I think of my life in terms of ‘Before Wally’ (B.W.) and ‘After Wally’ (A.W.) Downloading Wally was such a seminal moment in my life that nothing has been the same since.
When you make small and frequent luxury purchases, you know they add up but you don’t really realize just *how* much they all add up. Weekly treats of waakye with all the works (plantain, egg, spaghetti, gari, salad) at 6 cedis a pop will cost you 20 cedis a month, and 240 cedis a year. It will be even more if you occasionally buy enough for your friends at work.
Wally’s most important feature is its spending tracking interface. The app is integrated with all the world’s currencies (good to know, so that you don’t spend your first day after downloading it figuring out how much 70p Hausa kooko is in U.S. Dollars). There are various categories under which you can place your spending – General, Personal, House, Food & Drinks, Transport, Clothes, Fun, and Miscellaneous with sub-categories under each category. You can always have a look at your categorized expenditure in the handy “Review” tab, so you can see how much you spend on “Fun” vs. how much you spend on “House.”
Weekly treats of waakye with all the works (plantain, egg, spaghetti, gari, salad) at 6 cedis a pop will cost you 20 cedis a month, and 240 cedis a year. It will be even more if you occasionally buy enough for your friends at work.
Your spending can be further categorized into “Personal” “Social” “Work” and “Family” so you differentiate between “Personal – Fun,” “Work – Fun,” and “Family – Fun” expenses.
With Wally’s budgeting feature, you can set and adjust your savings forecast, which determines your daily and monthly budget. So when you enter the 6 cedis you spent on your fully loaded waakye, it’s very easy to tell how much it has taken out of your daily and monthly budget. Your budgets are determined by the amount of money you tell Wally you receive every month – so your salary, freelance work cheques, etc.
Starting to track my spending has had a considerable effect on my spending/budgeting habits. Now I think about every purchase – big or small and as a result, I don’t “waste” as much money as I used to. It’s also really helpful to review my spending at the end of the month (or whenever I want) and then make the necessary adjustments in order to reach my savings goal. With Wally, I don’t think “wow HOW did I spend 500 cedis on food alone last month?!”; I think “which food did I spend 500 cedis on last month, and how can I reduce this amount next month?”
Additional Wally Features:
- Enter recurring payments
- Enter additional income eg. work bonuses
- Scan & save receipts
- Log details of your expenses (venue, time, notes, photos of receipts)
- Data is stored on your phone, and not on a remote server that could potentially be hacked
Download Wally on iOS at Wally, and find them on Twitter or Facebook at @wally_app
If Wally Is Not For You…
- Spendee – plain and simple. Data is also only stored on your phone and not with a third party. Available for iOS and Android
- Mint – It integrates with your online bank accounts to track your spending. Naturally, it requires your online bank details – password, bank account number, debit/credit card number. Mint syncs all your data with its own servers.
- Toshl Finance – Want some words of encouragement from animated characters as you log your spending? Then Toshl is for you! Visit Toshl.com for an account that enables you to have your data stored in the cloud. Available for iOS and Android
- Google Drive – You can use the Drive’s money tracking spreadsheet to track your expenses. Additionally, you can share your spreadsheet with others (friends, spouses, etc.) so you can track your spending and saving together
- iSpending – Can incorporate password protection so you can keep your expenses private. Available for iOS
- Bill Guard – tracks your spending and also monitors your credit/debit card transactions so it can flag suspicious transactions. It’s only available in the U.S. for now
- Spending Tracker – Allows you to sync across Dropbox so you and your friend/partner can use the same data on two phones. Also allows you to set a budget for each category of your spending. Available for iOS and Android