Tech-savvy savers

Yes, mobile phones are mostly for playing games while waiting for the bus, music streaming and, very occasionally, making or receiving calls, but they have also unlocked a world of financial advice and money-making (or saving) applications at your literal fingertips.

Consider this: there was a time when you’d have to fork out thousands for expert bookkeeping, budgeting and investment advice. Now, you can have all that and more on your phone, and often for free.

Here are some apps for budgeting and saving.

Investment apps

Investing doesn’t need to be scary, or even complicated. Nor do you need big piles of money to get started. In fact, thanks to the rise in spare-change investment applications, you can invest in dollars and cents rounded up from your everyday purchases.

There are several on the market now, which are designed to link with your debit and credit cards, and automatically round-up your purchases to the nearest dollar (and invest the difference) without you noticing.

Budgeting apps

Have you ever spent hours creating a budget on a spreadsheet, painstakingly entering every expense you could think of before trying to figure out how much you could afford to save?

Happily, those days are gone, and some of the best and most powerful budgeting services are just waiting in the app store. Check out the app store reviews and even try a few free ones to see which works for you. They’re full of nifty little features too, like alerting you when you have an upcoming recurring expense, or when you’re close to overspending your designated budget.

Expense trackers

To save money, you need to know exactly where you’re spending it, right? But who wants to trawl through bank statements and piles of receipts to figure all that out?

Expense trackers will automatically pair with your bank accounts, entering each expense as it happens. Even better, though, it will also categorise most of those automatically – things like entertainment and groceries – which means there’s even less work for you to do.

If you’re spending cash, then you can enter those expenses, too, And the result is a detailed daily/weekly/monthly report on exactly how much you’re spending, and where you’re spending it.