January is the perfect time to take stock of the last 12 months and start planning for the year ahead, especially if the cost of living crisis has put a bigger strain on your household budget than you expected.
A new YouGov survey suggests that some 58 per cent of Brits are planning on saving more money in 2023 and taking active steps to cut back spending on holidays, food shopping and evenings out. Planning is a key component when it comes to staying on top of your finances and some people may not be aware of the useful ways their mobile phone can help them take better control of their money.
Kyle Wilson, mobile expert at Mobiles.co.uk, shares five simple ways that your smartphone can help make your money go further, including creating a simple budget planner and spending limit, an overview of apps that could motivate you to spend less and save more and even how to make some extra cash.
Five ways your mobile phone can help boost your finances
Build a budget planner
Kyle explained: “For some people money management can seem daunting and overwhelming, when in reality you just need to know where to start. Budget planners are the perfect way to get all your financial ducks in a row and being able to do it from the ease of your smartphone means you can make informed decisions in real time.
“Some websites such as Etsy and Pinterest have purchasable templates to help you organise your money, while MoneySavingExpert.com has a free budget planner for people who need something simple and affordable. Other apps such as Notion allow you to build out a budget planner from scratch, so you can factor in your personal needs.”
Most mobile banking apps include budget planners and spending limits giving people more instant control over their account. You can spending alerts or low balance alerts to stop you going over your limit and entering into the murky waters of the unarranged overdraft limit.
Kyle added: “You can categorise everything you spend, whether that be bills, travel, shopping or even charitable donations. At the end of each month, you can look back and see where most of your money is going and make informed decisions on where you may need to cut back or save money.”
Set a spending limit
Tracking finances is a great start to money-management, but people with a habit for over-spending are likely to ignore any guidelines they set themself. Kyle suggests apps such as Monzo, which now allow you to set a daily spending limit.
He said: “You can set two types of spending limits on the Monzo app. You can opt for either a single contactless limit, so you don’t spend more than a certain amount in one transaction or have a maximum spending limit across multiple payments. It won’t allow you to overspend, but if you under-spend you might find …….