Living in big cities ‘that never sleep’ has long held a pull for young people; the lights, the culture, and bustling business all combine to create an electrifying atmosphere. But, as is the way of the world, extreme highs are often accompanied by an inevitable low. In this case the darker side of the coin is the financial strain that city living entails. However, in this digital age there are a plethora of apps that exist to help ease that bubbling feeling of panic that accompanies the end of the month.
This relatively new addition to personal banking has completely modernised the way we can keep track of our budgets. As contactless cards become the new norm, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of your finances with charges often taking several days to register. The beauty of Monzo is that, unlike other banks, it categorises all your expenses for you. By linking to an app on your smartphone, Monzo automatically puts your payments into categories for you: eating out, bills, transport etc. taking away all the stress of being your own accountant.
When asked, most people who have lived on a budget will have their own story relating to the exact moment that their local supermarket started marking down their reduced items. Yet despite reductions, a lot of businesses are left with wasted food at the end of the day. Olio is the app that connects businesses and neighbours with unwanted or leftover food to people in their area who want to eat it. It’s a great money saver and a way to cut down on food wastage. Maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch?
3. Meter Readings
Keeping on top of bills is a stress especially if you are working long hours. It’s the kind of job that can ‘always be dealt with tomorrow’. However, being laissez faire with your meter readings can actually cause you a lot of unnecessary financial strain in the long run. Meter Readings takes this burden off your shoulders, after you have entered your readings it will track your monthly spending, convert it into an easy to read graph and compare your current bills against the rates of other suppliers in your areas, so you can always make sure you’re on the best deal.
4. Fat Lama
Fat Lama, is an online peer-to-peer lending platform that allows you rent out anything, from household items from drills and toolkits, to serious professional kit like drones and filming equipment. The principle of this is great, as it allows you to turn your possessions into commodities and make a passive income out of renting them out to people in your local area. Though the platform was only launched in 2016, some London based lenders are already making up to £3,700 a month in rentals. Not only can this make you money as a lender, but Fat Lama gives borrowers the chance to save money by renting items that they would otherwise have to buy – so it’s a double-edged sword saving wise!
Groupon, for those of you who do not know, is the online ‘deals’ site that has great discounts from all sectors. Be it spas, restaurants or flying lessons there’s literally something for everyone available for a significant discount. This is a great app/ website to be aware of because even people on a budget deserve to treat themselves once in a while (probably more than most)! Groupon can make eating out, birthday treats and Christmas as exciting as it should be without the fear of looking at the bill afterwards.
This is an app that can benefit local city dwellers, commuters and visitors. Finding a spot for your car in the centre of any city can be incredibly stressful, often you will give in to paying ludicrously expensive charges just out of relief to be in a space. If this is how you commute, it can soon cause inroads (pardon the pun) into your paycheque. Parkopedia is a handy app that registers your location and finds the nearest parking spot, its price and availability, so you know what you are getting yourself into before you enter that multistory!