Forget about complicated spreadsheets and data-crunching; managing your finances can be as simple as whipping out your phone and punching in some figures. Here are 3 handy – and free! – apps we think you should try.
What it does: There’s a reason why this app has over 1 million downloads and a 4.3 out of 5 rating on the Google Play Store, and that’s because Expense Manager is simple to use yet rich in functions.
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At its core, Expense Manager allows you to keep track of your cash flow to see if you’re spending within your means. The main menu gives you a quick overview of your account balance and overall incomes and expenses by week, month and year. When you add an expense (or income), you can tag it under a specific category and include details such as amount, payee/payer, payment method and description (or simply take a snapshot of the receipt for reference).
What we love: The ability to pre-set a budget for every category – or envelope budgeting, in finance-speak. For instance, if you’ve decided to set aside $500 a month for food and dining out, you’ll see the percentage bar filling up the more you spend. Obviously, the point is not to exceed the bar by the end of the month. Use this as a nifty visual reminder to commit to spending within your limits – your wallet will thank you for it.
Expense Manager also comes with plenty of other bells and whistles, such as multiple account support, auto backup to cloud storage systems like Dropbox and Google Drive, and the ability to enable PIN security.
What can be improved: The biggest issue we foresee has more to do with user behaviour than the app itself; that is, you’ll need to be disciplined in keying in your expenses and incomes on a daily basis. Even if you lapse a day or two, it’s fine – the more important thing is for you to understand your spending habits and make changes to them where necessary. Just remember that once you can manage where your money is really going, you can begin to build wealth and go after your goals in life.
What it does: Managing your stock portfolio has never been easier. Designed for experienced and budding investors alike, DrWealth Portfolio Tracker provides a clean, user-friendly interface for tracking all your stock investments.
Adding stocks to your portfolio can be done in a snap – simply select the relevant stock exchange and run a search for the company name or ticker symbol. (All major stock exchanges, including SGX, NYSE, LSE, HKSE, KLSE and ASX, are supported.) Once you’ve inputted the purchase date, price and quantity, the app will group your stocks by region or type, so you can view their performance conveniently on one screen. This will also give you a good idea of your current asset allocation.
Additionally, if your transaction occurs in a foreign currency, the app can convert it to a currency of your choice – a feature that will be useful for seasoned investors with stocks in various exchanges.
What we love: Did someone say automatic dividends? Because that’s exactly what this app can do — calculate your dividends automatically, so you never have to key them in manually. That’s a BIG bonus in our books.
Plus, the app can automatically track your portfolio’s performance over time. One quick glance at the dashboard will show you how your portfolio is performing against the STI (Straits Times Index) and the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor’s 500) over a period of 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months.
With this, you can keep yourself constantly up-to-date on how your investments are doing – whether they’re performing better than, as well as the market, or underperforming. Whether you’re an active or passive investor, you’ll always have the latest updates on your investments right at your fingertips.
What can be improved: For now, the app lacks the full functionality of the web version. But we hear more functions will be progressively added in the coming future, so stay tuned!
What it does: Forgot your wallet at home? Not an issue – Dash is your mobile wallet. Jointly offered by Standard Chartered Bank and SingTel, Dash lets you make payment to retailers or friends in just one swipe across your phone screen.
Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, you actually get both a Dash mCash Account (which you use to make payment) as well as a Dash Easy Savings Account (which you can use to top up your mCash Account while earning up to 1% interest).
To start paying, just log in to the Dash app, select “mCash Balance” and who you’re paying, enter the payment amount and swipe. Confirm the details and voilà! Payment done.
You can see the list of participating retailers here.
What we love: Singaporeans love a good deal, and you get plenty of that with Dash. You’ll receive a welcome bonus upon your first log-in, plus shopping perks such as an exclusive 10% discount on accessories at SingTel shops, 5% off storewide at Watsons, $1 ready-to-eat packed meals at 7-Eleven and more.
For those of you concerned about security, you’ll also be happy to know that you can safeguard your mCash Account with a 6-digit PIN (on top of your phone passcode), which you’ll have to enter every time you use the app. We’ll admit this can get a little cumbersome at times, especially when you’re out on a shopping spree, but better safe than sorry, right?
What can be improved: Tough luck if the GPS on your phone isn’t working, as the app requires high-speed GPS for it to locate nearby retailers. The payment process also takes a little getting used to initially – paying for your KOI bubble tea, for instance, will require you to look for the Dash Counter Code displayed at the cashier counter before you can proceed with payment. But all things considered, it’s still a pretty convenient app for paying on-the-go.