Apps That Keep Me On Track

Yesterday I talked about mapping apps that kept me on the right track to my destination. These apps today help me keep tabs on my spending so I stay within my budget.

One of my favourites is Fuel Map, a free app that relies on user input to keep up to date. It shows me where the fuel stops are nearby and how much each is charging.

Fuel Map Australia

At a glance at the map on the left you can quickly see the choices for fuel in the area, the middle illustration shows those locations sorted by price and on the right you have the opportunity to update prices and buy fuel.

The best thing about this app, as long as you fill in the info every time you buy fuel, is it gives you a profile of your vehicle. Here’s mine for Brutus:

To keep tabs on my total spend I use ASIC’s TrackMySPEND free app.

You have to be fairly disciplined to make this app worthwhile. Everything you spend needs to be entered and the middle frame above shows you how to do this. The frame on the right shows your total daily spend.

At the end of an income period – mine is set for my fortnightly pension – you can produce a summary of each category of expenses.

Ooops! I’ve overspent this fortnight! That was Brutus needing some serious mechanical work.

You can break each of these categories down even further to see just where your money has gone. There’s those repairs!

And it’s surprising how much over the year I spend on buying coffees, lunches etc – that’s one area I could definitely cut back on to save money. Last year around $3,500.

This next app is a recent addition but once again it’s all about budgeting. I’ve downloaded a Shopping List app and I build my shopping list in my phone now rather than a piece of paper. I always left the list behind and bought loads of things I didn’t need but as my phone is always with me so is my shopping list.

This is what I’m using but there’s several available if you search your App Store. It certainly saves having 5 cans of crushed tomatoes in the pantry and no coconut milk when you need it!

As someone who never budgeted throughout their whole life I only wish I’d started this discipline sooner. I don’t miss out on things I want to do, or buy, but I do think twice about them now. And some I decide aren’t worth it!

I’m often asked how I survive on only the pension as my income. These are some of the things I do to live the fabulous, but simple, lifestyle I have.