Money never lasts quite as long as we would like it to, and all it takes is an unexpected bill for a fragile budget to begin to crumble. The following list covers a variety of apps that have helped thousands of people already: showing bills to be paid, helping with saving, and even introducing users to the money market.
Plum is a comprehensive app, designed for those on relatively low incomes, and geared to look for ways to reduce bills and encourage savings. You can set up ‘savings pots’ and the app will work out what money can be saved where, whisking it aside to the right ‘pot’ so painlessly that you almost don’t even realise that you are saving until you check the surprisingly healthy state of your pots.
Using Plum is easy and intuitive: you let the app know what bills are due when, connect your bank account, and sit back and let the app keep you on track with your bills. There is also an introduction to the stock market – long gone are the days when stock brokers expected minimum investments of thousands. Today, you can play the stock market in tens and fives, slowly building up an understanding of how the world of global finance works.
You can use Plum free of charge for basic money management and saving, but there is a premium, paid service which offers more in-depth services.
Not only does Moneyhub help you track your day to day spending, you can keep an eye on your pension values and any investments too. The detailed dashboard shows you your net worth in a single glance, so you can keep an eye on the state of the economy as well as your bank balance – all your bank balances if you have more than one.
Moneyhub is registered with the FSA, which means it is trustworthy and highly-regarded within the world of financial regulation. The in-app tools make sure that you can monitor your spending habits and compare incomings with outgoings, and if you are worried about any of the results of this monitoring, you can speak to professionals who can help you to make changes that can improve your budgeting skills, reducing waste and increasing the value for money you receive. Once you have input all your monthly bills and outgoings, the app will send you a ‘nudge’ warning you about an impending payment out. Moneyhub offers a free trial period, after which it is a paid-for app.
Chip offers automatic saving, complete access to your spending information and analysis thereof, and can also start you off in the world of investments. The app is banked by high street banks and was the winner of the Best Personal Finance App of 2019 because of its comprehensive package and security protocols. The app is protected by the latest security encryptions, and is registered with the FCA and also by the ICO. One of the best-selling points of the app is the ‘Payday Putaway’ feature which encourages users to save on pay day, while they are still flush, whisking the money securely away out of temptation’s reach until it is needed. There is no monthly subscription for Chip, but there are charges for using some of the services.
Founded in 2009, Money Dashboard is a comprehensive one-stop screen featuring all your finances. The app is designed to help you understand your spending and saving habits and gently improve them with suggestions for reducing bills, increasing savings and ensuring that money is available when necessary for paying out via Direct Debit or standing order. The app uses Yodlee, a piece of financially geared software which forms the skeleton of many banks’ online offerings – this, added to the fact that the app does not store user IDs, name, bank account details and more, makes it one of the safest money management apps available. Money Dashboard is completely free to use, using the results of analysing suitably anonymised data to generate revenue in order to support the app’s everyday functionality.
Rooster Money (for children)
With the internet offering temptations of all sorts to our children, Rooster Money offers the perfect solution between keeping the children offline forever, and letting them spend freely in online stores. The app is designed to work with pocket money, allowing the children to upload pictures of the items they are saving for to encourage them to stick with it. The star chart and money tracker portions of the app are free, but there are paid elements too, that parents might want to invest in: the chore manager and the rooster card, which send the child their very own bank card. As well as a fun interface that makes money management easier for your little one, there are activities and challenges that help your child understand how money works.
All of these apps can be downloaded directly to your mobile device and require only a couple minutes of set up time. Take advantage of these tools to ensure that you are in complete control of your finances.