I don’t know about you, but I hate finance. I hate looking at how much I’m spending. I hate looking at how little I’m earning. And I definitely do not enjoy opening the bills. So most of the time, all of these things get neglected, which really is not ideal when you have to do things like pay for heating, buy a house, or fill out your tax return. Anything to make all of these processes easier is, in my eyes, something magical.
And there are hundreds of apps to make finance easier. I mean, there’s an app for everything isn’t there – even where to find your nearest public loo on a lockdown walk when nature calls. But you need to try and choose the right ones. There’s no point downloading a load of tech onto your phone if you don’t use it. So we’ve put together a little list to help you out, whether you’re filling out your tax return or trying to split bills with your friends.
Quickbooks are the masters of finance and tech and they have several apps to keep you on top of your accounts. They’re aimed at freelancers and small businesses, so if you’re either one of these, listen closely. The first is QuickBooks accounting, which helps you create invoices, manage your expenses, keep an eye on your cash flow and view your profit and loss. Then there’s QuickBooks Self-Employed which makes it easy for contractors to track expenses, invoices and receipts, and then QuickBooks Small Business which does pretty much the same but for, you guessed it, small businesses. They also make things like paying HMRC a lot easier, you can keep on top of your expenses, receive reports that estimate your next tax bill, and live chat with experts in case you have no idea what you’re doing.
They also make things like paying HMRC a lot easier, you can keep on top of your expenses, receive reports that estimate your next tax bill, and live chat with experts in case you have no idea what you're doing.
3. HMRC App
This is a shout out to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs team. Normally we hate them. They take our tax, make us enter a million passwords to get on the portal and generally just make us feel uncomfortable – a bit like the Sheriff of Nottingham. However, they have their own app so you can feel closer connected to what’s going on with your taxes. It provides you with all your info such as your tax code, National Insurance number, an estimate of the tax you need to pay, and things like your income and benefits. You can use it to report tax changes, track correspondence, claim refunds and update details like your address. And hopefully it’ll make you feel better about the whole tax bill thing.
Cleo is similar to our previously mentioned chum Plum, but just with a little more sass. In fact, a lot more sass. The idea here is to make money counting and saving a fun activity with emojis and plenty of lols. Who would have thought finance could be fun? This app is a far cry from serious Colin in accounts. Aimed at younger audience, Cleo is free to use and FCA-registered. The app uses AI to talk to you like a real person, so you can chat to her via the app or Facebook like a friend and she’ll reply with tips, updates and advice. There’s also a blog for extra insight into money saving with GIFs and memes to make it lively. Cleo’s also not afraid to highlight your spending habits – type in “roast me” and she’ll dish some dirt on your finances RuPaul Drag Race style.
Cleo's also not afraid to highlight your spending habits – type in "roast me" and she'll dish some dirt on your finances RuPaul Drag Race style.
Back to serious Colin in accounts. He’s more likely to choose Moneyhub. It’s a simple, easy-to-use platform that outlines your spending, bills, and connects you to financial experts when you need them. It has forecast feature which predicts how much money you might have after a holiday or if you start saving. It also gives you a detailed account of where your money is being spent, such as on gas bills or travel. The only snag is that it’s not free, but it’ll help you fit that expenditure into your budget.
We’re very much enjoying that a lot of these apps are named after women. Women do run the world after all. And Emma is helping you do it one subscription at a time. The app is designed to filter out any subscriptions that aren’t needed, like that overpriced make-up subscription you drunkenly signed up to in lockdown 1. Or The Spectator subscription you opted in for but never read. The app also does all the other stuff too, like set budgets, track all your accounts in one place, keep an eye on your investments and helps you to pay off debt.
We're very much enjoying that a lot of these apps are named after women. Women do run the world after all. And Emma is helping you do it one subscription at a time.
When you’re planning your travels for the end of this year (here’s hoping), it’s also a good idea to plan your spending too. You don’t want to book a trip to Portugal only to realise you don’t have enough money to enjoy any of the restaurants when you get there. Revolut is a digital-only bank that helps you save and budget, much like its competitors Monzo and Starling Bank. The key for this is that there are no additional spending charges when you go abroad, you can withdraw cash fee-free and it comes with breakdowns of everything you are spending.
This app is probably not needed at the moment, but when we all get back into visiting restaurants and pubs with friends you’re going to need this in your pocket. Splitwise is a free cost-splitting app that allows you to divvy up bills between friends. The app keeps a running total of what is owed and then works out the percentage of who owes what to whom. The also sends out reminders at the end of each month, so you don’t have to feel awkward sending people reminders. It’s perfect for anyone who can’t use a calculator.