Mobile apps to help manage your finances

Expensify mobile app

Your smartphone or tablet is always by your side and mobile apps are the new innovation that is here to stay. These apps can do everything from making your communication with the outside world easier to monitoring your eating habits. Why not make use of all the new technology at your fingertips to make your business life easier too? Take a look at these two leading-edge mobile apps with which to keep track of your business (and personal) finances:

Expensify

A truly easy-to-use application for those who travel extensively for business or who have many business-related expenses.

After setting up your account via your e-mail address, you only have four categories that you need to keep track of. These are receipt, expense, time and mileage. Your expenses category is where you sort out all of the expenses you incur while travelling, such as food. Mileage helps you keep track of the kilometers that you travel with your car. Simply enter your odometer reading at the start and end of your journey. Alternatively you can enter the kilometers according to your own estimate.

The time category manages the hours that you work and calculates the full amount according to a pre-set rate that you provide. One of the most helpful parts of Expensify is SmartScan. Making use of your onboard camera, you can take a picture of a receipt and the application automatically gathers all the necessary information from it. GPS tracking also provides an overview of where and how you travelled. When you have entered all necessary information, Expensify will create a report that you can hand in to your superior.

The application is, of course, designed for your mobile device but there are some features that you need to set on your laptop or PC before you can truly get started. There are bugs that still need to be sorted out such as the SmartScan feature being inaccurate at reading some receipts and certain buttons feeling unresponsive but eventually working with a little effort. Overall, it is a great tool for anyone on the road frequently and a great time-saver.

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

To use this app on your phone or tablet, you will first need to download the desktop version. Even though this is not a free app, you can request a 34-day trial where you can see whether this is worth the effort and afterwards hand over your money for the full version. This will flatten your wallet by about R 547.00 but many users agree that the money you save through budgeting with this app will make up for it within 6 months, if not less.

YNAB reports page

You Need A Budget or YNAB is extremely user-friendly as tutorials within the app guide you from the start and you can request online classes that aid you in budgeting effectively. The principles behind the usage of the app are simple. Create an account and enter the amount that that particular account holds, and what time this amount became available for use. Then move on to the budgeting menu where a myriad of categories, including rent and clothing, allow you to enter how much you anticipate using for that month and that amount is immediately removed from the account. This will help you envisage the money you still have to spare and where you might need to cut down.

YNAB Bugeting

Categories for future planning also exist as these go along with the four rules that YNAB wants you to apply to your budgeting. Give every dollar (or in this case, rand) a job before you even spend, save for a rainy day as expenses vary from month to month, roll with the punches by moving surplus money into categories that need it most when you overspend and spend last month’s income this month.

The tips that YNAB provide you throughout shows that the app not only provides with software to budget with but also makes sure that you understand the meaning behind each action. The beautiful graphics from their reports menu show you exactly how much you are worth right now and where your spending was extraneous. Reports also help you to compare the different accounts with one another.

Some of the downsides of this resource are the requirement from you to download the desktop version before being able to get your hands on the mobile app. There are many pop-ups you have to endure that advertise their online classes and tutorials. Security is also a concern as you are never requested to enter a password of any kind to see your finances. Yet the graphics, the easy usage, the helpful financial guidance and fluidity of the app make up for any negatives that you might encounter. Also, if you use Dropbox, YNAB will sync all your documents (if you request it) and make sure that all of your information is uniform.