By Jody Bennett
Around Australia wages are not rising and underemployment is growing, which means most households will have need of a mobile, visually simple budgeting app to keep track of finances.
If you are on the hunt, look no further than Goodbudget.com, which does not pry into your actual bank account like some apps.
The $5-per-month service offers a free forever one-bank-account version and runs on multiple Android or iOS devices and desktop PCs so the whole household can budget together.
Good Budget works on a colour-coded envelope system: you create a set of envelopes (budget categories) and divide your budget among them.
Each pay day you click 'fill envelopes' and your money is divided as you stipulated.
When there is money in an envelope the envelope is green, and when there is not, it is red. If you accumulate too much in one envelope, you can move it between envelopes.
Another page uses a line indicator on horizontal 'tubes' of red or green, to show where you are in the month and how much is left.
This means you always know how much money you really have for eating out or new clothes, and precisely how much is set aside to cover your utility bills or rent.
It also allows you to save, by setting a little aside each month in a 'holiday' or 'new car' envelope, and put aside every month towards your rates or school fees, so you don't get a big expense that you are unprepared for.
And it helps you to be generous and give by being able to create envelopes for your favourite charities and causes.
You are able to keep track of several sources of income, several bank account balances and get reports in different formats, like pie charts or graphs.
Family members can add purchases on their mobiles as they spend, letting the household know exactly where the finances stand at any given time.
There is even a facility to divide purchases between different envelopes if you buy, for example, clothes, food and a gift in one transaction.
The free version lets you use 10 regular envelopes, one account, two devices and keeps one year of history; but for just $5 a month you can use unlimited envelopes, keep track of unlimited accounts, connect up to five devices and save five years of history.
Our household has been using it for years! Take the stress out of budgeting and check out www.goodbudget.com