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top 5 budgeting apps

July 23rd 2014 14:13
gadgets finance budgeting gizmo technology finance

Get, and keep, your finances in order with these great budgeting apps.

iOS – free
Android – free

This app was developed by Aussies and works with Australian bank accounts. A highly rated budgeting app, Pocketbook does it all!


Sync your bank account(s) securely and the app will automatically categorise your income & expenses
Budget categories based on your spending history so they make sense
Enter and sort cash transactions manually
Add photo’s of receipts, bills or invoices to organise & track expenses
Bill tracking/alerts and reminders

iOS – free
Android - free

TrackMySpend was developed as a part of MoneySmart, a website created and managed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission that offers guidance on all things financial ‘to help people make the most of their money’. As the name suggests TrackMySpend is more of a spend tracker than a complete budgeting app. However, if a spend tracker is what you’re after, then TrackMySpend does the trick.


Set a total weekly, fortnightly or monthly ‘budget’ and keep track of how you’re going
Create categories for your expenses & set ‘budgets’ for each category

Record expenses as either ‘needs’ or ‘wants’ so you can quickly see where you can ‘save’
Sync’s across all of your devices so you can manage your spend no matter where you are
Free backup

Track my spend (1) Track my spend (2)

iOS – $2.49
Android - free

Again, more of an expense tracker than a complete budgeting app, the beauty of Spendee lies in its simplicity and well-designed interface.


Easy to use manual entry – add transactions quickly & as they happen
Customise spend categories to suit your needs
Set reoccurring income and expenses such as monthly bills
Graphs & charts that visually identify where your money is going
Store photo’s of bills and/or receipts

iOS – $6.49 (Lite version, free)
Android – $6.72 (Lite version, free)

HomeBudget is aptly named – it’s a fully fledged budgeting app perfect for managing your day-to-day household finances. Its key feature is ‘Family Sync’ which gives you the ability to sync your budget across various devices so that each person is working off the same ‘budget’.


Create & customise your own budget categories and sub-categories
Track against your budget in each category
Link your income & expenses with specific ‘accounts’ to keep track of account balances
Set reoccurring income and expenses & bill payment alerts
Search expenses at a later date

HomeBudget (1) HomeBudget (2) HomeBudget (3)

Note: These screenshots show US transactions, however HomeBudget is available in AUD, simply changing the currency in the settings.

iOS – $6.49
Android - $5.40

Similar to HomeBudget, MoneyWiz offers complete budget management. The key? You can keep track of all of your accounts in the one app. Create accounts then import your bank statements into those accounts; you can even create a cash account to keep track of the money you have in your wallet.


Record income and expenses and even move money between accounts
Enter transactions faster with auto-complete
Sort, filter and search transactions
Set budgets and receive alerts when you’re getting close to going over
Bill scheduling and reminders


Fail-Proof Gardening Tips

July 22nd 2014 08:07

food tomatoes carrots beans radish basil

5 Easiest Foods to Grow in Your Garden
Try out your green thumb with these easy-to-grow foods.

You don’t have to head to the grocery store or farmer’s market for delicious, fresh produce this summer. Just make a trip to your backyard. Growing your own vegetables and herbs has its perks. Aside from saving you money, gardening can help you lose weight, lower your risk of heart attack and stroke and motivate your children to eat healthier. What’s even better: You don’t need a green thumb. Any gardening newbie can be successful with these five easy-to-grow foods.

1. Tomatoes

No store-bought tomato can compare to a perfectly ripe one plucked fresh from your garden. That could be why tomatoes are the most widely grown vegetables in American gardens. All they need is a little water and 6-8 hours of sun a day. You don’t even have to start with seeds. It’s easy to buy a starter plant and add it to your garden. Tomatoes are most famous for their high content of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Studies have found that tomatoes can protect against certain forms of cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol.

2. Carrots
Carrots are another great go-to gardening vegetable. They grow best in temperatures from 40 to 85 degrees F – quite a range! Carrots are known for their role in eye health, but that’s not all. These bright orange vegetables support skin health, bolster your immune system, help you live longer and have been found to lower the risk of breast cancer.

3. Green Beans
Green beans give you a big return for minimal investment. The large seeds are easy to plant and grow very quickly. Bush beans are especially easy and give you ample harvest. Pole beans take up even less space in the garden and offer a longer season of productivity. No matter the variety, green beans are full of vitamin C, which helps reduce high blood pressure, prevent cataracts, improve lung function and more.

4. Radishes
Radishes are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. The ideal temperature is between 60 to 65 degrees F and the plants mature in just 18 to 45 days. That’s fast! Radishes grow best with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. All varieties of radishes are very low in calories and are a good source of both vitamin C and calcium – so don’t just use them for garnish.

5. Basil
When you get basil from the grocery store, it typically comes in a large bunch. And unless you’re cooking for a crowd, chances are a lot of that basil is going to spoil. When you grow your own, however, you won’t have that problem. Just plant basil seeds directly in the soil in a full-sun area. When the leaves get to a good size you can break them off and use them whenever you want. Use basil to season chicken breast or add basil to a broth.


Use This Bread Spread to Lower LDL

July 22nd 2014 07:53

plat sterols food butter substitutes lower LDL

Lower your LDL by spreading this on your bagel in the morning: a plant-sterol-enhanced spread.

When people in a study added 2 grams of plant sterol spread to their daily diets, the effect was exactly that. Their bad cholesterol dropped anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent.

The Power of Plants
Plant sterols and stanols are potent little chemicals found naturally in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. They help lower LDL cholesterol by interfering with the body's ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Consuming plant sterols while taking a statin may provide even bigger benefits. In the study, the two together dropped LDL cholesterol an additional 10 percent. That's some powerful heart protection!

Beyond Cholesterol
Emerging studies suggest that plant sterols and stanols could end up doing much more for your health than lowering your LDL levels. A combination of plant sterols and omega-3s may help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease, according to research. And people who eat a diet rich in plant sterols may have lower rates of lung, stomach, breast, and prostate cancer as well. These little plant compounds also act as age-fighting antioxidants.

Plant sterols and stanols are added to certain food products -- like bread spreads, salad dressings, and yogurts -- during processing. Check labels.

From: real age


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