It is estimated that over 85% of the UK adult population have a smartphone and it’s highly likely you are reading this on your smart phone right now. Where once a mobile phone enabled us to call people, send text messages and maybe take photos, we now carry around a small computer that is a million times more powerful than the computer that guided Neil Armstrong and his team to the moon.
On our smartphones we have applications, or Apps, which allow us to pay our bills, book taxis, order food and a whole host of other important, and somewhat trivial things. It may come as no surprise then, that there are also Apps which can help you become Better With Money.
However, with around 3 million Apps available to download, and personal finance being one of the fastest growing segments in the mobile phone App market, how do you separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’ when it comes to finding Apps that can help you improve your financial wellbeing and reduce money-related stress?
Better With Money is happy to help and here are our top recommendations of Apps we use that help us stay in control of our money and finances.
1 Your Bank’s App
Even if you use it for nothing else, your bank’s App allows you to easily check your bank account. Knowing how much money you have is hugely important if you want to stay in control of your finances, and being able to check transactions also means that anything suspicious or incorrect can quickly be identified and dealt with.
2) Credit Karma
Being able to keep track of our credit score is incredibly important if you want to become Better With Money. There are lots of credit score Apps available, but we use Credit Karma, which is free. Most people know that their credit score determines if they can or can’t get credit, but few realise it can also affect how much you pay for insurance, so it’s worth keeping on top of your credit score and doing what you can to improve it.
Credit Karma allows you to easily check your credit score and using the App won’t affect your credit score in any way. It has lots of tips and advice on how you can improve your credit score and it sends useful articles with practical advice on how you can improve the way you manage your finances. Using an App such as Credit Karma to keep an eye on your credit score also helps you identify if there is any fraudulent activity happening on your account and has advice on what to do if there is.
Every year in the UK, the average household throws away around 76Kg of food, at a cost of about £700 per family. Olio is an app that allows both individuals and superstores to share surplus food, rather than throw it away and is a great way to find free food or pass on food that you aren’t going to use.
Olio not only helps cut food waste, helping the environment and other people, it can help you reduce your food bill by accessing free food, and it also has a great section where you can keep a food budget.
It’s free to download and the food sharing element is also free. There is a subscription option, which provides additional features and helps keep the App going, but that is completely optional.
4) Once I’ve Gone
Ok, so this isn’t an App, it’s a website (www.onceivegone.com), but we like it a lot. You can always add a shortcut to your phone’s home screen if the fact it’s not an App bothers you! Anyway, Once I’ve Gone helps tackle the difficult subject of getting your affairs in order to help your loved ones if, or rather when, you pass away.
Once I’ve Gone has a secure platform where you can store details about your will, funeral wishes, powers of attorney, bank accounts, savings, insurances, and bills, as well as messages to your loved ones, passwords, photographs, and a whole lot more. It is very simple to use, and you choose who the information gets passed on to when you die.
There is a cost to use Once I’ve Gone but they it is a totally independent business which isn’t trying to sell “add on” products and won’t bombard you with advertising.
We like the fact that it can help you feel more at ease about these things without having to have, sometimes, difficult conversations with those we love. Using it gives a certain comfort in knowing that no matter how complicated our life may have been, we’re making it easier for those we leave behind to deal with.
So, there are our recommendations. A fairly diverse bunch, we admit, with some obvious, and some less obvious choices. However, they all have one thing in common: they can all help you improve your financial wellbeing from your smartphone.
By the way, we feel we should mention that we don’t get paid, or have anything to gain by recommending these Apps, other than a warm fuzzy feeling in knowing we are helping you become Better With Money.
If you would like to find out more about the financial education in the workplace courses Better with Money provides, please get in touch.