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COLUMN - Welcome back. I hope you had a great festive season and are feeling refreshed and excited about the new year. If you’re like me, you probably over-indulged a little. Today, I have two apps to share that may help you stick to two classic New Year’s resolutions: getting fit and saving money.

Both apps can help to develop good habits - whether it’s a bit of money left over at the end of the month or an exercise routine you can stick to.

Spending: We all like to splurge on things we don’t really need. Recognising impulse purchases can help you adjust your daily spending habits. Visual representations of the money you spent in the past month just on entertainment alone (for example) can be quite an eye-opener.

Available for Windows 10 PCs and Apple or Android devices, Spending Tracker by MH Riley is a simple app that helps to record income and expenditure. It doesn’t do much more than you could accomplish with a spreadsheet and some charts, but it’s much less of a hassle - plus the mobile versions make it easy to record transactions on the go. All you need to do is record your expenses and income, and the app will keep you up to date on your balance and spending progress.

It’s quick to install, easy to use and free with the option of a paid “Pro” upgrade that adds a few non-essentials, but nice-to-have features. The Windows 10 app can be installed from the Microsoft Store at https://tinyurl.com/stwinapp. You will need a free Microsoft account to sign in and install apps, if you don’t already have one. Similarly, you can find the Apple or Android version of the app by searching for Spending Tracker in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, respectively.

Fitness: Those who know me well will chuckle at the thought of me doing anything resembling a fitness workout, but I am prepared to at least dedicate a few minutes a day to exercising muscles that spend most of the day either asleep or squashed. I’m using the J&J Official 7 Minute Workout app, made by the US-based Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions - yes, they do more than manufacture baby powder.

Designed by the impressively toned Chris Jordon, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute, this seven-minute workout app tackles all areas of fitness and (from what I can tell), most parts of the body. No specialist equipment is required - chairs and walls feature regularly though. I’ve given the preconfigured seven-minute (it’s more like 10) workout a few tries and managed most of the exercises, feeling moderately exhausted but rather smug each time.

It does require commitment and determination, but if you work through the 72 exercises and loads of additional customisable workouts, it’s like a personal trainer in your pocket, without the expense So you cut your spending too. Get the app by searching the app store for it by name - ensure it’s the J&J Official one and not one of the many other workout apps. The provider’s website is http://7minuteworkout.jnj.com. Good luck!

The Mercury