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Try these apps to better manage your cash flow

We look at apps that can help you to better manage and track your cash flows

Many people adopted digital transactions post demonetization of high denomination currency notes late last year. The digital transactions made lives easy in many ways but for some people it brought in the added complexity, as they found it difficult to manage their budget with digital money. While physical cash helped them check small expenses, in some cases digital cash did lead to profligacy.

While they were foxed by their inability to master the new technology, technology can also come to their rescue. We look at four apps that can help you to better manage and track your cash flows. This is not an exhaustive list and there are many other apps available on Android and iOS, both paid and free, but these are the ones that stood out for us.

A methodical approach of handling household finances is ensuring how much each member of the house is spending and tracking where every rupee is being spent. With HomeBudget’s ‘family sync’ feature, you can track every member’s expenses in real time and work together on a common home budget. This is an easy way to track every penny that is being spent in your household.

Though everyone will have to enter every data manually, this sync works across all platforms—iOS, Android or Windows versions. The full version costs Rs370. However, you can download a lite version of the app for free to see if this system works for you before actually purchasing it.

Remember the instant SMS pop-up you get the moment you swipe your card or withdraw cash? Walnut works on the sheer principle of automatically reading these SMS messages, categorising it and instantly generating expense reports based on how much you have spent. You might have to spend some time categorising your regular spends like travel, food, bills, shopping, etc; once you do that, it’s a smooth ride.

You can even go Dutch and split your bills and pay your share through the app. All you have to do is create a group, add who owes how much, and raise the request and pay or receive money.

However, you cannot use it to sync expenses with another person. Plus, if an SMS is not received on your phone, that transaction will not be accounted for. The strong app algorithm even identifies different messages and sets reminder to pay your utility and credit card bills on time.

The app is available on both Apple App Store and Google Play store.

The mTrakr app also gathers data from your SMSs and processes it to give you information about categories such as expenses, payments and bills. Apart from expenses tracking, it also aggregates information about the balance in your bank accounts and credit card limits; and displays it in different categories. It also reminds you of the bill payment dates. While most data is gathered from SMSs, you can update in case a text message was not received. Also, if you scan a bill, its details can be automatically extracted and updated.

Slonkit is just the money-managing app the new-generation parents needed. Here is a great way to teach your children financial discipline at a young age, and also at the same time ensure that they don’t overspend the extra money that you gave them—get them a Slonkit card.

It is an app-connected, reloadable prepaid card powered by Visa and DCB Bank and you don’t have to be a DCB Bank customer to avail it. All you have to do is, download the app and order the card by filling out your details. You’ll have to pay Rs200: Rs100 is the annual charge and the remaining gets loaded to the card. The card will get delivered in about a week and your child can start using it.

As it is a pre-paid payment instrument, it will be governed by the Reserve Bank’s rules regarding such products. So you can only load a maximum of Rs20,000 a month into the card. Once the app and the card are up and running, all transactions on it will be updated on the app, according to spends on each category, which you can analyse.

You can add money to the card whenever you want, set budgets for each spend category and also set per-transaction or per-day limits. It cannot be used to withdraw cash from an ATM. If it is lost or if you don’t want to use it, you can suspend or block it from the app. If you want to discontinue, the balance is refunded. It is available on Android and iOS platforms.

While such apps are convenient, beware of the risks. Many apps collect personal details and need permission to access your data. Some may even share this data with third parties. So, use them only if you are comfortable with this. Also, make sure you only download and use apps from verifiable and reputed developers.

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