The app-y way to save and manage your money

It is clear that smartphones are becoming the must-have, ‘can’t-live-without’ gadget for Brits up and down the country. Sales for the iPhone 4S hit the one million mark even before the device was available on shop shelves and speculation about Google’s Prime has gone into overdrive. Smartphone adoption rates are growing fast; our latest research on smartphone penetration found that nearly two in five Brits now own one.

At the same time, we are witnessing the increasing uptake of tablet computers and the range of apps on offer for mobile devices is expanding just as rapidly. It’s possible to buy an app for practically anything you can think of but there is a growing trend for financial management and money-saving apps in light of today’s tough economic environment.


There are a number of ways to use apps to save money. one is to take advantage of companies that deliver mobile apps to share rewards and discounts. These can be through coupon-based, such as Vouchercloud, or location-based services. for example, some apps use the GPS location of your phone to determine what shops are close by and then offer you specific discounts and offers for those stores. Examples of apps that deliver this type of service are Peekaboo and O2 Priority Moments, which send exclusive offers and experiences that are available near you straight to your smartphone. Alternatively, price comparison apps such as Red Laser, pic2shop and Idealo are hugely popular in helping to make savings. These apps are especially attractive in the run-up to Christmas.

Mobile banking

A great way to save money that is often overlooked is to try curbing your spending while you are out and about. this may be easier than it sounds! A mobile banking app that delivers all the services you expect from online banking via your mobile device can help. It ensures you are fully aware of your bank balance or how close you are to your credit limit while on the move, providing an update on how much money you have left to spend.

This information can be crucial to preventing you from going into the red and incurring unnecessary charges. Mobile banking and getting into the habit of regularly checking your account and the transactions that have taken place can also help to spot fraud. by detecting any suspicious activity early, the savings in terms of money and time can be significant.

Obviously unlike other apps that you can choose, you must bank with a financial institution that has a mobile banking offering. Most banks are beginning to launch mobile banking services or apps, with NatWest recently introducing a mobile banking app and Lloyds TSB enhancing its mobile banking services. These apps allow you to access your bank account on the go, meaning you can move money around and make quick transfers of funds to ensure you do have enough money while out shopping. Apps like the Orange credit card app similarly provide credit card holders the opportunity to make credit card payments while they have remembered to do so even if they are out and about.

Financial management

Other ways to manage cash flow and help you budget include using apps that enable you to track your expenses. These include Pennies and iXpenseIt for more detailed monthly budgets.

For more financial savvy individuals who may dabble in the stock market, there are a growing number of apps that help you manage your investment portfolio. for example, Wikinvest is a tool that allows you to track all of your investment accounts all in one place. more tailored apps, such as the one launched by insurance company Generali earlier this year, enable members to access their pension funds anywhere in the world. in addition to portfolio management tools like these, apps like Bloomberg and DailyFinance can keep you up-to-date with all the latest market developments and share movements to help you save money. Even news services such as the FT app allow you to keep an eye on wider current affairs issues that may affect your investments and their return.

What to remember

Before you even start to exploit all these apps, you can already begin to make savings by ensuring you take advantage of free wireless connections where possible rather than using the 3G network to access the internet via your mobile device and incur data roaming charges. as is the case with any free internet/data service, ensure you are happy with the source of free wifi and consider the sort of information you are passing through it.

Furthermore, apps represent an extremely convenient way of accessing crucial personal financial information or services on-the-go and in real-time. as it becomes common practice to use mobile devices in all aspects of your life, taking advantage of apps to save and manage money plays to everyone’s natural desire for a bargain as well as the need to better manage money in today’s straightened times. gone are the days when you had to scour newspapers and magazines for coupons or print off vouchers from your computer. At a touch of a button, apps represent the convenient and modern way to save and manage money.