If you're like most people, your paper trail is probably decreasing by the day. No doubt, you already receive your bills and bank statements online, and now there are even apps and web-based tools to manage important documents such as your will, business contracts, insurance, receipts and invoices.
While personal finance apps used to focus on budgeting alone, many tools now go much further. Not only can you store all of your financial details in one place no matter what bank you use but you can also have your spending grouped into categories to see exactly where your money goes, receive bill alerts, financial updates relevant to your finance path and much more.
But, before you visit the app store, there are a few things you should remember when selecting the right personal finance app for you.
The first thing to do is really understanding what you need the digital platform for. This sounds obvious, but there are many products available with different functions and there's no point wasting your time (and data) downloading an app that's not right for your financial needs.
Secondly, always look for a finance app that:
Is easy to use;
Provides accurate and real time data;
Gives you clarity and control over your personal finances;
Saves you time; and
Helps you achieve your financial goals.
And finally, be safe. After all, we are talking about your personal wealth here, and security is paramount. While most finance apps use the same level of encryption security as the major banks and are read only tools (meaning you can't actually transact through them), you are required to enter verification to enable the app to access data from your bank's systems. As a result, your bank may deem this to be a breach of your internet banking agreement. This means, should your account have money withdrawn illegally even if the breach isn't related to the app your bank may refuse to compensate you.
If you're looking for a reliable and easy-to-use Australian-based digital platform, here's our review of the 3 best personal finance apps and online tools.
1. My Prosperity
This online tool suitable for your mobile, tablet or desktop gathers all of your banking information in one place. My Prosperity allows you to view and access bank accounts, credit cards, property information, shares, superannuation and any other assets in one place. It's designed for finance professionals, like FinancePath, to use with clients. The best part is, it allows you to connect with your lending consultant online at any time. Plus, you can create and track personal money goals and receive free finance reports and data tailored to your interests. Check out our money management platform using My Prosperity, Your Smart Money Tool.
2. Pocketbook Personal Finance Expense Tracker
This budget planner app is designed to streamline the way you manage your personal finance. By syncing with your bank, the finance app (used by more than 200,000 Australians) let's you see your balances, view your transactions and setup budgets, fast. It automatically organises your spending into categories such as clothes, groceries and fuel showing where your money is being spent. You receive notifications of fees charged to your accounts, and you'll never miss a bill again with automatic bill detection.
3. Money Brilliant
With one login, this online tool and mobile app connects all of your accounts including bank, credit card, loans, superannuation, investments and loyalty accounts, giving you a 360° view of your money. You can track your spending categories to easily identify habits that are effecting your savings, and set a Safe Spending zone to help keep you in the green each pay cycle. You receive money alerts to your phone or email so you never miss a bill. And, via the web, you can view your net worth including property, vehicles and assets. See how you compare to the rest of Australia and how your net worth changes over time.
To find out more, tune into the FinancePath Money Management Podcast when we catch up with Stephen Jackel, chief information officer of My Prosperity.
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|Tags: Smart Money Management Building Wealth|