you can afford to save each month and how long it will take you to reach your savings target of R30 000. It also then keeps track of how much you still need to save as the month’s progress. Although the app is owned by Nedbank, you can link to an account from any bank from the app.
One of the first money management apps on the market, 22seven was bought by Old Mutual and offers all of the same services as the other apps, that is, it tracks your income and expenditure. The app initially had a monthly subscription fee but effective from last month, is now free. The nice thing is that this app offers you a broader view of your finances as it can cover pulling information from unit trust investments, loans and even what insurance cover you have. This means that the app can tell you how much money you have invested, how much debt you have and also tracks your insurance cover so that you have a bird’s eye view of your finances.
Launched by Software Company Sage Pastel, this app is free to any user. Key features we liked include the ability to take a photograph of your till slip or invoice with a smartphone and attach it to a transaction or scan till slips or invoices. You can also make insuring items easier by taking a photograph of a new item you have purchased – this is then recorded along with the purchase price, place of purchase and replacement value.
Note that to use these apps, you have to give the app permission to access your bank account. At least two of the four large banks (Absa and Standard Bank) are wary of money management apps and believe they can compromise your banking security. However, if you are an FNB customer, you can create a secondary “read-only” account with your own password, which can then be linked to any money management app of your choice. These secondary accounts cannot be used to carry out any transactions, which safeguards you from fraud.
A money management tool that helps you track your expenses without manually dealing with a pile of sales slips each month is incredibly helpful and can make your life much easier. It’s also harder to justify your expenditure on eating out, for example, when it is presented to you in black and white as a lump sum amount!