Expense Trackers – Indian

The pandemic has not just reiterated the adage ‘health is wealth’, but has also forced many to keep a check on their financial health.

With cash-strapped companies resorting to furloughs, layoffs, and pay-cuts, many from the salaried class are now seeking to tighten their purse strings. As noted by the recent consumer confidence survey of the Reserve Bank of India, drop-in discretionary spending is another new development that is gaining the limelight, aside from work-from-home and social distancing.

Reduced sources of income have reminded us that *money does not grow on trees*, and hence, has to be spent judiciously. To achieve this, you should first assess your spending habits and track your expenses. This can help you set realistic budgets and curb unnecessary spending.

FinTech Apps For Tracking Expenses


Every time you swipe your card or make a cash payment, you can make a record of it in the Monefy app. Capturing fewer details of the transactions, the app makes the process of recording easier. All you need to enter is the amount and select the category of income or expense. You can even add a tiny description of the transaction if you so wish. In the pro version (paid) of the app, you can set recurring transactions such as utility bills and salary credits. The pro version is available for a one-time fee of INR199.

The app summarises your expenses through visual graphs and diagrams making it easier to understand your cash outflows. Based on the period selected, the app throws up a pie chart explaining the break-up of your expenses. You can further view the detailed transactions grouped as a category, by clicking on that part of the pie. If you wish to alter the default categories of expenses, you can do so in the pro version.

The app scores on ease of use and simplicity. You can even export data from the app to Google Sheets, and work further on the sorting and grouping. Additionally, it offers features such as an inbuilt calculator, passcode protection, multi-currency support, and budget mode.

There are many other apps that help track your expenses manually such as Walnut and Money Manager. However, manually entering all transactions can be tedious for some, and there could be chances of errors while entering the transactions.


The Spendee app can help automate your expense tracking. Using the premium version of the app, you can link your bank accounts and credit cards. After this, the app automatically downloads your financial transactions and categorizes your expenses and incomes, using a pre-set algorithm. Aside from the transactions on your card, you can also add cash transactions manually and change the automatic grouping as well.

These premium features come at a cost though. The app has different subscription plans, ranging from INR79 to INR119 per month, or INR619-INR899 per year. The lifetime membership for the app’s premium version is available for INR7,900. A seven or 14-day trial period is also available to try the various features offered in the premium version.

However, the app’s feature to sync bank accounts is currently only available for a few banks – Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and ICICI Bank. This can be a limiting factor for customers of other banks.

Also, if you are uncomfortable about the automatic sharing of your bank and financial transaction details, you can enter the transactions manually.

Banking apps

The mobile banking applications of some banks offer features that help you track your expenses. The features vary widely among banks. For instance, Syndicate Bank (now merged with Canara Bank) has an e-passbook application for its customers. The app offers a tool – Personal Ledger – where customers can manually tag each transaction to a particular ledger – food, education, health, fuel, travel, grocery, etc. While this scores over private apps on safety and privacy concerns, manually tagging transactions every month to a particular ledger, can be a hassle for some.

For customers of Axis Bank, the Money

Quotient feature available in their mobile banking application helps get a better understanding of their spending pattern and savings. Not only does this feature help you automatically categorize all your debit cards and credit card spends on a monthly basis, but it also gives you a trend of your expenses and savings of the last six months.

SBI’s YONO app also does a similar spending analysis, by auto-tagging and categorizing transactions.

Axis Bank’s Money Quotient also allows comparison of the spending, saving, and investment habits of the customer with peers with similar demographics, life stage, income profile, etc, within the region category (metro, semi-urban, etc).

My Money

A personal finance management tool available within the internet banking facility of ICICI Bank also has useful features. Not only does the tool help categorize and summarise your expenses automatically from all accounts – loans, deposits, savings account, credit card, and Demat account – with ICICI Bank, but you can also link accounts from over 200 other (non-ICICI Bank) institutions and get an overall picture of your financial status. This can be beneficial for customers who have multiple bank accounts and credit cards. Customers can also get email alerts if they overshoot their budgets and can set reminders for monthly bills.

My Money is however available only for ICICI Bank’s savings accounts customers and is free for the first 30 days. After that, annual charges of INR300 plus taxes shall be debited from the savings account.

Creative Ways to Shop on a Budget

A survey by Gallup in 2019 found that only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget. Roughly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, meaning many of us have to get creative in how we shop for things like groceries, clothes, and entertainment.

Living on a shoestring budget can be stressful, but it is possible with some of these creative tips to shop and make the most of what you have.

Grocery shopping on a budget

Food tends to be one of the biggest spending categories in anyone’s budget. The USDA estimates that Americans spend an average of 6% of their budget on food; 5% of income also goes to dining out. How can you stretch that grocery shopping budget to go even further?

First, time your shopping trip to capitalize on sales and promos:


  • Wednesdays: The middle of the week is often when grocers release their weekly circular. “You’ll have first dibs on sale items for the week ahead and, if you’re lucky, the store may still honor price reductions on items you forgot to pick up from the previous week’s sale,” says one expert.


  • Avoid Tuesday and weekends: Weekends tend to be busier as people shop on non-workdays. Tuesdays can also be crowded as other shoppers try to take advantage of last week’s expiring deals, and therefore sale items go quickly.


  • Shop late or early: The hour before closing is when some grocers reduce prices on bakery items or produce items that won’t last until the next day. Early in the morning is also when there is less competition for sale items.

Next, before you head to the store, download an app. Not just any app, but one that gives you discounts: try Food on the Table, an app that lets you type in your food preferences and then generates a list of recipe options based on current promotions at your go-to grocery store. Or, try Ibotta, an app that lets you retroactively apply coupons to items you purchased by scanning your receipt and claiming deals.  Many grocery stores also have apps that deliver exclusive offers and digital coupons.

Finally, put your dining out budget into your grocery shopping budget. A meal at a fast-food restaurant costs around $8; if you stop eating an $8 lunch every day during the workweek, you can save $40 a week ($160 a month!).

How to budget for an apartment

Rent is a big budget item for most people, and there are lots of hidden costs in budgeting for an apartment. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new lease or looking to reduce your utility costs and other apartment expenses, there are a few key things to consider when budgeting for your apartment.

First, if you’re looking to sign a new lease, try to find an apartment that’s close to public transportation. Longer-term leases (a year or more) tend to be cheaper, as the landlord doesn’t have to search for a new tenant or spend on renovations as often. If there are fixes that need to be made, offer to do them yourself in exchange for a discount on the security deposit.

If you’re in an apartment and hoping to save on utility costs, go beyond basic steps like turning off lights and turning down the heat. Think about turning off the devices that consume energy in a passive way, like your microwave and water heater that you aren’t using constantly. Winterize your apartment to cut your cooling and heating bills (winterize is a bit of a misnomer, as many of these steps can also keep your apartment cool in the summer). And, avoid running your energy-intensive appliances – washing machine, dishwasher, or dryer – during “peak hours”. Electricity companies tend to discount rates during the night when fewer people are using their grid.

Thrifting and other shopping ideas

What about other expenses: clothes, gifts, and entertainment? There are creative ways to shop on a budget for these items too.

Thrifting is an obvious choice for saving your clothing budget. Many shoppers also turn to fast-casual brands like H&M and Forever 21 – but be aware that those retailers may be more expensive in the long-term. Spending $10 on a t-shirt that lasts fewer than 10 wears is worse than spending $50 on a shirt you’ll own forever. “Unless it’s practically free, you’re better off buying clothing items from good brands with a reputation for well-made items,” wrote The Simple Dollar.

Look to see if clothes are well made by checking the seams and material. Seams on a good quality item will be perfectly straight, with no dangling strings; any patterns should match up well. The material should be higher-quality. Look for natural fibers and blends like wool, and avoid synthetics like polyester.

For gifts, go for something thoughtful rather than expensive. Find gifts that are unique to the recipient and require time, rather than cash. For instance, give someone the gift of time by babysitting or hiring a house cleaner. Give your family member a recipe book of meals from your childhood. Or, start a new tradition – holiday cookie-baking, for instance – that leads to memories rather than things.

Shopping on a budget isn’t always easy. Sometimes, what you really need is a little Lift to cover a shortfall or meet a financial emergency.

This article is contributed by LiftRocket.

How To: Budget your Money

If you are on a fixed income or need to save money its probably best to start by creating a budget for yourself. Whether you need to pay off bills or just are in need of saving money for future projects or events it’s never too late to start. Whatever the reason behind wanting to budget your money should be the push you need to choose your budget and stick with it.

Determine Income/Expense

The first thing you should do is figure out how much total income you make as well as total household bills and debts that need to be paid. If you have the ability to pay your bills online this will save you time and money in the long run. Also, you will be able to calculate how much they exactly are if you are paying them at the same time.
Bills that are common for most individuals are things such as mortgage payments, car payments, normal household bills, and food. Try to fix your budget so you’re paying bills that are a must and leaving a bit of extra for an occasional splurge. While you still need to have the freedom to go out or spend on yourself occasionally you will have to be serious about how to budget your money or you will fail.

Where to Put Your Money

Once you have figured out your budget you should invest the money either in a CD or savings account that will gain interest. Try to put money into your savings account out of each paycheck or a part of the extra money that comes in. Aside from your savings account if you are in need of paying off bills then split a part of your paycheck to go towards the savings account while the rest of it goes to paying off high-interest credit cards or loan payments.

Goals and Stress

By setting a budget your finances you will not only help to reduce the stress of financial worries but you will also slowly be taking on a more responsible you. By this I mean you are learning restraint and responsibility at the same time. This will benefit you later down the line when you actually need to purchase an expensive item or need a loan for a must-have such as a house or automobile.
You should always try to work towards your goal monthly and if you happen to slip don’t be too hard on yourself because it will take time to change your lifestyle especially if budgeting is a drastic change from what you’re originally used too.


While it may seem that you are the only one who is currently struggling with the way the economy is today many others are in the same shoes and needing to learn to manage their money better as well. There are also counselors that can provide you with tips on how to budget your money and to plan for the future. Keep in mind that regardless of how bad things may seem if you are willing to put in a bit of work you can fix any issues even if it takes time.