14th Nov 2019
6 Apps to help you save more
To spend or to save?
The answer is a little of both, but to know what you are spending!
Apps are a great way to form new habits because our phone is rarely more than a few meters away. In the same way, you might use a sleep tracker or a fitness app, savings apps help you understand your current performance and make suggestions for improvements. Being able to track your spending, which will be significantly higher when back onshore, will help you make better decisions and hopefully save more long-term.
Goodbudget helps plan your spending instead of just tracking it. The app is based on the ‘envelope’ method. Each ‘envelopes’ represents a different budgeting category, like rent, groceries, eating out, then you allocate money to each envelope. Realistically the rent envelope won’t be used whilst you are on-board, but you can easily adjust the amounts between seasons.
Goodbudget can be good if you want to have an eye on your household spending whilst you are away. There is a feature which enables you to share with your partner by syncing your household budget across all your iOS and Android devices so that when you deduct money from an envelope, those you’re sharing with know what has been spent.
You can use Goodbudget to plan savings for larger expenses months before you need it, reducing the stress of worrying whether you’ll have enough money when the time comes. Common examples are for a house deposit or for a lump sum investment at the end of the season.
Also, within Goodbudget, you can use ‘Debt Accounts’ to pay off debt, track your progress. If you are still hanging on to old debt this can be a great approach to clearing it.
The app is available on iOS and Android devices. The free version includes ten regular ‘envelopes’ and a further ten ‘spare’ envelopes and works on two devices. The paid version ($6 per month, or $50 a year) offers unlimited envelopes, five devices, seven years of history and email support.
YNAB is a proactive system that will teach you how to prioritise and plan. Great skills when it comes to saving more. The app teaches you to be aware of where your money is and what it should be doing. It also encourages better decision-making using a forward-looking mindset about your spending. The main advantage of this app is that it gives you total control of your finances whilst forcing you to think through your budget and how you want to use it.
Like with Good Budget, YNAB lets you share your finances with your partner. Sharing is caring after all.
The video below shows you why this is an award-winning app. After using it many have become budget converts!
YNAB uses a hands-on decision-making process, putting you in control and teaches you how to make better decisions so that you decide what is important to you. Budgeting with YNAB means facing your finances with eyes wide open. Even if you don’t like what you see, you will have the information you need to take the next step.
According to a 2017 YNAB customer survey, users save an average of $6000 in the first year of using their system. We’d expect this to be less for yacht crew as you might not see the immediate gains from reducing everyday spending whilst working. But it might force you to look at some of your blowout spends when back on-shore.
YNAB is available for EVERYTHING (web, iOS and Android phones, for iPad, Apple Watch, and Alexa). Removing all excuses against budgeting effectively, reducing your debt, and saving more.
You can try YNAB free for 34 days. After that, it will cost you $84 a year (around $7 a month).
Wallet, from Budget Bakers, helps you flexibly plan your budget and track spending, so you stay in control and achieve your future goals. You can actively plan and manage your finances, across multiple currencies, banks, and financial institutions. You can set up a budget for each currency which is perfect if you have one currency for your salary and one for home. This isn’t a feature available in other apps.
The Wallet blog and social media channels are loaded with interesting and practical financial advice which can also help you develop better savings habits.
The application has an easy to use interface and helps with saving and keeping track of expenses. Wallet focusses on getting things under control from day one, as you can see from the video below.
Wallet is available as a web app as well as on iOS and Android devices. It is free to start with and offers in-app purchases for a premium version at varying prices ranging from a monthly subscription of €1.99 and a Yearly plan of €14.99.
Joy claims to change the way you spend and save money to help you find more happiness in your life. A big claim for an app!
This app offers money coaching, a savings strategy, a unique way to track your spending, and shareable reads on finances and happiness, giving you a place to get organised, get on track, and get inspired.
There are a lot of great things about Joy, but really you need to be a US citizen. A US phone number is needed to open an account. It also connects all major US banks and credit card accounts.
If you go with Joy, they will ask you a few easy questions created by clinical psychologists, data analysts, and neuroscientists. Your answers are used to create your financial profile. You are then matched with a money coach to help you reach your goals and understand your spending. Your coach is good with finances, easy to chat with and cares about your happiness (well according to Joy!). When you spend, you rate your purchases against whether you loved it – a ‘Happy Spend’; or hated it – a ‘Sad Spend’.
The idea behind all of this is that is should help you tap into the psychology behind your buying. This, in turn, can help you can spend happier and save more. Your Money Coach calculates what you can safely save every day based on several criteria, including what you make and spend. You can then choose to save daily with a simple tap. This is where Joy needs to be connected to your bank account. Like the other savings apps, one limitation is the lack of integration with the Standard Bank Seafarer Account.
‘Joy’ is free, and currently available on iOS in the US where it has a 4.6-star rating. It should be available for Android soon.
Even if you can’t download Joy, you can find useful content, complete with brilliant money saving strategies, and tons of juicy spending diaries, at www.findjoy.com.
Mint is one of the most popular free money management apps out there to help you to get ahead and stay ahead. This savings app brings bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and investments together in one place to give you a complete picture of your financial life including account balances, spending, your free credit score, net worth, and more, so you can see what you’re spending and where you can save money.
Mint has improved the user experience. They have simplified the navigation and made money management simpler and more seamless. Another new introduction to the app is ‘Mintsights’; personalized money-saving insight features based on your real financial information.
Mint helps you on keep top of your financial life by analysing your spending to provide smart budgets and savings opportunities. They also offer bill reminders, so you know what’s due, and when. On signing in, you’ll see your free credit score, and the app provides fraud and identity alerts when appropriate. The features offered by the saving apps are better aligned to living onshore but are still very useful for developing great habits.
Mint is available for iOS and Android, and has a desktop version at mint.com. Currently, Mint only supports banks and financial institutions in the US and Canada.
Albert is touted as the world’s “most intelligent” of the finance and saving apps. This is because it combines human expertise with cutting-edge technology. Indeed, Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, The New York Times and others have recommended Albert.
Albert is more than just a personal finance assistant. It intelligently identifies the money you won’t miss throughout the week. It sets this aside, essentially automating savings. Albert purports to have saved over $100 million to finance customer goals.
Albert ‘Genius’ is a feature offering text-based guidance from a human team of financial experts or ‘geniuses’ who aim to improve your financial health. The ‘Geniuses’ work alongside the app providing knowledge around most financial areas including budgeting, credit cards, college savings, financial planning, car, home & life insurance, investments, paying off debt, retirement planning, saving for goals, and student loans.
Albert is a free app on both iOS and Android platforms. The functionality you can access depends on what you connect to (Albert currently supports thousands of U.S. financial institutions).
Whatever app helps you manage your finances, the main objective is developing and establishing good habits related to money management and savings so that your behaviours become automatic. Admittedly not all apps are available in every App Store so it might be a case of switching to US store or finding another one available in your home store. There will be local alternatives that we have missed that are just as good.
The guidance on developing great savings habits remains the same, regardless of the app used, is the same. Don’t try and change all your spending habits at once. Better to make small changes that you can sustain before moving on to the next one.
We haven’t been able to find any savings apps that allow for synchronisation with the Standard Bank Seafarer Account, but if you know of one please get in touch!
Note: All prices were accurate at the time of writing.