You’ve already decided that 2020 will be your year. Not only will this be the year and the decade in which you take control of your health, fitness and lifestyle, it’s also the year when you’ll take control of your household finances and liberate yourself from the specter of debt, going without and throwing away a fortune on interest month after month. It’s easy for even the most conscientious of us to lose track of our finances these days. Especially when many of us have so many small monthly outgoings that make a big difference by month end… and there’s so much out there that’s designed to tempt us.
Indeed, for many of us it can feel as though we’re constantly working yet never have the bank balance to prove it. While part of this is because the economy is rigged against us, conspiring to keep our wages and earning potential down, we can all do our bit to liberate ourselves from debt and financial hardship.
Needless to say, in the 2020s tech can play a huge part in helping us to take control of our finances. Loaded with the right apps, your smartphone can be your passport to a happier and more financially secure future. Let’s look at some apps that can help you reduce your expenses and better manage your finances…
First, let’s talk about the apps you don’t need!
Before we talk about the apps you do need, let’s take a moment to consider the ones that might be surplus to requirements. Do you really need Audible and Spotify? Is there really all that much point in having Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Disney Plus when you barely even have time to watch television? Cutting the cable was supposed to save us money, but with a plethora of subscription services, we can all find ourselves spending over the odds for subscriptions we don’t really need. While they usually cost little on their own, they can be whittled down without much detriment to your quality of life.
Take control of your household expenses with Truebill
We all know the sinking feeling that kicks in when you are unpleasantly surprised by your bank balance, realizing that the number on the screen is a far cry from the number you imagined in your head. The thing is, we’re all good at deducting rent, mortgage, car payments and other big expenses in our mental calculations… we’re not so hot at accounting for the little things.
Take a look at this Truebill review, however, and you’ll see how this handy app can help you to take control of your finances by better managing your outgoings. The app’s founders claim that it has saved its 250,000+ users an average of $512 a year by helping them to better understand their outgoings.
Visualize your budget with YNAB
One of the most impactful ways to reduce your monthly outgoings is with a carefully constructed household budget template. However, for the many of us who are less than mathematically minded, this can be tricky in real terms. It’s much easier if we’re able to visualize our budget and have a model of our income and expenditure close by for handy reference.
You need a budget or YNAB allows you to do exactly that. It syncs with your bank account and helps you to change the way you manage your money. The app has 4 discrete functions;
- 1- Give every dollar a job
- 2- Save for a rainy day
- 3- Roll with the punches
- 4- Live on last month’s income
It can help make your finances more transparent and demystify your expenditure.
Use RetailMeNot to save a fortune with coupons
As great as it is to be able to better manage the money in your bank account, it’s also really effective when we can buy the exact same products at a lower price. And as we all know, coupons are a sure fire way to do exactly that… but getting the best deals all in one place can be tricky. WIth apps like RetailMeNot you can leverage great deals across a phenomenal array of retailers. Whether you’re looking for a brand new TV or something more quotidian like clothes or shoes it can help you to find the best deals, no matter where they are! Best of all, you don’t even need to print and clip the coupons. Just show your phone at the cash register.
Save on life’s essentials with Grocery IQ
Using any grocery store app or website is a good way to save money on your weekly food shop. Buying your groceries online may incur a small delivery charge, but this will usually pale in comparison to the potential savings there are to be made. Think about it! Grocery stores and supermarkets are precision-engineered to make you spend impulsively. The candy bars by the cash register. The baked treats on display when you walk through the door. The Buy One Get One Half Price offers on products you didn’t even intend to buy… it can all cause your shopping bill to escalate… especially if you made the mistake of doing your food shopping on an empty stomach.
Grocery IQ allows you to build lists based on millions of products listed on its platform and see which store would allow you to save the most on your weekly shopping basket. Combine this will effective meal planning and you can radically reduce the cost of life’s essentials.
And finally… Scoutmob
If you’re living in a big city, it can be hard to keep costs under control. The exorbitant rent and rates combined with the high cost of local amenities make it difficult to keep yourself afloat financially in an urban environment. So, while you have a lot of cool stuff on your doorstep, it’s often hidden behind a pretty high paywall. That’s where Scoutmob comes in. It can help you to parse the best deals for local stores, cafes and restaurants to help you to reduce the surcharge that comes with urban living.