Money can be a source of happiness or sadness, depends on how you manage it.
If you grow up in Malaysia, you’re probably very familiar with this term, “sikit-sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit”. But that’s pretty much all we learn in school, to menabung and “simpan duit”.
I was very lucky that my mom worked in Bank Negara Malaysia. And she would always get me this little Buku Wang Saku for kids. I, as a tracking nerd (i think this is where it started), definitely loved it, and would diligently fill it in. She also made me read Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens and a couple of other financial books.
As I was getting a little bit older, my expenses grew bigger, I had to get a debit credit book to write down my expenses. And, this is exactly how it looks like:
If you have never done anything like this before, I am telling you that you really should. But no worries, you don’t have to jot it all like this. In this tech era, a mobile budget tracking app would do the trick. Here’s my favourite!
*This is not an affiliate post, I do not earn or receive anything from the company.
I use the Pro version of this app that cost RM114.99 per annum at the time I purchased it. They have a free version if you wanna try. I tried tonnes of apps out there before, but after some bad experiences, I learned some valuable lessons.
I love this app because it is complete, secure, has cloud backup, and very easy to use. Here are the perks in detail:
#1 Cloud Sync on Any Device
The BIGGEST disappointment I ever experienced after diligently recording ALL my expenses for months, is losing the data in a blink! Most budget tracker out there (especially when it’s free), does not keep your data in a server. Usually, they will allow you to make Google drive or Dropbox backup, but these don’t work. Sometimes they don’t back up automatically, and even if they do, they will take a lot of space on your cloud storage. The worst is not being able to sync the data when you retrieve them. Happened to me more than once, because I change my phones a lot (due to unfortunate events).
When I discovered that Mobills can sync from the Phone app to the web, I tried it right away. And guess what? The last time I had to change my phone, I got all my data perfectly! No transfer or retrieving needed! Also, there was one time when my account balance doesn’t show correctly as it’s supposed to. But with the help of their support, it was solved instantly.
#2 Multiple Accounts
Having multiple accounts, sometimes it’s confusing which ones have balance and which is emptied.. With Mobills, I keep track of every one of them, including my savings and investment accounts, and know exactly how much I have (of course, I have to update lah!). This helps me to strategize my financials, see if I can make more investments or if I need to pay more attention to the incomes coming in.
#3 Credit Card Management
I’ve heard how my mom got into trouble with credit cards and I swore I would never get one myself! But then after learning more about it from other people who get tonnes of perks, I’m convinced that a credit card can do you good if you’re good at doing it. So I got one for myself, and boy, I was nervous at first! But after using it with Mobills, all my worries are relieved. Mobills credit card features let me set the date of my open invoice and the payment due date. So I can plan on my credit card expenses and make sure that I can pay in full. However, it also helps to calculate interest fees in the event (emergencies, maybe) that one can’t pay in full.
#4 Income & Expense Categories
So Mobills can group incomes and expenses into categories. And these categories can be grouped into major categories. Some example of the major categories that I use is transport, food, leisure, apparels, and bills. So under transport, I created public, parking, petrol, maintenance, and Touch n’ Go. By recording my spendings, I know if I’m spending too much money on petrol or the cinema, or maybe if I’m not giving enough money to charity? As for income categories, since I have multiple income streams, I love that I can check how much I make from different businesses and whether the cost is efficient.
#5 Beautiful, Elegant & Simple User Interface
When I tried Mobills, I was testing it along with 2 other budget apps that have cloud backup. The #1 reason I fell in love with Mobills is the UX/UI. So clean and smooth! I can easily see my total expenses, total income and the total balance on the main page of the app. This way, I can easily decide how much I can spend and save. This app saved me from making stupid impulse-buys.
#6 Filter by Period
This is useful when I want to look for specific transactions like pending bills or when I last received a job payment, pay tuition fees, etc. It’s great for freelancers or entrepreneurs because we can compare how much we make monthly, quarterly, yearly or on specific dates.
#7 Multiple Currency
Last but not least, if you are a frequent traveler, this feature is absolutely amazing for you because you can keep track your expenses in another currency too. Just put on travel mode and set the currency and tags. I don’t travel much, but when I do, I love that I can still track without the hassle to convert!
So this is my 15 months’ experience with Mobills, and I use it along side an excel spreadsheet I created to plan my monthly budget (I’ll share this soon!). I encourage you to try Mobills if you don’t have any cloud-backing-tracker yet. It makes financial planning and money management so much easier! For those who never does this, tracking your expenses may seem like a hassle.
But if you don’t track, you don’t know where your money goes. And if you don’t know where your money goes, you can’t manage it.
P/s: I especially hate using cash because sometimes I don’t remember where I spent that RM10 or RM50 and wonder why my cash is short. The cash struggle is real! But I’m currently working on that. If you have any tips please share what methods have you tried to manage your finances? Jar method? Envelope method? Which one works best for you?