The future of money: better savers

More than 3,800.

That’s how many apps related to finance you can find in the iTunes store. And that’s how much easier saving and budgeting have become.

The evolving ways to spend, track and hold onto your money range from things you can do on your smartphone or tablet to using virtual cash to pay for things. Initially, you might question how these innovations can save you more money over standard banking methods. Simply think of the convenience and accessibility of these advancements. Anything that’s easier to do will encourage you to do more of it – so if there’s a quick way to transfer money to your savings or update your budget, you will participate in these activities on a regular basis. The result: savvier spending and saving.

Free banking tools like CommBank help you manage your money while iMoney Tracker offers income and expense tracking. MoneySmart Financial Calculator tackles savings, super balances and mortgage and loan calculations. SmartBudget offers 30 free transactions to keep track of your budget and future transactions and also supplies a cloud component so you can sync with other devices. Other apps help you find the best shopping deals and even find the store nearest you offering them.

Then there’s Near Field Communication technology, which also stands to help you save money by doing everything from switching cash between various accounts, to tracking reward points and letting you touch your phone to a scanner to pay at stores. Commonwealth Bank’s recently announced NFC app Kaching will help iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S users pay over the phone or a social networking site and complete contactless payments.

An NFC system currently spreading throughout America is Google Wallet, which may be available in Australia in the near future. Google Wallet is still evolving and may take a while to reach its full-capacity, widespread potential, but as an article on Wisebread points out, it can save you money in several ways. The service lets you use coupons Google offers you directly by tracking your shopping habits (a little unsettling, but also kind of convenient) and also enables you to use reward points and daily deals coupons automatically when you visit the retailer or establishment offering them. This means you won’t forget to use a discount.

Banking technology will keep evolving and, if you use it right, your financial savvy will, too.

Have you become a better spender and saver because of new technology? Tell us how.