Apps That Can Improve Your Budget

Analyses indicate that users are looking at their smartphone’s screen on average 50 times a day — to check missed calls, business emails, app notifications, viewing photos of strangers, and so on. More and more often, however, it turns out that the information we receive from this constant source of data is rather distracting than useful. And these efforts can be directed, for example, to something more useful, namely applications for managing the personal or family budget. These programs track revenue and cost and analyze information, showing how personal finances can be optimized. They can even help a person repay debts to banks faster and start saving instead. For example, developers of one of the leading applications, You Need a Budget (YNAB), claim that their users save an average of $ 3,300 within the first nine months after they started using it.

The full versions of these apps are paid, and some of them like the popular Money Dashboard, Mint and Acorns can not be used by Bulgaria. Others, like Moneyfy, Money Manager Expense & Budget and AndroMoney, often have similar features and even vision. Although they have relatively high ratings from consumers — 4.5 out of 5 possible stars from several tens of thousands of reviews, they do not have particularly exciting features. Such generic applications generally resemble a calendar that records the costs and earnings that are grouped by category, and the application calculates them and graphically presents them as a share of the overall level at the end of the month, and the user is left alone to conclude where Can limit costs. And although they are also very useful for tracking personal finances, we present several other variants with slightly different and distinctive features

1. YNAB
- this appends the idea of ​​spending money by making consumers rely in advance on any expected revenue for a “project” — such as household bills, rent, food, education costs, etc. This allows for prioritizing costs rather than analyzing them once they have already been made. Future “goals” can be created separately — for example, holiday spending after 3 months, and the app will calculate how much to spend each month to collect the amount. The app does not allow funding for a “project” that we do not have funds for. It presents the costs by category, and since they are very detailed, it is more convenient to use its desktop version, even though mobile is available.
Price: $ 50 a year
Free trial: 34 days

2. Wally
Has a clean design without too many options. Its main plus is that it automatically detects where the user is currently and what kind of object the consumer is shopping for, thus making it easier to enter cost data. Thus, at the end of the month, any expense can be seen on a “payment card” and, moreover, it will be automatically added to the app to the category — restaurant, grocery store, fitness, etc., which makes the cost analysis More convenient. By adding a cost, there is an option to mark someone on the phone’s contact list, which will show who we spend the most. There is also an option to directly add a photo of the cash note for this expense.
Price: Free, a paid version of $ 5 per month is being developed

3. Goodbudget
- this app uses something called the budgeting system via envelopes, that is, cost allocation for tasks. Another major advantage is the ability to synchronize different accounts, as well as the use of apps from separate devices such as a tablet, smartphone, and laptop, which allows joint management of the home budget with the spouse. However, all data is manually entered and divided into separate categories. In addition, notifications for upcoming payments are generated.
Price: Free for 1 account, 45 dollars for the full version with an unlimited number of accounts.

4. Expensify
- primarily but not only for people or employees who often travel and want to track the cost of transport, whether by private car or by public transport. Airline reservations can be forwarded to the app mail, which will automatically load as a cost without having to enter data. There is also a cash receipt recognition, which also automatically generates costs. The free version allows up to 10 per month. Allows multiple accounts in different currencies and automatically recalculates their value.
Price: Free for basic version, corporate small business package 5 or 9 dollars a month, corporate package for over 1000 employees with SAP synchronization, Oracle — negotiable

5. Klear

This application is on the Bulgarian platform for peer-to-peer lending. Currently, it has no version as an application and can only be used over an Internet browser. The app has 4 categories — “My Budgets”, which sum up the financial flows from the other three categories — “My Credits”, “My Savings” and “My Payments”. The app requires initially to determine the average monthly cost and revenue for individual categories and subcategories by calculating the total cost of a credit or an average savings amount for a particular purpose. It then allows you to automatically copy the fully compiled sample budget for the next month or create a new one. In addition, it presents graphically the planned and actually incurred expenses for the period as well as the revenues and how many of them remain available, or — at worst — when they will end in the month.
Price: Free

It may be even easier

The biggest problem for most personal finance management applications is that data should be manually entered. The solution might be to allow managing apps to access the bank account and they automatically collect and analyze transaction data. Here, the risk is that many payments are in cash and need to be added by hand. This is something that should happen in the next 2018 when the PSD2 (PSD2), which aims to boost competition in the financial sector and open the EU’s borders, will enter into force in the EU. According to her, banks will have to allow third parties — such as personal finance management applications — to collect secure information about the accounts of clients who have given their consent. This will allow the money to be managed by flexible finch launches while staying securely in the bank account where they are guaranteed by the state. The other option is for banks themselves to develop their mobile apps to provide more information on spending and budgeting opportunities.