Get Money-Smart with Your SmartphoneWebmaster
You watch videos, listen to music, play games, buy groceries, read the news and make vaccination appointments on your smartphone. But what else can you do with it? Is it possible to use it to make or save money? The answer is yes, and to quote the now-trademarked popular phrase, “there’s an app for that”. Let’s run through some of the options that can make you more savvy with your money.
Track your spending
This should be the number-one priority if you want to be more financially responsible, especially with shopping and paying bills. There are numerous app options available, such as Mint and You Need a Budget, which give you an overview of your financial health, track your monetary ins and outs, as well as set and track budget goals. You can even set reminders on bill payment schedules so you’ll never pay late fees ever again!
Manage your debt
Do you owe someone money? Or do other people owe you money? Maybe you also have multiple loans and credit card bills that are a headache to monitor. Keep track of all of them using a debt management app like Tally, Qoins or Debt Manager. These apps can analyse your personal debt information so you can visualise timelines and prioritise loan payments based on high-to-low interest rates. Some can even help you ‘micro-save’ and set aside money from spending for future loan payments.
Feeling nostalgic for something with a local flavour? Then try this one called Buku 555.
Online shopping wizards will know that getting the best deals means buying at the right time and using the right coupons to enjoy the biggest discounts. If you’re already doing this, congratulations! Get even farther ahead in the money-saving game with apps like Hargapedia or Pricetory to compare prices and get voucher codes.
There are also browser extensions like Honey and ShopBack, which automatically apply discounts when you shop, or reward you with cashbacks on your purchases.
Know your credit score
Knowing your credit score is a good thing, especially if you’re planning to make a major purchase, like a car or house. A credit score may even affect insurance rates and your ability to get a job. So do yourself a favour and get a credit report before you apply for loans. There’s a Malaysia-specific app you can try called CTOS, which helps you monitor credit health, protect yourself from identity theft, fraud and scams, fix credit inaccuracies, and increase your chances for loan approval.
Explore investment opportunities
Watch your money grow (and enjoy it) with investment apps. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, mobile trading platforms have made it easy for anyone to execute on-the-spot trade decisions, keep track of individual portfolios and stock market performance. Some apps have features such as price triggering alerts and customised push notifications on your favourite stocks. One option for Malaysians is StashAway, a digital wealth management platform that has been licensed by the Securities Commission Malaysia.
However, as with all financial things, we should always proceed with caution. Investing, in particular, should be done mindfully. Speak to a financial advisor before you start to better understand the risks involved and get the help you need to tailor a portfolio that is suited to your budget, goals and lifestyle.
By Tengku Amina Munira