It can be difficult to stick to a budget, especially when prices rise. In fact, according to FINCAPover a third of adults in Britain (39%) currently lack confidence in managing their own money. However, there are many ways you can learn how to manage your budget, many of which don’t require specialist knowledge or experience with spreadsheets, setting reminders or working out complex budget formulas. Budgeting apps are easily accessible and can be on hand (or in your pocket!) to help you consistently budget better. Here we look at how you can leverage the technology you already have to secure a better financial future.
What are budgeting apps?
Essentially, budgeting apps are software applications designed to help people manage their money effectively. There are several features you can find in budgeting apps, such as income trackers, expense management, and savings, and these can be easily accessed from both Android and iOS devices. Together these can give you a quick overview of your financial health, and some even offer tips and guidance on how to make improvements.
How do they work?
To get started, you’ll need to provide the app with quite a bit of detail about your financial income and expenses. Some budget apps make manually entering your income and expenses an option, while others connect directly to your bank feed to assess your financial position. They can then give you insight into creating a budget for your household and remind you to stick to it.
There are several additional features within budgeting apps that you may want to take advantage of, including:
- Debt management features – some budgeting apps show you how to pay off your debts and can help you create a plan to get you debt-free.
- Setting financial goals – It may also be possible for you to set financial and savings goals within the app and track your progress. This can also help you stay motivated when budgeting.
- Tracking expenses – Tracking your expenses is an essential part of budgeting apps. If you can see where your money is going in real time, you can get a better handle on it. In some cases, you can set spending limits so you don’t overspend.
Is it okay to use free budgeting apps?
There are some free budgeting apps available in the market that cater to different types of users. Some popular choices include Plum, GoodBudget, and Spending Tracker. Although these have free versions, you may not benefit from some features included with the paid versions.
Are budgeting apps reliable?
As with any app you provide your financial information to, make sure it is reliable. When researching which budget apps to use, consider those that are transparent about how they process your data in accordance with the latest data protection legislation. Also, choose one that really takes cybersecurity seriously. Encryption protocols, secure logins, and detailed privacy policies are all things you should pay attention to.
In addition, it is wise to check user reviews and ratings. Use an independent review website for this, as this will provide a better picture of the experience of those who use the apps. Reliable budgeting apps usually only need access to essential financial data and shouldn’t ask you for information beyond that. If so, you might want to ask yourself if this is the app for you.
How to get the most out of budgeting apps
After you choose the app you want to use, enter your details, and set your goals, the app doesn’t do everything for you. It’s important to realize that you need to review your spending and savings and update them as necessary. If you know you’ll have trouble remembering this, opt for an app that notifies you of important budget events, or reminds you to check your spending every month. However, once you set reminders, it will likely be second nature to keep your budget in check in the future.
In short, if you’re considering using a budgeting app for your personal or household finances, it may be wise to research what’s available before downloading one. Finding the right app for your needs can help you manage your money better, which can lead to a better financial future.
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