How You Can Get Ahead with a Budget App
by Carlisle Homes
Here’s How to Reach Your Saving Goals with a Budget App That Suits You
Saving for a new house? There’s an app for that! In fact, these days there are a wide range of budgeting apps to help you get control of your spending, set savings goals and put more money away each week.
But which one can help you get ahead? It depends what you want to do. If you’re at the beginning of your home buying journey, you may need to start from the basics and put a budget together. On the other end of the spectrum are those people who already know where every dollar is going, and are looking for ways to free up more cash. The following apps are our picks for every situation.
Best for…developing a budget
You may have heard the saying ‘if you can’t study it, you can’t manage it.’ The first step in saving for a first home is to make a budget.
Try Pocketbook, a free Australian budgeting app which makes it easy to see where your money is going. Pocketbook lets you link up your bank accounts, and then groups your transactions into categories such as groceries, entertainment, transport and shopping. You can set yourself a budget for each category, and Pocketbook will send you notifications when you’re about to hit your limit.
Get ahead by: discovering where your money is really going so you can clamp down on ‘accidental’ spending and save more effectively.
Best for…sticking to a budget
Setting a budget is one thing. Sticking to it is another.
Several of the apps mentioned here will also let you set goals and send bill reminders to help you keep on track. If you need a little more help, though, try MoneyBrilliant. Not only does this app let you sync all your financial information, categorise your transactions and lets you set goals. It also helps you find further savings. Based on your bills and energy usage, it will look for better utility deals so you can save more money. It even has a tax deductions function, helping you find potential tax deductions based on your occupation.
Get ahead by: saving on regular expenses so you have more money left over for your house-buying goals.
Best for…tracking your progress
When it comes to reaching our goals, seeing is believing. Saving is hard work and can sometimes feel dispiriting. By seeing your successes and how close you are to your goal, you may be able to find that extra motivation to get you over the line.
WeMoney is an app designed to give you a ‘360’ degree view of your entire financial situation. You can add anything you want to trackings and transaction accounts to loans, credit cards, investment accounts and even cryptocurrency accounts. This will give you a more accurate idea of your entire net worth.
You can also track expenses, including subscriptions and bills, categorise transactions, and set yourself monthly goals.
Get ahead by: seeing your progress and entire financial situation, so you can stay motivated or change your savings strategy.
Best for…saving every spare dollar
Got spare change burning a hole in your pocket? Raiz will put those tiny amounts of money to work for you. Raiz is a clever micro-investing app that automatically invests your spare change. It does so by rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar and keeping track of the difference. A $3.50 coffee becomes $4, an $8.20 sushi lunch becomes $9.
Once the change hits your threshold, Raiz ‘sweeps’ the extra into an investment portfolio for you. You can also set up recurring transactions to augment the balance.
Get ahead by: turning small amounts of pocket change into an investment portfolio or savings account that will potentially grow over time to add to your home deposit.
You can also keep things simple with your bank’s own apps. Most financial institutions offer at least some budgeting apps, which will let you see a budget and track your spending. If the round up function of Raiz appeals, but you don’t want to dip your toes into investing, many banks also offer the ability to round up your transactions and move the extra straight into your savings account. Learn more about investing your savings here.
For more information, speak to one of our in-house construction finance specialists on how to get into your new dream home faster. Or explore the Finance section of our Home Files blog for more tips and tricks on saving for your dream home.