Handling my finances on the move

Sure, I use my phone for playing games on. I use it to get the latest news too, but I don’t think I’m alone in using it for one very important task, and that’s keeping an eye on my finances.

We’ve touched upon ways of making money with smartphones in the past. You can trade in old phones for example and find out how much they’re worth. You can also sell items with just a few clicks on your smartphone camera and a couple of swipes on the screen. Recently, after finally sitting through The Wolf of Wall Street, I started looking at trading and, whilst I doubt I’ll be the next Jordan Belfort, trading platforms such as the ones offered by ETX Capital allow you access to a wide range of financial markets and instruments. If you’re good enough, trading can be profitable, but I think I’ll hold off on the deposit for that boat for now as it does, however, carry varying levels of risk. 

Handling my finances on the move

Selling items and making money is one thing, but keeping track of your finances is usually done through an app too. I’m perhaps not the biggest user of these, and prefer instead to head to the website for my bank and login through Chrome. This, along with PayPal and the related PayPal app, helps a great deal in finding out exactly where all my money went, although a lot of the time it’s pretty painful reading. However, until recently I’ve relied on a lovely little pie-chart that my online bank provided. It showed me exactly what I was spending my money on by categorising expenditure. I knew that I was spending quite a bit at the pub and my car was costing a lot – fuel too. Trouble is, that system seems to have been withdrawn by my bank and I kinda miss it. The normal bank statement just isn’t the same – a string of outgoings with details that are vague at best.

Handling my finances on the move

Don’t worry though, because you can create one yourself. Gone are the days of a big computer, a spreadsheet, a printer and taking time to work out your outgoings. Now there’s a range of money tracking apps on the market. Apps such as AndroMoney, Money Lover, Financisto and Spending Tracker (below) essentially all do the same thing – giving you an overview of your finances. Put your direct debits, standing orders and your wages in, then they will help to breakdown of where and what you spend your money on. Some apps can even give you money saving tips. Whether you follow them is another matter of course.

I’ve started using Monefy as it gives me a similar experience to the bank. It helps me track expenses and it’s really easy to use – just one click to record each transaction and it’s really beneficial if your a contractor or need to note down expenses for your business. You can also sync data via Dropbox and tweak categories and backup data quickly. Here it is in action…

If you’re running low on cash, as I mentioned up top, the eBay smartphone app is extremely good and makes selling stuff you no longer want really easy. I can literally head to that “spare bedroom” where all my junk ends up, take a photo with my smartphone and then just fill in a few details and it’s done. For me it beats standing around for hours at a car boot sale, and if you’re careful the listing fee is usually cheaper than the car boot sale entry fee too. Oh, and you also don’t have to get up at 5AM on a Sunday, which is a definite bonus isn’t it?

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