Why You Need a Savings Tracker for Personal Money Management

According to the 2019 Choosi Dollar Report, 69.4% or seven out of ten Australians have strong financial knowledge, but only 30% or three out of ten are confident in making financial decisions. Half of Australians also worry about their money daily or weekly, making financial stress one of the main causes of stress.

The greatest risks to financial security for many Australians are unexpected events/accidents, the lack of savings, health issues and the inability to work. Budgeting and saving can reduce these risks significantly and set you up for a better future and a more relaxed retired life. Unfortunately, many do not have the savings that can protect them from financial danger. Only one in five Australians does not have emergency funds, whilst 31% do not have sufficient funds to sustain them for more than a month.

Most often, we overspend and end up struggling with our finance management because we do not set a budget and stick to it. Budgeting and saving are still the best ways to become debt-free and save more money.

Money-Saving App – What Is It?

A money-saving app is a smartphone application that is made to help individuals manage their finances and save money without exerting too much mental energy in tracking the cash flow. It is easy to use and can be customized according to your lifestyle.

Each app has its own features, but the goal of these apps is the same: to help you build your personal fund and eventually develop healthy financial habits. In general, a money-saving app offers the following:

1. Automatic Deposit

You get to decide how much you are willing to set aside for your monthly savings. Once you have set the value, the app will automatically do it for you. By doing this, you make saving money easy and avoid the temptation of not setting aside for your financial goal.

2. Micro Investment

Certain savings apps provide their users with the opportunity to invest their small money in stocks and bonds. It may not look as much, but the small amount will eventually grow and contribute to your financial goals.

3. Rewards

Other apps also offer rewards for their user’ shopping behaviour. This can be reward points or cash incentives when you shop with affiliated stores or restaurants.

4. Loyalty Programs

Being part of a loyalty program is another great way to save money. Some stores partner with money-saving apps by offering coupons, discounts and other incentives whilst helping you track your spending.

5. Cash Back

Other apps offer a straight cashback to users as their reward. When you take products that are part of the deal, you only need to send a picture of the receipt. The cash reward will then be deposited into your online account.

Money Manager as a Budgeting and Savings App

Money Manager combines money and psychology to help you stick to your budget. Golden Eggs created this money management app to help you set long-term financial plans and allocate a smaller allowance to cover regular spending. It also lets you save some amount for a monthly fun allowance so you can enjoy yourself more.

The Money Manager app recommends having separate transaction accounts for your savings and your bills. With one account allocated for fixed bills and one for savings, you can manage your cash flow better. This will ensure that what you’ll spend for fun won’t leave you short on your bills next month. When everything is in one account, you might end up spending everything on your immediate needs and without savings for your dream house.

How a Savings Tracker Can Help You Save More

Saving, particularly for an emergency fund, can be done with the help of a savings app. The more you save, the better it will be.

Keep your expenses low

Keeping your expenses low means you will be less likely to get into debt. Getting into debt or using your credit card when you are short on your spending will only cause you more money because you will have to pay for interests that can actually go to your saving and or investment.

Prioritise expenses

The savings tracker helps keep things in perspective by focusing on your priority expenses. When you know what your priorities are, it would be easier to avoid unnecessary spending and build your emergency fund or investment.

Financial insights

These saving and budgeting apps can help you make better financial decisions, thanks to their ability to gather data and provide a summary of your monthly or annual expenses. When you can see the pattern of your spending habit and where most of your money goes, the insight will help you make a better plan for your finances.

Staying organized

Tracking all of your transactions and keeping them organized is not easy. For many, this is one of the reasons why they lose sight of their financial goals. However, money apps can make your life easier and help simplify your financial records. You get to manage your spending properly as the information is accessible. You will be able to track and check all your transaction from multiple accounts. Everything can be accessed through your phone from your spending habits, debts, investments and savings.

Conclusion

Money management, especially saving, is not easy. Keeping track of your spending and other financial transactions also takes a lot of mental effort, and often, we can’t cope with all the details. Fortunately, money management apps now make money management easier. These apps are great tools that can help you develop healthy money management habits as you track where your money goes and save for the future.

If you need any help with money management, we can assist you. Golden Eggs can give you custom money management solutions that can help you get on track with budgeting and saving. Contact us today.

What You Need To Know About Our Personal Expense Tracker App

Money management can feel overwhelming to most people. Although the mere thought of it may seem tedious, there are ways to make it much more manageable.

With the help of many apps available these days, you can manage your finances, regardless of your financial status. Not only are they easy to use, but you can also easily install them on your smartphone and use it anywhere you go. Every mobile application has unique features and strategies that can help its users to manage and save money.

Using a personal expense tracker app can help make financial management a lot easier over time. To help you understand better, here are a few of its benefits.

How a savings app can help you with your finances

In-sync information access

Opening a bank account can be quickly done these days, but keeping a track of it isn’t that convenient. There are even times when you’d need to track each of them using different apps so you can get an idea of your financial health.

Without a personal expense tracker app, checking your balances will require you to check various websites to view your accounts. Doing some transactions may also ask you to open multiple apps. Having one installed on your smart device can help you pull the information you need from different accounts using a single platform. You can even get real-time balance information on all your investment and bank accounts with a single click of a button.

User-friendly interface

Thanks to modern technology, budgeting apps have become so user-friendly that they’ve become a go-to for almost every financial wealth enthusiast. Aside from their design, these apps also give you instant access to your financial information that you can use for both your personal and business transactions.

These financial apps also provide their users with many features that can support financial transparency. In addition to the asset management option, some even have an option for filing for a value-added tax return. These activities are essential when it comes to organising both your business and personal finances.

Better financial decisions

It’s normal for a person to worry about managing finances. Some may hesitate to make any financial decisions too. But with a budgeting app, you’ll be more confident when it comes to making any choices that concern your money. Furthermore, you’ll feel that you’re always making the right decisions about your personal and business growth. You are also freeing yourself from the stress that comes with monitoring your finances.

Achieves more financial goals

Each person has unique financial goals that they want to accomplish, and a personal expense tracker app is a great way to achieve them. If you want to monitor your progress easily, choosing the best budgeting app can help you with it. When using such an app, you’ll have a better idea of how the entire financial management works and how you can achieve your goals.

One feature that most apps these days have is a monthly email reminder that helps you focus on your daily personal finance decisions that’ll undoubtedly affect your finances.

Better financial decisions

Everyone learns from mistakes. However, it’s pretty different when it comes to one’s finances. One wrong financial decision can be costly. That’s why it’s best to learn how to avoid it.

When using a personal expense tracker app, you’ll know how to manage your money in the best way possible. It helps you avoid paying more later, which could put you in a more severe financial problem. Also, using an app allows you to check for any errors with your banking transactions, saving you some money in the long run.

Best practices to track your expenses

Review your bank statements

When working on your finances, the first thing you need to do is determine your spending habits. You can do it by checking your bank account statements, including your credit cards and your transaction account. You can look at the charges that you have for the account, especially your monthly subscription services and the items you commonly purchase.

From there, you can start identifying the items or services that you mostly spend your money on each month. Getting an idea about your monthly cash flow is an effective way to get a sense of all the money coming in and out of your bank statement.

Start grouping your monthly fees

Another way to help you manage your expenses is by putting them in different categories. There are a few credit cards that automatically tag your purchases in categories like health or automotive. With this, you can quickly know which ones cost you the most. It can also help you realise the recurring subscription services that you don’t need.

Remember that your monthly spending consists of monthly fees and variable expenses. These monthly fees rarely change each month, which often includes rent, insurance and debt fees. Meanwhile, variable costs consist of food, trip expenses and clothing.

Create a separate spending account

Creating a separate spending account is another efficient way to manage your expenses. You can have dedicated transaction accounts where you pay all your bills, including life insurance and utilities. You can also contribute a specific amount each month that you use for fun spending. Doing so will help you manage all your essentials without overspending. You can also consider making a separate account for holidays

Form a spreadsheet

A spreadsheet instead of a personal expense tracker app can help you with managing your spending too. You can keep a spreadsheet that contains all your bills. Then plot out your expenses in advance to help you keep your finances in check. Afterwards, you can run a tally of your credit balance so that you’ll know if there are any overcharges.

Having this kind of spreadsheet is an effective way to ensure that all your bills get paid on time. However they can be time consuming to maintain and keep importing transactions. Formulas get accidentally overwritten and the calculations stop working.

Use the envelope method

The envelope method almost works like a spending account. Nevertheless, instead of putting your money in your bank account, you use several envelopes to categorise your expenses.

For instance, if you feel that you’re spending too much on cabs, you can use the envelope method and get in cabs when moving around. Then, once your envelope is empty, you’d need to take the bus or the train to commute.

Identify areas for improvement

As you try to figure out your finances, you need to prepare to make further adjustments. It may be difficult at first, but you’ll eventually find it easier to tackle any challenges associated with your adjustments as soon as they arise.

Tracking your expenses is a crucial aspect that’ll help you determine what’s genuinely costing you. It’ll also help you prioritise the more essential things in life, like your mortgage, car loan and utilities.

Use apps

You can install various apps on your smartphone to simplify expense tracking. Most of them allow you to track your spending in multiple bank accounts, credit cards and investment accounts. These apps also let you allocate a particular amount to spend each month. They make financial management easier.

Depending on the features you want to use, a personal expense tracker app may cost a lot more than the others. Fortunately, Golden Eggs do offer a free version. So, you’ll get to try them out before and upgrade to a more premium account with more features, or even upgrade to a personalised money coach, if you would like some more assistance with managing your personal expenses.

Best expense tracker app to use

Money manager

Golden Eggs provide an excellent personal expense tracker app. The Golden Eggs Money Manager merges money and psychology to help you stay on your budget. This app asks you to write down your goals, then allocate a smaller weekly allowance to cover regular spending, with a monthly fun allowance to relieve the pressure and enjoy yourself more. The Golden Eggs Money Manager also recommends having a separate transaction account for your bills and different savings accounts for your future and holidays.

Creating a personal budget

A household budget summarises all your transactions, comparing and tracking your income and expenses for a particular period. Whilst most people often associate budgeting with restricted spending, an adequate budget doesn’t have to be restrictive for it to work.

A budget lets you see the amount of money you’d expect to have left after comparing it to your required expenses. However, instead of looking at it negatively, you can view it as a tool that can help you achieve your financial goals.

Making a budget in 6 easy steps

Gather all statements

Your financial statements should include your bank statements, latest utility bills and investment accounts. You should also collect your credit card bills and your mortgage statements. Gathering all these documents will help you gauge your income and expenses.

Calculate your income

Calculate how much income you’d expect to receive each month. If you’re receiving a regular paycheck where taxes automatically get deducted, then using the net income should be enough. Meanwhile, if you’re self-employed or have alternative sources of income, you may want to include the total income instead.

Create a list

List down all your expenses in a month, fortnight, or week. Include your car payments, insurance and travel. You can also add entertainment, personal care and eating out expenses. Your groceries, insurance, transportation costs and savings must also be on the list. To check your spending for the past three months, you can use your bank statements and credit card statements.

Determine your fixed and variable expenses

Fixed expenses refer to those mandatory fees that you pay for a particular time. They primarily include items such as car payments, internet service and mortgages or rent. Variable expenses refer to spending that varies each month – groceries, gifts and entertainment. If you’re using your credit card to pay for your bills and other expenses, you need to include the amount so that you can keep track of it each month. Doing so will help you monitor your transactions to make a rough estimate of your budget, but getting rid of the credit card will help you stick to it.

Get the sum of your expenses and income

Those with higher salaries compared to their expenses are off to an ideal start. That’s because they have extra money that they can use to fund their budget’s categories, such as debt repayment and savings. But if you notice that you’re spending more than what you earn, then it’s about time that you tweak your spending habits so that you won’t go over your limits.

Change your spending habits

If you’re overspending, it’s best to find areas in your expenses that you can either remove or adjust. For instance, you can withdraw some of your streaming services subscriptions or consider eating out less. This will create an equal balance between your expenses and your income.

The bottom line

The primary challenge with financial management is finding a way to measure expenses against the budget. Monitoring spending ensures that you’re on the right track to reaching your goal. Tracking your finances also gives you a clearer picture of your spending habits and how your money flows. It gives you an idea of your overall financial health.

Do you want a money management app that’s tailored to your current financial situation? We, at Golden Eggs, can help you create a setup that works for you. Contact us today.

Top Money Management App You Need to Know About

As an adult, managing money is perhaps a challenging thing to do. From monitoring bank balances to tracking expenses, it could be time-consuming. However, understanding your cash flow is one of the successful ways to manage your finances. Therefore, it’s important to know how much is coming in and where it’s going. Thanks to the innovation of finance management apps, managing your bank account has never been this easy. You can also keep track of your spending.

Money management apps provide a wide variety of features, such as track subscriptions, email reminders and shared wallets which are essential for your overall finance control. Here’s one of the top money management apps to help you manage your money better..

Money Manager App

Golden Eggs developed this money management app. The Golden Eggs Money Manager merges money and psychology to help you stay on your budget. This money manager asks you to set long term life goals and then allocate a smaller weekly allowance to cover regular spending, with a monthly fun allowance to relieve the pressure and enjoy yourself more. The Money Manager also recommends having a separate transaction account for your bills and different savings accounts for future vs holidays.

Having two types of transaction accounts is helpful in budgeting. With one account dedicated for fixed bills like phone bills and insurance and one for day to day spending, you can control the flow of funds. Doing so will ensure that what you’ll spend for fun this weekend won’t leave you short on your car rego due next month. When you put everything into one account, you might end up spending everything on bills and other needs. You won’t have any to spend for holidays or save for your dream house. It would be too difficult to manage.

With your savings accounts, it’s also important to split them into different buckets – one for holiday savings to create great memories, one for buying things or for special occasions, one for long-term savings and other things you would want to save for.

Takeaway

Whilst we want to get organized in our spending, it can be tiresome to track expenses manually. Fortunately, budgeting apps exist to automate the entire finance process. However, the only issue is, there are a wide variety of subscription-based and free apps available in the market.

For the most part, you don’t need to worry about testing each one of these money management apps. The good thing is we spared you this hassle and provided you with the best one.

If you want to get a tailored money management solution based on your spending habits and current financial situation, we can help you. Golden Eggs can set you up on our Money Manager App and help create a setup that works for you. Contact us today.

Discover the Best Spending Trackers for 2021

Tracking your expenses is one way to identify your spending and know where it’s going. Although it may seem like a tedious process, doing so guarantees that you’ll know where your money goes so that you can become more aware of your purchasing habits.

There are several ways to help you manage your expenditures. Besides using a written ledger, budgeting software allows you to keep track of your expenses no matter where you are. Here are a few more ways to help you monitor your monthly costs.

Ways to monitor your expenses

Record your daily costs

If you want to start managing your finances the right way, then it’s best to start with tracking your money daily. Aside from creating a ledger, tracking your expenses throughout the day can help you understand how you use your money and where it goes.

By arranging your expenses into categories and especially noticing which are based on habit and which seem ad-hoc. You need to keep tabs on your running total so that you’ll know how much you’ve already spent for each type. Now, deduct your total expenditures to your monthly earnings and record the answer. It’s a practical way of understanding your daily purchasing habits.

Meanwhile, if you have a partner, you can sit down and review how much both of you spent each day. A budget can encourage you both to be mindful of your spending habits and maybe create some friendly savings rivalry. Rather than create one monthly budget, you might find it easier to create a weekly budget for routine spending and a monthly budget for the ad-hoc spending.

Be mindful of your limits

Once you notice that you’re nearing your spending limit, maybe you should stop what you’re doing and think about it before buying the next item. Remember that it’s vital that you do everything that you can to stick to your budgets. Although there may be times when you’ll find that your budget is unrealistic, it’s always essential to take your time and wait until the end of the month to adjust your next month’s weekly, or monthly budget. Additionally, remember that building your savings and paying off your debt are more important than uber eats or more clothes.

Learn how to allocate your money

For those who aren’t comfortable paying their bills each month, you can create a special account just for the bills, with no card access. One general rule is to allocate as much money as you can for your savings so you can build up your emergency fund if ever you need one in the future. For utility bills that vary each month, you may want to roll the balance in the bills account towards the next month to even out the monthly costs.

Use technology

Another way to help you manage your bills and budget is by using expense tracker apps that you can install on your mobile devices. Expense tracking systems have come a long way since they first came out in 1983. Now, they’re available on both web and mobile devices, which you can use anywhere you go. To help you decide which app you should get, here are some of the best expense tracker apps in the market today.

Best expense tracker apps

Personal Capital

If you’re the type of person who wants to plan finances carefully, complete with visuals, such as charts and graphs, Personal Capital can be a good choice. It’s an expense tracker system that provides users with access to a free personal finance dashboard to understand their financial health.

Personal Capital has an automatic tracking feature that allows you to categorize all the expenses that you make on your financial accounts. From there, the system formulates a chart so you can quickly view your cash flow whilst allowing you to separate them into categories. In this manner, you can further understand your spending habits.

QuickBooks

For those who run a small business, managing both your business and personal expenses can be exhausting. Fortunately, QuickBooks allows you to work both in a single app. With only a single device, you can easily understand what’s going on with your business and keep track of your personal financial finances.

QuickBooks also comes in various versions and editions, depending on what you need. Although it still has room for improvement, it’s still the best option for business and contract management, expense tracking and payroll in a single app.

Clarity Money

Clarity Money is an excellent financial app that offers both online and mobile versions. This app has a user-friendly design, and it can support various accounts. Clarity Money also features in-app analysis that highlights your account activity, including savings, spending and even subscriptions.

One feature that makes this app stand out from the rest is its ability to track your spending each month and compare it to your target monthly income. You can easily see your spending at top merchants in a few taps. Clarity Money has also track features to monitor your credit score.

Wally

Wally is a mobile app that lets you check your expenditure by using AI to synchronize with your financial accounts. The Wally app centres around your monthly expenses whilst providing you with feedback and other information that you might find helpful.

In addition to money management information, this spending tracker also has its social feature. You can easily share the breakdown of your monthly utility bill with someone so that you can effectively manage your expenses.

Money Manager

Money Manager merges money and psychology to help you stay on the budget you set. This app recommends having separate physical bank accounts for bills, everyday spending and for saving for your future, for holiday expenses and more. Also, Money Manager can let you have a tailored solution based on your spending habits and current financial situation.

Why do you need to monitor your expenses?

For many people, financial management is a constant struggle. Tracking finances is the best way to control it. Here are a few reasons why you need to start monitoring your expenses now.

1. You’ll have a better idea of your spending habits.

Most people are often clueless about how they spend their money. After all, it’s so easy to lose yourself when you walk through a store full of clothes, gadgets and many more. You can quickly spend money without giving it a second thought. When you monitor your expenses, you’ll know which area you spend unnecessarily or where you should cut back on expenses. With this, you’ll also eventually realize how to fix any spending issue you may discover.

2. You’ll build a stronger connection with your partner.

Money is one of the most common reasons why couples fight. It’s only natural for two people to have different views about saving and spending. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t discuss it.

Getting rid of the factors that trigger your stress demands open communication. Monitoring your finances will help you make a healthy discussion with your spouse. When you come to an agreement about your financial goals as a couple, you can then review your spending decisions and see what could have been improved.

3. You’ll have better control of your impulse buying.

Spending impulsively is fine when it happens rarely. Nevertheless, when you do it frequently, it can ruin your budget. Before you decide to buy anything, it’s always best to think about it a couple of times before paying for it.

To help you avoid spending impulsively more than usual, tracking the things that you bought will be helpful. In the long run, you’ll be more mindful of your behaviour and would even help you formulate ways that won’t cause you to spend lavishly.

Tracking your expenses allows you to assess your buying habits effectively so you can manage your financial goals. In addition to learning how to allocate your budget, it can also help your money grow.

If you need help with money management, we, at Golden Eggs, can help you get a tailored solution with our Money Manager app, or your very own money coach. Get in touch with us today.

Best Budget Tracker and Planner in 2021

Being aware of your expenses can help you plan your budget accordingly and identify areas in your finances that can be improved. However, although monitoring your expenses is necessary to keep your finances on track, it is time-consuming. To make this process easier, a budget tracker app can help you.

Why You Need to Track Your Expenses

The main reason why you should track your expenses is to see where your money goes. It also helps in making sure that you are using your money wisely.

Furthermore, tracking expenditures allows you to understand your spending habits and issues. When you know why you’re short on cash and how you got there, you can make a strategy of how to get out of debt. You can also get an insight into how you should manage your money better.

What Does a Budgeting Tracker App Do?

Budgeting is tedious, but a budgeting tracker can make it hassle-free and more efficient.

A budget tracker can help you stick to your budget. Once you have set the budget for the week or month, you will see if you go beyond it and then limit your spending if it happens.

A budget app is also an easy way to review your financial record. It helps you achieve your financial goals. Whether you are building your retirement fund or planning for a vacation, a budget tracker can help you by monitoring your expenses.

Here are some other ways on how an app can help you track your finances effectively.

  • Real-Time Update

It can be overwhelming to manage everything from your credit cards to your receipts. This is where a budget tracker makes a difference. With a budget tracker, you get to access your financial information in real-time. You see the information you need from various accounts on a dashboard, and you get an idea of the overall flow of your money. 

  • Monitors Progress

Many trackers can keep records for a long period of time. That’s why they can help you monitor progress with regard to your financial goals. Some trackers also allow you to set a financial goal for a specific project, such as a vacation, or home deposit and an amount to deposit monthly. They will then give you an update every time money is deposited.

  • Prevents Mistakes

Financial mistakes can be costly, but a budget tracker can help reduce this risk. You can set alarms on your due dates to avoid penalties and increased interest rates. Any error can be traced easily with a budget tracker.

Tips When Using Budgeting Apps

  • Think long-term.

The result of using a budgeting app may take some time before you can see it. But budgeting is always about the future. So when you think nothing is happening with your budgeting, imagine the long-term result. As you follow through with a tracker, you’ll cut down on overspending. Eventually, you’ll develop good money habits, and good habits lead to better finances.

  • Compare pros and cons.

When looking for the best app that fits your lifestyle, make sure to do your research and compare the pros and cons of each tool. A mismatch can cause more harm than good.

  • Know your needs.

Each budgeting app has its pros and cons. One way to find the best tool for you is to know what you want. This will filter out apps that do not meet your expectations or needs. Also, choosing what is the best for you will depend on your lifestyle and needs.

In general, budgeting apps are effective when you have the right motivation and approach to them. Nevertheless, they could fail to work in the following situations:

  • There’s no accountability or poor commitment.

Although the app helps you monitor expenses and plan your budget, there is no real penalty when you fail to follow or comply with the plan. A budgeting app is only a guide. The success of using it will still depend on your commitment to be accountable for your finances.

  • There’s a budget mismatch.

When you are using an app that doesn’t fit your style, your effort in keeping everything in order can be difficult and eventually fail. The mismatch can even create more frustrations.

The Best Budgeting Tracker Apps in 2021

Best overall free app: Mint

One of the best budget apps available in the market, Mint allows you to monitor not only your expenses and budget but also your investment accounts. Intuit developed Mint. This means that the app can be integrated with another app under the same company, such as Turbotax and other finance applications. As a result, you can also use Mint to check your account for taxes, saving you the time to input the details manually. Also, Mint is a free app; it requires no monthly payment.

Best app for serious budgeters: You Need a Budget (YNAB)

This popular app uses four basic principles in helping you manage your money: do not live paycheck to paycheck, prepare for an emergency fund, assign every dollar a job and roll with punches.

You can track your finances with YNAB by linking it to your accounts. It then gives you a report of your spending and budget plan. This budget tracker provides graphs and charts that can help you understand better, but it is not free. You’ll need to purchase it through a monthly or yearly plan.

Best app for over-spenders: PocketGuard

To help you manage your finances, PocketGuard syncs with your credit and bank accounts. You can then view all of your accounts in one place, and your actual income and latest transactions are automatically updated.

Additionally, this budget tracker can help you avoid overspending. It tracks your expenses, financial goals and income to tell you how much you can spend daily. It also has a safety feature and can send a reminder about your daily spending.

Best app for investors: Personal Capital

A tracker designed for investors, Personal Capital is a good option to keep up with your investments. If you are looking at portfolio and asset management, Personal Capital is one of the best Robo-advisors for investments. You can also do financial planning for free. However, to use the app, you need to have at least $100,000 as a starting investment.

Personal Capital can be used in two ways. Firstly, you can avail of the free financial planning at which it will gather data from your accounts. The app gives you suggestions as to how to increase growth based on the data. Secondly, you can use Personal Capital for asset management, but it requires a considerable amount of money to start.

Best app for savings: Money Manager

The Money Manager app combines money and psychology to help you stick to the budget you set. This app will ask you to tighten your money belt on a smaller weekly allowance to cover regular spending, with a monthly fun allowance to relieve the pressure and enjoy yourself more. It also recommends having a separate transaction account for bills, and separate savings for future, for your holidays and more. What’s unique about this app is that it can give you a tailored solution to stick to your budget, based on your spending habits and current financial situation.

How Much Do Budgeting Apps Cost?

The cost of a budget tracker differs from one app to another. But free apps like Mint are also available online. If you opt for the paid ones, you can choose between monthly or yearly payments.

YNAB app costs $84 per year, but it offers a free trial for 34 days. It also has a 100% risk-free, money-back guarantee policy. For Pocket Guard, you can either get it for free or avail of its paid version, which costs $34.99 for a year. The investment app Personal Capital is an excellent wealth-building app that is free, but certain services charge fees. The Money Manager app has limited functionality for free, or costs $25/month for the full version.

Should You Get a Budgeting App?

If you are serious about managing your finances, getting a budget tracker is a sound decision. It’s a good option that can help you develop healthy spending habits. Although getting used to the right app may take some time, it can help you meet your financial objectives easier.

Do you want to end your money worries and get on the financial path to financial freedom? We, at Golden Eggs, can set you up on our money coaching programme. Contact us at 02 8095 9251 today.

Beginner’s Guide to Money Management

Everyone wants to have a financially secure life. But to achieve such a feat, one must learn how to budget and save money whilst avoiding or reducing debt at the same time. Unfortunately, not everyone is well aware of how it works.

Money management might look complicated and stressful at first glance. However, with the proper knowledge and mindset, you’ll soon figure out how to gain control over your finances. Here are a few tips to help you make it happen.

The concept of money management

Money management refers to the process of keeping your expenses below your income and hitting your savings goals. It’s an effective way to manage your money and help you stay out of debt.

The blueprint of money management

Create a spending plan

In money management, the first step that you need to take is to learn how to budget. You can start by selecting a system that you’re comfortable with when handling your money.

One of the most popular systems that people use is the 50/30/20 budget plan, which puts 50% of your income for your needs, 30% for your wants and 20% for building your savings and managing your debt.

Monitor your expenses

By creating a list of your expenses, you can know where your money is going. You can also use it to adjust your monthly spendings so as to align well with your financial goals.

Learn how to save

As you slowly manage your finances little by little, you’ll soon see a few opportunities to save. Over time, you’ll get so used to saving money that it’ll quickly become second nature. It’s also important to learn the difference between saving for your future and saving to spend later. Saving for a holiday, or car is saving to spend, whereas saving for a home deposit is for your future.

Manage your debt

Getting yourself out of debt can be tricky. That’s why you need a strategic approach to help you become debt-free much faster. It’s highly advisable to manage your smallest debt first whilst making minimum payments on the rest. Doing so will help build your confidence and reduce your mind-clutter, until you pay the biggest debt off. It’s a bit like training for the olympics – your biggest debt is like the olympic finals, which you can be much more confident with, if you’ve done lots of training runs beforehand on your smaller debts.

Build your credit score

Your credit score determines if you’re eligible for loans and the rates that you’ll need to pay on them. To ensure that you have an excellent credit standing, you need to make it a point to pay all your bills on time. This will help you build good credit habits and keep your credit score in good shape.

Invest in your future

Aside from thinking about your financial health now, it’s equally important to also save up for your future. So, it’s better to start building your savings for a home by setting aside a portion of your earnings and let it grow through compound interest until you can buy. Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is long-term financial stability. Building your funds for your retirement can also help you feel more secure.

Limit your credit card use

When appropriately used, a credit card can help you with your finances. Nevertheless, studies show that we spend between 20% and 60% more when using a credit card, so for discretionary spending, credit cards can be one’s worst enemy. If you feel the urge to use them it might be better to take the card out of your wallet, unlink it from your phone or watch and leaving it at home, or in the car. Giving in to that feeling could only lead to unnecessary spending, which will just make you feel bad later, especially if the things you want to buy aren’t important.

Get your finances back on track

Being good with money takes time and practice. There will be times when you won’t plan your budget correctly or put off purchases that you don’t need. But it doesn’t mean that you should already give up.

Money management is like a financial food habit. The more you do it regularly, the more it becomes a part of your lifestyle. When that happens, it’ll be much easier to manage your finances which puts you in a much more secure future.

If you need help in money management, we can help you get on track. Golden Eggs can offer tailored money management solutions that can help you stick to your budget. Contact us today.

Buying a Property With Family: Good or Bad Decision?

Buying a home in Sydney or Melbourne seems to be an increasingly distant prospect for many first home buyers, who either find their savings don’t seem to climb fast enough, or there’s never enough income to service the ever-increasing debt. 

“We get lots of enquiries about this at Golden Eggs, either with two siblings who want to use both incomes to get started, or with parents trying to help their kids. It sounds ideal, two incomes, or a bigger deposit sounds like it solves all the problems, but in reality it just leads to a whole new set of issues,” Max Phelps said. 

Max Phelps is a money coach, founder of Golden Eggs, best-selling author and creator of the FIVE 2 Money Diet. He has a list of important reasons why teaming up with family to buy property could be the worst decision you ever make.

“First and foremost, at the end of the day, who’s house is it? Buying a property is a very personal choice, so in my experience, normally the older one or whiniest one get’s their way and the other has to go along with it. Over the long term, this can cause a festering problem, or lead to steadily worse passive-aggressive conversations,” Phelps explained.  

“Another factor that can lead to you stumbling out of the property gates is the trials of the application process. Applications are not as easy as they first seemed. If one of the applicants is buying to live in, the other has to be able to cover their own mortgage, or rent. Even just lodging an application means the application isn’t complete until both have provided all their information, and you know that one of you is probably no good with paperwork.

“As your circumstances change you aren’t going to want to live in your sister’s, mother’s, brother-in-law’s, or second cousin’s house, so why on earth would you start on a 30-odd year investment journey together today? Take for instance this example: Coco and Talulah bought a property together with their sister Maddie. When Maddie got married and wanted to move in with her new husband, she had to continue paying her share of the mortgage, yet struggled to rent out her old room.  Coco and Talulah didn’t want just any random person moving in with them, but didn’t want to rent their sister’s room off Maddie either, because that didn’t seem fair. As the family’s circumstances changed, a joint mortgage can draw a wedge between each of the investors.”

According to Phelps, there are a number of other reasons that buying property with family is not a wise decision, or long term investment, including: 

  • Costs of buying out. Following the previous example, to solve Maddie’s problem, Coco and Talulah had to pay stamp duty all over again to buy out Maddie’s share of the property. They also had to afford the whole mortgage with one less income. Often the property just gets sold, which is not ideal and defeats the initial reason that they co-bought the property together in the first place.
  • Half the rent, all the debt. Coco and Talulah later moved out of the property and rented it out. Coco wanted to apply for another mortgage, however the problem was that lenders would only allow Coco to count half the rent on the property, but counted all the debt, since both were jointly and severally liable for it. A good broker can solve this problem, but a bank might just say no. 
  • Partners double any problems. Two siblings might get along really well and not mind helping each other out if one is short for their share of the mortgage, but once they both have their own partners, there’s no guarantee they will all get along the same. If the property is bought jointly and one of the siblings died, the other would become the sole owner, leaving the surviving partner with no inheritance, regardless of their partners will.
  • First home buyer benefits disappear. If both siblings are first home buyers, then they each get one shot at getting the benefits of a grant, or stamp duty savings. If one family member has already bought before, then the other family member may lose all, or most of their first home benefits.

According to Phelps, pooling your savings with family members is not the only strategy you can employ in order to afford a property. He has suggested alternative strategies, such as:

  • Consider setting up a family trust to own the property. Both can contribute and have their incomes taken into account, but it provides more flexibility long term as circumstances change.
  • Consider unequal partnerships. An 80 to 20 ratio makes it undoubtedly clear that one person is helping the other to achieve their goals. It minimises the future strain on the minor party’s share, it’s much cheaper to buy 20 percent of the other sibling than 50 percent if circumstances change. 
  • Buy something cheaper on your own and rent it out long term. Even if you have to live in a dump for a short term period to qualify for the first home buyer benefits, it will be worth it in the long term.
  • Improve your savings skills. If savings are the problem, contact a money coach to help. It may put the dream of home ownership back by a year or two, but think how much better it will feel to be the one to beat your siblings to buying a solo property.
  • Ask your parents to be security guarantees only. You can get an 80 percent loan on the property in your own name and then get a 20 to 25 percent loan secured by your property and your parent’s property too. 
  • Look for more income. Not just a second job or promotion, but a life partner who earns as much, or more than your siblings – just make sure that assets are still protected in case that relationship goes south. We often forget that the basis for marriage historically was economic, not romantic.
  • Consider rent-vesting. Rent where you love to live and buy investment property where you can afford.  Most people that say they can’t get into the housing market don’t realise how many areas of Australia have median prices for only $300,000. 

Are you spending too much

Are you spending too much and saving too little?

We’ve found that most people with less than 5 bank accounts across 2 banks, will find it really hard to control their spending and save consistently.The 5-2 system will free up more of your income for fun, holidays and saving for your future.
I’m Max Phelps, a Money Coach from Golden Eggs.
Context:
If you’re on a career path in the city, It’s easy to believe that the cost of living is expensive and saving will be easier after the next pay rise, but isn’t that what you thought before the last pay rise?The real problem is that banks encourage us to have access to all our income and more and it’s in our nature to use all the available resources.Imagine someone trying to maintain their weight, while eating at an unlimited buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day? We tend to eat more when there’s more available and we tend to spend more when there’s more money available.
Value
The great news is that access to money is easy to fix in 3 steps.
1. Separate bank accounts into at least 5 different pots, to know how much you have for each type of spending
2. Then splitting accounts across at least 2 banks, so variable spending is with one bank and fixed spending and savings are done with a different bank with no card access.
3. Get your income paid into the bank that you CANT access, then you can put a fixed amount into your variable spending bank.
Yeah But…
You’re probably thinking, yeah but, I put everything on credit card to get points.
Going back to our food analogy, that’s like saying, ‘but the buffet gives free gym access’.We all know we’ll eat way more at the buffet than we can burn off in the gym. And after studying people’s behavior with finances for 10 years, I know anyone can save enough with the 5/2 approach to be able to pay for the formerly ‘free travel’ and save more to invest in property.
Martin and Amy thought the same thing when I met them 2 years ago, but based on the rate they were saving year to year, not monthly, which they would dip into, it would take them 8 years to save the deposit for a house.They implemented the 5-2 system, which we adapted to 7 bank accounts across 3 banks for them and 2 years later, not only have they bought their first home, but they also took maternity leave and have an almost 1 year old baby.You can’t get either of those with points!
The Point
Once you rearrange your banking to fix your variable expenses and unlink them to your income, then you’ll find the more you earn, the more you save.The more you save, the faster you’ll buy a property and the better the holidays you’ll go on.
Next Step
To find out more, google ‘Golden Eggs Info’ and email or phone to ask us when our next free workshops will be.These genuinely free workshops will show you how to manage your expenses, hit your savings goals and how to get into property without over-extending yourself.
Thanks for watching. I’m Max Phelps and may you live long and prosper.

Why Spend Tracking Apps Don’t Work

I’ve been seeing adds all over the place for free spend tracking apps from banks, supposedly to help you control your spending and they’ve been driving me nuts, because they are a complete waste of time!
My name is Max Phelps and I’m a mortgage broker with Golden Eggs Home loans, here to give you a better solution using less time and helping you build for the long term

I’m going to use an anology here. Imagine that this colander represents any bank account that you have with card access, or a credit card account. The water represents your income pouring into that account each pay cycle.
Tracking your spending is a bit like trying to figure out which hole in the colander the water is pouring out from. Now let’s say you decide that you’re spending too much on lunches, so you plug that hole by bringing your lunch to work. Then what, the water keeps pouring through at almost the same rate as before, but maybe a little more from one of the other holes. Plugging them all is impossible, unless you happen to be one of the 10% of the population who spends no money at all, regardless of income! This video is not for you, please turn off now!

What if you put some of your income into savings before you started pouring it into the leaking account? – you’ve probably heard the saying “pay yourself first”.
That’ll definitely help, but what happens when your annual holiday, or xmas, or car rego comes due, or there’s simply not enough money left at the end of the month or fortnight? That’s when you’ll dip into your savings and top up your account.

The problem with credit cards and bank accounts with debit cards attached is that there’s no feedback on whether should buy something right now, or not. Or whether it’ll be ok next week, or month, but not now. In fact in my experience:

people Spend the money they can access.

Using a credit card simply gives you access to money you haven’t even earned yet.

What if I told you that you could have complete control of your finances without ever worrying about what you or your partner spends their money on? What if I said that it’s possible to get instant feedback on whether to say yes, or no to a purchase, without spending any time studying your spending habits?

You see I spent over 10 years doing what most people do – using credit and debit cards to pay for stuff, sweeping my credit card bill in full every month and never hitting my savings goals for fun stuff, or important stuff like buying assets to set me up for the long term. I thought the answer was more income, working harder, getting a promotion, we even hosted foreign students, but no matter what we tried, the more we earned the more we spent and the more we argued about money.
Luckily we made a change, quite by accident at first, but it worked for us. Then when I got into finance, spending the last 9 years of being a mortgage broker, seeing hundreds of peoples detailed savings spending pattern, I realized that the people who manage their finances the way I do now have better weddings, holidays and more savings and property than people who manage their finances how I used to.

The answer is strikingly simple – it’s Actually very difficult manage your finances with less than 5 bank accounts spread across 2 different banks, yet super simple once you make this change. Don’t scream at the screen, more accounts makes your life simpler, not more complicated.

The first thing to recognize is that you need 2 types of transaction accounts – 1 for fixed bills, like electric, car rego, rates, phone bill, insurance, or even the gym. And 1 for the Every day stuff that you do week in week out. The reason is simple – your weekly spending pattern should be fairly predictable, based on your habits, but your bills are predictable yearly and not at all weekly, fortnightly or monthly. So stop doing them together, otherwise how will you know if going for dinner tonight will actually leave you short on your annual car rego due in 2 months time?

The 2nd set of accounts you need are savings, but these need to be split into different buckets – long term savings, for your future so that one day you won’t have to work for a living, holiday savings to go to amazing places or make great family memories and then the other fun stuff we like to do – buying gifts, gadgets, clothes, special occasion things.
The reason for separation is simple – imagine you had $5k in a holiday account and $25k in your house deposit account, how much will you spend on your holiday? You’re far more likely to take a $5k holiday, than if you just had 1 big savings account with $30k in it. People who put all their savings in 1 place end up doing one of 2 things – blowing it all on the holiday, or never spending anything and going years without taking a break.

Having separate accounts is the first step. Controlling the flow of funds is what makes it all work and sets everything on autopilot – regular allowances paid into the right accounts at the right time, but let’s start out with where your income goes in.

Pouring your pay into the account with your debit card and trying to quickly scoop out enough to cover bills and different savings is too hard and too easy to mess up.

Turning it around the other way, to put your pay through the bills account is like putting down the water jug. This allows you to escape the pay cycle nightmare.
Getting paid monthly sucks – it works for a lot of the bills, but there’s always too many weeks in the month.
Getting paid weekly sucks – great for weekly spending, but quarterly, or worse, annual bills are terrifying.
Fortnightly pay is the worst of both worlds – pay week is great, the other week isn’t and the awkward lumpy, quarterly and annual bills are still horrible.

But putting your pay into the bills account and setting up an automatic WEEKLY allowance, now means you always have money for the things you do every week –groceries, lunches, coffees, petrol, regular entertainment. It’s like taking some of your pay each week and putting it through the old system and it doesn’t matter what you spend the money on, just that when it’s gone, you might need to wait a couple of days for some more.
This is what budgeting actually is – having a budget for something and sticking to it. The difference being, you now know how much you’ve got and you’ll quickly learn if you keep blowing it all in the first 2 days that you need to re-prioritise the money to make it last. But it’s probably better to have the money land just before the grocery shopping is due and then spending the leftover on Saturday night, than having a big weekend and trying to grocery shop using the leftovers!

But fun money is best managed on a monthly cycle – you get a decent chunk of money at the same time every month, but because it’s monthly, it triggers your brain to quickly figure out where to prioritize it – For us it’s all about birthdays and events, like weddings, or planned weekends or something. If it’s a light month for those, then spend it on clothes, gadgets, or some other treat.

Holidays can now be planned for, so you simply work out what you want to spend and when and put enough in your holiday account each fortnight or month to hit the target.

Long term savings is actually the part I care most about – it’s the deposit for your house, or paying it off, or the deposit for an investment and should be fixed at 15-20% of your income. 10% as an absolute minimum if you’re struggling to make ends meet, because you can always get by on 90% of what you earn.

Now lets get back to the banks and the reason why none of them will ever give you this advice. You see we’ve all got these mobile phones with internet banking apps, so putting all these accounts in one bank just makes it way too easy to cheat and nick money from one account if you’re a bit short. So what we want is to put your day to day account and fun accounts – the 2 spending accounts into Bank A and then everything else with any bank except Bank A.

Setting up a system like this takes you about an hour, once and then it’s done. Sure you can review things every so often and dial up or dial down the amount going to each account, but once it’s all automated, you’ll find it way easier to stick to it than not.

If you’ve already got all your direct debits set up on your regular bank account and it’s one of those accounts that you have to put a minimum of $2k/month into it to avoid fees, then why not convert this into the Bills account, but cut up, or hide the debit card. Most importantly, stop carrying it with you everywhere you go – it’ll keep your wallet lighter and avoid the risk of accidentally spending the money for the annual car insurance bill due next month.
You can set up new accounts, with banks like ING, NAB, Citibank, ME bank for your weekly spending and monthly fun. Most of these you can open up online after hours. For couples, I’d recommend having a weekly allowance each, just so you each have a bit of freedom, but just be clear about who pays for what when you go out together and who has the grocery budget.

Once the accounts are set up, you just need to decide how much needs to go into each account, but it’s not an exact science. Work out the bills properly and add 5-10% on top to allow for increases and stuff you might have missed. Work out the Long term savings properly based on your income and savings goals. Then just guess the weekly and monthly amounts and be prepared to adapt after having a go for the first 2-3 months.

Then set up the automatic transfers from your bills account to the others and get on with it.

If you’ve got questions, please post them on our Facebook page, or web page and we will get back to you. And if you like this video, please like, share and tag your friends and subscribe to our youtube channel. And once you’ve become brilliant at saving and got a deposit together, get in touch and we will help and guide you to becoming great brilliant at property buying and investing too.
I’m Max Phelps from Golden Eggs Home Loans, where we’ll help you grow your golden eggs!

How do Offset Accounts Work

What is an offset account and do I need one?

Offset accounts can have the following benefits:

  • Save: reduce interest charged to your loan
  • Tax benefits: pay less tax*
  • Flexibility: for your future

An offset is a transaction and / or savings account that is linked to your loan account. It works just like a regular bank account but there can be significant benefits to have this coupled to your loan. This is because the balance of this account is ‘offset’ against your linked loan, where this amount is deducted from your loan balance before interest is calculated, so any money in your offset saves you interest on the loan, and helps you pay it off sooner.

An example is given below. Say you have a loan of $250,000 with a linked offset account that has an average balance of $15,000; in this case you would only be paying interest on the notional balance of $235,000. This means that you are not paying interest on $15,000, saving you money which is instead reducing the principal so you will pay off your loan even more quickly.

In the above example, if interest rates were 7% you would be paying about $1460 a month interest without an offset, or $1370 with an offset, saving you over $1000 a year. And by continuing to make repayments at the higher amount, you would pay off the loan 4.5 years sooner and save over $61,000.

To see how much you can save on your loan with an offset account, please contact us to do some calculations for you.

Another benefit of an offset account is that interest is ‘earned’ at the same rate as your linked loan, which is usually higher than what you would earn in a savings account. And as this interest earned on your offset is used to pay the loan, it is not taxed*, unlike interest that you earn on a regular savings account. An example below demonstrates the potential savings.

The offset account is usually fully transactional where you can have your salary deposited into it if you wish, and you can access your funds anytime via internet and phone banking, ATM, EFTPOS, etc. You may choose to replace your existing transaction and savings accounts with the offset account, possibly saving you on fees and charges for your other accounts.

Do I need an offset account?

 If you like the sound of the benefits listed above, an offset might be for you, but ensure that it is 100% offset (some only offer partial offset).

Note that you can get many of the same benefits just by having a loan that allows you to make extra repayments and to also redraw any surplus funds out from it. However in this instance the extra money is not in a separate account which doesn’t suit everyone as some people like separating spare funds as they use the offset to save for a car, holiday, etc. Plus surplus funds in your loan account are not always instantly available (it can take a few days to process a redraw) and there can be minimum redraw amounts (often $1000 to $2000) and redraw fees may apply.

An offset account may have an ongoing fee and / or may be at a slightly higher interest rate than a loan without an offset, but as seen from the examples above, by having money in your offset account you may well save more in reduced interest repayments. At Golden Eggs Home Loans, we can let you know what options there are for loans with and without offset and show you any difference in fees and interest rates, and help you decide if it suits your circumstances. Note however that there is one scenario where an offset is highly recommended, please see following.

Potential as an investment property

If there is any chance at all that your owner occupied home may become an investment property in the future (for example, as you pay down the loan and / or as the value of the property increases and you upgrade to a new property), then it is worth considering a loan structure that is interest-only with a mortgage offset account. By paying at least the difference between the interest only (IO) and the principle and interest (P&I) repayments into the offset account, the surplus funds mean that the borrower would not pay any extra interest compared to a standard principle and interest loan. Down the track if the property becomes an investment, any funds accumulated in the offset account could be used towards the next purchase, and the borrowers would still have a loan for the same amount as initially borrowed, and where the interest charged from that time on would be fully tax deductible. If no offset account was used, repayments made against the principal would result in a lower loan balance and the amount that is deductable could be markedly less. On the other hand, with an interest only loan and an offset account, the borrower has not paid any more interest on their loan than they would have if taking a more traditional loan, plus they have maximised their future tax deductibility if the property were to become an investment (and if it doesn’t, they are no worse off). This shows the importance of using an expert such as a mortgage broker to ensure that you get the correct loan for your current and future circumstances

Please contact us if you would like additional information, to ask any questions, or to set up a time to review your situation.

* Golden Eggs Home Loans does not offer any legal or taxation advice to customers – we recommend you obtain your own professional advice regarding taxation implications.