Budgeting Techniques: Apps
Mobile banking has come along in leaps and bounds. More than just instant payment, you can find budgeting apps that help you manage, save, and invest your money. There are countless apps and accounts designed to help you save. To help you understand how each works we’ve put together this handy guide. Take a look and see which apps work for you.
Here we look again at budgeting techniques and follow on from our previous article Budgeting Techniques: Bucketing.
Top budgeting apps in the UK
There are literally hundreds of apps out there designed to help you save your money, stretch your money or even invest your spare money!
With the open banking revolution taking hold there are lots of different ways you can make your money go further without you even needing to do anything!
1 – Money Dashboard
Money Dashboard is an app that brings all of your banking apps into one easy-to-use system. By routing all your accounts into Money Dashboard, you can keep track of your monthly bills on your cheque account whilst also balancing your savings app or round up accounts.
Money dashboard is full of neat features that make it easy to see where you can save money. You can categorise purchases with tags to see exactly how and where you spend your money. This is broken down into some helpful charts and graphics. While this app doesn’t let you move money between accounts, it is a great tool for checking on all of your money-saving apps without having to open each individual one.
So, you’ll finally be able to see how much you’ll save over the month by taking a packed lunch to work instead! For me, personally, it was about £75!!
2 – Emma
Emma is another app that helps you manage your money. However, instead of focusing on savings accounts, Emma takes a look at all your expenses. Once you connect your bank accounts to Emma, she’ll keep track of your purchases and suggest ways to save money. This could be anything from getting rid of any subscriptions you rarely use to suggesting making coffee at home instead of popping into a coffee shop every day. Emma will even suggest the coffee machine or cafetiere you can buy instead!
Emma suggests ways to save in a non-judgemental way. Just tips and tricks informed by your spending habits. Emma will also let you know if you are paying out on wasteful subscriptions and help you avoid overdraft charges too.
3 – Yolt
Powered by ING Bank and has “security at its core”. To be fair, it’s pretty similar to Money Dashboard in that you can add all your UK accounts onto one place.
However, it has a clever feature where you can track your money to see where you are spending.
For example, you can open up buckets for eating out, grocery shopping or household bills. Yolt will then let you know how much you’ve spent on these things so far this month based on the transactions you make.
Once it’s in black and white it can be much easier to resist that cheeky take away on your lunch break and stick to the packed lunch!
4 – Bean
Now managing your money is one thing but finding great deals is a whole different ball game. Download Bean and plug in your banking apps to get automated notifications on better deals for everything. From the household stuff like electricity providers to banking tips like which banks offer the best interest rates on savings, Bean keeps an eye on deals for you.
Once all your bank accounts are paired up to Bean, it will highlight cheaper alternatives to the products and services you regularly use, potentially saving you hundreds per year. Bean will scan your account for recurring costs and will make recommendations to help save you money.
You can also cancel any unwanted subscriptions directly through the app and so you don’t ever have to contact the company yourself. Bean will also recommend better value products and can even switch you to an alternative supplier too.
5 – Chip
Uses Artificial Intelligence to work out an amount to save for you based on your incomings and outgoings.
Once you’ve registered your accounts Chip will analyse your transactions and work out the perfect amount for you to save this month without you having to do anything.
It’s designed to make savings for you “without you even noticing it”.
If you want to save more or less you can adjust the settings. Chip also allows you to create Buckets for your own personal savings goals.
6 – Moneybox
Besides dedicated savings accounts, you can also look at investment apps like Moneybox. Moneybox takes regular contributions every week and puts into an investment portfolio for you. You can add £5, £10, or a custom amount every week.
You can also add a payday boost to increase your investment and reach your target quicker. This is a long term savings plan so be prepared to leave money in this account for several years. Withdrawing funds also take a couple of weeks to rectify so investing in an app, like Moneybox, stops you from dipping into savings unnecessarily.
7 – Monzo
An even easier way to save money is to turn on roundups in your banking app. Monzo has become hugely popular for this service alone. Roundups work on every transaction you make with that card. Whether you’re buying a pint of milk or paying your rent, a roundup will round up the payment to the nearest pound and put the difference into a savings account. Saving 10p on every purchase builds up and can help you get the start you need for a savings account or even just a rainy day fund.
8 – Banking apps (Lloyds, Halifax, Natwest etc.)
Banks have had to adapt to compete with the likes of the apps above. That’s why whatever bank you are with, you should download their mobile app and see what it offers. Lloyds do cashback on everyday offers and several banks now allow you to do roundups too. As apps come in and innovate major banks adapt to meet new customer needs. So whatever you download, make sure to check your current bank app and see if it offers similar capabilities.
What is the best budgeting app?
When we were looking around to find out about budgeting apps, Money Dashboard was towards the top of everyone’s list.
It’s been here the longest and has the most subscribers; so let the numbers do the talking.
It does, however, depend on what your personal needs are and what you want from the App itself. We have only discussed the features of these apps and have no affiliation with any companies listed above at all.
To find out more about online apps for budgeting or the new Open Banking laws enabling companies to design these money-saving apps then read out other articles;