‘Take control of your finances!’ was the very first advise which Ramesh gave his son Jay. It had been 2 years since Jay had been working with a big multinational company but wasn’t able to save anything. For him, money would come in the first week of the month and by the next month’s first week he would go broke and wait for his salary to come.
‘When we were your age, we would write down each and every expense. It’s because we ran a strict budget, you were able to study in a good school and college. You people think we compromised or lived a miserly life, but the truth is it’s because we were strict with our finances that you are able to relax with yours.’ Leela (Jay’s mother) stepped into the conversation. Watching her son going broke every month was an alien concept to her. She had always saved enough and many times from her savings bought gold which helped her daughter’s marriage.
‘So what shall I do? I am not going to remember every expense that I have made. What’s the point of making so much money if it cannot be used for our own luxuries? All my colleagues live the same life, they are also hardly able to understand where they spend. It’s our generation thing, more advanced in every way then yours.’ Jay seemed to not control his emotions. Into his mid twenties, he couldn’t understand the very reason to save or invest. After all, youth has it’s impulses. Jay had dreams. He wanted to roam around the world, eat the best food, drive that sexiest car and drink the best possible wine.
‘Wait. Don’t get this conversation any further. Jay, there is a solution for you. It’s okay if you don’t want to write down your expenses. There is a solution to your problem – a mobile application which enables keeping a track of your finances. Plus the best part is when you swipe your card, the app will pick up that information from your message box and keep a record of that expense. Is that too hard to handle?’ Jay’s best friend Rahul stepped into the conversation. Being in the same age group, he knew how out of fashion it is to keep a book of expenses.
‘Have you used any?’ asked Jay.
‘Yes. Of course, otherwise why would I suggest it to you!’ answered Rahul.
Jay and his family smiled at Rahul, as Rahul started to explain about the Mobile Budgeting Apps in detail.
These apps are created available for free or paid basis on Google Play Store and iOS App store. Following are the features that are inbuilt into them.
Automatic Linking of Bank Accounts
Upon starting the app, it requests a permission to read the messages of your phone. Since, all of us spend through credit / debit cards and use net banking for major payments or transfer of money, our expenses are recorded with appropriate bank details.
The app pulls out the data and aggregates it those expenses. Also, balance of different bank accounts is automatically reflected.
Please note, only those bank accounts will be linked which will have your mobile number as a registered contact detail.
Managing Expenses through Gamification
Manual input of every expense takes time. In this fast paced life, we often forget where did spend last. Just think about it, if every weekend your schedule is shopping, dinner and movies. It becomes tedious to keep a track of it, considering the hectic week ahead.
After downloading the app, just create a few categories of expenses. After that, you can simply arrange those expenses in different categories created. It takes less than 5 minutes to do the same. Also, since there are recurring expenses such as telephones and electricity bills, you can simply manage those merchant payments and next time those expenses will be directly reflected in those specific heads.
File your Income Tax Return
This can be a very personal choice for different individuals. Most would not opt for the same, as they already have their tax advisors doing the same. Although, it would be a good option to cross check and see whether you are paying the appropriate tax.
Please note, this feature would be more appropriate for salaried individuals and not those who run their own businesses.
In young age, investing is a boring job. After a certain age, the very same person feels had he done this job a little early in his life. Even the Oracle Investor Warren Buffet says, ‘I bought the first stocks at the age of 11, I was wasting my time till then.’
The App contains different features for making investments too.
Smart Deposit in a Liquid Fund
Idle money is sometimes devil’s taste. Even your financial advisor would tell you to keep 3 month’s expenses worth of contingency fund in your bank account. This contingency fund can be temporarily parked in a liquid fund which can be invested or withdrawn at any given point of time. It also helps to control unnecessary expenses, as watching the money sitting in the account leads to guilty spending.
These days, mutual funds is the flavour. With it’s simplicity of investing through systematic investment plans, individuals are becoming investors at a faster pace.
These Apps give an option to buy / sell mutual funds. Different funds are allocated under categories and with one click of a button, an investor is able to participate in the stock market. Now that’s a revolution!
Indians are obsessed with gold. It’s this obsession that paves the way for an option to invest in a gold fund. Generally, households in India have physical gold so investing in a gold fund would depend on the asset allocation on the investor.
Currently, the App offers Car Insurance and Two Wheeler Insurance. Life Insurance, Health Insurance and Tracking of existing policies is also a part of the App making an access to insurance in a much easier way. One stop shop to compare insurance rates and get quotes.
Traditionally, we are used to buying insurance from our agent who not only looks after us but our family and relatives. For those, who have a financial advisor, the job is rested in those able hands.
Automated Bill Calendar
A section where the user can put in various bill dates and it’s cycles. It’s build to remind about upcoming bills which can enable the user to utilise money better. However, we use this feature on our calendar in the phone. Off lately, merchants of our regular bills pertaining to electricity and telephone, give us remember messages on our phone itself. Hence, keeping one more calendar might not be that great an idea.
‘That’s brilliant!’ a cry of excitement came from Jay. His parents and Rahul knew that a solution is round the corner.
– Jinay Savla
This Trivia is simply meant to educate our readers about tracking your expenses through a mobile app. Readers are requested to have their own research done before using any Mobile Budgeting App.
We also request to share your reviews on any of the mobile budgeting apps used by you in the comment section below.