The only budgeting tool you need

Do you fret that you will run out of money before your next payment? Well, wave goodbye to those days because there is a free app for your phone that allows you to keep track of your spending so you can properly budget.

Designed by the MoneySmart team, TrackMySPEND may not have some of the bells and whistles of other budgeting apps, but it is easy to set up and use.

Essentially, you set a limit on how much you want to spend during the week and record your expenditure as you go, by tapping in the amounts of your bills. You can also tap in prices before you part with your money to see if you have enough in your kitty to make the purchase.

You can divide your limit into categories. For instance, you may decide to budget for no more than $20 on movie tickets a week, as I did. I had already recorded that I spent $15.50 at the cinema a couple of days ago. When I went to tap in a second movie ticket at the same price, before I purchased it, the app showed me in red that I would have overspent my budget for movies by $11 if I had chosen to go to the movies twice in one week.

According to the MoneySmart site, you can budget for all manner of things with the app, from your household costs and small cash purchases to holiday expenses or costs for special events such as celebrations.

TrackMySPEND allows you to:

  • nominate a spending limit (per week, fortnight, month or year) and track your progress
  • separate ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ to identify opportunities to save
  • create favourites so you can track frequent expenses
  • view your expense history
  • add tags to categorise expenses and set spending limits for each category
  • create expense reminders sent as text messages to your phone
  • auto-fill expenses based on past entries
  • back up data
  • sync your profile and use on multiple devices
  • export data to a CSV file (for Excel, or other financial software).

Do you find yourself spending more than you intended each week? Would you have the patience to use an app on your mobile to keep track of costs? Have you come across other budgeting apps or tips that have helped you spend within your means?

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Written by Olga Galacho

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