“Money doesn’t grow on trees” -it’s a phrase we’ve heard time and again from our parents and grandparents, and one we inevitably find ourselves repeating to our own kids. Yet for all that, many of us, especially those who have reached adulthood over the past decade or so since the financial crisis of 2008, have never really had the opportunity to save money for a rainy day or to deal with that unexpected cost.
As a result, when the car suddenly needs a replacement clutch or we decide we just have to get away for a week in the sun, we find ourselves turning to the credit cards and placing ourselves in escalating levels of debt.
There has to be a better way, and in the brave new world of 2018, the answer is almost always only a swipe away on your smartphone. I for one don’t own a credit card, but it worries me that one day I’ll need to put a large amount of money onto one in an emergency, in which I wish I had one to hand.
However, here are some great apps that can help you get your finances into a state of rude health, without turning to the plastic:
The first step in saving money is to get yourself organised. There are a number of different financial organiser apps on the market, and one of the most well known is Mint. Today, our finances can be convoluted, and this is an app that keeps everything in one place where you can instantly access your accounts and keep track of your overall financial status. It even has the ability to check your credit score, if you are brave enough to want to find out!
Here’s a new app for a new generation of investors. As with the mint-type products, there are lots of investment management operators out there with easy to use apps, but Wealthify stands out as one to seriously consider if you are new to the whole investment world. It guides you through a variety of options in simple language without resorting to finance speak or technobabble, and will even provide guidance on making the most of your tax free allowance with investment ISAs.
If you find yourself half way through the month and wondering where all your money has gone, this could be the app for you. We’ve all heard about how smart meters that show our electricity consumption in real time help us reduce our consumption. Well Level Money acts in the same way, but for all your finances. It keeps constant track of your spending habits and is not shy about laying them on the line to you. You’ll be amazed at what you learn as to just where your money is really going.
The first step to making savings is to get yourself out of debt. If the very phrase is one that is more likely to provoke a burst of bitter laughter, the IVA Advice app is well worth downloading. It delivers pragmatic, practical, step-by-step guidance on how anyone (and that really does mean anyone) can become debt-free in 60 months.
It could be just the fresh start that you were looking for.