Time to get ‘appy’

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

You’re prob­a­bly al­ready pretty im­pressed by what your smart phone can do, but have you thought of it as a wealth builder?

It’s all down to the apps you can in­stall and there’s an in­creas­ing range to help you man­age your spend­ing, supercharg­e sav­ings, com­plete your tax re­turns and man­age your in­vest­ments – all at the tip of your fin­gers.

Track your spend­ing

Most peo­ple ap­proach the ‘b’ word – bud­get­ing – with dread, but get­ting your spend­ing un­der con­trol is fun­da­men­tal to any wealth-cre­ation plan.

For starters, you’ll want to know where the money is go­ing.

Sev­eral apps take much of the drudgery out of track­ing each dol­lar you spend while also help­ing you to take con­trol of your money.

This in­cludes sep­a­rat­ing your ‘wants’ from your ‘needs’, fur­ther cat­e­goris­ing ex­penses and set­ting spend­ing lim­its for each cat­e­gory. ASIC’S TRACKMYSPE­ND cov­ers the ba­sics. An­other pop­u­lar app is Pock­et­book, which syncs with many Aus­tralian bank ac­counts and largely au­to­mates the task of cat­e­goris­ing each trans­ac­tion. It also tells you what your bank bal­ance is and how much you can safely spend to stay within your bud­get for each cat­e­gory.

Boost­ing sav­ings

Re­mem­ber pig­gy­banks and the plea­sure of slip­ping the day’s loose change into the slot?

With elec­tronic trans­ac­tions now dom­i­nat­ing our spend­ing, loose change is a dis­ap­pear­ing com­mod­ity. The Raiz app pro­vides a dig­i­tal so­lu­tion. It au­to­mat­i­cally rounds up each pur­chase you make on a linked debit card to the next dol­lar and in­vests this ‘loose change’ into one of six di­ver­si­fied in­vest­ment port­fo­lios.

You can also set up reg­u­lar con­tri­bu­tions or make one-off ad­di­tions to your port­fo­lio.

Car­rott also takes a round­ing up ap­proach, with the ad­di­tional amount go­ing to pay­ing off your mort­gage.

Man­age your in­vest­ments

From sim­ple watch lists for shares to mo­bile apps that give you full ac­cess to a stock­bro­ker’s trad­ing plat­form, a vast range of apps is avail­able to the con­nected in­vestor.

Check out what’s avail­able from your su­per fund, in­vest­ment man­agers and share bro­ker.

In many cases you’ll find apps that can do ev­ery­thing that you would nor­mally use your desk­top com­puter for, and of­ten with more con­ve­nience. En­joy lunch in the park while you check up on your su­per or snap up a few shares.

File your tax re­turn

We know that apps are main­stream when the tax of­fice gets in on the act.

The ‘ATO app’ in­cludes the myd­e­duc­tions tool to help you track ex­penses. Come tax time the data can be emailed to a tax agent or you can use your app to pre­fill your tax re­turn be­fore lodg­ing it your­self. Pock­et­book also has a ded­i­cated tax re­turn app, though a fee ap­plies to lodge the re­turn with the ATO.

Be ‘appy’

This is just a brief sam­pling of the many mo­bile fi­nan­cial apps that are avail­able. Many are free, but be aware of ‘in-app pur­chases’.

In some cases, func­tion­al­ity might be lim­ited un­less you up­grade to a ‘pre­mium’, paid op­tion.

Also re­mem­ber that you might be shar­ing your fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion with a third party.

Make sure you’re happy with the app provider’s pri­vacy pol­icy and se­cu­rity.

Then, when you’ve found the ideal elec­tronic helpers for your fi­nan­cial needs, ‘app up’ and get your mo­bile phone build­ing your wealth.

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