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Money saving

How apps can help you stick to your budget

Posted 24 June 2016 by Christine Walsh

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Find out how certain apps can help you stay within your budget.

For many households up and down the country, money and budgeting is a primary concern. That’s why it’s important to give yourself as much help as possible, so you stick to your budget and avoid money worries later down the line. 

There are apps out there that can really a id your day-to-day budgeting, helping you to avoid over-spending and get the best deals out there. Let’s have a look at the areas of life where a budget app might just be the thing you need. 

 

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General budgeting app

It can sometimes become much easier to focus if you can visualise whatever you’re working on, and budgets are no exception. A general budgeting app, can show you your whole budget and how your money management is going in one place. 

On trees is a great budgeting app for a few key reasons. First of all it’s completely free – you don’t want to end up spending more money while you’re trying to save after all! 

Secondly, it allows you to “put” all your accounts in one place, making it a whole lot easier to keep track of what’s going on. Even if you have accounts with different banks, you can connect them all using one set of login details. 

The colourful categories are particularly helpful as well. Each expense in your life, like rent, bills and food is given a colour and separated out from the others. You can then edit each category keeping a really close eye on everything you spend. 

Food shopping

There are some things in life that you might be able to live without for a while in order to save money. Food shopping is not one of these things. Whatever happens in another area of your financial life, you’ve got to eat, and that’s why it makes sense to save as much money as possible in this area. 

Mysupermarket is a great app you can download for free. It allows you to compare the price of a particular item across 13 different supermarkets. And if you have a shopping list ready, as we’d recommend you do, you can find the cheapest supermarket for your list as a whole. Pretty nifty!

And say goodbye to the days of scanning the aisles for a deal. This app can tell you the best deals on offer as soon as you enter the store. 

Petrol/Travel

We all need to get around, and if you’ve got a car you’ll know all too well that this can be one of life’s major costs. 

There are ways you can try to use your car less, like using the train, bus or tram where possible. Or there are always car-pooling schemes that might be able to help. You could ask at work to see whether someone wants to share a lift, or if your employer runs an official scheme. If that doesn’t work, Liftshare could help. 

Then again, there are times when you simply have to use your car. That’s why PetrolPrices is a great app to have. Once you’ve got the app it will keep you up to date with the cost of petrol and tell you where you can fill up for the best price in your area. 

Utilities

Now you might think there’s an app for saving money on food shopping, but did you know that your smartphone can help with utilities as well? Well it can – with an app called Meter Readings

It will tell you how much you’re spending day-to-day so you can choose to put a stop to any unnecessary energy use. You can also compare what you’re being charged with what your neighbours are paying, to find out whether it might be worth switching. 

Bargain hunting

If there are areas where you can cut back and save some money then great! But we all know that sometimes you simply can’t avoid spending money. What if you need new shoes for work? Or someone close to you has a birthday coming up? That’s where Vouchercloud could help. 

When you’ve got an extra expense coming up, you can search for offers and discounts with this app. All you have to do is pick a category – special occasions for example – and Vouchercloud will tell you what’s available. You can get these vouchers in three different ways: online vouchers, printed vouchers, or mobile vouchers on your phone, and they’re ready to use straight away. 

Just make sure you only use a voucher when you were going to spend the money anyway – you don’t want to be tempted into unnecessary spending just because you’ve got the app. 

Budgets are the most important thing you need for successful money management and that’s why we’d always recommend everyone has one. Make sure you check back in with the blog for more tips to make your budget a success. 

 

 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.