Budget app – why do I need one and which one do I choose? 

4 mins read

Budget app: the basics

One of the best ways to help ensure that you’re maintaining good financial health is to set a budget. It sounds too simple to be true — but truthfully, a good budget is one of the best tools in your arsenal for building your financial literacy, helping you establish goals and work towards them. 

Having a clear picture of your income versus your expenses can help you ensure that you’re not overspending. More than that, it can also help you set yourself up for future financial success — once you’ve got a clear picture of where your money is going, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about where you should be spending, where you can cut back, and how you can save.

We understand you may have been burned by budgets before. Many people’s first experience with a budget is a retroactive one — they sit down with a wealth of paperwork and a calculator and attempt to make it all fit into a spreadsheet. It’s a nightmare that makes many abandon it at the first gate. 

There’s good news though — with a budgeting app, you can avoid the calculator cringe and save yourself a huge amount of work. So let’s take a closer look at what sort of a toolset a good budgeting app should include, to make your life as easy as possible.

Getting the most out of your budget app 

The spreadsheet is dead. You’ve got a powerful smartphone in your pocket, so this is your chance to put it to good use. Whether you’re after a budget app for iOS or a budget app for Android in Australia, there are a plethora of options available. But they’re not all created equally. 

Your budgeting app needs to be able to tell you where your cash is going, and when. But it should also be able to do that in a straightforward, simple fashion. There’s no point in having an app so complex or unintuitive that you can’t be bothered to use it! So here are some key features that you should look for before you smash that download button. 

  • Easy-to-use interface 
  • Ability to connect your bank accounts so you can track expenses and get rich insights on your spending
  • Break your income into specific categories 
  • Surface information about bills and when payments are made
  • Able to export data to a spreadsheet (useful for when you go see your accountant) 
  • Simple and intuitive dashboards and insights for at-a-glance reference
  • Ability to understand and track your net worth
  • Provides insights on any recurring subscriptions you may have

The best free budget app in Australia 

If you’re still unsure which budgeting app is right for you, then we have a suggestion. Here at Humaniti, we think we’ve got the best free budgeting app in Australia. With a huge range of features that make it easy for you to create a budget that matches your needs, secure connections and an intuitive interface, it’s the ideal budgeting app for your needs. So why not sign up today and start setting yourself up for financial freedom? 

Of course, there are many other budgeting apps to choose from and you need to pick the one that’s right for you. With the recent Pocketbook closure, we see Humaniti as a great alternative to Pocketbook.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Humaiti.

How do I download the Humaniti budget app?

Whether you’re looking for a budget app for iOS or Android, Humaniti has you covered. Available on both the App Store and the Google Play Store, simply download the app from your phone’s App Center and follow the sign-up process. Once you’ve created an account, you will be prompted to connect your financial accounts so that you can power up your financial dashboard and get personalised insights on your spending. When you securely link your accounts, you’ll be able to enjoy a 360° view of your finances.

Is the Humaniti app free?

Humaniti is the best free budget app in Australia that also allows you to make some extra money. Our mission is to help you build a brighter financial future. We help you to improve your financial wellbeing and achieve your savings goals. What’s more, we also allow you to earn money by participating in surveys. We partner with businesses and charities who want to pay you for your opinions. Simply answer our optional surveys, and earn real cash rewards. We’ll deposit rewards into your preferred bank account when you submit a withdrawal. If you’d like, you can also choose to donate survey earnings to charity.

Is the Humaniti app secure?

To be the best free budget app in Australia, we need to ensure that  the privacy and security of your personal and financial data is our number one priority at all times. That remains our focus, and to ensure your information is 100% secure, we employ state-of-the-art encryption technology and work with leading financial services and security partners to ensure the security of your accounts and data. When you connect your accounts, we do not store your bank login details. Information is synced to the app in a read-only manner, so that you can see all your accounts in one place, and build a clearer picture of your net worth and financial position. We undergo security audits on a regular basis. Our staff are also Humaniti app users, so we require the same assurances that you do that our accounts are also safe and secure. 

Does the app offer financial advice?

Humaniti empowers you to take control of your spending with a variety of simple, easy-to-use tools that help you understand where your money is going. However, we do not offer financial advice. Information and insights presented should not be considered as financial advice. Rather, dashboards and information presented can be used to help you manage your personal finances, expenses, and for budget planning. It’s up to you to interpret the information and consider what is important to achieve your financial goals. If you need financial advice, you should seek the services of a licensed financial advisor.

Can I link my bank account to the app?

Yes, you can. Securely link your accounts from more than 200 financial Institutions — including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac — and enjoy detailed summaries of your net worth, cashflow, spending and insights on how your superannuation compares to others. 

When you connect your financial accounts, read-only account connection is established in a highly secure manner via our financial service partners, illion and Basiq. Both partners are leaders in the financial services industry. 

By using the Humaniti budget app on your iOS or Android device, you will also be able to monitor your finances on the go from the convenience of the app. 

Superannuation – what is it and why do I need it?

4 mins read

Superannuation: Understanding the basics

The amount of time spent thinking about and planning for retirement is often linked to how long you have been in the workforce. For those approaching the end of paid employment, it’s probably top of mind, but in the early years of your career, retirement may be too far away to be of much interest. Whatever stage you’re at, the message from financial experts is clear: the earlier you start contributions, the healthier your finances are likely to look down the track.

We’ve put together a collection of frequently asked questions about superannuation to help you get your head around the basics.

 

What is superannuation?

Good question! Superannuation (commonly referred to as ‘super’) is the money contributed by your employer during your working years to help fund your retirement. In the buckets of short- and long-term investing, super fits into the extremely long-term bucket. 

In Australia, how much an employer contributes is set by the superannuation guarantee, legislated and controlled by the federal government. From July  2022, the superannuation guarantee stipulated a minimum of 10.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings must be paid into their super fund. Individuals also have the option to make additional contributions on top of the amount paid by their employer.

Why do I need super?

When you reach retirement age and decide to reduce or end your paid employment, you will need an income to live on to ensure you are able to cover the cost of life’s essentials, as well as enjoy the ‘nice to have’ experiences. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics  (ABS Life Tables 2018-2020), today’s 50 year olds will live around 20-25 years beyond the retirement age of 65 – which means once paid work comes to an end, a new income stream is required. 

Remember, superannuation contributions are your money and the superannuation system is designed to set you up for a more financially comfortable lifestyle in retirement. If you make regular payments into your super fund over your working life, on top of the contributions made by your employer, more money is invested with more potential to grow. 

When the time comes to call it quits as a worker, the money you’ve saved over the years in super will be used as your retirement income. You may also have other income-producing assets such as shares or property. These combined incomes can be used to pay your mortgage (if you still have one), keep your car on the road, cover the cost of private health insurance or fund that long-awaited overseas trip.

When should I start contributing extra funds into super?

As soon as you can!  Any contributions you make on top of your employer’s mandatory contributions are added to your super fund and invested in a range of investments including cash, fixed interest, equities and property. Any returns on these investments of your funds will help grow your super balance. One important note is that as a long term investment, there will be times when your super investment portfolio grows and times when it does the opposite. This is usually not cause for concern as the performance will reflect what’s happening in the broader investment market – similar to the way shares go up and down in value over time.

If you are concerned about the performance of your portfolio, arrange a meeting with your fund manager and discuss your investment options. 

If I want a comfortable retirement, how much will I need?

The amount required for retirement is different for each individual and household as it depends on the current financial circumstances of those involved. Many factors determine how much you will need to save to ensure the retirement lifestyle you desire. 

How much you really need to retire in Australia depends on the shape of your finances at retirement age. As a guide, there are a couple resources that can help you plan for the retirement lifestyle you desire.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates singles will need a minimum of around $46,000 each year to fund a comfortable retirement and couples will need around $65,000 per year. As a lump sum this equates to $545,000 for singles and $640,000 for couples. Super Choice has slightly lower figures at $301,000 for singles and $402,00 for couples with both ASFA and Super Choice estimates assuming the retiree owns their home.

How much should I have at my current stage in life?

If you’re wondering whether or not you’re on track to meeting your retirement savings goal, a retirement calculator will give you a sense based on your age, income, current super balance, employer contributions and other factors. Bear in mind, however, that your situation will change over the years so remember to check how your super is tracking on a regular basis. 

Humaniti can help you get a handle on your overall financial position by providing an up to date view of your net worth. When you securely link your banking, share trading and superannuation accounts and add any other assets and liabilities, you will have a realistic view of your financial state affairs. You will also see how your super balance compares to other Australians like you and be able to monitor how you’re tracking over time. You may decide it’s appropriate to make additional super contributions to help set yourself up for a more comfortable retirement.

 

* Disclaimer – the information in this article is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.