x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

App of the Week: Track your spending to ease your money woes

Alice Haine takes a look at a nifty app that will help sort out your budget with categories and track your spending over weeks, months and beyond.

Screen shot of Spending Log by Corbenic Consulting
Screen shot of Spending Log by Corbenic Consulting

Many of us wonder what we spend our salaries on at the end of the month, our curiosity ignited by the zero glaring back at us when we check our bank balance.

The next few moments are spent trying to figure out exactly what we frittered our hard-earned dirhams on.

We rack our brains as we recall a few nights out, that fabulous new dress and, oh, of course, that new Ferrari. Frivolous purchases aside, simply keeping track of how much you spend on groceries, petrol, utility bills and your children can be enough of a headache. Mentally adding it up may work for some, but for others, keeping track of the household finances means checking bank statements and laboriously noting down each expense as it arises.

The app Downloading Spending Log (iPhone, iPad; Dh4) could be the answer to your money woes. This nifty app is a quick and simple way to record your everyday expenses on the go. Simply tap "Record Expense" and you can add the 50 fil you just spent on a packet of sweets. Alternatively, tap "Record Income" when that bonus comes in from work and it will top up your monthly income, giving you more money to play around with.

The details The app will keep a running total of your income and expenses, so you can keep tabs on exactly how much you have left to spend at any one time.

It also categorises your spending, allowing you to know exactly what you spent it on, too. That way, when you've splashed out too much on clothes, kids products or accessories for your new Ferrari, it will become glaringly obvious in the spending log. It also highlights the percentage of your income you have spent on a particular category - be it groceries, rent or eating out.

You can add categories, too, so if you have a fetish for beauty products or chocolate fudge, you can record how much of your income you devote to your favourite things in life. And you can add different accounts and track spending over a few days, a week, a month or a year - it's up to you to configure the settings to suit your needs.

However, for those who are not particularly finance-minded, it does take a few attempts to get to grips with this app. There is an information box in the top left corner of the Log screen that goes into more detail.

But as you become more familiar with the app, it becomes easier to handle. You can record certain expenses, such as a car payment, and regular income, such as your salary, as "Reoccurring", so those amounts are automatically updated in the next month's log.

And because you will have a better idea of how much money you have, you will enjoy spending it that much more, too.

Have some great personal finance apps that you want to share? Write to Personal Finance at pf@thenational.ae