Great for: Saving
If you’re one who struggles to put money away each month, then the Chip app could be the one for you. It’s free and compatible with most UK bank accounts, and puts money away for you based on your spending behaviour. Its smart algorithm calculates how much you can afford to transfer into your chip account without it having an impact on your life, and then transfers an amount it believes to be affordable every few days. You can crack into the money anytime you want, and a chirpy little chatbot is there to help you with any questions you might have. Plus, you can get 1% on your amount for every friend you invite.
Great for: Setting budgets
You may recognise the distinctive neon orange card, but what was once a pre-paid debit card is now a fully-fledged mobile bank account. So, why open a Monzo account when you’ve got a bank account already? Well, Monzo alerts you to your outgoings with mobile notification and logs your spending as soon as it happens, organising it into several categories, such as bills, holidays, transport and eating out. It will show you a breakdown of all your spending so you can see just where your money is going. So, if you find that transport is your weak point, then maybe it’s time to give up the Ubers. Or if it’s food shopping that’s eating up your cash, you can watch more carefully what’s going into your trolley.
The great thing is, you can also set budgets for each category and Monzo will send you an alert when you’re close to the limit. So, if you set a budget for eating out for the month, then the app will send you a warning when your budget for the month is low. And speaking of eating out, it also makes sending money to friends as simple as sending a texting, making going Dutch over dinner much easier – you can also remind the friends who owe you money by billing them through the app.
Great for: Investing
Moneybox’s purpose is twofold: it helps you add to your savings, whilst also easing you into investing. The app takes your ‘change’ from everyday purchases by rounding up on purchases made with your linked debit card and automatically invests it in a stocks and shares ISA. It’s might be starting small, but every little helps – Moneybox lets you start with as little as £1 and, as your purchases mount up so will your savings. Your spare change is invested into one of three ISAs: balanced, cautious or adventurous, depending on how brave you’re feeling. And the creators are pretty proud of the results: while testing the app, users made 30 purchases a week with an average roundup of 28p, which led to them investing £8.40 weekly and £437 annually.
Great for: Holiday spending
For those who love to travel, Revolut might be the card to accompany you. It now has over 2million users, and with free international money transfers, fee-free global spending and access to cryptocurrency exchange, it’s not hard to see why. After you sign up you can request a contactless Revolut card, which you have the ability to set spending limits and freeze and unfreeze at any time for security. The app allows you to transfer money to 25 countries fee-free at the interbank exchange rate (the same rates the banks give each other). You can hold a physical balance on the app in 16 different countries, and the app allows you to view your spending habits, categorised by transaction type, merchant or country. Plus, if you’re holidaying with friends, you can use the split bill feature to divide a group meal.
Great for: Saving
If you’re someone who has a big blow-out on payday and then struggles for the rest of the month, give Squirrel a go. The app can help you stretch your paycheck by being a virtual piggy bank that’s under lock and key. Transfer your salary into Squirrel and specify how much money you need for bills and how much you want to save. Then Squirrel acts as a guardian to your cash, releasing the money for bills back into your account the day before they’re due. And if you’re trying to save something in particular – a holiday, perhaps – Squirrel will draw a certain amount of cash and ring-fence it. Any money after that is classed as spending money, which can be released all at once or, if you’re not sure you can trust yourself, can be released in instalments.
Great for: Managing loyalty cards and vouchers
Stocard is a digital wallet that stores all your loyalty cardsand vouchers in one place, allowing you to access them on your phone rather than carrying them around with you. All you need to do is scan the relevant barcode as you’re shopping and the points will automatically be transferred to your loyalty card.
Great for: Financial tracking and planning
Started in 2010 by a small team in Edinburgh, the aim of Money Dashboard is to “empower people to make the right financial decisions in life”. The app allows you to add multiple current and savings accounts, as well as credit cards to your dashboard and gives you a clear overview of your spending using graphs and tables, all on one screen. The app automatically groups and tags your recent transactions, showing when and where you’re spending your money. This in turn allows you to track your spending and set financial goals using its budget planner.
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