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Managing money on the move

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You don’t need to be an accountant to properly manage your money each month thanks to the advent of smartphones, tablets and the range of apps available for them. DAVID ELLIOTT rounds up five budgeting apps for your smart device.

If you want to be able to manage your money on the go and don’t have a great head for figures like a degree in accountancy, there are some great apps to help you along and make sense out of all the mumbo-jumbo. You can download a dizzying array of cool apps straight to your tablet or smartphone to manage all your budgeting and banking needs without crashing the grey matter, from car rental instalments in Florida to insurance comparison (such as South Africa’s www.dialdirect.co.za and www.hippo.co.za)

iAllowance

Available for both iPhone and iPad, this is a great app for introducing your kids to the wonderful world of money management. They’re probably already completely digital and with this app you get to play the all-powerful bank manager and have the kids as your customers. Through a system of chores and allowances they accumulate stars that represent cash and when they decide to withdraw some savings you debit their account and hand over the lolly. This is banking at it’s supposed to be, with not a subprime mortgage or roulette wheel in sight.

Mint

Mint, for the iPad, iPhone and Android, is a great little app for keeping a check on all your little outgoings before they build into a mountain of debt that crashes on top of you, so it’s great for budgeting on a daily basis. Your financial figures are presented on the screen in full Technicolor, and you can also create your own budgets in pre-populated cells that are based on previous spending patterns and use them to keep track of progress. There’s also a very useful extra in being able to check on the cash you have available for paying off credit card balances.

PayPal Mobile

If you’re not much good at hanging on to cheques and cash then this free app for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android platforms is just the thing. If you owe somebody a few Rand but don’t carry such piddling amounts about your person, and your good reputation is at stake, just use this smart app along with a regular PayPal account to transfer across the money at the touch of a button, at no charge. You simply supply the cellphone number or email address and your recipient can log on to PayPal to get what’s owed him.

Expensify

We all know we’re supposed to hang on to store receipts in case we get burnt with a purchase, but usually end up losing them anyway. If you’re sick of saving reams of paper receipts you can use this free app for the Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows 7 and Blackberry to take photos of cash receipts and link them to a credit card, and all the information is then transferred over to a personalised expenses report.

Chase Mobile

If you share the same account with a partner, this app will supply you with customisable alerts when the account is tapped so you know exactly what’s going on. It’s also great for making deposits when you’re out and about, and it’s free for the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

David Elliott is a freelance writer who loves to travel, especially in Europe and Turkey. He’s spent most of his adult life in a state of restless excitement but recently decided to settle in North London. He gets away whenever he can to immerse himself in foreign cultures and lap up the history of great cities.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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