Isn’t it odd that even in 2014, basic money management isn’t taught to students in schools?
Having been both a salaried employee and a freelancer for several years, I still have trouble keeping track of my income, savings and investments. For those just getting started with their careers and beginning to spend their own money, it’s important to learn about your own financial habits early on. Whether you want to travel the world, pay off loans quickly or invest in real estate, managing your money is essential to any financial goal you set for yourself.
Thankfully, there are great apps for your mobile devices that can help you monitor your income and savings, track what you spend on, tell you more about your spending habits over time, and even help you split expenses with roommates, family and friends.
Here are my three favourite apps to help you spend wisely and get more bang for your buck from your hard-earned money.
Keep an eye on your assets with Myuniverse
The first step towards successfully managing your money is knowing how much of it you have, and that’s where MyUniverse comes in.
This do-it-all app from the house of Aditya Birla connects to your netbanking accounts (with support for most Indian banks) with your login details, and gives you an overview of your assets, including cash, investments, credit cards and gold.
You can also track transactions made with your linked credit and debit cards as well as ATM withdrawals, all right within the app.
MyUniverse also allows you to add income and expenses manually, and lets you analyze your spending habits on a graph. And if you want to stay up-to-date on the performance of your portfolio, MyUniverse lets you see how your NSE and BSE equity and mutual fund investments are doing, with useful charts and news for each.
You can also get more detailed reports by using the web app with your browser. While the app is a tad cumbersome to use, it does a great job of pulling all your banking information so you can stay on top of your finances easily.
myuniverse.co.in | Available on iOS and Android (Free)
Track your expenses with Spendee
If you’re looking for a simple way to log all your daily expenses, Spendee might be just what you’re looking for. Fire up the app and enter a transaction every time you spend or receive money in seconds, and you’re done.
Over time, you’ll be able to see where your money goes each month, on pretty charts, so you’ll know which of your vices to curb — Spendee tells me that I eat out way too often for my own good.
This gorgeous app lets you lock it down with a password to keep your expenses private, reminds you at a set time every day to enter transactions (after you’re home from work is usually best), lets you create custom categories with colourful icons for transaction types, and even allows you to export your data as a spreadsheet by email or to your iCloud storage (iOS) or device memory (Android).
spendeeapp.com | Available on iOS (Rs 120) and Android (Free)
Manage group expenses with Splitwise
Got a roommate or two to split the rent with? Splitwise makes it a cinch to divide expenses and track who owes whom, and how much, for everything from utilities to Pizza Night on Sundays.
To get started, simply create a group and add your housemates. You can then log expenses and indicate how you want to split the cost, and settle up later once everyone has paid their share. If you’re owed money, you can let the app take on the harrowing task of reminding others in your group to pay up with an automatic email -— messy confrontation avoided!
Splitwise can also help you figure out one-off group expenses, be it a road trip with multiple costs, chipping in for a friend’s wedding gift or even a night out where everyone wants to go Dutch. And if you just want to track money borrowed and lent between you and a friend, Splitwise is more than up to the task – just list a mate and add an amount, and you’ll never have to worry about money getting in the way of your camaraderie again.
splitwise.com | Available on iOS and Android (Free)