MANILA, Philippines - Managing your finances can be made much easier with some of the financial planning tools that are now available through your smart phone. Tracking your expenses, analyzing your budget, and scheduling payment of bills are just some examples of the many things that are easier to do with the apps.
Smart phones and apps offer many conveniences. For one, they allow you to record your transactions in real time. Since you almost always have your smart phone with you, you don’t have to get home to record your transaction in your spreadsheet. There are apps that let you store your receipts as well.
It’s also a very handy way to access your financial records. If you need information about your finances while you are at the bank, for instance, you can simply check your smart phone. They also provide you with a good recording system. You can synch your phone with your PC, providing you with an automatic back-up system. Best of all, it’s a paperless system, so you minimize waste.
Remember that apps are just a tool that would make financial planning easier for you. While some of these apps would give you financial advice, they do not take the place of financial planning. Also note that these apps process data based on what information it receives. Therefore, you should take pains to put in complete and accurate data. Use whatever advice the apps give in the context of your financial goals or as inputs that would guide your decision making process.
Apps can either run on Android, Apple’s IOS, or both platforms. Although most financial apps have been designed to be secure, exercise the same caution as you would in doing any online transaction.
For starters, check your own bank for their apps. The services offered vary but most would offer balance inquiry, balance transfers, and bills payments. At the same time, the Philippines’ top telecommunications carriers also offer financial services such as mobile wallets and mobile payments.
Other than those, here are some of the most useful finance apps worth checking out:
Free app, Android and IOs
One of the first personal finance apps, Mint.com syncs with your bank records and will even categorize these for you. It keeps track of your spending and categorizes them, so that you have an idea of how your budget looks like. It sends bill reminders, alerts, and even advice to your phone.
Free app, iOS
Another budget tool is Level. It allows you to record your spending and monitor your transactions, and then it analyzes this and provides you with budgets for the day, week and the month. It also helps you create a plan to save money, or tweak the budget that Level automatically provides. It even tells you if you have overspent.
This app downloads and consolidates all your financial records, including your checking accounts, savings accounts or credit cards (f your bank is included in its list of banks). All you have to do is just refresh your account. This way, you do not have to log on to different online banking sites just to see your balance. If your bank is not among those that Koku can connect with, you can import your statements into Koku. The app also provides an analysis of your income and spending habits. Since it automatically syncs to iCloud, you will be able to access your account from anywhere using your Apple device.
This app that lets you track your expenses by week, month or year, in different categories. You can take photos of your receipts and store it using this app. It also lets you automatically save information to a Dropbox account, so that you can check this from another PC or mobile device. It also includes payment alerts, a currency converter, tax calculator, and a tip calculator, among others.
Another expense-tracking and budgeting tool, this app let you monitor cash flow and set personal financial goals. You can keep track of your expenses across categories, and it converts these into charts for your reference. Data can be exported as HTML or into Excel.
For businesses, Money is an app that tracks and balances cash, debit, credit and savings accounts by importing these files. There are tabs for your balance, transactions, budgets, and reports. It can convert currencies automatically. It syncs with ICloud, which makes the information available on other devices.
Unleash monitors your company's income, expenses, profits, cash, profit margin and valuation. It tracks collections, and lets you know when customers’ payments are overdue. If you want to compare how your company is performing against US small businesses in your industry, this app will allow you to see comparisons. It also provides a facility for making financial projections based specific scenarios, like hiring additional personnel or increasing sales volume.
For travellers, Expensify is a useful app that keeps track of your business expenses and mileage. It also lets you scan, upload and file receipts which can be made into expense reports that you can readily submit to your supervisors when you get back to the office.
Free, iOS and Android
Toshl is an expense and budget tracker. It works with any currency and separates your travel expenses from the rest of your finance. It syncs across multiple devices.
Other expense tracking apps worth looking at are Spending Tracker, Money Zen, and Spendee.
In using any of these Apps, make sure that your account information will remain private and are accessible only with strong passwords known to you and only you.
Grow Your Money is an editorial partnership between ABS-CBNnews.com and Citi Philippines to promote financial education and provide helpful information to Filipinos on how to better manage their personal finances.
Visit www.citibank.com.ph for more information.