Budgeting: best apps for living on a fixed income

Using a budgeting app can help you understand your spending habits.

Hand using budegting app at ATM with bank card

Living on a fixed income can be difficult, and you’ll want to save money whenever it’s possible. Using a budgeting app can help you to discover new ways to save money.

If you’re unfamiliar with budgeting apps, they each come with their unique bells and whistles, but the basic premise is the same. By entering in all of your expenses and categorising them, you can make more informed decisions about how you spend and save money.

To get the most out of a budgeting app every single transaction you make must be logged. This can take a lot of time. It’s a big obstacle in the way of learning more about your spending habits and finding new ways to save money.

To cut back on this time investment, Pocketbook allows you to connect with your Australian bank accounts and will synchronise your spending automatically.

Once your bank accounts are all synced, Pocketbook will be able to determine what 80 per cent of your transactions are – e.g. income, bills or groceries. For any transactions it cannot categorise (or does so incorrectly), you can set manually, and Pocketbook will remember this setting for the future.

The app has over 100,000 Australian users, and allows you to set notifications for when you approach your spending budget, have bills due and more.

Pocketbook is free on iPhone, iPad, Android and through its website. There is an advanced analytical tool that can be unlocked for $9 or by recommending the app to a friend.

This app has a unique way of categorising your spending habits into ‘experiences’. For example, in addition to categorising a transaction as ‘eating out’, you can tag it as a social, family, work or personal ‘experience’.

This innovative method of categorising spending helps you to discover where you are spending too much money, whether it’s being too generous when you’re eating out with family, or having drinks with your friends too often.

Wally can also use your location to determine where you are and on what you’re likely to be spending money. So all you have to enter is the amount. and it will know how to categorise it.

Available for free on iPhone, iPad and Android.


This barebones budgeting app will help you to visualise where your money is going. After setting the categories, you can enter in expenses with a few taps. Each expense added will instantly affect the pie chart shown on the apps’ main screen. It’s a good introductory app if you haven’t used a budgeting app before.

Available for free on Android.

What is your favourite budgeting app?



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    Not Senile Yet!
    18th Mar 2016
    Quick..someone organize for all these Apps to made compulsory for our Party Puppets MP's...
    Then tell them if they fail to Balance the Budget they get Sacked!!!!!
    19th Mar 2016
    i DO HOPE those apps are free or they take more money out of our pensions :(
    18th Mar 2016
    I have a query about Pocketbook. It sounded great so I filled in all the info requested but that included my bank account details AND PIN number to access my account. It then struck me that these details aren't supposed to be provided to anyone. I didn't complete the form & I changed my PIN number ASAP. However the app can't work without those details so I have deleted it. Has anyone else had any experience with this app?
    18th Mar 2016
    It sounds to me that they saw you coming.
    19th Mar 2016
    then its a totally useless app. REAlly what do they think we are.....Surely NOT that stupid that i need an app to work out my Budget. Hardly!!! But yeh its true, the Pollies might need one, cause i'm sure they have their spent before they even know what they got.
    WEll thats how my husband used to do it.
    I want it, so i'll buy it.
    When i get my money i'll work it out then!!!
    Tad too late then ay!!
    Too bad if there's not enough in the coffers!