Photo: Corbis Images
Canadian banks and other financial institutions have mobile apps so you can check balances and payments, as well as transfer funds to other accounts via Interac e-Transfer. But there are other cool things going on to make your finances easier to manage. ING Direct and CIBC both allow users to take a snapshot of a cheque to deposit it, while RBC lets you transfer funds via Facebook Messenger contacts (currently available on iPad, with use on iPhone expected to roll out before spring).
Read more: 5 smart money apps>
Tap and pay with your smartphone? Sounds like the perfect way to save time when you have a wiggly kid in your arms. There are different kinds of mobile payment options, but they typically allow you to either store banking info on a mobile device or register loyalty cards to pay for items, eliminating the need to carry cash and credit cards. Most of Canada’s banks have been active on this front, and wireless carriers are also getting into the game. Tim Hortons now offers an app for mobile payments, so you can register a Tim’s card onto your phone, then simply tap to get your java fix. Wendy Morelli, a Markham, Ont., mom of two, has another favourite. “I love the Starbucks app,” she says. “I pull out my phone and, boom, it’s done.”
Read more: How safe are apps>
This app makes it easy to track your finances, putting the info in the palm of your hand. Voted Editor’s Choice for the personal finance category by PC Magazine, Mint provides a detailed overview of balances across all your accounts, helps with budgeting and categorizes your spending habits. It sends you advice on where you could shave costs, as well as notify you when you’ve gone over budget or need to pay a bill. You have to sync your online banking usernames and passwords, then Mint will bring information together using what it says is bank-level security. It is a read-only service, which means you can’t move funds or do your banking, but you can track and budget.
Free, itunes.com, play.google.com, appworld.blackberry.com
Use your iPhone camera to scan receipts, tally the totals for budgeting purposes and store receipts for safekeeping. Receiptmate eliminates the need to manually enter data into spreadsheets, and you can throw out the paper receipts that typically end up crumpled in your purse or wallet, says Toronto dad Michael Hainsworth, co-host of tech TV show App Central. “Not only does it save the receipt in your iPhone, it saves it in Evernote, a cloud-based, synchronized note making app,” he says. In order to use Receiptmate, you must have an account with Evernote, which can also help you to manage tasks so efficiently that Gershkovitch says it’s “almost like having an assistant.”
No more junk mail, thanks. Reebee is an app that puts flyers in your mobile device instead of on your doorstep. The app features flyers in your local area and also sends alerts when new deals are available. “I always have my phone on me, so it’s an easy way to check sales if I’m on my way somewhere,” says Terri Coles, a mom in St. John’s, Nfld.
Free, iTunes.com, play.google.com, appworld.blackberry.com
Spendee is similar to Mint—it helps you keep track of your income and expenses and then displays that info with easy-to-read pie charts and graphs. Spendee eliminates the security concern by not requiring you to sync your banking info—which is a big draw for some people—so you just enter the amounts and keep them up-to-date on your own. The app received a stamp of approval from tech guru Amber MacArthur, who loves how it identifies spikes in her spending. “I know that Saturdays are a painful day for me because I might go shopping,” she said. “So maybe it’s a good time to stay home.”
$2, itunes.com, play.google.com
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