The Best Personal Finance Apps For Building Money

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Whether you’re looking to get your finances in order, save for a house, a holiday, a car or just a rainy day, as you may have heard: there’s an app for that. In fact, there are several. Finance has traditionally been time-consuming and complicated. But thanks to these five apps, it can be made seamless and hassle-free.

#1 Pocketbook

Pocketbook Personal Finance and Expense Tracker can help you track, budget and save money, based on your personal spending habits.

Pocketbook can be particularly useful for happy tappers who make a lot of contactless payments on their debit or credit card, and don’t realise how much they’re spending or where their money is going.

Features:

  • Free
  • Syncs to your bank accounts: no manual data input needed
  • Categorises your spending: see what you spend and where you spend it
  • You set up and control your own budgets based on categories
  • Bill reminders and payment trackers
  • Live insights into your spending
  • Smart alerts keep you on track

#2 MoneyBrlliant

This personal finance app is similar to Pocketbook, but with a little more hand-holding and a few more bells and whistles. It’s designed to help keep you on track, save and reach your financial goals.

Features:

  • Free for 30 days, $9.90-per-month fee afterwards
  • Syncs to all of your financial accounts, including superannuation and even loyalty cards: no data entry required
  • Smart notifications let you know when bills need to be paid
  • ‘Bill Watch’ scans the market for gas and electricity providers, to let you know if you could be getting a better deal
  • Enter your allowable tax expenses, attach receipt images and keep track of your deductions
  • Accountants and tax advisers available through the app
  • Tracks and reports on your progress, automatically creating budgets based on income and spending

#3 Splitwise

Money can be a real bugbear when it comes to friends and partners. Sometimes you can find yourself out of pocket, and out of patience, when it comes to who’s footing the bill(s).

Enter Splitwise, which calculates who has spent what and who owes who money. In the case of uni students and millenials in shared accommodation, it’s a particularly handy saving tool for more harmonious living. With the Splitwise app, you could save yourself money, and save relationships from potentially turning sour.

Features:

  • Free
  • Make multiple groups for housemates/friends/partners
  • Share bills and IOUs: keep things fair
  • Smart notifications when bills are due or when you need to pay someone back
  • Keeps a running total, so that you can get paid back/pay off a debt, in one big payment
  • Payments straight into/from your bank account
  • Advice forums from ‘fairness experts’ for your doubts and queries

#4 Raiz (formerly Acorns Australia)

Raiz is an investment-based savings app. It works by rounding up your card transactions to the nearest dollar, and investing that money into exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which track and measure the stock market. Raiz is useful for those who want to start investing, but don’t really know how to go about it. Think of it like your spare change jar, but smarter.

Features:

  • Links to your bank account
  • No minimum balance required
  • Fees are $1.25 per month for those with balances under $5000 or 0.275 per cent per year for those with balances above $5000
  • Can make deposits through round-ups, recurring payments or lump sums
  • Can choose from five optimised diverse portfolios, from conservative to aggressive
  • Notifies you of unusual activity

#5 Transferwise

This app is particularly handy for travellers, or those transferring money to friends, family or employees abroad. Banks can charge up to a 5 per cent fee on overseas transfers at their own exchange rate, but with Transferwise you only pay a small fee to convert currencies, at the real exchange rate. This is particularly useful for those on working holiday visas opening new Australian accounts, who often lose a chunk of money in the transfer process. Transferwise also currently offers a Borderless Account, which means that you can get paid by 30 different countries in any currency, without either end incurring fees.

Features:

  • Free to open and no minimum balance required
  • Business and personal accounts available
  • First international transfer is free
  • Borderless Account allows you to be paid in any currency, with no fees
  • Transferwise debit card not currently offered in Australia (but you can register an interest)

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Comments

    Apps like Pocketbook require access to your bank account, is this safe?

    Spending Tracker - doesn't link to your bank account which is great I always find those apps so clunky. Super simple; you enter every transaction assign it to a category. You very quickly become aware of how quickly you are wasting money unnecessarily. You can export the data to csv or use dropbox and sync it with multiple devices. It takes a little discipline but totally worth it.

    @dingaling - I’ve been using pocketbook for 2 years, bank detail provision has been a non issue.

    I tried Acorns, but moved over to firststep (firststep.co) after the mucked me around when I tried withdrawing money.
    Haven’t tried the others.

      What issues did you have when withdrawing money with Raiz (Acorns). I've just asked for my first withdrawal minutes ago.

      Mainly on board for the Raiz Rewards

        I use Raiz and have never had any problem withdrawing! It takes a while to come in but I've withdrawn all sorts of amounts as back up cash at times.

      Never had any issue withdrawing money from Acorns(Raiz), but I did jump shop when they rebranded and changed name almost overnight without any kind of warning.

    Used to use Pocketbook frequently until I changed bank accounts to HSBC and discovered they don't fully support my account making it mostly useless. Support has been largely of the unhelpful "it works for me" type.

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