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.
Have you ended up with investments and pockets of money all around the world? Try YNAB, Toshl or Kubera. None of them are free, unfortunately. 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).
iOS users, try Wally.
U.S. and Canada readers, give Lunch Money a whirl.
I'm part of a team that's trying to build the portfolio tracking app we WISH existed. It's early days, but give Lettuce a try.
Spending tracker apps
|22seven||22seven.com||iOS, Android, Web||Free||Still in beta.|
|moneysmart||moneysmart.co.za||iOS, Android, Web||Free||Supports most accounts around the world.|
|YNAB||youneedabudget.com||iOS, Android, Web||$6.99 a month||There’s a free version that doesn’t update your accounts automatically.|
|MyMoney||www.pastelmymoney.co.za||Desktop, Android||R15 a month||There’s a free version that doesn’t update your accounts automatically.|
|My Financial Life||myfinanciallife.nedsecure.co.za||Web||Free||From Nedbank, but anyone can use it.|
|BudgetBuddy||Android Play Store||Android, Microsoft||Free||Works using the SMSes from your bank, so can only track spending.|
|JamJar||Android Play Store||Android||Free||Works using the SMSes from your bank, so can only track spending.|
I’m biased because I used to work at 22seven, but I legit think it’s the most awesome product for South Africans. But take a look at your alternatives and find something that works for you!
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 money apps
- 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 Bitcoin and Ether in South Africa, if you’re into that.
- Shyft: an app that lets you buy, store and send foreign currency more simply.
- M4Jam: a microjobbing app that helps you find quick ways to earn small amounts of cash.
- 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.
Spending tracker apps
|MoneyDashboard||moneydashboard.com||iOS, Android, Web||Free||Sam’s fave!|
|Yolt||yolt.com||iOS, Android||Free||Probably the best-looking guy out there.|
|Buxfer||buxfer.com||Web||Free||If you’re happy to only access your account on web.|
- 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.