How to manage your money with digital budgeting

Digital money management tools help keep your spending and saving on track. Canstar looks at what’s on the market

Picture this. You’re recovering from last night’s mission to paint the town red, chowing down on some takeaways/lemonade iceblocks/insert chosen hangover cure here. Then you get the flashbacks. Your credit card dancing before your eyes as you happily swipe for another drink at the bar. But how much did you really spend? Will you be eating baked beans for the next month to get back on track?

It might sound hard to believe, but it is possible to enjoy a night out while also keeping your saving in check. This does require a bit of discipline and planning, though. Fortunately, digital money tracking apps and tools are available to help with mastering the art of budgeting.

Get your smartphones, tablets and computers ready, we’re taking you on a crash course in digital money management.

woman stressing about money

Money management idea 1: Westpac’s CashNav separates needs from wants

Westpac has launched a budgeting app, called CashNav, that is designed to help you see where your money is really going, as well as to keep your spending in check. For example, the app shows how your spending for the month compares with the average spending from the previous month. CashNav also categorises your spending, splitting it into needs and wants and breaking it down further into subcategories, such as groceries, transport or eating out. The app alerts you when you have had “spending spikes” – when you are spending more money on a particular category than you have in the past. Having your spending visually represented in this way means you can’t hide from your spending habits, and it also helps you to keep on track with any saving goals.

Money management idea 2: Split expenses across 25 accounts with BNZ

Managing your bills is all that much easier when expenses are accounted for as soon as any income comes in – that’s the beauty of automatic payments. But BNZ also takes this a step further, allowing you to create up to 25 separate accounts to cater for all your different expenses/saving goals. You can then monitor these accounts online via digital devices, or through the bank’s smartphone app.

Money management idea 3: ANZ’s goMoney keeps everyday banking in check

Smartphones are so much more than a tool to send your friend selfies with a cartoon nose and ears attached. They might even save your bacon when it comes to paying the rent. The smartphone that is, not the cartoon dog function. ANZ goMoney, available as apps on Apple and Samsung, means you can send and receive mobile payments using their mobile number, view your transaction history and tap to transfer money between ANZ accounts. Due to a decrease in demand, ANZ cancelled its MoneyManager budgeting tool as of July 2016.

Money management idea 4: Kiwibank alerts remind you when funds get low

You know the old saying, out of sight, out of mind? Sometimes that can work to your advantage with money and bills. Kiwibank’s PayStream function means you can split your income across wherever it needs to go – before you even see it. This means you can keep on track with your spending, as well as making sure money is set aside for any bills. Despite the best of intentions, you may still spend more than you set out to from your general account.

Kiwibank has come to the rescue here, too. Kiwibank customers can sign up for text or email alerts to notify you when:

  • your account balance falls under a set limit
  • you receive deposits over a certain amount
  • a regular automatic payment can’t be paid – usually because there isn’t enough money in your account. This alert provides an opportunity to transfer some money before Kiwibank tries the payment again. You’ll also get this alert if a scheduled one-off payment fails.
  • a regular automatic payment or a scheduled one-off payment dishonours.
  • a direct debit fails because there isn’t enough money in your account.

Money management idea 5: ASB helps with your memory bank

alerts help you remember important payments
If your memory/money tracking abilities are not your strong points, maybe ASB’s alert system is for you. ASB customers can set up to have ASB text you if your account drops below a set amount and, if you drop below this limit, you can then adjust your payment or transfer some money.  With ASB’s alert system, you can also get notifications when you have made a transaction over a certain amount, particularly handy if you’re watching the pennies.

There’s a wide world of money management tools out there

While banks have a wide offering of money management tools, there are also several non-banking options, if you’re looking for something a bit different. For example, the app, Money Lover – Money Manager, allows you to check how close you are to certain savings goals, such as for a new phone or for a holiday. It will also help you keep track of when bills are due.

Mobile banking

Juggling work, family and social life is often stressful enough without throwing money matters into the mix. If you’re done with the old receipts collecting and notebook records, why not give one of the digital dollar trackers a go? And, above all, don’t be ashamed that you could do with a helping hand to keep on top of expenses. It could be just the ticket to boost your holiday savings. Imagine that!

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