All of us have objectives, goals that we would like to achieve. For some the well-being of their family or quiet retirement, for others the dream of living their old age in a chalet by the sea; many will seek to give their children the best education possible and help them access the best universities; and for the more adventurous, take the dream trip around the world. But all these future plans and wishes have one point in common: to achieve them we need to set aside a part of ordinary income, save money as a provision for future needs. And this is precisely the definition of the term saving.
When we save, we are giving up enjoying our money now to do it later. We translate current purchasing decisions into the future. In families, saving is what remains of the family income after the money we spend on consumption and paying taxes. The greater our ability to save, the stronger our financial position. Saving is the first and essential step to look calmly at the long term and aspire to achieve the objectives, but it may not be enough. And more, when the ‘price’ of our dreams tends to rise over time.
Think how much money it cost you 30 years ago to acquire a property and what its price would be now. Or how much a master’s degree at an American university was worth 20 years ago and how much would you have to shell out now. It is the dreaded inflation. For this reason alone we have a compelling argument to invest. We need to put our money to work, make it productive so that the monster of inflation doesn’t eat up our savings. We need to know how to manage our money!
If this is your problem, perhaps you’re used to ‘winging it’, and hoping there is enough money in the bank to cover your spending habits. Nowadays, there is an app for everything, and that includes an app for managing your money with saving and investing (but one step at a time). We’ve put together a list of five useful smartphone apps for you to use to start saving and securing potential assets that will make for a more fruitful future.
Used to track spending, set budgets, and to split bills with family and friends
One of the more favored (among millennials) app-based banks is Monzo. It operates exactly as a traditional bank would but is only available through a smartphone app. As well as the usual withdrawing and depositing of money, and creating standing orders, Monzo has added features to help you budget. The app allows you to review your finances and organize your spending moving forward, whether you’re looking to save or cut back on expensive habits. Stay on top of your balance with real-time updates, available as soon as you complete a purchase. Create savings pots and round each transaction up to the nearest pound to save the all-important pennies. There are many features to explore with Monzo that also include splitting bills, instant money transfers, and adding notes to receipts and transactions.
Used to add money to your savings and to dip your toes into investing
Much like Monzo, this app allows you to round up your change from your purchases, but it goes one step further and automatically invests it for you into a stocks and shares ISA. Simply link a debit card and invest the difference on all your transactions, easing you into the world of investment. Choose from three investing options from cautious to balanced and adventurous, giving you the opportunity to invest in multiple companies with as little or as much capital as you want. As well as a cash Lifetime ISA and investing options, Moneybox also enables you to plan for the future by adding any old pension pots you may have had lying around.
Used by beginner investors looking for an easy to use platform with great pricing options
Are you a first-time investor? SoFi is among the best in investment apps when it comes to finding one that’s easy to navigate and has a fantastic price point. Not only is it straightforward to invest, but you can start with as little as $1.00. Benefit from zero commissions on trades and use the app’s managed portfolio feature, for free, to have your investments selected and managed for you. Stocks and ETFs are grouped by category, and there is access to investment articles directly from the app to research your sector further. SoFi also provides complementary financial planning meetings to app holders, so as a beginner wanting to kickstart their investment portfolio, it is a great place to start.
Used by investors who want a hands-off investment experience
Aimed at slightly more experienced investors, the Acorns app manages the hard work for you when it comes to your investments. For those that want to invest but don’t have the time, you can set up automatic investment strategies for spare change, automated transfers, and automated planning. Again, this app is easy to use, and you can get started with just $1.00 per month. For access to additional features such as retirement pots, the cost increases to between $3.00 and $5.00 per month.
Top tip: if you’re looking for other hands-off investments, you may want to consider investing in real estate and employing a property management company to do the heavy lifting for you. UK property experts RWinvest have some great tips available in their latest guide.
5. Zoopla and Rightmove
Used to find the best available properties for real estate investors
Whether you’re new to the property world or you’ve already built up an extensive portfolio, these leading industry apps should not be overlooked. Stay on top of the latest property news and look for the latest places to expand your investments. There are many UK based property platforms, but equivalents are also available in your chosen location. Regardless of the area, these detailed property apps allow you to narrow down your searches to find the right investment for you in the best place possible. Look for properties based on specific criteria such as price, location, and size of the property.