How well do you understand your monthly budget? Do you know how much money you spend on food each month? What about recurring expenses like car insurance? Do you know how long will it take you to save money for that new sofa or dishwasher?
Thankfully, tracking expenses and managing your budget is easier than ever.
All you need is a smartphone.
Tracking your budget by phone is even easier than paper and pen
There are many free mobile phone apps that can help. The best are easy to use, as well as share very similar features, such as:
- Budget setting on a daily, biweekly, monthly or annual basis
- Determining income, expenses, and final balance for the period
- Storing fixed, recurring expenses like rent, car, and insurance payments so you don’t have to add them manually expenses each month
- Categorization of expenses (home, shopping, entertainment, auto, health)
Making Better Decisions through Better Monitoring
By using mobile apps to record every expense , we can make better decisions on-the-go about personal and family finances. The data collected in these applications can help us:
- Decide when and whether we can afford to make a particular purchase by taking into account current and upcoming expenses and bills;
- Plan for foreseeable, non-monthly payments, such as a twice-yearly car insurance bill or annual vehicle registration;
- Compare how much you spend at any business with how much you spend at other businesses (ex: the purchases of the XXX business are always more expensive than the YYY business)
How do I get these apps?
You should have a smartphone and a Wi-Fi / data connection to download an app.
Find the “Google Play” or “App store” icons on your screen. Tap on the icon and, in the search bar, type keywords such as “Personal finance”, “Spending tracker” or “Budget”.
Among the free ones, some will require registration either by creating an account or by registering via email or Facebook.
Select the app that looks easiest to use and that best meets your needs.
Once downloaded, familiarize yourself with the application and manually add your day-to-day expenses. Saving receipts and bills and entering the information on a schedule, such as each day when you get home or Saturday mornings could help you stay on track of your budget. Make it a habit!
At Oportun we offer loans with affordable and fixed payments. Once you get a loan, you can add these payments as a fixed expense in your app and easily track what you have paid.
At the end of the month, analyze the results and make decisions that help you achieve your financial goals.