In the days of smartphones and tablets, we use apps for almost everything. You can use an app to track how much water you’re drinking, to catch a cab, and to lock yourself out of social media to focus. But can apps really change your behaviour? Can using budgeting apps improve your financial health?
In our modern world, there is a lot of financial uncertainty. We will often have unexpected bills and costs, and an increasing percentage of the population are working in freelance or irregular jobs. Technology is also somewhat of an uncertainty - when we arrive at work, will our computers function in the way they need to? Will our favourite mobile game be working? We already know we can’t always trust Apple Maps!
One way people are beginning to use technology to navigate uncertain times is by downloading and using apps that are very different to the likes of Facebook and Instagram. There are countless apps available that promise to improve your life in some way. Apps are available to supply you with workouts, track how much water you’re drinking, help you manage projects and create presentations. There are also many, many apps available to help you with your finances.
We have recommended multiple apps this month that you can download to manage your personal or business budget, keep track of taxes, and reach a savings goal. They are all very helpful in one way or another, but will only be of use to you if you use them correctly and stick to the budgets you plan. In these modern times when we are so dependant on our phones, computers, and the internet, it does seem like they can sometimes dictate our lives. But at the end of the day, you need to commit to a budget yourself - the app can’t do it for you!
What an app can offer you is constant accountability. A written budget, or a spreadsheet of your expenses and income is all very well and good, but it won’t be with you at all times. A budget app will send you notifications when you are nearing your spending limit, and will be available at your fingertips before you make any purchases.
So, what is the answer to the above question? Can apps improve your financial health? Like many questions, the answer is: it depends. If you commit to the budget you set for yourself and remain accountable to your app, you will absolutely learn healthier financial behaviours and spending habits. If you diligently follow the budget you set for yourself with the help of your app, you will improve your financial health. However, if you download the app, use if for a week, then promptly forget about it and begin ignoring the notifications telling you to pump the breaks on your spending, no - a budget app will not help you in the slightest!