Digital tools are part of every part of our lives, and that includes managing our money. There are some great apps and features in your phone that can help you take control of your financial wellness. For Finance Awareness Day (14 August), Alcatel suggests a few ways your smartphone can be one of the most useful tools in your financial toolbox.
- Pay bills and fines on time
It’s important to pay bills on time so they don’t pile up, start attracting interest or even get you a bad credit record, your bank’s app will make it easy to pay most bills directly from your mobile phone. Apps like PayCity meanwhile make it easy to view and pay for your outstanding traffic fines, renew your vehicle license, settle your municipal accounts and purchase prepaid utilities.
- Master the art of budgeting
If you really want to take charge of your finances, you need to know how much money is coming into your bank account and how much is going out. Budgeting apps help you to gain visibility into your spending, upcoming costs, savings and more, so that you can set financial goals. 22seven is a useful free app that lets you track income, spending and savings across your bank accounts, credit and store cards, investments, loans, and rewards.
- Keep track of receipts
Even in this digital age, we have yet to completely escape paper-based receipts. These receipts can come in handy if you need to claim from insurance after your TV gets stolen, must get your smartphone repaired when it breaks under warranty, or want to report tax deductible expenses for the home business you are running. Apps like Smart Receipts and Expensify make it easy to scan and store your receipts in case you need them.
- Manage your insurance cover
Getting the right home and car insurance cover is an important aspect of financial health. Outsurance’s app allows you to check your insurance policy information, request emergency home and roadside assistance, and track claims. Naked lets you get a final insurance quote for your car, home contents or single items in 90 seconds on its app, then you can manage or claim from your policy at your convenience.
- Watch your credit score
Credit scores are one of the main ways creditors, employers, insurance and finance companies use to assess your creditworthiness. Apps from the credit bureaus let you regularly see your credit score. This allows you to ask for any incorrect info to be corrected. It can also alert you if you have become a victim of identity fraud via someone using your details to apply for a lot of credit. Check out the apps from Credit Score Report, Clear Score and TransUnion.
- Plan for the purchase of your dream home
Buying a house is a daunting commitment. It takes careful research, diligent financial planning and a bit of luck to find your perfect place and close the purchase. The Property24.com and Private Property apps are great places to house-hunt. Ooba’s app, meanwhile, gives you all the help and information you need to get through the home buying process, including a range of calculators to help you get to grips with the finances.