The best apps to help you save money this year

At the start of a new year many of us are taking the time to get our finances in order.

But sticking to a savings plan can be challenging, but as Money Magazine’s Effie Zahos revealed on the Today Show, there are many money-saving apps to keep you on track.

TODAY: One of your favourite apps is Pocketbook. How can it help?

EFFIE: The Pocketbook app claims to be the smartest finance app in the App Store. It automatically organises your spending into categories like groceries, fuel, tolls, clothes and can set up budgets for each category, allowing users to view balances and transactions clearly. It also sends smart notifications via sms or email.

TODAY: Tell us about an app that allows us to easily keep track of different accounts?

EFFIE: The Moneybrilliant app connects your finance accounts so you have a full overview of all your finance. You can also categorise transactions and get reminders of when direct debits or bills are due. A budget is automatically calculated based on your past spending – no boring data entry – and gives you a month by month view of your money. It’s also flexible enough that you can plan ahead for changes to the money that comes in or out. Turn on Bill Watch when you set up your bills and it’ll let you know if it can find you a better deal and save you money.

TODAY: What is a good app to help with tax?

EFFIE: The ATO app is for individual taxpayers, small businesses and self-managed super fund trustees. There’s a fuel tax credit calculator that will determine what credit you can claim based on the quantity of fuel you acquired, as well as a payment plan estimator that helps you to work out an affordable payment plan for your circumstances, so you can prevent your debt from escalating. The estimate is calculated based on the number and frequency of payments.

The super guarantee contributions tool calculates compulsory super contributions using the current superannuation guarantee rate. It also provides the due dates that these contribution amounts need to be paid by, which you can share via email or PDF.

Another useful feature is the tax withheld calculator that allows employers and employees to easily check how much tax is required to be withheld from a salary or wage payment.

TODAY: What is a useful way to manage shared expenses like rent and bills?

EFFIE: The Splitwise app takes the trouble out of sharing expenses – with friends, with roommates, with anyone. It keeps a running total over time, so you can pay each other back in one big payment to the exact fair dollar, instead of a bunch of small ones. You are also notified when the rent check is due… or get a reminder when you forget to pay someone back, so you’re on track with your spendings.

TODAY: Is there an app to help cut the cost of groceries?

EFFIE: The Mealboard app is a great app with a built-in web browser, you can browse popular recipe websites and import recipes with a single tap. Or search the websites for recipes to import.

The shopping items get sorted by aisle, and if you’re using multiple stores, you can view the list by store. You can also set up the grocery prices so you’ll see the total cost and stay within your budget!

MealBoard lets you keep track of items in stock. Once you’re done shopping, move items from the shopping list to the pantry. And as you cook meals, you can easily adjust the items left in stock.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.