4 apps that take the stress out of money management

We’re automating more and more of our lives, and the finance sector is right at the forefront of this evolution.

If you’re running a business and want to be smarter about your business inflows, or if you’re looking to be more financially prudent on a personal level, there are apps for that. We look at some of the easiest ones to use.

1. Mint

Owned by the same company that gave us the accounting software QuickBooks, Mint is a revolutionary app with properties that can sync all your bank accounts, cards, and payment services to help with tracking your money.

Among the many useful properties the app has, one of the most popular is its budgeting tool. Mint automatically categorises transactions from linked credit and debit cards, and tracks them against a budget that you can adjust and customise to your requirements.

With the budgeting tool on this app, you should be sorted whether you run a business or just need it for personal finances. You’ll get alerts when you go over the set budget, and at the end of every month, you can retrieve your cash flow for each category to get a clearer picture of where your money is going. The app is free to use.

2. Goodbudget

The main idea behind Goodbudget is working with what you have per category of spending. It relies on an age-old system of budgeting known as the envelope system.

How this works is that an individual or family allocates a certain amount to varying categories or envelopes – such as food, transport and clothing – and spends only the funds allocated per envelope. If and when the balance set on a category runs out, you have to stop spending.

It can be used by teams as it has a multi-user option, which helps making business spending more transparent. It’s available for free on both Android and iOS.

3. Dollarbird

This is an easy-to-set-up, easy-to-use expense tracking app that uses a calendar to track and plan income and spending. In the quest for ease of use, Dollarbird avoids the use of currency – the assumption being that the user will know what currency they use.

The app’s interface is clear, simple and colour-coded, featuring large fonts. It also has a sharing feature that enables you to share and collaborate on joint finances. It’s a great app for individuals, chamas or business partners, and is available for free on Android and iOS.

There is a premium option available for $5 (Sh515) per month or $39 (Sh4,000) per year for small businesses or groups that would like to use it to collaborate on finance.

4. Expensify

This is arguably one of the best apps for a sole proprietor. Are you trying to juggle between business and personal finances? This is the app for you.

Expensify can track expenses and amount of time spent on a project. It collects this information and eventually syncs it with an accounting software that you use.

The beauty of this app is that you don’t even have to manually feed in receipt details; you can simply take a snap and upload it on the app, and it will automatically capture the details.

You can use it for free if you upload a maximum of five receipts a month, or pay a monthly fee of Sh500 for unlimited scans.   

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