Most people today are not without their smartphone. In fact, these little gadgets have become our best friends when it comes to managing our lives. But could we get smarter and use them to better manage our finances?
With hundreds of apps to choose from, we’ve picked out some top money apps to help you budget, put money into savings and even slash the cost of your everyday spending. Every phone should have these!
Before you can even think about saving, it’s important to get to grips with budgeting. Knowing what you’re spending, and how much money in coming in and out of your account is vital to budgeting and saving.
The Money Dashboard app helps keep track of your spending by connecting all your bank accounts and credit cards. You can then see all your outgoings in one place at a glance. It makes use of clear visuals and also includes a budget planner, so you can avoid that end of month struggle.
The app has bank-level security and is read-only, meaning no transactions can be made using the app.
With low interest rates, investing is the perfect way to make your money work harder, but it isn’t always easy to put a large sum away. But with the MoneyBox app, you can actually put small amounts away into an investment ISA, without even realising it.
The app rounds up everyday purchases to the nearest pound and invests the change. So, a £2.40 coffee purchase would round up to £3 – meaning 60p would go into investing. All you have to do is connect a spending card and choose how much you want to round it up by. The money is then shifted into an investment ISA.
You are unlikely to miss the money and the savings can really grow.
The app is free for 3 months and then it costs £1 a month plus a platform and fund fee. If you are just getting started with investing, then this is a great way to kick-start the savings habit.
If you are just looking save, but don’t seem to have anything left at the end of each month, then the Chip app can really help. The app takes a look at your spending each month and automatically shifts some money into savings.
You give the app read-only access to your account and Chip will use artificial intelligence-powered algorithms to determine what you can afford to put into savings. The savings are held in an instant-access account at Barclays, but you can move it to another savings account if you prefer.
Last but not least, Chip puts its money where its mouth is and refunds any fees incurred if you are taken into overdraft.
Plum combines budgeting, saving and investing all in one easy to use app. It analyses your transactions and finds patterns in your income and spending habits; it then calculates an amount you can realistically save each week, and automatically transfers this to a Plum account.
There you can then put this money into ‘pockets’ that are assigned to different savings goals, some of which now pay interest (depending on your subscription). There’s also an option is to invest your funds in an ISA or the stock market.
Plum can even help you save money on your bills. They let you know you if you’re being overcharged and calculate how much you can save if you switch. You can even switch in the app.
Whether you’re on a shopping spree on the High Street or eating out with friends, this app can save you serious money.
The Vouchercloud app gives discounts at various retailers and restaurants – all you have to do is log in, find an offer, and then show the discount code to the staff for money off the bill. It really is that easy. Turn on location preferences for the app so that it can show all the nearby discounts.
Gone are the days of cutting out coupons to get money off groceries. The CheckoutSmart app will not only give you money off your groceries, but there are also regular freebies available to users.
When you shop a featured deal, keep the receipt, which you then snap and send to the app for the money back on purchases. The cash is paid back into your bank account. The savings on the app really add up. Just keep hold of receipts until the cashback is confirmed.
It’s hard to know if you’re getting the best price when shopping in store, whether it’s electricals, toys or beauty products, for example. But with the Pricespy app, you can compare prices to make sure you never overpay. Sometimes the price difference between stores can be significant, so it’s a handy app when out shopping.
You can also set up alerts if you want something, but are waiting for a price drop. Don’t be afraid to ask for a price match if you see something cheaper elsewhere!