If you want to be in control of your finances, effectively managing your budget is crucial. It prevents us from running out of money before the month ends or needing to dip into our savings for everyday expenses.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online tools out there to give you a helping hand. Do you want to identify your spending habits? Or perhaps you want to earn cashback when you shop online?
Keep reading. In this blog, we list seven apps designed to help you make your money go further. For each one, we’ll also give you its overall rating out of five, based on reviews received by Smart Money People.
Apps for general money management
Our first suggestion is Snoop. This is a great general money management tool that includes many useful functions. For example, you can securely link it to your bank accounts and credit cards to quickly see the balances in one place.
It also analyses your spending, dividing it into various categories and offers month-by-month comparisons too.
It puts you back in control with money-saving offers as well as alerts when you’re nearing the spending limits set by you.
Overall rating: 4.88*
There are already 1.6 million very satisfied Emma users who have found that it’s a first-rate way to keep a handle on their finances.
It includes powerful tools to analyse your bank accounts and investments to put you in control.
More than this, it allows you to make or request payments by sending links or QR codes.
For savers, it allows you to create specific pots. For example, you may be saving for a wedding or a dream holiday.
Overall rating: 4.86*
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
YNAB works a little differently to other budgeting apps. It asks you to assign a particular job to each pound you earn. These are divided into spending, debt or savings.
You need to assign how to divide up your money into these three categories.The aim is to use it all up by the time you receive your next salary payment. You can also set targets to plan for upcoming expenses. It may sound complicated but you soon get the hang of it and there’s plenty of online help available.
Overall rating: 4.78*
Apps for saving
Chip is a clever combination of savings app and actual savings accounts. Not only does this let you set your savings goals, but it also uses AI to calculate how much you can realistically save.
There are several Chip savings accounts you can put your money into, all offering competitive rates of interest. For example, there’s the 90-day interest account, an instant access account and even a Prize Savings Account with a share of £75,000 to be won every month.
Plus they are all FSCS protected so savings up to £85,000 are safe.
Overall rating: 4.92*
Plum won ‘Best personal finance app’ in our British bank Awards 2023.
While Plum helps with spending, it’s earned its place on this list thanks to the support that it can give to savers and investors.
An automated savings app like Plum is powered by AI, and can analyse your spending and make the amounts you auto-save dynamic. Plum can adapt to save more when you have some spare cash, or less if things are looking a bit tight that month.
Other features of Plum include roundups (rounding up your transactions so you can save the spare change), saving challenges, options to invest your money** and more.
Overall rating: 4.94*
Apps for cashback
We’re all pretty familiar with the idea of cashback by now. Every time you spend with specific retailers or service providers online you receive a certain percentage back via an app like TopCashback.
You simply need to register and then visit the site where you want to shop with thousands of top brands via Topcashback. Your cashback is automatically credited to your account and you can choose to withdraw it in a number of ways. These include direct to your bank account, via Pay Pal or even in the form of gift cards that can even include a bonus of up to 20%.
Overall rating: 4.67*
On average, the ten million plus users of Quidco earn around £300 a year in cashback from 5,000 or so brands.
Quidco promises to match any level of cashback you can find for the same retailer in the UK, and even add a little bit on top to reward you.
Overall rating: 4.93*
So there are plenty of tools out there to help you budget, save and even earn a little cash back.
Choose the right ones to suit your lifestyle and finances and you’re certain to be more in control and even a little better off.
*This was the Smart Score when this blog was published on 20 December 2023.
**It’s important to do your own research before deciding to invest. Make sure you understand the level of risk you’re taking first. The value of your investments can go down as well as up. So you may get back less than you put in.