What are the best mobile apps to save you money?

Jessie Day

by , Freelance writer

27 Mar 2020 /  

27
Mar 2020

What are the best mobile apps to save you money?

Money saving apps. You know you need one, but with more options than ever, how do you choose? The best money-saving apps are easy to set up and use, give you helpful insights and connect seamlessly with your current financial set-up and payments, where necessary.

In no particular order, here are our top ten apps to save money, from budget planners and savings tools to on-the-go investment.

Monzo

Monzo Savings Pots feature competitive interest rates for your savings, round up any spare change, and use clever imagery and challenges to create goals and keep you on track.

How it’s useful:

Monzo is a fully regulated UK bank, with protection firmly in place. When you spend more than £1, they’ll round your spare change up to the nearest pound and pop it into your savings pot. This gives you a low-effort style of saving, if you’re looking for a no-fuss option.

Saving with Monzo can be automated, putting money aside every time you spend, and competitive rates can earn you up to 1.31% fixed AER.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

Clever triggers can help you save in a fun, timely way, like putting £5 into your ‘Rainy Day’ pot whenever it gets hotter than 20 degrees.

Starling Bank

The Goals feature from Starling Bank gives you another fun, visual way to save. It works by ring-fencing money for your different goals, moving towards them at a pace that suits you whilst earning interest.

How it’s useful:

Starling emphasise three key aspects: it’s easy, visual and a way of saving on autopilot. You can transfer money over from your main Starling Bank balance (and back out again), plus do the same sort of rounding up and visualising featured by Monzo (above).

If you bank with Starling you can set Goals up quickly and easily, scheduling payments if you’d like.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

The satisfaction that comes with every Goal achieved - thanks to positive notifications and on-screen features - is hard to beat. Oh, and as they’re a partner of PensionBee, you can see your real-time PensionBee balance right next to your real-time Starling current account balance!

Money Dashboard

This is a free, established personal finance app, with over 500,000 registered users. It’s multi-award winning and lists all the banks and financial platforms it connects with before you sign up, including Barclays, HSBC, Halifax, Lloyds Bank and us at PensionBee.

How it’s useful:

As you’d expect, the focus here is a bright, clean dashboard, which gives you a clear idea of where your money’s going. Money Dashboard will categorise everything for you automatically and show all of your accounts in one place, they say ‘no matter who you bank with’.

There’s also an automated tagging feature, which assigns handy categories to your transactions. You can create your own, too.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

We really like the planner, which helps you look into the future, see your predicted income, spending and balances and set new forecasts for where you might be at the end of the month, or after a high-spend period, for example.

Emma

More like a friendly assistant than an app, Emma focuses on helping you avoid overdrafts and get rid of wasteful subscriptions, connecting your accounts in one place, for free.

How it’s useful:

Emma is built to analyse your transactions, summarising all your recurring payments across your accounts. You can even add your pensions. They also feature ‘bank-level’ security, with no login credentials stored and state-of-the-art encryption.

The user experience (UX) you get with Emma is exceptional, and the visuals give you a calm, clear way of tracking what’s what. You can also create manual accounts for cash expenses, or any bank they don’t connect with yet. They’re also a partner of ours, meaning you can sign up to us through their dashboard and view your PensionBee balance in the app, once you’re a customer.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

The payday syncing feature is really handy, giving you a picture of the pay period you’re in and how much you have left.

Plum

Introducing itself as an ‘AI assistant that grows your money’, Plum helps you save, but gives you the option to invest too. You can set it up for free in a couple of minutes, joining over 650,000 other users.

How it’s useful:

Plum links with your bank (it supports all the major UK brands) and does some clever analysis to learn more about your income and spending, through your transactions. Every few days it does a clever calculation, transferring a suitable amount from your bank account into your Plum savings. Again, a low-effort starting point for your everyday savings.

Along with saving, Plum focuses on helping you invest your money. It provides lots of different options, from investments in Google to backing companies focused on social responsibility.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

The app also prides itself on preventing you from being ‘ripped off’ by your bills, calculating how much you could save by switching and showing you the logic. If you decide to switch, it can help you with that too.

Squirrel

The team at Squirrel pride themselves on helping you never go over budget again, including your overdraft limit.

How it’s useful:

You’ll get a weekly allowance to spend on whatever you like, once Squirrel has split the rest of your salary up into bills and savings goals. Instead of worrying about whether you can pay a bill each month, Squirrel will keep that money safe and separate, ready to be paid on time.

The main point of the app is to keep your money ‘out of sight and out of mind’, lowering the temptation to dip in and borrow from your savings pots and therefore growing your money faster.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

You can make every Monday a payday with Squirrel, with weekly payments out of your overall income leaving you with leftover money at the end of each month.

Moneyhub

Another app that lets you see all of your finances in one place – from bank accounts and borrowing to investments like your PensionBee plan.

How it’s useful:

The difference with Moneyhub comes in the advice and guidance. You’ll get nudges with tips for better saving and spending, but can also connect with an expert through the app, share your data instantly and securely, and collaborate with them to get your money working harder.

There’s lots of advice and guidance around open banking too, if you need it, plus tools to help you understand your money better.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

It has to be the opportunity to connect with an expert, share your data and start doing some serious improvement work on your finances. All through the app, and with bank-level security.

PensionBee

Our app gets you pension confident, making it easy to combine, contribute to and withdraw from your pensions online.

How it’s useful:

Many people have one or two, if not lots of, pensions floating around, but aren’t quite sure where they are or how they’re performing. We’ve changed all that by transferring your old pensions into a brand new plan. It makes things much simpler, and gives you a clear balance you can check and connect with any time.

The idea is to bring your pension(s) closer to you, and make them part of your everyday financial life, instead of something you’ve filed away to deal with later.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

The app lets you set up direct debits or bank transfers, and we’re particularly proud of our super-smart retirement planner. It’ll tell you what you’re projected to have a retirement and help you plan your pension payments.

Yolt

Again, it’s an app that connects all your accounts, giving you an easy-access overall view of your finances and savings. But Yolt are a venture of industry veterans ING Bank N.V. and come with the innovation, open banking and security measures to match.

How it’s useful:

Yolt is focused on changing the way people think about money, with a slick dashboard and helpful nudges designed to spur you into action.

You’ll get a view of all your current accounts, savings, credit cards, pensions and investments (including PensionBee), with a clever tool which customises the dashboard and categories, depending on what you need.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

We love the weekly snapshot you’ll get on the dashboard, giving you smart insights into how your money’s doing and where there’s room for improvement.

Cleo

It’s an in-your-face brand, and that’s one of the reasons we like Cleo. Direct, no nonsense information and perspective on your money, and a groundbreaking interface and communication style that feels less like a bank, more like a personal money trainer.

How it’s useful:

Cleo have over 1.5 million users, and counting. Aside from its very human sense of humour and fast-thinking guidance, the app features cashback on everyday spending, plus a handy boost if you’re caught short ahead of payday. There’s also their self-termed ‘actually useful’ spending breakdown and goals to ‘crush’ with a spending budget.

The app will track your bills too, and help you earn 1% interest on your savings.

Our best money-saving apps feature:

The app stands out for its tone of voice and tough love, and as savings nerds we’re fans of the ‘roasting’ you’ll get from Cleo if you go over your budget or fritter cash away.

Are there any handy saving apps we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments!

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Capital at risk

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Put your pension in the palm of your hand

Get started in 5 minutes. Sign up to PensionBee and we’ll combine your old pensions into a new plan that you can manage from your smartphone.

Sign up now

Capital at risk

PensionBee product shot

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Have a question?

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