Budgeting is vital when it comes to surviving student life. Like so many others, you may find yourself turning to technology for help to keep better track of your finances. Unfortunately, new research shows that many popular budgeting apps are actually doing more harm than good. In some instances, it would seem that it is far better to track your money the old-fashioned way. Here’s why, and what to look out for if you do still opt to install a budgeting application on your smartphone.
Why do some budgeting apps lead to overspending?
The vast majority of budgeting apps are designed in such a way that you can see the exact amount that is left in your budget as you edge closer to the month. For many, this figure is more than just a relief – it acts as a spending ‘goal’, too. You will likely think of it more as how much you have left to spend, as opposed to how much you have managed to save.
You might find yourself tempted to treat yourself to something special for doing such a great job at managing your cash over the past few weeks. An act that can become a habit and stand in your way of saving anything significant while you’re still at varsity.
Choosing a saving-friendly budgeting app
While there are many budgeting apps that track your funds in the manner as mentioned above, others do so a little bit differently.
If you want to maximise your savings, it is important to steer clear of the apps that offer up an exact amount of what’s left in your budget. Rather, try to find one that offers slightly less precise info, such as detailing what remains in ranges or via colour coding, as opposed to specific figures.
It is also wise to choose an app that allows you to update your budget as needed. One that reminds you that it is possible to roll the remaining amount in your budget over to next month. Or, an app that tracks savings goals as well as income and expenditures.
Alternatively, give the apps a rest and draw up a comprehensive written budget that you can refer to daily. While it is true that technology is an incredible support in many aspects of our lives, perhaps budgeting just isn’t one of them?
Do budgeting apps work for you? Why or why not? Tell us on our Facebook page using the hashtag #BudgetingApps