That phone in your pocket is probably one of the reasons your money is disappearing. But, you can also use it to manage your finances better.
If your apps cost you time or money then you need to download a few of these ones below. We’ve rounded up nine of the best to ensure you're left with more money at the end of the month.
You can’t afford not to download them.
Budget tracking is essential if you want to keep your finances healthy and your head clear. You probably already know that, but the hardest part is actually bothering to do it.
If you haven’t started yet, using an app to track money in and out might be the best option. Many are so simple to use that you'll end up using them without realising.
They’ll help you plan ahead, avoid the costs and complications of missed payments and see where you are wasting your money.
Mint has been one of the most popular budget tracking apps for a few years. It helps you set your budget - and then stick to it. It’s easy to use and looks good, even when your finances don’t. You’ll get brightly coloured warnings when you approach your limits or need to pay a bill.
The great thing about Mint is that it integrates with your existing bank, credit and loan accounts so a lot of the work is done for you. It will even help you improve your credit score.
Mint has recently been upgraded with enhanced features, including the ability to pay bills directly from the app.
Level Money also syncs with your finance accounts, but it’s based around an additional feature that some people find very useful.
As the name suggests, it will keep recalculating the right level of spending for the day, week or month ahead based on how much money you have left. The idea is to digitally recreate the experience of opening your wallet.
If you depend on less stable income, a freelancer for example, then this isn’t as useful. If you’ve got a regular income then you might wonder how you survived without it.
We live in the sharing economy, but sharing some of those bills between friends can get awkward. Paying for a few extra rounds at the bar might not seem like a big deal, but restaurant bills, groceries, petrol and other shared expenses can quickly add up.
If people don’t think it’s being fairly divided then it can lead to bad feelings. It’s hard to do this in your head, but there are some good apps to handle the maths and the awkwardness for you.
Splitwise is the app you will need if you regularly share costs with someone else or a group. If you have flatmates then it's almost essential.
You create your own group, for your houseshare for example, and then everyone adds their costs to the tracker. You can even add an image, like a receipt, if needed.
The bills are then split in the manner that you choose and then everyone makes their own transfers when it's time to settle up. It can even handle complicated situations in which one person owes another, but not the whole group.
PayFriendz isn’t just for people who already share bills regularly. It’s ideal for anyone when they quickly need to split a bill with friends, such as a dinner or a taxi ride. You simply connect your bank card and add your contacts to be paid within the app.
Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? It’s time to step it up a level and use apps to help you save too.
Plum is your personal savings assistant and will put a bit of your money aside each month for you.
It doesn’t have its own app because it works through Facebook messenger. You simply connect it to your bank account then it works out the right amount to save without leaving you short of money.
Your money is always accessible and it uses artificial intelligence so you can have Facebook chats with your assistant at any time.
Sign up for Plum here.
Unsplurge is a great app if you are visually-minded and need motivation. You simply tell the app what you want to save for, the target amount and then upload a picture. It could be your dream wedding with hundreds of guests or just that holiday you've been longing for.
It’s been created as a social app, which also adds to the pressure to reach your target. You can see how others are progressing with their goals and others can see yours.
Download Unsplurge for iOS.
If you live outside the US or UK then cashback might be a baffling concept. For Brits and Americans, it’s a great way to save money when shopping.
Credit card issuers offer cashback on purchases to incentivize the use of their credit card and there are apps to help you take advantage of the deals.
Ebates is popular in the US for finding cashback deals in the shops you visit frequently. There are more than 1,500 stores listed, including Walmart, Safeway and Sam’s Club. It’s possible get up to 25% cashback if you're lucky.
CheckoutSmart is for Brits who want to earn cashback. It works at the most popular stores, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrissons and Asda. You simply browse the deals on your phone then upload a photo of your receipt afterwards.
TransferWise is the fast, fair new way to send money abroad.
If you're making international payments you might be paying much more than you think - traditional brokers and banks rarely use the true exchange rate.
This is how it works: