I love a good Spring clean of my finances and lately it’s a few money apps that I’m looking at to help me do it with as little fuss as possible.
These resources are either free programs that make budgeting simple, or low-cost finance apps that can help you to invest with a little or a lot.
Firstly, if you need help with budgets or getting clear on your money, the free Budget Planner on ASIC’s Money Smart website is great.
You can itemise your income and expenses to see if you’re spending more than you earn.
You can work out what expenses may need to be cut, or how much extra income you need to make to improve your financial position.
If your superannuation needs a boost, consider the new Longevity App, available via Apple or Google Pay.
It’s about $2 a month and users can select a percentage, 1% to 5%, of what they’re spending on everyday purchases to top up their super.
Women retire with about 30% less than men on average, so this app can help narrow that gender gap in super.
But superannuation rules apply to yearly limits and contributions using this app are in after-tax dollars (your take-home pay) which means the tax breaks won’t be as good as before-tax employer contributions.
For investors, the spare change app Raiz, formerly known as Acorns and the new CommSec Pocket app are great low-cost options.
Raiz automatically invests spare change and has no minimum investment to start. But a monthly fee of $1.25 is charged for accounts with a balance of under $5,000 and 0.275% annually for accounts with a balance of $5,000 and over.
Raiz investors can choose between six types of expert investment portfolios from conservative to high growth managed funds.
CommSec Pocket is another automated app but it allows you to invest directly in the sharemarket through Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – think of them as a basket of shares which track a stock market index like the Australian benchmark ASX200.
The cost starts at $2 brokerage for each trade and you can start with as little as $50 and choose from seven types of investment options.
The beauty of these options is the cost and ease of use. My advice is read the T&Cs and take full advantage of any free trial periods first!
This Financy article was first published by ELLE and has been republished here with exclusive permission.