PHOTOS & WORDS: ZOE LONDON
BUDGETING CAN SOMETIMES BE LIKE TRYING TO NAVIGATE THROUGH A MINE-FIELD OF NUMBERS, SPREADSHEETS AND OVERALL, HEADACHES. NOT ANYMORE – MEET MY NEW FAVOURITE BUDGETING APP!
I’m lucky to have a boyfriend with his finger firmly on the tech pulse and he’s always introducing me to new gadgets, new pieces of useful tech and apps that will actually help me out with things. For the last few months, I kept noticing George using an app called ‘Pennies’, which was helping him budget for the month ahead, factoring in our rent, bills and any other outgoings to ensure he never went over his limit. Smart. I thought it was a lot of effort at first and just shrugged it off thinking George was up to his usual techy tricks again, and then when we went on holiday, I saw first hand how easy Pennies is to use.
So, Pennies is a £1.49 app from the Apple app store – sadly it is currently only for iPhone – and you can plug any amount into it, spread over a certain amount of days, and it will budget accordingly for you. In our case, we were off to America with a bunch of dollars on a currency card, and we wanted to make sure we didn’t go over. Contrary we also wanted to make sure we didn’t go under, because we’d set this money aside for our holiday for a while and we wanted to make sure we spent it happily and wisely.
Pennies works by first letting you set in a full amount, so let’s say in this case it’s £850, and then you choose how many days you want to be spread over. It automatically splits it per day, giving you a figure to stick to for daily spending. So if you’re on holiday for a week, you know you have x amount to spend that day, and if you go over, you should aim to re-coop it another day, so you don’t spend more than you wanted to.
Right now, it works by having to manually enter what you’ve just spent into the app, but if you start doing it regularly it soon becomes force of habit, and I found myself prodding George to remind him to put the figure into the app if he hadn’t already done it himself. With the rise of things like ApplePay, however, perhaps it’ll soon become an app that can be built into your bank account directly.
Using Pennies has not only given us a lot of reassurance and much less worrying about money, but it’s also really good to see a breakdown of how much you’re spending on things. When you’re on holiday, you can tend to overspend for example, as the currency is new and you’re not sure what amount is right to spend on things so you just do it anyway. We soon realised what was an average LA amount to spend on dinner for two and then even small things like a bottle of water.
So to help get your finances in gear and budget – maybe you could set it so you were saving a little less each week and could put that aside for future travels or to save up for something – i can highly recommend Pennies. It’s super simple interface and brightly coloured coding – green means you’re under budget, blue means on budget and red means over budget – means its not a pain to use, and for once, it’s making budgeting way easier for your average joe, like me.
What do you think of Pennies? Would you download this app? Here’s a link to it on the app store.