Last updated: February 2024
You need an app to track your spending. Let’s help you find the best one.
It’s really important that you can check, at any moment, the current balances of any of your debts, accounts or investments, and the history of all your transactions. And you’ve got to have real data! If you just try to rely on your memory and guesses, you’ll be off by half.
So, find an automated app that will gather all your money information for you and keep it all up to date without your having to do anything. There are many of these apps out there. You want to find one that:
- Is very secure
- Supports accounts from your country (duh)
- Tracks more than just bank accounts (store cards, investments, everything)
- Updates all your stuff automatically
- Is easy to use
There are some apps that need you to do this manually (hell, you could even do this in a spreadsheet), but don’t waste your time with them. Life’s too short to track every single transaction you make.
Kubera is the app I switched to when I left South Africa and could no longer use 22seven, and I really adore it (if you do sign up, please tell them I sent you).
Spending tracker apps
Your best option is 22seven. It's entirely free, has excellent security, and it's backed by Old Mutual. I’m biased because I used to work at 22seven, but I legit think it’s the most awesome product for South Africans. Something I'd suggest: you can turn off third-party data sharing in the Settings, which stops the app from sharing your information amongst the wider Old Mutual group and their affiliates. I highly recommend you do this.
The global options listed above also work in South Africa, and are worth checking out especially if you have accounts around the world. Sadly, coverage of South African banks is spotty (for instance, Spendee only covers FNB). Kubera has the best coverage across Sub-Saharan Africa overall, for instance they offer Standard Bank, FNB, Nedbank Eswatini, ABSA Ghana etc. Buxfer and Pocketsmith have most major South African banks.
The Capitec app is pretty good for day to day budgeting, but you can’t keep track of other things (like your investments or debts) with it. It’s pretty good if you’re starting out and already bank with Capitec, though.
Other useful SA money apps
- Clearscore: check your credit score, for free.
- EasyEquities: Sam's fave South African investment platform. Other options are Franc (good but they don't offer global funds) and OUTvest.
- Splitwise: an app to help you keep track of money that your friends and family owe you. Very useful if you’re sharing expenses amongst a whole group of friends, like on a holiday.
- Price Check: before you buy something, quickly check whether there’s another store that’s selling it for cheaper. The app has a barcode scanner so you can search for stuff really easily when you’re in the shop.
- Luno: the easiest place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in South Africa, if you’re into that.
- Naked Insurance: affordable, transparent household and car insurance.
- Shyft: an app that lets you buy, store and send foreign currency more simply.
- TaxTim: makes doing your tax return a little bit simpler.
- Karri: an easy way to manage small payments to your kid’s school.
- Mama Money: a cheap and easy way to send cash to other countries in Africa.
Open Banking is the shit, guys! Luckily for you, this means that you have lots to choose from when it comes to spending trackers.
For spending trackers, try any of the apps listed under "Global" above.
- Hargreaves Lansdown: the #1 UK investing platform; a great place to start for most people.
- Plum: a simple chatbot style investment app that has some cute money management features in it too. Good for beginners.
- Wombat: another simple app for effortless investing.
- Freetrade: simple interface and quick setup.
- Nutmeg: offers a bit more guidance than the rest.
- Wealthify: risk-based investments backed by Aviva.
- Wealthsimple: simple guided investments with smarts.