Apps for Managing your Money
25th October 2018
With the holidays coming and that 31st of January tax deadline looming around Christmas Corner, it’s easy to start losing control of your finances.
This end of the year can be murder on your wallet, and have the payday loan and credit card businesses licking their chops in anticipation.
Good habits are hard to keep, but there’s a surprising amount of help out there. What’s more, your phone or tablet could offer a great start at regaining your financial grip. Here’s how:
The small-change round-up trick
You know that little change jar you dump your useless spare coins in to avoid loading yourself down with pocket-shrapnel? Now imagine you carried one of those around with you all the time, and it worked on payments you make digitally.
That’s the idea behind “challenger Bank” Revolut’s new app feature. Basically, whenever you make a purchase, the app rounds up the amount to the nearest pound and socks the “change” away in a little digital vault. Spend £4.50, for instance, and you get charged £5 – but the extra 50p goes into your vault. Over time, the amount stored up grows without you ever even thinking about saving. The more purchases you make, the more those little deposits matter.
Other banks are experimenting with the same idea, either with their own apps or in partnership with other companies. Investment firm Moneybox, for example, lets you sign up your bank account or credit card for its round-up scheme if your own bank doesn’t have one.
The digital voucher revolution
You know how it is; you can never find your loyalty card while you’re standing at the checkout. Over the years, the amount we’re missing out on can be pretty eye-watering. Stocard is a great little app for storing all your loyalty cards in one place. A quick barcode scan can save a lot of fumbling and missed rewards.
In a similar vein, VoucherCodes’ app gives you instant access to discounts, deals and savings on thousands of brands. HotUKDeals and Vouchercloud are other options with the same basic premise – while cashback apps like Quidco and TopCashBack are good for scoring deals and tracking what you’ve saved.
At your fingertips, at a glance
It doesn’t have to take a massive act of will to save – even over the Christmas season. In fact, you can even use an app to resist your urge to splurge. Squirrel, true to its name, stashes your wages away from temptation each month. It then trickles your cash back into your main bank account at a controlled rate so you don’t blow it all at once. You let it know when you’ve got bills to pay, and it’ll make sure you’ve got the funds when you need them. It sounds weird, but it’s all about keeping you aware of your spending.
If you just want all your spending information in one place, then budget planner apps like Money Dashboard are good choices. Link your credit cards or bank accounts to them and all your spending details are gathered, categorised and displayed.
Stocking up cash to cover Christmas is always tricky, but the right help at the right time makes all the difference. While you’re considering your saving options, remember RIFT’s Refer a Friend scheme. You’ll earn cash for every workmate you send our way with a valid tax refund claim, and have a chance to win some amazing prizes on top. Our current Star Prize is an incredible £1,000 of Christmas spending money - check our Refer a Friend page for more details.