Times being as tough as they are, we need every bit of help we can get to make sense of our finances and tighten the purse strings a bit.

Luckily, Microsoft has included a number of useful applications in the Windows 8.1 Store for just such a purpose.

Monthly Budget Planner

Monthly Budget Planner

Price: R50

The app helps you plan, manage, and track your budget on a monthly basis, and gives you the ability to set up a spending plan at the beginning of the month. From there you can track your spending throughout the month, and also set up a savings plan when it comes to buying a new car or going on holiday. The app will open with a default spending plan, but almost everything is customisable to your liking.

“Manage your spending”
Get it from the Windows Store

Debt Tracker

Debt Tracker

Price: R20

With monthly payments and debit orders, it can be rather easy to lose track of it all. This app will help you keep track of what is going to whom, and it will also calculate how much of a difference one extra payment can make. It lets you easily track and analyse all your debts in one place, including instalment loans and revolving credit. Through a special sections you will also see payoff progress and present you with a useful chart on your overall debt.

“Track all your outgoing debts”
Get it from the Windows Store 

Just Money

Just Money

Price: R20

Just Money is a simple application that also allows you to manage your personal finances. With a minimalistic design it is easy and quick to add transaction, and features a dashboard account status indicator, expense tracker and an easy monthly salary setup. After a couple of months of use, the app will be able to display your top expenses, deliver financial reports and show your transaction history by months.

“Just your money and reports”
Get it from the Windows Store

Mint.com Personal Finance

Mint

Price: Free

Featured by CNN, PC Magazine and Wired, the free application claims to be the best way to manage your financial situation. Mint pulls in all your personal finance accounts into one place, so you can manage your money from anywhere. You can track your spending, create a budget, and get live updates for your accounts right on the Windows Start screen. Through some clever graphics, the app can produce easy-to-read charts and graphs so that you can see exactly where your money is going.

“Voted as one of the best”
Get it from the Windows Store

Receipt Manager

Receipt ManagerPrice: Free

For those who want to keep track of their spending and spending habits, this app will allow you to do just that. Simply snap a picture of the receipt or input the data manually, and the app will do the rest. And if you ever need to retrieve your receipts, the app will store them as well for reference. You can sort all of your receipts by date, store, and total or per item. There is also a Receipt Manager for personal budgeting, tax returns and warranty tracking.

“Keep track of all your receipts”
Get it from the Windows Store
[Image – CC by 2.0/penguincakes]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.