Advertising
Advertising

8 Great Apps that Will Help You Save Time and Money

8 Great Apps that Will Help You Save Time and Money

There are plenty of great opportunities for self-improvement and indulging in small pleasures in this world, but lack of time and/or money often get in the way and keep us from moving straight forward and jumping on these opportunities. It can be tough to reduce spending and save some money if you don’t have a clue where your money is going and how much of it slips through the cracks. At the same time you can’t really efficiently manage your time if you are not productive and don’t have a defined schedule, which in turn limits your ability to spend more time learning new skills or getting enough rest.

Well, the good news is that the smartphone you have is good for more than just chatting with friends, browsing social media and playing games when you are bored – which you shouldn’t be doing in the first place if you are concerned with productivity and time management. Here is a list of some excellent apps that will help you save time and money during the course of your daily life.

1. HomeBudget with Sync

HomeBudget

    Effective budgeting should be your top priority, and the HomeBudget with Sync app has everything you will need to keep track of your spending and find that perfect balance between income and expenses. The app features a user-friendly design that is both very visually appealing and easy to navigate. Apart from standard functions like the ability to store a photo of a receipt and view handy charts, you can also access all the budget information in the cloud from different devices, allowing multiple people to effectively keep track of a collective budget.

    Advertising

    2. Splitwise

    Splitwise

      One of the worst things for a well-thought out budget is when you live with or frequently go out to eat and drink with a bunch of different people who don’t share the same budget. It can be very easy for one person to end up constantly having to pay more and lose out on transactions like paying the bills or buying rounds. With the Splitwise app you can effectively split up bills and keep track of who has paid for what, without getting into arguments or playing the guessing game.

      3. TripLog

      TripLog

        Budgeting home expenses is all well and good, but what about when you hit the road? TripLog is an automatic mileage-tracking app that enables you to track your mileage, expenses and show your routes on a map. When your mobile device is plugged in the all automatically starts tracking once you go over 5mph. It is a great tool for those who drive a company car and need to write reports, and a good way to see which routes are more effective and give you a look into how much you spend during your daily commute, so you can work out how to save a lot of time and money.

        Advertising

        4. Viber

        Viber

          Why spend more money every month and lock yourself into prolonged cell phone contract, when you can talk all you want and send as many messages as you want for free with Viber? Even better, Viber is now available for desktops as well. You will be surprised at just how much you can save on your phone bills once you switch over, especially if you are a very social little birdie and use your phone quite a bit during the day.

          5. CubeAnywhere

          CubeAnywhere

            Aimed at the more business oriented crowd – be they freelancers, team managers or entrepreneurs – CubeAnywhere gives you the ability to easily keep track of different projects and costs involved with useful charts. You can access the information from anywhere in the world and from any device, as the information is stored in the cloud and the app is integrated with Google’s services, like Google Docs.

            Advertising

            6. EverNote

            Evernote

              It’s incredibly easy to forget things or lose track of your obligations, so a good schedule planner should be everyone’s top app. However, EverNote provides a lot more functionality, allowing you to quickly jot down information, take notes when inspiration strikes, and even manage expenses. Not only will you stick to your schedule, but you will be able to write down ideas when you feel most creative and productive, no matter where you are. It will probably be the one app on your phone that you end up using the most.

              7. Any.do

              Anydo

                If you are looking for a more minimalist streamlined approach for organizing your tasks, for instance checking off items on the list with a quick finger swipe, then Any.do is the right choice for you. All your to-do lists, projects and tasks can be shared with your co-workers, roommates or family members, as well as accessed from any device, so you can all stay on top of things wherever you are. You can even turn missed calls into reminders and put a widget on your home screen to always stay informed on the tasks that are coming up.

                Advertising

                8. Contacts+

                Contacts plus

                  A lot of the time you end up mixing up numbers, forgetting who the person you need to call is or just have a very messy contacts list in general, which means it takes time to find and contact the right people. Contacts + allows you to set up a beautifully designed contacts list that can be prioritized by frequency of calls. It is synced with Facebook, Tweeter and the Whatsapp free messaging app, so you can add a current profile picture to every entry and quickly contact them via call, SMS or message them through social media. You can also get birthday reminders.

                  So, all you busy people out there who are leading a hectic lifestyle and are always strapped for cash or running late, get some of these useful apps and start getting your life in order. With enough time and effort you will be able to become a busy little ant that always stays on top of all tasks, which will lead to you having more free time and wasting less money.

                  More by this author

                  Ivan Dimitrijevic

                  Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

                  50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them 8 Fun and Unique Birthday Party Ideas for People in Their 20s 50 Cleaning Hacks for Your Home That Will Make Your Life Easier 40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day 9 Unexpected Benefits Of Foot Massage That Make You Want To Have One Now

                  Trending in Money

                  1 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 2 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 3 How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps 4 5 Books You Must Read if You Want to Be a Millionaire in Your 20’s 5 20 Better Money Habits to Help You Increase Your Savings

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                  Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                  In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                  5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                  Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                  1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                  Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                  It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                  Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                  2. Keep Them Realistic

                  It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                  It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                  3. Account for Inflation

                  Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                  Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                  For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                  4. Short Term vs Long Term

                  Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                  As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                  More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

                  Advertising

                  5. To Each to His Own

                  The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                  It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                  By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                  11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                  Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                  • Ensuring healthy savings
                  • Making smart investments

                  You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                  Ensuring Healthy Savings

                  Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                  This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                  1. Track Expenses

                  The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                  Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                  2. Pay Yourself First

                  Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                  Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                  The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                  Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                  3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                  Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

                  Advertising

                  Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                  At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                  Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                  You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                  4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                  Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                  If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                  Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                  All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                  5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                  In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                  Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                  Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                  If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                  If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                  So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

                  Advertising

                  6. Talk About It

                  Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                  Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                  7. Maintain a Journal

                  For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                  So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                  Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                  When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                  At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                  Making Smart Investments

                  Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                  8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                  Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                  Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                  9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                  Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                  Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                  Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                  It is here where that classification will help.

                  Advertising

                  So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                  10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                  Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                  Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                  So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                  Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                  11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                  All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                  If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                  If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                  Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                  The Bottom Line

                  This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                  As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

                  More About Personal Finance Management

                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                  Read Next