Get Appy

Home — By on August 21, 2014 1:57 pm

app group

An innovative group of East Lothian young people have come up with a Citizens Advice Bureau budgeting app to help clients keep track of their finances and avoid falling into debt.  The app, which is easy to use, can be updated quickly and easily on the users’ phone and give an up-to-date and accurate amount of ‘spending money’ left for the rest of the day, week or month.

 

Good budgeting help is crucial at this time, as the cost of living continuously outstrips income increases.  Between 60-70% of clients coming to East Lothian Citizens Advice Bureaux need help with their budgeting.  The app will be used with all these clients in the bureau, and those with iPhones or iPods will be encouraged to continue using it in their everyday lives.  The group has been helped by www.skyrocketapp.com  in the development of the tool, but require a further £5000 to develop the app for ‘android’-type phones.

 

Sarah Matthews, Financial Capability Officer for Young People at Musselburgh CAB says,

 

“Developing the app has been a fantastic experience.  We, as a group of young people, have learnt so much not just about money, but also technology and project management. It’s great to think that our app can help people get out of financial difficulty, and hopefully avoid it in the first place.

“The app is so easy to use, and the feedback so far has been very positive. As soon as you start getting some pocket money, right up until you collect your pension, this app can help you keep close tabs on what you spend and how much extra you have left over to save, treat yourself or keep for the weekend.

“It’s almost two years since the group first got the idea for a budgeting app as part of the ‘Money for Life Challenge’.  We came runner 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 CAB across the country.”

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian said:

“The challenges posed by benefits cuts, low wages and rising prices mean that this kind of app is invaluable, and I’m delighted to see it being successfully launched. I’ve spoken in parliament about the importance of the work young people involved with Musselburgh CAB are doing; they are a credit to their community.

“I’m sure the ELCAB app will help many people navigate the cost of living during these tough times. It’s great to see young people involved with Citizens Advice and I’d urge anyone struggling to keep on top of their finances to give the app a go or seek out support from their local CAB.”

Local politicians, Iain Gray MSP and Fiona O’Donnell MP have also welcomed the app:

“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 Bureaux is well placed to help people here.  The bureaux help thousands of people a year with their money, and have a positive impact on a great many lives.”

 

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