Business Technology

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Is there an app to manage my personal finances?

After all the talk of Budget adjustments, USC and minimum tax thresholds, we're all still left with the pedestrian task of figuring out how to best manage our money. Luckily, there is a plethora of phone and tablet apps on hand to assist in almost every way. From fee-free cash transfers to setting weekly budgets to finding discounts on stuff, Adrian Weckler looks at 20 apps to put you in control of your finances

Published 18/10/2015 | 02:30

AIB mobile app
AIB mobile app
Bank of Ireland mobile app
Bloomberg Business app
Currency converter app
Expensify app
killbiller app
My Pension app
Spending tracker app
Transfer Wise app

1. CurrencyFair

  • Go To

iPhone, Android, free

There are lots of people who transfer money to relatives or contacts abroad. For them, this Irish-based app is a pretty good deal. The service lets users exchange funds and transfer them overseas at lower fee rates than most banks or brokers, due to what CurrencyFair calls a 'peer-to-peer currency marketplace'. This basically cuts out a couple of middlemen to get something much closer to the interbank rate.

2. Spending Tracker

iPhone, Android, free

If you want an idiot-proof (albeit fairly basic) budgeting app, this one ticks most of the boxes. It lets you log different types of financial incomings and outgoings ('salary', 'clothes', 'gifts', 'food') and then shows you how you're doing financially. You can even set basic budgets for yourself.

3. Expensify

iPhone, Android, free

Receipts and expenses are the bane of the business person. This is a very easy-to-use, well laid-out app to log bills, credits, receipts, mileage and other common expenses. It gives you extra functionality, such as being able to import expenses from credit card or bank accounts.

4. My Pension

iPhone, free

For anyone obsessed with how their pension is doing, Irish Life has an app that lets you keep track of things. It shows you which portfolio funds you've invested as well as the value of your pension fund and your contributions to date.

5. AIB Mobile

iPhone, Android, free

AIB recently updated its app and it's generally a cleaner, better experience. It has also added some extra functionality, such as the ability to access a different account you own once you log in to your first account. Some handy features, such as mobile phone top-ups, join expected items such as the ability to pay bills or cancel direct debits and standing orders.

6. Fire

iPhone, Android, free

This Irish-made money app is designed to let you and friends transfer funds easily between your phones. You have to have a bank account to use this and you have to top up your Fire account in advance (via an Iban bank transfer online). It's a little tricky to set up and it's debatable whether you're going to keep an account like this stocked with cash you might otherwise use. But there are no transaction fees for transferring cash unless it's to a different currency.

7. Currency Converter Plus

iPhone, Android, free

If you're too lazy to type out a phrase in Google such as '€65 in £' or '$150 in €', this currency conversion app will do it for you. Just open it up and it will let you find an exchange rate for 191 different currencies. Obviously this is the 'pure' rate, not what you'd get if you tried to change money at a bank. One little bonus is that it also 'works' offline in that it gives you the last available exchange rate before the phone lost its data connection.

8. KillBiller

iPhone, Android, free

KillBiller is a good app for anyone who's wondering about what mobile phone plan they should opt for. If you give the app your operator login details, it will scan your bill, calculate your calls, texts and data and tell you which rival operator would offer you a cheaper deal for exactly the same usage patterns. Alternatively, if you don't want to give it access to your operator profile, you can just input what you think you use and it will do the same thing.

9. Bloomberg Business

iPhone, Android, free

For those who need to keep a sharper eye on the markets, Bloomberg Business is probably worth downloading. As well as the latest financial and economic news, it allows you to build a stock portfolio to follow your own shares and financial interests. It is also one of the few finance-oriented apps that now has an Apple Watch app.

10. Markets.com: Live Forex Trading

iPhone, Android, free

If you want to dip a toe into the world of trading shares, currencies or commodities, this app - created by Markets.com - will set you up. You can pick commodities such as sugar, cotton or gold or opt instead for whole indices such as the S&P 500 or the DAX 30.

11. Bank Of Ireland Mobile

iPhone, Android, free

Bank Of Ireland's mobile app isn't pretty but it's perfectly functional. It allows you to pay bills, transfer money, top up mobile phones and a few other things that you may want to do. It also has a handy little map showing where (some of) its ATM machines are.

12. Irish Tax Institute

iPhone, free

This app from the Irish Taxation Institute does two things. For those who really need to keep tabs on what's going on, it offers updates and news on significant changes happening or that are on the cards. But it's also a basic tax calculator that tells you what your take-home pay will be after various deductions and expenses.

13. Irish PAYE Tax Calculator

iPhone, Android, €4

If all of the snazzy newspaper graphics about 'how you are affected by Budget 2016' weren't good enough, this app aims to incorporate the latest Budget details into an updated tax calculator.

14. Red Laser barcode scanner

iPhone, Android, free

Like to walk into shops, browse the goods and go online to see if you can get it cheaper? One way of doing this is through your phone's camera and this app. Just point the camera at a product's barcode within the app and it will come up with alternative prices online (mostly eBay and Amazon).

15. Vouchercloud

iPhone, Android, free

Daily deals are one way of saving money: couponing and voucher-gathering are another. Vouchercloud collects coupon and voucher deals for services and sales in Ireland and Britain. It's not just 10pc off tanning salon sessions, either: on the day of publication, the app was offering 15pc off codes for jewellery in a main street Dublin jewellery store and 25pc discount vouchers for Pizza Hut. As everyday vouchers go, this isn't bad.

16. SplitWise

Android, free

For those who stress over splitting bills, this is a timely app. Whether it's in the restaurant or between flatmates, this neatly records what each person owes and when payments are due.

17. PayPal

iPhone, Android, free

PayPal has ambitions to be universally accepted in shops, just like a credit card. This is more advanced in the US than it is here. But you can use it to pay for some things and its well-designed app makes the process quicker.

18. Pricespy

iPhone, Android, free

This app is a great way to find out the best price for goods in local shops. Just type in the name of a product and it will give you the listed local store prices (in Ireland, or in other EU countries). You can tap directly through to the store's own website if you want to buy. You can also set up price alerts so that you are told when prices fall to a specified point - giving you a better chance of snapping up sale stock before anyone else. The app allows you to compare products from almost 500 Irish shops with high street and online stores, including Smyths, Arnotts, Dunnes Stores and PC World.

19. Reep Rewards

iPhone, Android, free

This is a modern-day couponing app without any physical coupons. It scans the market for the special offers on groceries and household items and then offers promotions from retailers such as Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl and Woodies. You can also get cashback for your shopping through by taking photos of your receipts. The app reads your receipt and credits your Reep account with a cash reward.

20. DoneDeal

iPhone, Android, free

DoneDeal has become Ireland's default online marketplace for buying and selling things privately. The app allows you to do the same basic functions as the website. You can list an item for sale, take and upload photos related to it and perform other functions.

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