Just a few years ago no one knew what a credit crunch was, banking was still a honourable profession and the Eurozone was a model of financial probity.
How times change. The global economic turmoil has focused all our minds, perhaps more than ever before, on what we earn, what we spend and what we are able to save.
Managing your personal finances can make a big difference. There is some truth in the old investment cliché that you should make your money work for you, rather than you working for your money.
Smart budgeting won’t necessarily make you richer but it can help you stay on top of your finances and make your money go further.
Your Nokia Lumia smartphone can play a big part in this. With the aid of a few apps, it can help you to keep track of your finances, stay informed of the latest financial news and manage all your money matters.
Let’s not pretend this is a substitute for seeing an accountant or meeting a personal finance advisor. All the same, you may find these various personal finance apps valuable and even enjoyable to use.
What could be easier than seeing how much money you’re getting in, and then making sure that you don’t spend anymore than that? Well, it’s a problem that has afflicted most individual households and national governments.
Toshl Finance (FREE) is a tool that helps you to manage your income and your expenses. You can set one-off budgets, or regular budgets over a period of time, say a week, a month or a year.
You can move funds from one period to the next; compare your budget history between different periods; track your spending on holiday with the currency converter; set up repeat expenses and even set up a passcode to keep your finances a secret.
My Expenses (FREE) is another budgeting tool that you might like to try. This app offers good cloud support, where you can export your data to either SkyDrive or Dropbox accounts. You can also view your expenses as a pie chart and create for your start screen live tiles.
A slightly different type of budgeting app is Lemon (FREE), which uses your Lumia’s camera to scan your receipts to help tally up your spending.
Scanning each receipt captures the price, the name of the shop or merchant, the date and assigns a category for the purchase. You can also manually add this data into the app, which is then used to generate your personal spending reports.
Expensify (FREE) is another highly rated app that serves a similar function.
Shares, stocks and financial news
If you are lucky enough to own some shares or just have a general interest in stock markets then you will know that information and knowledge is paramount.
Here are several apps for your Lumia that can help you to keep up to date with the money news.
Mint is a business news app with analysis and opinions from the financial and economic spheres. As well as the latest and breaking business news there are also features about culture, entertainment and travel.
Mint is the result of a partnership between the Hindustan Times and the Wall Street Journal.
This is Microsoft’s app for tracking stock and share prices. You can keep a list of your favourite (or the ones you are interested in anyway) stocks or search to find the company you want.
You can see the quotes at a glance or go into much more detail such as the 52-week high/low, earnings per share (EPS) and the market capitalisation.
Markets & Me (FREE)
If you are managing a big stock portfolio (or even a small one) then you might find this app much more to your needs.
The app offers real time quotes for most major markets and keeps track of your stock performance and your total holdings over a period of time. It also has integration with your Google Finance account and live tiles for individual stocks, markets or currencies.
Stock Tiles (FREE)
As the name suggests, this app helps to monitor stock prices using live tiles on your Lumia’s start screen. You can add as many stock tiles, as you want and there is also information on the back of the live tile.
Finally, here are some more general money apps that you may find useful.
Piggy Bank (FREE)
Piggy Bank shows you how much money you could save if you refuse to indulge yourself with impulse purchases. It’s a great idea in principle but how much you are able to save is still ultimately down to you!
Credit Card Audit (FREE)
Credit cards are one of the easiest ways of racking up a big debt, which then becomes an everlasting drain on your monthly finances. If you’re not careful it can spiral out of control very quickly.
This app helps you to track your credit card transactions and create reports so that you can keep in control of your spending.
Loan Calculator (FREE)
This app helps you to calculate the monthly repayments for any loan you are taking out, or thinking about taking out.
Enter all the information such as amount borrowed, interest and the term of the loan and this app does the rest. It will show you the monthly interest as well as the remaining balance.
Our first Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820
Our first Windows Phone 8 smartphones.Be a part of it.
Are you using a personal finance app on your Lumia? Do you think they can help you to save money? Share your thoughts in the comments below.