Apps: Being penny and pound wise

This article first appeared in Personal Wealth, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on July 16, 2018 - July 22, 2018.
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There are many apps aimed at helping people keep track of their expenses, but quite a number of them lack sufficient functions, causing users to give up after a few tries. Apart from having to cultivate the discipline of keying in every incidental, other gripes include not being able to track expenses made using cashless payment options.

This is the problem that Spendee hopes to solve. Not only does it help with budget planning and tracking one’s daily expenses manually, it also allows you to link your bank accounts, e-wallets and crypto-wallets to the app.

For beginners, it is as easy as imputing the amount spent. For a more detailed look at your financial habits, you can label your expenses using a variety of ancillary information such the category, currency, descriptions, hashtags, places, photos and recurring expenses.

These features take away the pain of complicated and tedious bookkeeping. For example, instead of fussing over loads of receipts, you can take a snapshot of them and tag them with your expenses.

There are also some snazzy infographics, including a line chart that shows the progress of your monthly expenses (if you stick to the default setting) and a pie chart for total expenses. For those who require a bit of a nudge to be more diligent in listing their expenses, the app comes with a daily reminder.

The app also has customisable wallets. With the basic version, which is free, you can add a wallet to budget your monthly expenses. But if you want more features, you can choose between two in-app purchases — the Plus and Premium packages, which are available for RM8.49 and RM12.99 a month respectively.

Both upgrades include unlimited wallets and shared wallets. Using the shared wallet option allows you and your spouse to keep track of accumulated household expenses.

The premium subscription provides an additional “Bank Account Sync” option. Depending on the agreement you have with your bank, you can link your savings, debit and credit card and investment accounts with the app. This gives you a complete view of all your finances on one platform.

According to online reports, Spendee offers secure connection to more than 2,500 financial providers, from banks to crypto-wallet providers. Financial institutions listed on its website include CIMB Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, PayPal and Coinbase.

The Spendee app is available for both Android and iOS smartphones. According to its website, the company is currently working on a web version of the app.