2021 has finally arrived - and among our revamped career goals, New Year’s diets, and the wishful travel plans we’ve placed on hold; plenty of us may be looking for better ways to manage our money.
While a common new year resolution, the global pandemic has pushed economic concerns to the fore, driving many to improve their financial habits to keep afloat amidst the recession. Industry reports currently offer an optimistic outlook of Australia’s economy from 2021-2022, though it helps to stay cautious as we navigate the inevitable uncertainties.
To kick the year off with smarter money choices, we’ve broken down the top five budget and savings apps to help you this 2021.
5 top budget apps to use in 2021
- The ATO app
When it comes to categorising your expenses, you can’t go wrong with Pocketbook to organise your transactions and assist with setting (and tracking) your budget goals.
The app syncs its user’s banking accounts, categorising their every expense into appropriate categories. This provides one with a daily overview of their spending habits – helping them assess where their money goes and areas they may need to cut back on.
Pocketbook is a free download; and while its options may be relatively limited, the app still provides plenty of budgeting, expense tracking, and financial management features to get by. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.
MoneyBrilliant comes with a few competitive advantages, such as its ability to sync all your financial accounts, including your superannuation and investment portfolios. It also offers the extra feature of tracking any tax-deductible expenses depending on your occupation. Additionally, the app automatically finds the cheapest gas and electricity deals, further boosting your savings.
For all its valuable features, MoneyBrilliant costs only $9.90 per month after a 30-day trial period (available on both the Apple Store and Google Play).
To set more stringent budget habits, the Goodbudget app goes the extra mile in setting monthly limits for each of your expense categories. Traditionally known as the “cash envelope” budgeting method, users are forced to make do with the limited cash they’ve set for themselves, helping them practice “conscious spending” and avoiding frivolous purchases.
Users can review their spending habits in colour-coded pie charts, “income vs. spending” graphs, and even debt progress reports. Your budgets can also be shared across multiple phones and on the web, helping you manage money with family, a spouse, or a friend.
Goodbudget is free to download (both on Google Play and the Apple Store), providing users with 10 “envelopes” to budget with. However, those who pay a subscription fee get access to unlimited envelopes and bank accounts; seven years of recorded transaction history, and the ability to sync up to five devices.
Ever split the bill with friends – only to never get back your end of the deal? According to new research by Latitude x Samsung pay, “bill-splitting anxiety” is a common dilemma among 77% of women and 66% of men, with many not eating out to avoid the situation altogether.
An app like Splitwise (currently available on both iOS and Android devices) gets rid of this tension, keeping your dinners fun and hassle-free.
The app allows simple, automatic bill-splitting; tracking what group members owe (and to who) and what was spent on. Users are also given automatic payment reminders and notifications to stay on top of their debts and expenses. Additionally, the app provides foreign currency conversions for holiday and travel spending.
Users can also organise group bills of all types – whether it’s a night out, a trip out of town, or apartment bills. All expenses are backed up online, allowing users to log in and view their debts, balances, and spending activity. Splitwise also keeps track of who should pay next in a group, as well as informal debts or IOUs.
5. The ATO app
Finally, though it may seem a while away – it helps to manage your expenses in advance, keeping things smooth-sailing come tax time. The ATO app allows users to record and organise their work-related expenses on the go, as well as keep track of tax-related deductions for a more accurate tax return.
The program offers rigid security with voice login options, and can be used for both business and individual tax returns. Business owners can calculate the amount of tax to withhold from employee wage and salary payments, as well as do regular “financial health check-ups” on their company. Additionally, you’ll never miss an important date, with the option to set key reminders and alerts for specific tax or super obligations.
Users can now download the ATO app for free on both iOS and Android devices.
Spend smart with Upskilled – discover our different ways to pay!
Looking to upgrade your skills for the new year, though concerned about expenses?
Upskilled currently offers four different payments to suit your financial needs and situation. Students can choose to “study now, pay later” through interest-free Zip payments or our fortnightly/monthly payment plans. If eligible, you may also be able to get government-subsidised training. Of course, students can also choose to pay upfront – and are given a 15% discount on their course fees.
Visit our FAQ page on payment options
for further information on these methods, or browse through our generous selection of online courses
today. Smash through your career goals for 2021, and upskill with us today!
Ana Isabel Alonsagay
Ana Isabel Alonsagay freelance writer and founder of anaisabel.org, a blog on lifestyle, culture, and entertainment. When she isn't pinned to her keyboard, you can find her at your local cinema, blasting Broadway soundtracks or attending cosplay conventions.