6 Apps That’ll Help You Boost Your Finances (Or Rein Them In)

Please note that this is information is general in nature and shouldn't be construed as financial advice.
Personal finances are tricky, and we don’t all receive the same education on how to manage them. But after a turbulent year (or two, who knows at this point), and the cost of living reaching record highs, there's never been a better time to get on top of your money.
Young Australians in particular can fall prey to bad financial habits, with many of us staring down the barrels of HECS debt and overdrawn accounts. Even if we tune in to the latest budgeting podcast, muster up the nerve to negotiate a pay rise or win a small fortune in the lottery, none of it really matters if we’re not putting in the work to manage what we have. Setting yourself up right now paves the way for Future You, and, let’s be honest, no one’s ever regretted being more intentional with their spending. 
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But we hear you...money management isn’t the sexiest topic to learn about, and there’s plenty of unhelpful jargon thrown around that deters us laypeople. So to give you a nudge in the right direction, whether that means dipping a toe into the world of investing, or support in getting to grips with your online shopping addiction, here are some user-friendly apps that take the guesswork out of personal finance.

Up

What is it?

An Australian-based digital-only bank (which means they don't have standalone branches or ATMs), Up is a collaboration between Bendigo Bank and a software company. It lives on your smartphone and is linked to your bank account.

Why is it great?

Up has a great app experience that's slick, intuitive and fun. Our favourite feature is the savings roundup, which means that when you spend money with your debit card, it rounds up the purchase to the nearest dollar and pops the rest into your savings! The app also tracks your spending into different buckets, which makes budgeting a lot easier. You can also set alerts for upcoming bills and see what you can safely spend before payday. Your 'savers' (aka savings accounts) earn interest, which are invested ethically by Bendigo Bank and Adelaide Bank. Can I get an amen?

Ok, but how much is it?

For standard use, Up is completely free with no monthly account fees. ATM access for Up account holders is also free at most major banks in Australia, including Bendigo Bank and the four major banks.
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Download Up for free on iOS and Android

Blossom

What is it?

With the intention of empowering more millennials to save, Blossom is a no-nonsense app that invests your savings with the guarantee of returns.

How does it work?

Fixed income investing does what it says on the tin in that it involves investments that pay a 'fixed rate', unlike riskier, more fluctuating markets. These include corporate bonds, government bonds, cash, mortgage-backed securities and more.
Once you sign up, you'll be able to see your savings grow in real time, and you can even set goals and targets.

Ok, but how much is it?

The idea behind Blossom is that it brings the kind of investment typically dominated by a select few to all, with no minimum inputs and, get this, no joining, account, or withdrawal fees.
Plus, it directly debits a percentage of your paycheque, as well as any other incoming transfers, straight to your savings. 
Download Blossom for free on iOS and Android

Honey

What is it?

If you, like us, often find your financial goals shafted by your conflicting desire to shop, then Honey may be your best financial friend.
Available as an app and as a Chrome extension, Honey provides discounts and promo codes so that you're never missing out on a bargain.
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How does it work?

Just download the app or get the plug-in and Honey will quietly scour the Internet for working promo codes. 'Working' being the operative word here, with over 28,000 merchants signed up to the service. After all, how many of us have gone on a limb trying to guess an online store's cheat codes? Just me? Oh.

Ok, but how much does it cost?

Nada. It's free!
Download Honey for free on iOS, Android and Chrome

Raiz

What is it?

Raiz is a micro-investing app that allows you to start investing with as little as $5 but does all the work for you. Users can invest into their Raiz account through roundups, recurring investments, and lump sum deposits.

How does it work?

Money in your Raiz investment account is invested into a mix of exchange traded funds (ETFs) in accordance with one of six different portfolios selected by you with plenty of money-makings to be earned at the touch of some buttons.
After you've connected your account, you’ll need to choose a Raiz investment portfolio, choosing between ‘Conservative’, ‘Moderately Conservative’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Moderately Aggressive’, ‘Aggressive’ and ‘Emerald’. According to the biz, the offering of portfolios are designed to suit the differing investment goals of investors, in terms of an acceptable level of risk and planned time in the market. For example, an aggressive portfolio may suit you if you want higher returns in the longer term but will accept a high risk of losing capital over the medium term.
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They also round up funds from transactions and accumulate it until it reaches a threshold, at which they'll then go ahead and invest it for you so that your chump change is working hard for you.

Ok, but how much does it cost?

At the time of writing, for standard portfolios, fees sit at $3.50/month for those investing under $15k. For accounts with over $15k, fees include 0.275% per year.
And if you're looking for a custom portfolio, tailored to your needs, you're looking at fees of $4.50/month for investments of under $20k, and a commission rate of 0.275%/year over $20k.
You may withdraw any amount from your Raiz account at any time without any fees or penalties. There are also no minimums, meaning you won't be charged if you reach a balance of $0.
Download Raiz for iOS and Android

Beem It

What is it?

As many of you may be able to relate to, a solid chunk of our cash often gets lost in 'owings' and unexpected nights out where you end up unintentionally shouting rounds. Well, this sweet, sweet invention may just help you tragics out.  A free-to-download mobile payment app, Beem It was designed to help solve those awkward "hey-you-owe-me-this-much" moments for all of us cash-strapped Aussies.

How does it work?

It's connected to your bank account of choice and allows you to pay and get paid by anyone effortlessly, securely and instantly, no matter who you bank with— as long as you're both registered users.
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You just enter an amount that you want to pay, split or request from someone, tag them, and wait for that cash to flow in. It will even give them a nudge if they're slow to approve the payment. You can also drop these payments into 'groups' — a great tool for sharehouses!
And on top of just being stupidly handy, you can store your loyalty cards, move money between your accounts, track your expenses on trips away and make purchases all with the one app.

Ok, but how much does it cost?

According to their website, "a big bucket full of nothing". And as a happy user, this author can confirm as much.
Download Beem It for iOS and Android

Flux

What is it?

Designed to take the guesswork out of all things money for everyday young Aussies, Flux is a one-stop destination created to boost your financial literacy.

How does it work?

Housing a wealth of knowledge on everything from investing, budgeting and credit, Flux breaks things down in a way that is accessible and user-friendly. With a host of resources, they offer things like podcasts, snappy videos and even credit health checks to help you better understand your current personal finances, and how you can learn to boost them.
Highlighting the importance of knowing where you stand financially, these tools help to educate and point you in the direction of the best deals. And, there are also plenty of 'games' that incentivise users to reach their savings goals, such as going into the running each week to win $25,000 when you contribute to your savings account.
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Ok, but how much does it cost?

Absolutely nothing!
Download Flux for iOS and Android

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