If you feel like you’re struggling to stay on top of your spending, you’re not alone. In fact, 59% of Brits admit they don’t know how much money they have in their bank account.
The key to being on top of your finances is to know your numbers. One way that help you are essential apps that will help you manage your money.
According to research, people believe there are certain points in our lives where we become financially aware. 50% of people believe it’s when we first have children; and 42% of people think it’s when we buy our first house.
Regardless of your situation, there’s nothing worse you can do than bury your head in the sand. We live in a digital age where it’s never been easier to keep track of our spending. There are lots of apps that will help you to manage your money easily and effectively, even if you are time-poor.
Take a look at some of our favourite apps to help you manage money.
OnTrees Personal Finance
Brought to you by MoneySuperMarket, this free app enables you to sync all of your bank accounts, so you can keep a record of all transactions in one place.
Essentially the British answer to US budget app Mint, OnTrees breaks your spending down into categories including travel, mortgage and eating out. This means you can compare the areas to see where you spend more (and perhaps shouldn’t!), and rein it in accordingly.
You can see overviews of your spending in the last 7, 30 and 90 days, to compare which period has been the most expensive for you. That way, it makes it easier to see if you’re consistently overspending on things that aren’t necessary. All transactions are updated overnight, so you can get an overview the morning after.
This app is extremely secure, and as it’s a ‘read only’ tool, you’re unable (as is anyone else) to actually make money transfers on it..
Available on iOS and Android, it’s a great free app to help you get full control over your finances.
If you’re at all unsure about syncing your bank accounts to an app to manage your money, then Pocket Expense is a great alternative.
You’ll need to manually enter all transactions – debit cards, credit cards and cash – so if you make a lot of payments, it’s ideal to do this on the go, as opposed to once a day or once a week.
The app enables you to colour code your incomings and outgoings so you can clearly see your remaining balance. From there, you can identify areas where you’re spending more, and cut them accordingly, enabling you to manage your money effectively.
Similar to OnTrees, Pocket Expense’s calendar function breaks down your spending into specific days, weeks and months. This highlights any regular spending habits – that morning coffee fix is suddenly glaringly obvious!
Available for iOS, this app is free to download and use. All you need to do is set aside ten minutes of your day to keep track of your spending and better manage your money.
You’ve probably seen Hive advertised on the TV and radio – this clever app lets you control your heating at home, wherever you are.
Before you can start to use the app, you’ll need a specific thermostat installed in your home. As it’s a British Gas invention, one of their engineers will install it, even if you use a different gas or energy provider.
You can turn your heating on and off in order to save some extra pennies – users have saved up to £150 a year on heating bills because of Hive’s app. Despite the initial cost of installation (£249), Hive is a life investment, saving you plenty of money over the years.
Recent research has shown that one in ten people don’t know how much their regular bills – i.e. gas and electricity – cost them. Hive is a great way to take control of these costs, and know how to reduce them, all of which helps you to manage your money.
UK Salary Calculator
We all know when we accept a new job or a promotion, that the agreed salary isn’t really what we’ll be walking away with at the end of the year.
Taxes, student loans and pensions are all taken out of our monthly salary, and it can be hard to keep a track of how much money is yours to keep.
The UK salary calculator is a free app which can help you keep a track of this. Fill out your gross yearly salary, and it will tell you what you take home each day, week and month after taxes. You’ll need to fill out your pension, childcare vouchers (if you have them) and any overtime you’ve worked too. However your tax, national insurance and student loan are all worked out automatically.
It’s a simple app that’s free, and available on iOS and Android, but it will help you to make a realistic budget based on your actual yearly salary, once all taxes have been deducted.
This app offers a basic free version, or an upgrade for £1.49, and it essentially helps you to achieve your saving goals.
Once you’ve downloaded it, you can create different savings pots (whether it’s for a car, house or luxurious holiday!), each with their own target amount and date to be reached.
Based on your input, Savings Goals will suggest a payment schedule for reaching your target, which can be broken down on a weekly or monthly basis. Showing your target in realistic chunks can be more motivational, helping you to reach what you set out to achieve.
There is the option to lock the app with a secure entry so that no one can see the amount you’re saving.
Available on iOS and Android, it’s ideal if you’re looking for some motivation to achieve your savings goals.
There are plenty of great manage money apps out there to help you - it's just a case of downloading them, and deciding which ones are right for you. Alternatively, if you manage your money with other essential apps, then let us know!
Remember, do not buy what you can’t afford, and think carefully before taking out a loan for any non-essential purchases.