Your money | Economic, Savings and Commerse

David koch managing money used to be time consuming but now there are apps to help you

MANAGING our money used to involve sitting down together with a bottle of wine to sift through endless bills, letters and receipts with a fine toothed comb.

Now, the wine meant it could actually be a fun activity (especially if you were smart enough to keep a well-ordered filing cabinet), but it certainly was time consuming.

Fast forward to today and technology and smartphones have changed the game completely. Tech savvy types can now control their finances on the go with a few simple clicks or taps.

The trouble is, there are so many apps and products around its hard to know which are worth investing your time in. To help out, here are a few of our favourites.

For budgeting

Forget budgeting with pen and paper, let technology do the leg work for you.

PocketBook and MoneyBrilliant are two of our favourite budgeting apps.

Both synchronise with your bank accounts to give you a birds eye view of where your money is going. They can also break down your transactions to show exactly where youre spending, and will even remind you when a regular bill is due for payment or youre close to hitting your budget.

Pretty clever stuff, but if it sounds a little too complex there is something simpler.

TrackMySpend by ASIC doesnt come with all the extra bells and whistles, but it does do exactly what it says on the tin helps you keep track of your spending.

Its easy to record your expenses, work towards savings goals or keep track of how much a big event like a holiday or wedding is costing.

For power users, it offers many of the same features as the other apps, just without the link to your bank accounts so, yes, you can tag transactions, set spending limits and set up bill reminders.

Its also possible to extract your data into a spreadsheet, which is handy for importing it into other systems like accounting software.

For investing

Investing used to be a secret only old men in dark suits knew about, but that stereotype is rapidly shifting thanks to technology.

Acorns is a service which invests your spare change on the stock market.

It connects to your debit card or bank account and rounds up any transactions to the nearest dollar. That change is then transferred to your Acorns account and invested in a portfolio of your choosing.

Depending on your appetite for risk, you can choose a conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive or aggressive portfolio, each of which will show you exactly where your money is invested.

With easy access to your money at all times, Acorns is a safe and easy way to save money and learn about investing without the need for large amounts of capital.

Stockspot is another service taking the mystery out of investing. It has an online advice engine which uses a smart questionnaire to build out your investment profile and recommend an appropriate investment strategy.

Your money is then invested in a highly diversified portfolio of cheap, index tracking Exchange Traded Funds. The best bit? You can put money in (or take it out) at any time without incurring additional fees, just like a regular bank account.

However, we still highly recommend setting aside an evening every month or so to sit down with your partner and a bottle of wine to go through your finances Some things never change.

Jobs in computers join traditional roles in the top 20 jobs of the next decade

APP and software programming will be one of the top 20 employing occupations in Australia within five years but millions more jobs still will be in traditional roles such as sales, nursing and trades.

Employment Department data shows sales assistant is forecast to be the top employing job, with 618,600 people in work, by November, 2020.

The job will employ 60,000 more people than it does this year (558,600) and more than twice as many registered nurses (308,800), the second largest employing job by next decade.

General clerks (262,400), accountants (219,300) and electricians (191,600) will round out the top five, with other common roles such as teaching, cleaning and truck driving all still to be in the top 20 list.

The number of people in those roles eclipse the 116,300 software and applications programmers who will be employed by next decade, however, it will be the first time digital work will feature as one of the biggest occupations in the nation.

This year 54,300 people work in the job.

Career Development Association of Australia advocacy chair Rebecca Fraser said traditional industries still provided a lot of work for young people wondering where their jobs will come from.

Low-skilled jobs are definitely still going to be around, she said.

Garbage truck drivers, couriers, are still going to be needed; health is a growing field with jobs for a number of Australians because of the Baby Boomers.

But digital-type jobs are still going to increase.

Everyone needs to have some level of digital literacy.

The departments Australian Jobs 2016 report (PDF) finds the basic requirements for most jobs will not only be literacy and numeracy skills but digital skills as well.

Ms Fraser said technological developments would mean some workers would be replaced by machines.

However, even couriers today now used digital devices to be allocated jobs rather than past equipment such as CB radios, meaning digital literacy was an important skills to hold.

Everyone is being impacted and we're seeing a lot of movement in that space, Ms Fraser said.

What you need to do is make sure youve looked at what you want to do now, and what you need to do in future to make yourself employable.

Axios software developer Rebecca Schubert, 29, always knew she wanted to work with computers.

I did tech studies in high school instead of home economics or whatever, just because I was more interested in that, she said.

She studied a Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) at university and worked in the IT sector but was unemployed before landing her job at the custom software and application development company.

She said it was a hard field to break into, as many employers wanted experience in using certain systems that could be hard to get in such a rapidly changing field.

I found a lot of jobs specified requirements that I couldnt meet because they were in technologies you wouldnt learn those things in uni. I did some self study, she said.

News Corp Australia is campaigning to find 5000 jobs in 50 days for first-time job seekers, as well as tackling youth unemployment.

In the first 14 days of the campaign, 7578 jobs have been listed across Australia.


Do you have a job for a first-time jobseeker? Email this site and join our 5000 jobs in 50 days campaign.

Looking for a first-time job? View an interactive map of pledged roles at