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30+ money apps for international students, business travellers and expats

This summer, as the Apple app store turns 10, we reflect on the place apps have in our lives. Who would have thought, that computer programs designed for mobile devices could boast having reached 197 billion downloads in 2017 and the humble “app” is predicted to have 352 billion total app downloads by 2021.

Whether it's apple or android, there is a mobile app for just about anything and they’ve revolutionised many industries. From banking to transport and communication, thanks to mobile apps it is quicker and easier than ever to send money, book a taxi or chat to friends and family from anywhere in the world and best of all you can do all this while you are on the move or in transit.

Even the CurrencyFair app played a part in the changing landscape of fintech.

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There are apps that can show you how to save money, how to budget and how to manage your personal cash flow. If you are moving overseas to start a new adventure or moving to improve your career opportunities, tracking your current and future finances is the biggest task you have.

The main advantage of mobile apps is that they’re easy to use and cut out a lot of extra time - and expense. Our list of 25 apps below covers the whole spectrum of issues for people who live abroad, plan to move abroad or travel overseas frequently. This includes saving money on flights and shipping costs, tracking business expenses and setting up personal budgets for your new life.


Here are the apps that can help you do this:


30+ Money Savings Apps to help you manage your finances

Mint (iOS, Android, Windows)

Handling your finances — bills, budget and wild spending money — all within one app will keep you from making late payments, getting charged NSF fees and being caught with nothing in your pocket. Mint also helps you create a budget that is specific to you, based on your spending, which means it’s more likely you’ll stick to it.

Good Budget (iOS, Android)

If sticking to that budget is harder than you thought, it might be time to turn to the old-school style of budgeting-by-envelope. Instead of physically placing money in envelopes, of course - it’s an app. Good Budget syncs, so you can share your household budget with other family members, and it allows you to budget on the go. Save for big expenses by putting money in designated envelopes, once all the non-negotiable expenses have been taken care of.

Mvelopes (iOS, Android)

Similar to Good Budget, Mvelopes gets you thinking long-term about money, and it has you define your income and make a budget before filling the spending envelopes. Although it syncs to your bank accounts and credit cards, your spending is constrained by your budget, and not the actual amount of money you have in your accounts. If you set up your actual income correctly, and a budget that is reasonable, you should be able to accrue some nearly painless savings on the side.

Pennies (iOS)

This handy app lets you separate out your financial commitments eg saving for bills, holidays. With Pennies you can put aside a bit of your budget each month toward these. You enter how much you have spent on each commitment, and when you have overspent the screen turns red.

Budgetbakers (iOS, Android)

Budgetbakers lets you track your finances in any currency in any country. You track expenses  by setting up budget categories, assign your monthly income to each, track spending and adjust as needed.  The benefit is knowing exactly how much you will be spending.

Walnutpay (Android)

Walnutpay is forging a path in India and changing the face of consumer banking. It recently received funding for its services which include bill-splitting, tracking spending and even offers a line of credit called Walnut Prime.

Moneyview (Android)

Another app growing in India is Moneyview. This app is empowering people to be more aware of their finances and to pro-actively do better with their money in order to be financially fit.

YNAB or You need a budget (iOS, Android, Alexa, Web)

The top rule within YNAB is that every dollar is given a job which is a pretty effective motto to live by. This simple concept combined with not spending money until it is at least 30 days old means customers can separate out their income into bills and expenses and make every dollar work harder for them

Splitting Bills

Zelle (iOS, Android)

Zelle bridges the gap between different banks. You can send and receive money between different banking apps and you can also send and receive within the Zelle app if your bank doesn’t offer Zelle. You send money to the mobile number or email address of the recipient.

Splitwise (iOS, Android)

This app crunches the numbers for you and lets you track who owes what. Splitwise keeps a running total of what is due to you and is free for iOS, Android and web.

Venmo (iOS, Android)

Lets you set up an account with them and keep it topped up by linking to your debit or credit card. You can then use the money in your Venmo account to settle up, repay people or split bills. It is only available in the US.


Apps to help save money on Travel

Skyscanner (iOS, Android)

A global travel search site, Skyscanner provides price comparisons for millions of flights, car hires and hotels, saving you both time and money. The apps are separate, and the Flight app is available on Windows 10, as well. Once you have found your flight, you then book directly with the airline or online travel agent.

Kayak (iOS, Android)

Kayak searches other sites to show travellers the information they need to find the right flights, hotels, car hires and holiday packages. In Kayak Trips you can also keep all your paperwork together, share your itinerary with a travel buddy or family and even access your plans offline

Hopper (iOS, Android)

Hopper is a mobile app that doesn't just let you book flights and accommodations from your phone but also tells you when is the best time to buy. Accessing a historical archive of trillions of flight prices and more recently hotel prices, Hopper analyzes that data to share with its users through insightful predictions that consistently perform with 95% accuracy.

Taxi Fare Finder (Browser-Based)

You can see the taxi rates in your city and estimate the cost of your taxi, Uber or rideshare before leaving home. With more than 1,000 cities across the globe listed at Taxi Fare Finder, you can budget your trips to and from the airport and around town, too.

Kabbee (iOS, Android, Windows)

This London-based minicab booking app helps you find the cheapest and closest minicab by comparing more than 70 cab fleets across London. You’ll save money using Kabbee because minicabs can be up to 70% cheaper than black cabs.

Parker Car (iOS, Android)

Another taxi alternative in the UK is Parker Car Service. Although anyone can use the service, it’s designed with the business user in mind. The company will customise invoices and bill weekly or monthly, and bookings can be charged to a business account. If you pay with a debit card, you’ll save the 6% credit card surcharge.

GrabTaxi (iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry)

An on-demand ride service in Southeast Asia is GrabTaxi, which covers Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. It is cost-effective in that you can hire private cars that may not charge as much as standard fares. Even if you are booking a cab from a local taxi fleet, rates vary between companies; if you know which one is cheapest, you can save money by choosing that one.

MyTaxi (iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry))

Located in 40 cities around the world, from Barcelona to Tokyo, MyTaxi lets you hail taxis from within the app. The app locates your location, summons the taxi closest to you and lets you know how long it will take for your ride to pick you up. Some rides have fixed fares, and they are calculated so they’re always lower than the meter rate you would have paid with another company.

goCatch (iOS, Android)

The taxi-finding app for Australia is goCatch. In addition to locating the nearest cab, the company has reduced the electronic payment surcharge to 5% nationally around Australia to save you a little extra money with every trip.

GoCar (iOS, Android)

GoCar is Ireland’s number one car sharing company. It has various sized vehicles, even vans and electric cars stationed around Ireland in accessible locations. Free to join, you book cars by the hour and pay for the km travelled on longer journeys. Parking in Dublin city centre is free with a GoCar and insurance is included.

Zipcar (iOS, Android)

The global car sharing service Zipcar operates in around ten countries including the US, Canada, Spain and Taiwan. You get access to drive the cars by the hour or the day.

Getaround (iOS, Android)

Getaround is taking the idea of connecting taxis to customers one step further and is connecting passengers to other passengers who are happy to loan out their car for use. It is based on a P2P model - which CurrencyFair also uses - and just received $300m in funding. It allows you to rent cars in the US from as little as $5 an hour.


Apps That Make Using Your Phone Bill Cheaper

GroupMe (iOS, Android, Windows)

Connect for free with friends, family or coworkers in a private group chat with GroupMe. It works on most devices, and you can include friends on your contact list over SMS, even without the app. You can even log onto GroupMe from the web in case you’ve lost your phone. Plus, there’s a llama emoji, and that’s just priceless.

WhatsApp (iOS, Android, Windows, PC)

With built in end-to-end encryption into the latest versions of the app, WhatsApp offers simple secure messaging, voice messages, calls and video calls around the world. There is now also the WhatsApp Business App so businesses can interact with customers and quickly respond to messages. Calls from WhatsApp to WhatsApp are free.

Viber (iOS, Android, Windows)

While this App allows all the typical features of a messaging app in 2018, Viber also allows you to call people worldwide on either mobile or landline numbers for a very low rate, without them installing the app. You can video call around the world, and send video messages as well as voice messages of your reply.

Facebook Messenger (iOS, Android, Windows)

Messenger is a great way to not only communicate within a group of other Facebook members but also allows you to video call with anyone anywhere in the world. It offers HD calls around the world for free if connected to WiFi as well as the option to send Voice Messages. In selected countries, you can use it to send people money with Facebook Payments.

Blue Jeans (iOS, Android, Windows, Microsoft, Google Chrome)

Bluejeans is a meetings platform that brings audio, video and web-conferencing together. While it has normal features it also has voice recognition partners for tasks like intelligent transcription and meeting initiation and uses Dolby Voice for a superior sound quality.

woman smiling using mobile phone at table in cafe

Apps that can make you money

Fiverr (iOS, Android)

If you have skills in just about any field (such as graphics and design, programming, business, advertising, and online marketing), you can make money on Fiverr. The base price is $5, with custom offers that allow the seller to set higher prices. There are millions of gigs in more than 100 different categories across 196 countries.

UpWork (iOS, Android

Upwork is a one-stop-shop for freelancers allows you to search for work from a wide choice of briefs and projects. It is a support to any freelancer as it also tracks invoices and payments as well as helping you find work.

GrabPoints (iOS, Android)

GrabPoints is an international program in which users earn points for downloading (and using) apps, watching videos and completing surveys. When you have enough points, you can cash out for Amazon, BestBuy, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Target or Paypal credit.

Swagbucks (iOS, Android)

Available in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, Swagbucks is another online rewards and cash-back program. In addition to doing things you’d normally do online, such as search the web, you can answer polls, watch videos, play games and shop. With each activity, you’ll accumulate points redeemable as gift cards, PayPal cash or pre-paid cards from Visa.

Viggle (iOS, Android, Windows)

You can earn points redeemable as gift cards, trips or electronics by watching TV or listening to music. By opening the Viggle app as you watch or listen, it identifies the show or song and adds points to your account.

Foap (iOS, Android)

If you’re good with a camera, you could make money selling your photos and videos on Foap. Photos on Foap cost $10, and for each sale you make you cash out $10. There are various contests for specific content, some run by big brand names, where prizes run from hundreds into thousands of dollars.

Ebates (iOS, Android)

If you are using your credit card to shop in stores, why not get rewarded for this. Shops reward Ebates for sending customers to their stores and Ebates gives you cashback from this. Simply shop through Ebates and get money back on purchases. Available in the US only.

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