How Your Smart Phone Can Save (& Make) You Money
Four powerful apps that upgrade your personal finance game.
Upgrading your finance game doesn’t require doling out cash on finance advisors and accountants. A few taps can turn your phone into a personal financial assistant that can help you with everything – from keeping track of your budget to buying electricity and monitoring your investments.
Keep Every Receipt
OUR CHOICE: POCKETSLIP (free app for Android and iPhone)
The only thing more annoying than a wallet stuffed with receipts is never being able to find the one you need to return a dodgy item or prove your expenses to Sars. PocketSlip, a locally created app, aims to save both trees and hassle. Install the app, sign up – then simply provide supporting stores with the code found in the app and they will email, SMS or send the receipt to the app instead of giving you a slip of paper. Although relatively new, PocketSlip has managed to draw chains such as Mica, Build-It and Le Creuset as participating merchants. After the app was recently featured on CNN, more should follow.
Keep Track of Your Stocks
OUR CHOICE: MYSTOCKS (free app for Android)
MyStocks manages to be easy-to-use while providing in-depth financial information on all your investments. Once you’ve installed the app, use the search function to find local and international investments you want to monitor, and add them to your watchlists. MyStocks not only keep an eye on share prices, it also tracks exchange rates and more exotic stuff, like Futures and Exchange Traded Funds. Impressively, it displays a breakdown of analysts’ views on whether to buy or sell a specific share and provides latest news relating to specific stocks. Worried about the market tanking? Set alerts to go off when shares breach a certain price.
Replace Your Wallet
OUR CHOICE: WECHAT (free app for Android and iPhone)
Already a global giant, WeChat is using the convenience of its embedded WeChat Wallet function to make a serious play for the South African market. It combines all the features found in a traditional banking app– such as transferring money, purchasing airtime or electricity– with innovative payment options, like allowing you to scan QR codes with an integrated Snapscan function. All this means that instead of having four separate apps different financial tasks, it’s all in WeChat. As its name suggests, WeChat is an instant messaging service and in an effort to attract users, the app regularly offers discounts and deals.
Keep Spending Under Control
OUR CHOICE: MONEY LOVER (free app for Android and iPhone)
Okay, it may not have the graphs and gimmicks of some of its competitors, but Money Lover is minimalist and simple to navigate – and its no-frills approach to monitoring your personal finance beats many a pointless pie chart. Money Lover allows you to punch in your income and expenses, specify whether they’re onceoff or recurring and then see an estimation of how well you’re doing. What’s nifty is that it also tells you your predicted financial position in a few months’ time, which is great for when your gut wants you to sign up for Netflix – right freaking now – but you’re unsure if you’ll be able to afford it in the long term.