With more and more budget-focussed start-ups launching in South Africa, it seems we are becoming more conscious about the way in which we spend our money.
It’s no wonder, then, that a handy new smartphone app is helping us manage our money better.
“South Africans are definitely becoming more budget conscious! ExpenZa was developed as a response to our own need to manage our finances better and to overcome the major stumbling blocks of the currently available systems,” Wim Morris, the app’s founder told Justmoney.co.za
Morris believes that the current budgeting apps posed challenges in the form of the following:
Info only available via PC or web interface on smartphone
Security concerns as some require you to supply your bank's login and PIN
Lots of effort to keep your expenses up to date, e.g. downloading CSV file from your Internet Banking and then uploading them
Only available for users with Internet Banking accounts
ExpenZa combats these challenge because it’s designed to be user friendly on a smartphone, there’s no need for identifying solutions to be captured, which makes it 100% secure. The effort is also at a minimal as all the information is captured via SMS and the app is available to everyone who receive notification SMSes from their bank – not just those who are registered for Internet Banking.
ExpenZA helps you keep track of all your expenses, right from the palm of your hand. It’s intuitive in that it automatically detects notification SMSes sent to you by your bank and automatically uses the information in these text messages to populate the ‘expenses’ section of the app.
We’ve been testing this app for the past few weeks and we’ve got the good and the bad for you.
It’s free to download and free of adverts – unlike some other free apps, ExpenZA is not flooded with annoying adverts. It’s 100% free and 100% free of adverts.
It’s relatively easy to use – it takes a little bit of time categorizing all your expenses, but once you’ve visited a merchant, made a purchase and assigned a merchant to a certain category, it’ll remember your choice and automatically categorize your expenses in future.
The app will give you a good idea of where exactly your money is going – you might need to sit down when you recap at the end of the month, though, especially if you don’t have a budget set up.
Some banks only send notification text messages for amounts above R100. If you have a bundled card and you prefer swiping over withdrawing cash, loads of little purchases – those under R100 – will fly under the radar unless you manually add them each time you spend – something which can be quite an effort and quite easy to forget, unless you are really stringent about budgeting and tracking expenses, of course.
The App is currently only available for Android OSes, but Morris – app founder, told Justmoney that development for Blackberry has started and it shouldn’t be long before it’s available.
There is currently no feature which allows for you to see your income vs expenses ratio.
Overall this is a great app, it’s compact, convenient and simple to use. If you’re looking for an easy way to track your finances, albeit not 100% accurate, this is a must have. If at the end of every month you ask yourself: “where did my money go?” this app will help you get your head around where some of your money might be disappearing to.
“Any financially savvy user can benefit from ExpenZa as it enables the user to change their behavior before it is too late. Users can therefor stay within their budget, rather than knowing after the fact that they overspent, again,” said Morris.
The app will also be expanding soon with a majour update aiming to make the jump from mobile app to web interface.
“The next major update will be to add functionality that will enable our users to synchronize with a web front-end. They will then be able to manage their finances from either their smartphone or their PC. Other expansions e.g. including income, reporting and all the other functionality requested by our users are definitely also on the roadmap. We are aiming to make ExpenZa the best personal finance solution available,” Morris added.
Download the ExpenZA app here.