Musselburgh and District CAB have designed and launched a mobile phone app to help people keep track of their finances and avoid falling into debt.
Between 60 and 70 per cent of clients visiting East Lothian Citizens Advice Bureau need help with budgeting. During a financial work group session the young people involved came up with the idea of an app. Whilst paper budgets are given out at sessions, all leaners were used to working with mobile phone apps and these would always to be to hand! It was here that the idea started to grow…
Many CAB clients work with cash and can therefore easily lose track of their spending. The app works like a ‘calorie counter’ and encourages users to take a more informed view on their spending habits, alerts them to the need to prioritise spending and allows them to monitor every penny spent.
The app can be updated quickly and easily on the user’s phone or tablet computer and gives an up-to-date and accurate amount of ‘spending money’ left for the rest of the day, week or month.
“It’s almost two years since the group first got the idea for a budgeting app as part of the ‘Money for Life Challenge’,” said Sarah Matthews, Finance Capability Officer for Young People at MADCAB.
“We were runners-up in that competition, but thanks to the Money for Life Legacy Foundation and Citizens Advice Scotland, we have been able to get money to further develop it, and skyrocketapp.com who gave us a charity rate.
“One day we’d love to see it rolled out to other CABs across the country.”
Iain Gray MSP and Fiona O’Donnell MP have also welcomed the app and how it could improve the lives of those attending the Citizens Advice Bureau.
They said: “Managing money is a key skill, and right now it’s harder than ever to get by for many people. Any tool that can help with budgeting is to be welcomed, but this one from East Lothian Citizens Advice Bureau is well placed to help people here. The bureau helps thousands of people a year with their money, and has a positive impact on a great many lives.”
At the moment the app is only available on iOS but the hope is that it will be available on Android devices soon. To download the app, go to the App Store and search for ‘Budget Tracker – CAB’. It is free to download and has had positive feedback so far.