5 budgeting apps designed to help you save more, spend less

5 budgeting apps designed to help you save more, spend less

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  • Because every little helps.

    Worried about the cost of living as energy prices go through the roof and living costs hit a 30-year high in the UK?

    You’re not alone. It’s a worrying time and, if your financial anxiety is an all time high, fear not – we’ve got plenty of expert-led tips to help you through.

    Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best budgeting apps to save your pennies – because every little helps, and educating yourself on what exactly you spend your money on and further, where you could make some key savings, will only serve you (and your bank account) in the long run.

    While our guides to how to invest for beginners, and handy holiday hacks might help, these apps are cleverly designed to help you save smart and do most of the hard work for you. Like what you hear? Us too…

    Budgeting apps: 5 to help you save £££

    1. Emma 

    What is it? Pitched as ‘your best financial friend’ with playful graphics to match, Emma automatically tracks and categorises your spending across different bank accounts. It will encourage you to cancel subscriptions you’re not using and it’ll sync your budgets with your payday.  

    What do the reviewers think? Cifizz said: “I’ve been using Emma daily for over a month now and I must say I am really impressed […] Ideal as I am saving for a deposit and it’s great to see my finances all in one place rather than having to open multiple apps and scribble down the value of each pot in a diary or spreadsheet […] The weather and compliments are a light little touch which are seemingly unnecessary but nice all the same!”

    Download from the app store now.

    2. Money Manager 

    What is it? This app has a range of impressive personal finance features. It will present your budgets in handy charts, provide a calendar view of your transactions, let you view your spending with a range of filtering options AND allow you to add photos of your receipts to your expenses. Phew! 

    What do the reviewers think? Krista said: “I downloaded about 10 budgeting apps at the same time to discover which one was the best to keep [..] I loved this one out of them all, it is free and the ads are small and kept at the bottom so they are not annoying at all. This app is simple yet has many features […] This app has helped me realise how much I spend eating out and each month I am setting a more reasonable food budget that has allowed me to save some money.”

    Download from the app store now.

    3. Plum 

    What is it? If you love finding clever ways to save, Plum might be the one for you. Its “active budgeting” feature monitors your spending on household bills and alerts you if you could save by switching suppliers. You can also allocate money into separate “pockets” so it’s easier to reserve savings for different things. 

    The app can also help you start investing and manage your pension. “It’s like giving your bank a brain,” according to the website. 

    What do the reviewers think? Alaska1970 said: “This app has helped me turn my addiction to online shopping into an addiction to saving […] I now have one pocket for holidays, another for tax, another for NI contributions, and for whatever I want to save for. And because it’s laid out visually, I can get an immediate glimpse of where I’m at with things. My motivation to save has increased tenfold and I now prefer adding money to my pockets to blowing it online on things I don’t really need.”

    Download from their website now.

    4. Buddy

    What is it? Fed up of your housemates spending the toilet roll kitty on beer? Buddy lets you create a shared budget and shows you how much each party has spent. While many other budgeting apps link with your bank accounts, with Buddy you have to upload your expenses manually — but presumably this is because it’s designed to be shared. 

    What do the reviewers think? Jourdan94 said: “You have to do a little more leg work to manage your purchases, yes, but I feel like the benefits of this app outweigh that. Also, a lot of apps that do link your accounts automatically tend to categorise things incorrectly which (to me) means I actually have to go through and spend more time correcting it.”

    Download from the app store now.

    Budgeting apps: A woman tracking share prices

    5. YNAB (You Need A Budget) 

    What is it? With its “proven” four-step method, You Need A Budget is designed to help you pay off debt, manage your spending and save more. 

    The website also claims that on average, new budgeters save $600 (£440) in their first two months and more than $6,000 (£4,400) in their first year.

    What do the reviewers think? CatherineB58 said: “Most budget programs are set it and forget it. Which is the problem: once you set it, you forget it and you drift away from your spending plan. The beauty of YNAB is that it is flexible and dynamic, and allows you to adjust your spending plan as you need to.”

    Download from the app store now.

    So there you have it – the best budgeting apps to save your pennies. Happy saving…

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