It’s payday and yet your bank balance hasn’t changed since last month. WTH. You have no idea what you’ve been spending on, and your money seems to have gone into a black hole.
It’s a common problem, with travel plans, gym memberships, and of course, the slippery slope that is online shopping.
It can be difficult to keep track of your income, bills and how much you’re actually saving. As a solution to your financial woes, mobile apps are an easy and convenient tool to knowing what’s coming in and going out at all times – while helping you control your expenses and savings.
Use an e-wallet
For the ultimate in shopping ease, or to transfer money quickly and conveniently, download the DBS PayLah e-wallet app. It allows you to pay on the go, without the hassle of fidgeting around for account numbers. Simply transfer money from your account to a recipient using mobile phone numbers – easy!
After transactions are complete, you can choose to leave the money in your PayLah account, or transfer it back to your bank account.
Get a picture of your financial health
Dollarbird, a cross between a calendar and budgeting app, provides you with the ease of capturing your financial health in a traditional calendar format. Simply type in the balance of your current accounts and Dollarbird will start adding and subtracting amounts as you enter them.
Although Dollarbird provides a helpful list of colour-coded spending categories, it allows the user to create their own for those regular, niche purchases which don’t fit into normal expense descriptions. It does have some drawbacks that some may regard as pros. For example, it does not link with bank accounts and all transactions have to be manually entered.
It is, however, great for those who are squeamish about handing over their banking details. The calendar view also gives users a clear snapshot of their financial health over the week, month and year, as well as helps to track recurring and discretionary spending.
Keep track of spending patterns
Singapore’s home-grown app Seedly aims at taking the hassle out of money management. Built by millennials for millennials, the app developers say it was an “idea born out of frustration and consumer pain” of never knowing where their money was going.
Like Mint, Seedly takes multiple cards and bank accounts from a range of Singapore’s leading financial institutions and consolidates them into one view. It intuitively examines the users’ spending patterns and categorises transactions so that a greater understanding of spending patterns emerges. A ‘safe to spend’ function allows the user to cap daily transactions for the less disciplined.
The app then crunches the numbers and presents a thorough breakdown in a visually appealing infographic showing income and spending. It even throws in personal insights into spending.
Put something away for a rainy day
Digit is among the first of a new breed of personal finance apps that are a convergence between tech and banks. It tracks your income and spending habits while quietly siphoning what’s left over into another account for savings. In other words – it saves when you aren’t looking.
Although the company takes a paltry amount of interest on offer, Digit is an effortless platform to divert savings for the undisciplined. But a word to the wise: those who aren’t comfortable about handing over their bank details to a third party might not fancy the app. However, one should also consider that in an increasingly integrated world, most apps are already asking for banking details.
Pay off debt
Being buried under a mountain of high-interest debt on consumables that have long passed their usefulness is no fun. Even being at the start of a 30-year mortgage can seem a trifling intimidating. That’s why it’s important to be able to monitor your progress at chipping away at debt over the short and long term.
Debt Manager allows you to key in multiple debts and choose a snowball option. This involves attacking the lowest amount debt first before moving onto the next. It tracks principal and interest payments and allows you to tap in a number of scenarios such as lump sum payments. The app also gives the user end dates and provides pie charts of the progress of each debt.
Building a nest egg
Retirement can seem a world away. So it’s easy to understand why taking the ‘head in the sand’ approach is the preferred option for many millennials. With education, buying a home and raising a family all vying for our money’s attention, saving for our golden years often takes last priority.
But compounding returns means that putting a little extra aside each week or month will make a huge difference later on. After all, from little things, big things grow.
You can map out your retirement goals by using the DBS Retirement Planner. Simply punch in a number of variables including current age and projected retirement age, desired monthly income at retirement, current savings, investments and insurances. The planner will then produce an inflation adjusted retirement report which will deal totals and timelines to give you a clearer picture about your future.
Apps can be a great way to control your budget and build a lucrative financial future. Being armed with the knowledge about where your money has gone is the first step. By starting your financial life right, you’ll be saving yourself unnecessary stress and anxiety over managing your money.