Pen-and-paper budgets are soooo yesterday, aren’t they? Luckily, there are apps (and websites!) for that. Read on to get some good tips and manage your money like a pro.
General money resources
The Australian Securities and Investment’s Commission (ASIC) has a great website for general money and financial management. It has all kinds of tools and money hacks, from budgeting spreadsheets and income calculators to savings and income tax advice. Take some time to browse: www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money
Budgeting and saving
The Skillsroad's basic budget template is great to get you started. You can even print it out, scribble on it, make notes, chop and change your entries and finally rip it up in triumph or frustration. (Ripping budgets up is great for stress relief. Fact.)
Once you get the hang of it, try these:
- ASIC MoneySmart’s comprehensive budget plan is free, but you have to sign up to MoneySmart to save it. You can then check in and use it whenever you need to. www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner
- TrackMySpend is MoneySmart’s financial management app, available to download from Apple iStore or Google Play.
- Pocketbook Personal Finance Expense Tracker syncs with all your bank accounts, tracks your expenses, gives you updates on what your money’s doing and which bills are coming up and can even track and limit your spending with the Safely Spend feature. Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android.
- Canstar has a basic budget calculator: www.canstar.com.au/calculators/budget-planner-calculator/
- MoneyBrilliant is a personal finance app designed for Macs and iOS devices. It connects all your financial accounts to understand how you spend your money, automatically creates a budget based on your historical income and spending, and tracks and reports your progress.
- Splitwise is useful for people living in shared housing, like uni students. It organises your household income and spending, works out who has spent what and who owes money. Handy for keeping track of debt, apartment bills, group trips and random IOUs. Everyone can log in to see their balances and add new expenses. Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android.
- Your Bank’s App. Well, duh – if you chose a good bank (read here how to do it), then you should have a good banking app that allows you to track your income and expenses and set goals for saving to your heart’s content.
Getting started with investing
- The TeenVestor website is a good source of information for teens and young adults who want to learn more about investing and how stock markets work. It might be based in the USA, but will give you a solid grounding in all things Investing 101. Even late starters (your parents or teachers!) could benefit from this site. Check it out: www.teenvestor.com/
- Australia’s Barefoot Investor is famous for his no-nonsense take on money and personal finance. If you haven’t started following his advice yet, do it now: barefootinvestor.com/
- Raiz Invest (formerly Acorns Australia): if you want to start investing but don’t know how, Raiz Invest is a non-scary app to help you kick things off and learn more. It encourages users to save and redirect loose change from everyday transactions into a portfolio built from a wide range of stocks, via investing in exchange traded funds (EFTs). The app protects your information, prevents unauthorised account access and notifies you of unusual activity.
- The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) run a surprisingly good website with loads of advice and resources on tax and super. They even have an app! The catch? To use the app, you have to have a myGov account that’s linked to the ATO. This is not hard to do, luckily. Check the details out here: www.ato.gov.au/
- If you seriously want to up your tax game, work through the ATO’s educational resources: www.taxsuperandyou.gov.au/
- Freaking out about your first tax return? The guys at Etax.com.au can start you off the right way. It’s an online system that lets you finish your tax return online from any location, on any sort of device – and there are always friendly, qualified accountants to help you when you get stuck.
Pay and Income Calculators
- The Australian Salary Calculator app helps you see how much that new job offer will really pay for. It calculates how much tax you’ll be paying from your wages in Australian dollars. It also makes provision for the Medicare levy, Low Income Tax Offset, HECS/HELP and Super to be incorporated into your income. It’s available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but not Android.
- Pay Calculator is a simple but effective online tool to work out your income tax and how much you’ll be paid: www.paycalculator.com.au/
Find out more about how to do your taxes here: