Spend less and save more with these nine money apps


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Want to spend less, save more and take charge of your budget?

Maybe you want to stop arguing over who owes who money.

There's an app for that.

top money apps money saving apps budgeting apps

Cost: free
OS: iOS, Android

If you're a fan of free loyalty programs but don't really enjoy carrying all the loyalty cards around in your wallet, then this app is for you.

There's a high-tech camera scanner that lets you add loyalty cards quickly and easily. There are 200 preset loyalty cards but you can add others that don't appear on that list. Woolworths Rewards, flybuys and Myer One, for example, are all available. You can then have your phone scanned at stores that have the right equipment.

Users also receive personalised offers from retailers and can see current points balances and transactions in real time.

There are plans to add mobile payment capability later in the year, which will give shoppers a holistic experience - from browsing offers to paying at the point of sale, says Stocard.

Reviews for the app are positive with a rating of 4.6 on Google Play and 4.4 on iTunes.

Cost: free

If you've got children, you'll know that birthdays and Christmas can mean an excess of toys and gadgets - most of which they don't really need and possibly don't even want.

Sometimes one well-thought-out gift is a better way to go but big gestures often come with a big cost. This is where Purposit can help.

The new app helps you to bring family together to pitch in for a gift your child will really appreciate. It might be a dog,

a small motorbike or their first (hopefully fairly cheap) car. The?app enables you to crowdfund meaningful purchases exclusively with family and close friends.

Contributors can deposit funds into your bank account via the app, and see how you're progressing towards your goal in real time.

If you set up a gift goal for your child, you bear no cost but contributors do incur a fee of 2.9% plus 90c per contribution.

Cost: free
OS: iOS, Android

If you are keen to become a shop-smarter shopper, look no further than the Shopfully app. It uses a barcode scanner to help you consolidate all of your loyalty cards in one place, allowing you to ditch the plastic and still reap the rewards.

Shopfully also uses your postcode to help you discover the best deals in shops and supermarkets in real time. If you're at the office and are hoping to pick up your groceries on the way home, you can scroll through the latest specials at Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA before you get there.

Even better, you can stay up to date when large retailers such as Myer and David Jones have a sale. This means you can declutter your inbox and say goodbye to those annoying email subscriptions.

Out of town? No problem - the app can use your geographic location to tell you where your nearest stores are and what sales are on.

Cost: free (some in-app purchases)
OS: iOS, Android

Finally, a digital wallet that stores (almost) everything.

Using Moneytree, you can keep an eye on your bank accounts, frequent flyer miles, loyalty points, superannuation balance and your Opal or myki balance. Not all funds and accounts are compatible yet but there is still enough of a mix for the app to be useful for most people.

It also has a tracking feature so that you can get an idea of your spending patterns. For example, you can look at your Woolworths Rewards account for a daily breakdown of how many points you earned at each store, or any points you used.

With your everyday account, you can view the total money going in and out over the month. As with Pocketbook, you can also analyse your spending habits by checking your weekly, monthly or yearly breakdown. You can even save specific transactions as work expenses so you can keep track of your tax deductions.

Cost: free
OS: iOD, Android

Finch describes itself as "the financial app for your social life". Not only can you pay friends or family using the app but it also lets you request money and run group tabs to track shared expenses.

It can also provide you with some spending insights on your social activity and where your money is going.

Finch says the app lets you securely pay and request money to any mobile number in Australia instantly and free, without the hassle of bank account details.

You can find friends easily by syncing your phone contacts, split bills equally or individually (avoid annoying trips to the ATM or getting stuck with the bill), and run tabs with friends you go out with frequently and settle later (perfect for roommates, workmates or group trips!).

Avoid the awkward IOUs - the automatic payment reminders will do the chasing for you - and keep on top of who you owe ad who owes you.

You can also see your social spending both inside and outside the app.

Cost: free
OS: iOS 8 and later, Android and Windows Phone 8.1 and later

If tax time sees you waste time sifting through shoeboxes crammed with random receipts, the ATO app produced by the Australian Taxation Office could be just the thing to get organised for the new financial year.

It is designed to help individuals, small businesses and self-managed super funds manage income and tax deductions on the go, thereby avoiding the annual scramble for paperwork when your tax return is due.

The myDeductions feature lets you record vehicle trips (handy for establishing private versus work-related use of your car) and it also stores details of invoices and receipts.

Some of the additional features can be especially useful if you work for yourself. The ABN look-up tool lets you check if a business you're paying is registered for GST so you can claim GST credits.

The business performance check tool lets you compare your business against others in your industry using ATO benchmarking data, which is one of the measures the tax office can use to flag businesses for audit.

Cost: free
OS: iOD, Android

This new app is the latest way to earn cash back on online shopping purchases.

You can earn up to 30% cash back at more than 500 stores including popular retailers ASOS, Chemist Warehouse, Dan Murphy's, Rebel, Woolworths and even Menulog.

You don't have to use the app - you can still get cashback by using the website to make purchases. The app will offer app-only sales, though, giving you an extra cashback if you use the app for the transaction.

If you "refer a friend" using the special link provided, you can both earn a $5 cashback bonus after your friend makes their first purchase.

It will generally take about 48 hours for the cashback to be credited to your account and you'll only be able to withdraw your cashback after you have accumulated at least $10.

Cost: free
OS: iOD, Android

It's a shame for good food to go to waste. Ian Price, CEO of Y Waste, has been quoted as saying that in Australia retailers throw away over 3 million tonnes of processed/edible food every year, 80% of which is thrown out because it's simply not sold.

This relatively new app is a win-win for restaurant and cafe owners as well as consumers because it allows consumers to buy food that would otherwise go to waste for a discounted price.

You can search for food that is available near you and it could be a good way to pick up a cheap dinner after work.

Obviously, as it is "surplus" food, you can't pick from the menu and you'll have to settle for what is available at the time.

Food is paid for via the app and you are given a specified pick-up time.

Cost: free

Are your bad habits costing you money? How much do you spend on your coke habit each month (Coca-Cola, that is)? Or is alcohol your vice?

This app is great because not only does it have a counter showing your progress, you can see how much you've saved since you ditched your bad habit. Seeing the savings you've made could help motivate you to continue.

You can add as many things as you like to your list of items to quit and watch the savings add up.

Even though the app is free there are no ads, which makes it more appealing. The developer says you can make a donation if you feel the app has helped you, which will help keep the app ad free and allow him to work on new features.

It is only available for iOS devices but there are similar apps for Android.

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