Like so many aspects of life in the 21st century, personal finance is stepping into the app store. Statistics show a sharp rise in downloads of financial apps in the last few years, with millennials leading the charge, but other generations following closely behind.
In fact, the choice of finance apps on the market today is dizzying. With so many finance apps available, you want to make the right choice for your needs. Let’s go through a few types you can consider.
Whatever your income and outgoings look like, it’s important to have a budget. You may have set savings goals with the help of a financial planner, but the hard part is making these goals happen: staying on budget and keeping track of where your money is being spent.
Budgeting apps track and categorize your spending from your nominated accounts. This helps you work out what your money is spent on and how much of your income you are saving. More than a record-keeping tool, an app can be a help in sticking to your goals, notifying you before you go over budget.
This helps you to keep within your budget and ensure you are on track to reach your goals. Whether you are saving for a first home, for retirement or for your children’s education.
Yolt is an app for budgeting that provides a general overview of your finances at your fingertips. It also offers a handy comparison service to help you find better deals and control your spending.
Currency exchange apps
The world has changed since the days of going to the post office or local travel agent to buy your foreign currency. More and more people are opting to use their cards abroad as a safer and more convenient method of payment. You’d have to travel to Outer Mongolia to find a country which doesn’t accept a card.
If you prefer to pay by card abroad, banking app Revolut gives you a good deal, close to the inter-bank exchange rate.
Unlike most banks, Revolut doesn’t charge you any fees for spending abroad until you reach £5,000 in a month. After this amount, you are charged a fee of 0.5%. You can also withdraw up to £200 a month fee-free.
On the paid accounts, meanwhile, you can enjoy unlimited spending and up to £600 of free withdrawals, as well as many extras like insurance, airport lounge passes, brand discounts, and more. As of March 2020, the paid accounts start at £6.99 a month.
It’s not all about currency exchange: Revolut categorizes your purchases too. Allowing you to analyze how much you are spending on things like eating out or accommodation—a handy tool if you want to track your spending on a specific holiday or journey abroad.
There is also an option to round up card payments to the nearest whole number and put the spare change into savings, so you can keep saving money even while you’re away.
There are so many investing options and jargon, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you are new to investing and have under £85,000 to invest, an investment app could be a good starting point.
Many of these apps, like Moneybox and Plum, ease you into investing by rounding up your spending to the nearest pound and adding the spare change to your portfolios. Meanwhile, on apps like Wealthify and Nutmeg, you can set regular standing orders and invest lump sums.
You should choose the best app for how you want to invest. It’s also important to ensure that the app is FSCS protected, has good performance returns, monitors your risk profile and is low cost. It’s important to check the Terms and Conditions to ensure your money is safe and that you can access it if you need to.
If your investments go over £250,000, however, you should consider moving your investments over to a financial adviser to manage for you. These apps are best used on a casual basis.
Money dashboards apps
Keeping multiple accounts is more and more common: you could easily be juggling a current account, a flexi-savings account, a pension, an ISA, and an investment portfolio. Having to sift through multiple apps makes it hard to keep track of your financial situation as a whole.
You can solve this problem by linking all your accounts to a money dashboard app, which shows all your income, outgoings, and any outstanding debt in one place. Plus categorizing everything to show you how much you are spending. This birds-eye view of your finances can help you make important money decisions in a more effective and informed way.
Once you’ve discovered what you want from your future, and your financial planner has created your bespoke financial roadmap, you have all the information you need to use the planner tool. This tool lets you predict income, expenditure, and cash balances. And uses this information to show you an informed projection of where you will be financially at any point in the future.
Money Dashboard is a good finance app for this.
At Capital, we believe in using technology to excel, and that means harnessing its power to simplify and take the hard work out of your finances. A mix of proper financial planning and innovative technology is the perfect combination for financial success.