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Personal finance apps

Personal finance apps can help you budget, keep track of spending, pay bills and put away money for your savings goals. Which is the best app to help you keep on top of your money and how to choose the best budget app in the UK?

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How do personal finance apps work?

Money saving apps can help you reach your savings goals, while choosing the best budgeting app can enable you to keep track on your spending. A budget app can also see where you spend the most on a weekly or monthly basis and help you work out how to save money. It can show where you can cut costs or reduce expenses to free up money for you to put in a savings account.

Online and mobile service is becoming increasingly important when choosing a bank account or credit card, and banking apps are available from all banks. There are also an increasing number of mobile apps to help you manage your money while you are on the go, manage all your accounts in one place, and pay bills easily via your mobile phone.

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What are banking apps?

Apps (short for software application) enable you to manage your banking and your finances via your mobile phone.

For example, with your banking app, you can transfer money, look at recent transactions and check your balance. Personal finance apps can help you track spending and manage your money better, while savings apps can aid you in savings towards your goals.

What are the best personal finance apps?

The best finance app is the one that suits your lifestyle and financial needs. You may need more than one money app on your phone.

For example, you might have a banking app for your current account with your bank, and then a savings account app or budgeting app to help you manage your money and set savings goals for the future. Some apps enable you to see all of your accounts on one dashboard.

Before you sign up to a personal finance app, think about what you need in a budgeting app as this will make it easier for you to choose the right personal finance app for you. 

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Switch to a better current account

With the switch guarantee scheme it has never been easier to move to a bank that works for you.

How do budgeting and finance apps work?

Personal finance apps can help us manage our money in our busy modern lives. Many people have irregular income and may not be paid on the same day every month.

One of the big advantages of personal finance apps is that you can check the status of your bank balance and your savings accounts whenever you need to.

Some apps can move your spare money into virtual savings pots or suggest different deals which would work for you. You can also choose to allocate money to the life goals that you have set for yourself. Many are interactive and use artificial intelligence to interact with you and make recommendations.

Personal finance apps allow you to save very small amounts of money, which is a much more flexible option than a traditional savings account which might have a minimum opening balance. You can sweep your spare change into a savings account so that you save regularly and build up a nest egg or rainy day savings account.

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What are the advantages of personal finance apps?

Anyone who has downloaded and used a banking or savings app on their phone will appreciate the convenience of being able to check their money in real time 24/7.

Mobile banking, savings and money management apps can help you set savings goals, check how you are spending money, allocate money into different accounts, and monitor what is happening in your savings account. 

For example, Monzo, which started out as a pre-paid debit card, is now a full mobile bank account while money management apps like Moneyhub and Money Dashboard enable you to keep track of all your accounts and let you view current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards within the one app.

Some apps now have built-in artificial intelligence functionality which can nudge you making savings or moving your money around.

Apps like Chip and Plum use AI to analyse spending and help you reduce bills. OpenMoney gives personal financial advice to help you save for the future and manage your money better.

Read our guide to Top Savings Accounts and ISAs

Which is the best personal finance app for me?

Choosing the best personal finance app for you depends on what you need the app to do. Here are some of the best money apps and budgeting apps for you.

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Banking apps: All the high street banks have mobile apps to complement their online banking facility and their high street branches.

Functionality has improved in recent years and you can use your banking app to move money, pay bills and invoices, check your balance, manage standing orders and direct debits. Mobile apps also enable you to apply for personal loans, credit cards, regular savings accounts and Cash ISAs.

If you have a banking app with Barclays, Halifax, Smile (Co-Op), NatWest, HSBC, First Direct, Lloyds, Santander or RBS then you should also be able to message your bank via the mobile app, get help, view frequently asked questions, set up Apple Wallet and use Paym Services. 

Savings apps: Saving money apps can help you build up a savings deposit and save money towards your goals. This might be for home improvements, a holiday or to be more financially secure.

For example, if you can build up three months of income, enough to cover essential bills and expenditure, it can reduce your money worries significantly.

Personal finance apps: The new generation of personal finance apps enable you to see all your accounts in one place, move money between current and savings accounts, check spending and help with paying bills and invoices.

What is the best money management app? 

The best finance app or budget app in the UK depends on what you want and need your personal finance app to do. Here are some of the best personal finance apps currently available:

Best apps for savings and investment: 

Plum: helps you analyse your bills and invest your spare money. Plum helps you to set money aside, pay your bills, and start to invest.

You can use Plum to move spare money into a savings account automatically. This can be very useful and means you will be saving regularly without having to remember to make the transfer. It also offers an investment option.

Moneyhub: helps you work out where your money is going, and gives you tips on investing and savings for your future. It enables you to see all of your accounts in one place, including your bank account, investments and other assets. You can see how your spending is going and use tools to help you manage your money and your spending in a better way. Moneyhub’s tools can also change the way you manage your money. For example, it categorises your spending and gives you timely nudges to save better or get a better deal on your credit cards or other financial products. 

Chip: sweeps your spare money into a “savings account” so you save steadily and regularly. It works out how much you can afford to save and moves your money into a savings account for your automatically.

Best apps for tracking debt and saving money

Emma: helps you avoid paying for overdrafts, wasting money on things you do not need and keeping track of your debt. For example, it can help you cancel subscriptions you are not using, and it gives you an update on your finances so you can see how much money you have left until you are paid.

Money Dashboard: enables you to see your accounts, spending patterns and budgets in one place. You can set goals, check on your investments and provides a dashboard so you can see all your accounts and finances in one place. It also offers financial products which you can sign up to.

Yolt: shows you where your spending is going and gives you information on ways you can save money. It is a smart money platform, enabling users to see all their financial accounts in one place. Its features include an account for daily spending, a separate Money Jar for savings, Jar Boosters, which automatically put aside leftover change and unexpected windfalls in the form of a refund, a salary increase or even a bonus. 

Snoop: helps you watch your spending and enables you to spot ways you can save as well as seeing all your accounts in one place. It keeps an eye on your bills and remembers where you shop so that it can offer deals and voucher codes for you to use in the future. It enables you to save money on things that you are already buying or using in your daily life.

Mint: Mint is designed to track your money across all your accounts including banking, credit cards, savings and investments. It provides an online budget tracker as well as personalized insights, custom budgets, spend tracking, and subscription monitoring. It helps you stay on top of your bills, invoices, spending and subscriptions.

Cleo: Cleo is a fun, personalised money app which helps you set a personalized budget, breakdown your spending, understand where your money is going, and save money fast with goals, hacks, autosave features and AI nudges.

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