The Internet is transforming our lives – including in the area of saving and banking. Computers and smartphones are designed to crunch numbers so use them to your advantage.
Whether it’s writing a budget or managing your cash flow, there’s an app or online tool for you. Here are some of the ones we like:
Most banks now have an online budgeting tool. They allow you to monitor your spending each month to ensure that you’re not going over budget. The best ones have both web pages and apps, which log into the same data.
Some of the banks’ budgeting software such as ANZ MoneyManager and Heaps.co.nz from Kiwibank allow you to upload statements from their competitors if you bank at more than one institution. There are also independent online budgeting tools such as PocketSmith.com and Whostolemymoney.com.
Tools such as Expensify, allow you to digitise receipts and track exactly where your money is going. Are you spending way more on coffee and/or alcohol than you admit to yourself? Spending trackers are the ultimate truth tool if used properly.
Investment and mortgage calculators.
Check out your bank’s website for calculators. You’ll probably find calculators for your net worth, retirement projections, what your rent would buy, how much you can borrow, what the extras such as legal fees cost when you buy a house and more. These tools can tell you an awful lot. There are also smartphone apps that will do this type of calculation.
You may want to calculate the cost of rebuilding your home to give you a ballpark figure to insure for. You can find a number of such calculators here. Many banks and insurance companies also offer home contents check lists and calculators. Too many Kiwis are underinsured, so make sure it’s not you.
Supermarket shopping is dangerous for your personal wealth. All those expensive items placed at eye level, and hunger inducing smells pumped into the supermarket drain your wallet. Take control by signing up for a shopping list app such as Out of Milk or Our Groceries so you’re not tempted to spend money unnecessarily.
Kids personal finance apps.
Perhaps you’re buying goods online, need to send money overseas or want to check out what you’re spending whilst overseas. Whatever the need most banks provide currency converters on their websites. There are numerous currency converter apps available on Google play, the Microsoft Store and iTunes. Remember that these apps won’t always have the exact rate offered by your bank and nor will they factor in offshore currency conversion fees.
Stock market and property investment apps.
Most stock brokers have online trading available on their websites and you can also get apps such as NZ Stocks that bring you streamed quotes. On the property investment front there are many useful tools such as PocketRent, TenanSee, RentHQ, and Re-Leased to streamline your tenant management or analyse property investments.
The Internet really does make crunching numbers easier. So use it to tame your personal finances.