Five free apps to help you deal with your money worries


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Struggling to ditch a bad habit?

Feeling overwhelmed by anxiety about money?

These apps could help you get your budget back on track.

money budgeting finance apps

Cost: Free
OS: iOS 11.4 or later; Android 7.0 or later

If you've ever had trouble collecting everyone's cash when it comes to paying that restaurant or cafe bill, then fear no more.

Groupee is an app that splits the bill to make sure you pay your fair share. It provides instant notifications for your account activity so you know where your money is going.

The app is free to join and is available anywhere that accepts a Visa or MasterCard credit card. It's also compatible with all Australian banks.

You can also add your rewards credit card to the app as your funding source, meaning you will earn rewards points on your portion of the bill.

It's important to note that the app doesn't reverse payments to users once a transaction has taken place. The app charges 1.95% per transaction as well as a 12.5c flagfall.

Cost: Free
OS: iOS 10.3 or later; Android 4.4 or later

We've all struggled to quit a bad habit or commit to a good one. Research from Strava, the fitness network, found most of us give up on our new year's resolutions by January 12.

But experts say setting goals and staying accountable give us the best chance of achieving success, and that's where stickK comes in. Created by a behavioural economist, the app helps you commit to a contract with yourself, and uses planning and accountability to get you to change your habits.

Simply set a goal, whether it's to run a marathon or learn Urdu, and create a timeline of the steps you need to take. Then invite someone you trust to hold you accountable and monitor your progress.

If you need an added incentive, you can commit to making a donation to charity if you fail to reach your goal. The catch is you have to choose an organisation you oppose, which should help to keep you on track.

Financial Mindfulness
Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
OS: iOS 11.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up

Here's an app to help relieve your daily stresses about money. Answer a quick questionnaire about your feelings towards managing your money and let the app point you in the right direction. Once you're progressing in the app you're welcome to answer the questionnaire again and it will change the guidance.

Financial Mindfulness combines goal setting, financial literacy and mindfulness to provide you with a series of free tools to help you manage credit cards, mortgages, bills, unexpected expenses and stress.

Some of the inbuilt modules have been created specifically to help you through Covid-19 and you can pay a small fee for a wider variety of topics, such as job loss, divorce, under-earning and impulse spending.

The app was funded in 2016 by Andrew Fleming, who experienced financial stress and used mindfulness as one of the tools for his recovery.

Financial Dictionary by Farlex
Cost: Free
OS: iOS 12.2 or later; Android 4.1 and up

Brush up on your financial vocabulary with this free and easy-to-use app.

The dictionary provides you with access to more than 26,000 definitions related to investing, banking, tax and insurance, among other topics. A great feature is that you can access about 20,000 terms without an internet connection.

Other features of the app include the ability to add or delete bookmarked definitions as you please; and recent searches remain visible. You can also share definitions across social networks.

Be mindful that most definitions are American, so an Australian definition might differ slightly. For example, when you search for superannuation you are taken to the definition of pension.

If you want to turn off the in-app ads you'll have to pay a small fee. The app is created by the Farlex group, which publishes several online reference products.

Cost: Free
OS: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 6.0 and up

This is one of many free apps that track your spending, help you manage savings goals and keep a close eye on monthly bills. An immediate benefit is no upfront or ongoing subscription charges.

The expenses feature is one of the easiest to manage among personal budgeting apps in the market. Once connected to your bank accounts, the feature goes to work and breaks down your monthly expenses without having to use several filters first.

If you're a fan of visuals, Frollo also produces easy-to-read charts on each of your bank accounts as well as your overall monthly expenses. You can also instruct the app to help with your budget and have a "wellbeing check-in" when you feel it's time to reassess your plans.

Frollo also claims to be the first personal finance management app to go live with the consumer data right, giving you access to open banking data. But it's managing the roll-out of this feature and you have to join a waiting list.

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