Your mobile phone is your window to the world. As a result, it’s usually filled with handy apps. Momondo or Skyscanner to book your flights to Australia and Uber to get around. But how do you keep an eye on your finances once you’re in Oz?
Whether you’re travelling to Australia or you’ve moved here for work, this guide will introduce you to the apps to help you organise your time and money and make the most out of your stay Down Under.
Pocketbook’s Personal Finance Expense Tracker is used by over 250,000 Australians and consistently ranks in the Top 10 for finance apps. It connects your bank accounts, tracks your spending habits and organises your money into categories such as petrol, groceries and clothes. It also notifies you of any charges to your accounts. The result? A clear, concise budget that gives you insight into where your money goes and how to manage it better.
Another popular choice is Money Smart: TrackMySPEND. Created by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), this popular app allows you to track personal expenses and set spending limits. Easy to use, it will help you budget more effectively. ASIC has also created a series of apps that help users work towards owning a business, buying a car and creating realistic savings goals.
Another popular choice is Expensify, which has a mileage entry component in the app. It also helps separate personal and work expenses, so it’s a hit with business travellers. It scans receipts and puts the data into a CSV file, so you’re ready to go at tax time.
Though you may groan when tax time comes around each year, the Australian Tax Office has a handy app called myDeductions to help remove some of the pain. Their app helps you keep track of your deductions and expenses, car trips, income (if you’re a sole trader) and photos of receipts and invoices.
When it comes time to lodge (file, if you’re from America) your tax return, there is yet another great app conveniently called Tax Return by the innovative Aussie company, Pocketbook. This handy app means lodging your annual tax return has never been easier. Submit your information and then it’s dealt with by a registered accountant, who is accessible via the app. It’s fast and simple. The app is free but there is a low $49 cost to lodge.
Almost all of Australia’s banks provide customers with mobile banking options. Of the big four banks, Commonwealth Australia Bank leads the way with the Commbank App. It’s the number one banking app in the country, with over 4 million users.
While it hasn’t quite captured as many Australian users, Westpac’s mobile banking app has captured the attention of Forrester Research. In Forrester’s annual worldwide Global Mobile Banking Benchmark, Westpac scored an impressive 86 out of 100 in the evaluation. The global industry average was 65.
Other banking apps include ANZ’s award winning goMoney, as well as excellent options from Bankwest and St George.
If you need money from your local bank account or still need to pay bills back home, TransferWise’s international money transfer app is the way to go. Using your regular bank or another transfer service like PayPal often means you end up with a hefty chunk of your money missing. Normal brokers promise a small (or no!) fee, but take a sneaky cut by giving you a poor exchange rate and pocketing the difference. With TransferWise you’ll get the same rate you see on Google, the fees are small and transparent, and it’ll probably be faster. And definitely fairer.
Trolley Saver is an app that links your shopping list to specials at supermarkets located in your area. The app currently links to Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and numerous independent grocery stores. Based on your shopping list and the current specials at local supermarkets, it then tells you where to shop to save money.
Download The Happiest Hour before you down your next beer. This handy app will help you find deals in over 4000 bars and pubs around Australia, as well as New Zealand and Hong Kong. Follow the app to the next happy hour and eat and drink on the cheap.
Travelling with friends? Splitwise is an excellent way to keep track of trip costs and who owes whom money. Using the app you can also keep up-to-date on your shared apartment costs, restaurant bills, travel expenses and random IOUs. Everyone in the group can log in and keep an eye on, and even update the expenses.
A similar app is Splittr, which is designed to make splitting travel costs easy. Splittr can generate PDF reports that you can send to friends, and all your data can be securely stored in iCloud.