New year, new budget - Finance apps to make your life easier

Spending money is fun, saving it and earning it – not so much. Which is probably why so many new year’s resolutions about saving money fall by the wayside – after all, who wants to spend their free time creating budget spreadsheets– let’s face it, it’s boring. But it’s safe to say that we all want more from our money, so, we’ve compiled a few smart phone app solutions that will hopefully take the boredom out of budgeting – here they are:

Goodbudget

The ‘Goodbudget’ app lets you set up pots of money and allocate your finances for different things. And the nice thing about this app, you can get up and running for free – there is a ‘plus’ version you can pay for which includes more features should you need it at a later stage.

Where this app comes into its own though, is that you can sync your budget and pots of money with other people, so it’s useful if you share finances with your other half or with housemates. It’s available for Android, iOS and desktop so everyone can get involved.

You need a budget

The app ‘You need a budget’ is American but you can change the currency settings to Sterling; you also need to pay for the app which is about £40 a year (so make sure you budget for it) but it does reckon you could save $3,300 after nine months – that’s about £2,600** at today’s exchange.

It works in a similar way to Goodbudget in that you have pots of money, but works on four ‘pillars’ of money behaviour, its key point is to ‘give every dollar (or pound) a job’. You can set up different pots and allocate your money to each of these – such as food, bills, rent, travel or mortgage; if you’ve got a bigger goal in mind like saving for a car, then you can add this too.

The idea is to categorise every pound you earn so you can see exactly where it goes. It’s realistic in the sense that if you overspend one month then so be it; but you’ll need to make amends the following month. If you want to assess your money movements in great detail, then it could be for you – if you’re happy to fork out for it in the first place that is.

It’s mainly for desktops but an Android and iOS app runs alongside it so you can update on the go.

Debt manager

This is only available in iOS and it costs 79p^^ but it could be the app you’ve been waiting for if you’re paying off debt. It tracks your debt (or debts) and shows you how much is left to repay and how long it’ll take to pay it back.

What’s clever is the ‘what if’ scenario where you can see what would happen if you upped a payment or changed the interest rate on your debt. You can also set up payment alerts so you never miss one and if you’re really keen, then you can even export the data onto a spreadsheet.

Salary calculator

This app is free and again, only available on iOS, but it’s handy if you’re contemplating a new job come the new year. This does pretty much what it says it does – it calculates your salary, so if you’ve been offered a new role then just take a moment to see what your take home pay will be.

Unlike guess-timating on the back of an envelope, this app will take into account any extra outgoings like National insurance, pension contributions and even student loan repayments. You can compare your old salary to the new one and see how much better off you’ll be (or not).

HMRC app

The government are getting all techy and this is their contribution to the world of finance apps – it’s free and available for both Android and iOS. It’s useful if you’re self-employed or do your own tax returns because it estimates how much you need to pay. You can also download official forms, worksheets and access help guides.

And to make you feel a bit better about paying taxes, the government will even show what they’re spending your money on.

Money, money, money

Although we can’t actually recommend any of these apps specifically, we know they’re designed to be easy to download and access even for the biggest technophobe, but if apps just aren’t your thing, then you can still budget the good old fashioned way with pen, paper and a calculator.

Of course, budgeting starts with what you’ve got going into the bank, so make sure you’ve got the right accounts for you. If you’re unsure what the right account for you looks like, then head to our savings and current accounts hub where we’ll tell it how it is. Your money should work as hard as you do – so make it start and comparethemarket.com

Looking for a Quote?

Compare saving accounts in seconds and start saving

get a quote