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APPS THAT CAN HELP KEEP YOUR FAMILY BUDGET ON TRACK

 

 

It’s official, UK inflation has hit an all-time high.  What does this mean for families?  Fuel and food prices rising and continuing to rise with the average household having to spend £000’s more on the likes of fuel, food and utility bills.

 

While there is nothing a family can do about the situation that plays out in the economy, it is possible to take steps to reduce the impact on your family budget.

 

Budgeting

As a mum of two teenage boys, I know how difficult it can be setting and sticking to a family budget, but it’s a very useful tool keeping track of your spending – it is a visual aid which you can use to reduce or cut back.

 

While the old-fashioned method of pen and paper is sound, most of us own smartphones which are by our side night and day, so I decided to road-test two free-to-download budgeting apps to see how they work and if they could help track our family spending.

 

Wally App (available on iPhone & Android)

The Wally App is a personal finance app that helps you compare your income and expenditure, it also allows you to set goals and keep track of your spending.  One of my feature features of this app is the option to add a photo of your receipt – that way you know exactly what you purchased, where, when and for how much – it is a real eye-opener seeing all your receipts in one place!  The app is totally free with the additional bonus of being advert free!

 

Toshl (iPhone & Android)

Toshl Finance is an app that allows you to keep track of where your money goes with an additional feature of being able to set a reminder of when you need to pay bills.  It is very straightforward to use and it is easy to place your spending in to separate categories or setting up new categories.  The easy to use budget calculator shows how much money you have left once you make purchases but an excellent feature is that you can set a goal of what you want to spend, it will then let you see how much you have left – a fantastic visual way of knowing the amount you have left in the bank!  Another clever feature is the ability to set a reminder on the app which will notify you to add your spending – extremely useful for all busy parents.

 

Smart shopping

For some families, grocery bills can be a bank balance strain – especially with teenagers in the house!  Over the past year, I have tested several apps and have saved £000’s on my grocery shop. These smartphone apps could help you stay within your household budget or even reduce your grocery bill with the added benefit of you not having to turn in to an ‘extreme couponer’ to benefit from free grocery items or money off!

 

Put quite simply the following apps give you back money you spend on items that they have listed on their particular app.  The difference between the app as opposed to a coupon is that you need to purchase the product first before getting your money back.  Each app has a different selection of products with some at times offering 100% cashback – making the item free!

 

CheckoutSmart

 

This app allows you to claim cashback on items you’ve bought from some of the major supermarkets and other retailers such as Superdrug or Boots.  Free to download, the offers change or update each week.  The offers can be valid for in-store or online so it’s best to check the terms and conditions for each item.  It is extremely easy to use, you buy the product, when safely at home take a photo of your receipt, upload it via the app and receive the cashback directly to your bank account or Paypal account, although there is a minimum payment withdrawal of £5.

 

Shopmium

Another cashback app which is very straightforward to use, you browse the products on the app, make a purchase, scan the item and upload your receipt in the comfort of your own home.  Payment is normally within 72 hours and is automatically transferred to your bank or Paypal account each claim you make.  A great feature of this app is the option to view the nearest store to you where you can make a purchase, so you should have no problem knowing where to go!  While most of the items are grocery items there are times when they offer a discount on wine or beauty products.

 

Have you used any of these apps before or are you going to start using them?  We would love to hear your comments.  Let us know your thoughts and especially let us know how much you save!

 

Happy money saving!

 

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Also head over to Becky at Family Budgeting to read my guest post on more top budgeting tips.

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