For extra-powerful insights into every small spend – ‘open banking’ should be one of the abilities of your chosen money-saving app.
To begin, you'll only need a smartphone and access to the iOS App or the Google Play stores – simply click the relevant link under each review section to find the app you like, and then download to your phone.
From cyborg-apps that do everything for you, even investing, to powerful spending according to budget category – without further ado, we've listed a few of the best money saving apps to help you save more of your cash:
- 💷 Yolt - Prepaid card included
- 💴 Snoop - Smarter spending
- 💷 HyperJar - Shared saving
- 💴 Emma - Overdraft-buster
- 💷 Chip - Savings-booster
- Auto-saving Apps Explained
- Safety Levels
- Should I Invest Money with Money Saving Apps
- What is a Budget
- How Does Open Banking Boost Your Savings 🌞
According to Einstein, compound interest is the eighth-wonder of the world.
Small amounts saved add up, but only when consistent...
Best Money Saving Apps for Beginners
Considering a money saving app? When crunching your Savings Data, take time to know your strategy and use good financial common sense.
Let’s get some consistent savings - but how does one save consistently?
- Climbing to a new financial level always involves pain. So when you feel spending-urges, simply observe. (No way around this!) ⛰️
- Money-saving apps help to automate this journey to higher-rungs of savings, but ultimately you must endure.
- After 30 days, habit seeds will start to take root, but it’s very useful to have a daily ritual that calms urges, ie. meditating 20 minutes each morning 🧘🏽♂️.
- Finally, one bad habit trickles across. So pay attention – this is a bigger journey.
1. Yolt Review – Best Money Saving Apps Portal
Owning multiple accounts isn’t always the easiest – and often isn’t recommended for businesses, for that precise reason.
Too many points of focus makes it hard to see clearly. But if you’re already in this position, Yolt ties your different accounts together so that you can see your financial spread in one dashboard.
See how your money moves in and out of your proverbial wallet. In turn on budgeting features so that you can track how much money is being spent in any given area, for instance buying new clothes and accessories or eating at restaurants.
Yolt gives you a prepaid card to use for your daily spending. We only have available to spend what is loaded onto the card, so if you’re working to a strict budget, the card can help you manage it.
For any spendings you do make with their prepaid card, Yolt rounds up to the nearest pound that money, which is automatically put into a savings pot for you, so you’re still saving even when you spend. It’s fair to say that many banking apps now offer this feature – but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. For instance, if you spend £3.50 on lunch, Yolt will plump 50p into your savings jar, rounding up the transaction to £4.00.
As said in the intro, small amounts add up exponentially with time.
2. Snoop Review – Best App for Smarter Deals
Snoop isn’t the rapper. No, it’s a new very specific money-saving app that was released in 2021.
The app streamlines your outgoings by tracking your bills and letting you know if they’re inching out of control, making suggestions such as switching payment providers in a range of utilities.
Snoop potentially can save you hundreds of pounds per year by making optimal recommendations for everything from gas utilities to broadband fees – which your flatmates may especially be grateful for.
A great addition to Snoop would be something like Too Good to Go, which cuts down on cafe and restaurant waste, who often sell off unsold items like pastries and sandwiches about to expire that haven’t sold. You can get everything from goodie bags of sandwiches, to full roast meat carvery deals at 50% off or more.
But with Snoop, see discount codes when doing your shopping. That’s in addition to connecting all of your money from different accounts in one place, so you can track your expenditure in a clear way.
3. HyperJar Review – Best Cost-Splitting Money Saving App
If you save best when you can see exactly what pots your money is going to, then the HyperJar app will help – it categorises each type of purchase, separating those that are useful from those that are not so useful.
Onto the meat-and-potatoes: the app lets you sort your money into digital pots, which you can allocate according to category, such as entertainment, fashion, holidays, groceries, and so on. This gives us some crossover with popular budgeting apps.
At a glance, this may not seem particularly innovative but it is a fundamental money-saving feature, and perhaps the most powerful available in any money-saving app. In essence, you’re restricting outgoings in specific areas, including standing orders and direct debits, to specific caps. This is the ‘stop-loss’ of the money-saving world. How it works? Before each MasterCard purchase, you need to choose the appropriate Jar.
As for managing your spending inside of a household, the app also lets you share jars, which are like virtual piggy banks for up to 30 users.
These digital kitties get imported over from Instagram. How it works is that an organiser creates the shared jar then adds people who have permission to use it, including for purchases – they need to have downloaded the app too. Which tracks who is using the money and how it has been spent, so all participants can stay involved – not bad for a Stag Do! Other popular uses for this are between friends, when managing how much to spend on nights out.
The app has special contracts with a bunch of fashion retailers including Few Unique, Not on the High Street, and Blow Ltd. For instance, prop a hundred quid into the app – the retailer will give you 4.8% interest monthly, giving you more buying power at that franchise. The interest is only usable at their specific store and isn’t withdrawable, so the feature is really only good for wherever you intend to spend.
HyperJar offers its own prepaid debit card (Mastercard), but can also connect to your bank account.
4. Emma Review – Great Money Saving App to Destroy Overdrafts
Suppose you need a laser beam that cuts into areas where you are overspending monthly, seeing with obsessive relentlessness like the Eye of Sauron – then Emma has your name written all over it.
This budgeting and money- saving app focuses on key spending insights that give you a realistic understanding of account cash flow, to send debt into its oblivion.
The starting point is to link it to all of your bank accounts, so that the app can track your expenditures and sort them into categories, so trends become obvious – where most of your spending occurs in areas where you could reduce spending.
There’s a very specific feature included that is helpful for people who find they are constantly leading into their overdraft – this app notifies you when this happens, so that you can take steps to avoid it.
5. Chip Review – Top Money Saving App for Automated Boosts
Chip gets its brand-name from its artificial intelligence infrastructure.
In layman’s terms, Chip finds ways to help you save without doing a ton of stuff. Once you connect your bank account, its artificial intelligence will supposedly snoop out opportunities to ‘affordably’ save more – then it automatically allocates a calculated amount of money into a savings account on your behalf.
In case you watched the Terminator movie at some point in your life, no worries as Chip notifies you before confirming any migration of funds. So if building up compound savings is a struggle, and you are well aware that time itself is a fine resource; Chip users not only save on average £221 per month, they also save immeasurably on time.
As a last mention, Chip even goes so far as to direct your savings into best-available savings accounts, so that you can earn interest daily at decent rates. Although this comes as part of a free app, there are fees – while the first hundred pounds saved is free, the app charges £1.50 one a 28 day rolling cycle – no matter how much is saved.
Top Money Savings Apps - Buying Guide 📚
This section is good for beginners who are still learning how money savings apps work. It should also help you to discern between the top money savings apps available to use:
What are Auto-saving Apps?
These 'autosaving' tools squirrel away money right from under your nose – good if you have no savings habit or want to increase saving streams.
The trick is to not add anything to the savings process where possible. Indeed, savings is about taking away. So some work out what’s removable for you, and what can be taken according to your living expenses, automatically migrating this into specific savings or investment pots. Whereas others do purchase 'round ups' – rounding to the nearest pound, to save change.
With the right approach, these gremlin-like capabilities could help you to save more without needing to give this lots of extra attention. And the app is malleable, so you can tell it to save a bit less, if you’re in a tight squeeze.
Money-saving apps use Open Banking – U.K. banks need to comply
(But please pay attention.)
Many of the apps in this guide require open banking – which is visibility into your online banking accounts: data tracked ranges from: account details to credit card details. This lets them calculate affordable savings.
For this reason, these apps may need certain login details. This capability has become possible since the creation of the regulation known as 'the second payment services directive' (PSD2) – which simply means banks need to comply with Open Banking standards: they must share your account information with authorised third parties (saving apps) if you've allowed access.
Only the parties with particular licences under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) certain other European regulators qualify for Open Banking. If you provide access to an unauthorised app to your account, liability for any consequential fraud impacting your bank account may fall on you.
Get ready – here’s an important reason not to use these money saving apps as actual bank accounts (instead, treat them as prepaid card systems you have limited funds on):
The biggest drawback is the protection mechanism on your money. There is and always the same level of protection as you would get with the traditional bank. For instance, banks related in the UK such as Lloyds and Barclays are protected in full by the £85,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
A few of the names in this guide have FSCS coverage, such as Yolt and Snoop but not all. Instead, a good number of these apps use an 'electronic money' licence. This simply means they segment your money from their operational capital – typically with a big bank institution such as Barclays.
In the event of your provider going bankrupt, your money should technically be insured as it isn’t included as part of the company's own cash.
But the dividing line is that if the building society or bank that your money has been segmented to itself went under, your money wouldn’t be insured. Instead, it would fall outside of what is considered a customer deposit – the FSCS would investigate this according to the circumstances and decide whether or not you should be reimbursed.
For providers in this guide, we tell you how your money's protected – it's up to you whether you want to take the risk of a big bank that's holding your money going under.
What if your app is unauthorised? These have much lower standards of fraud protection. So always check to see if they are listed under the FCA first – particularly if you are giving them access to Open Banking (we strongly advise against this).
Should I Invest Money with Money Saving Apps?
In short, no. Many of these apps automatically invest your savings, but there are better alternatives that have much higher returns such as reliably top-performing index funds.
These apps also invest your cash in pooled investments they call funds. While getting quick returns on the pound may seem tempting, in the long-run you’re far better off with a proven fund provision such as Vanguard with a steady track-record in deep infrastructure, and a steady average rate of return across time – instead of riskier ventures.
Which is why money-saving apps are best used primarily for saving. Once an emergency fund has been established, there paid off, and a large reserve (for instance money-adviser Dave Ramsay recommends around £7,700), that’s where investing may kicks in according to personal preference – things like investing in the stock market need at least a couple of years, to ride out brief downturns.
Overall, there are better-value alternatives for investing.
If your central focus is investing, you should look for true investment apps (index fund brokers like Vanguard, for instance, let you sail away towards the wealth horizon.) as the selection offered will be exceptionally limited with exorbitant fees.
In addition, most autosaving apps are very lightweight in terms of their ability to offer interest on savings across time. (The 4.8% monthly interest that HyperJar offers is only applicable to money spent in one of its selected fashion retailers.)
Furthermore, any significant money stored in one of these apps has less protections. So you are best off using these as a way to begin your savings pool, then transferring any substantial amounts across to your actual bank savings account or a Stocks and Shares ISA – which have much better returns for smaller sums.
App-only banking may be for you...
The apps listed in this article have one objective – to help you grow a savings jar without having to manage the process. But if you're seeking a more complete way to manage your funds, there is a different type of app that may be better suited.
App-only banks use an assortment of features designed to hold – and hold onto – your capital. For instance, some give you alerts for every purchase or money saved, provide insights into your buying patterns and let you allocate the money into jars.
Indeed, there’s quite a bit of crossover with features offered by money-saving apps and true app-only banking apps, such as the ability to round-up purchases to the nearest pound, so that the extra left over can be syphoned across to a savings pot – eg. Monzo).
By giving you more traditional banking control over your money, with additional savings features included, your money-saving efforts may be more efficient long-term.
What is a Budget?
Budgets are financial plans for your cash flow across a set time-horizon.
- ☑️ Suppose the following circumstances – your net monthly earnings (minus tax and national insurance) is £3,000.
- ☑️ You need to make sure that by the close of each month, your expenditure is less than £3,000, because going over could result in big financial and mental health issues.
A budget therefore helps you to plan spending for that £3,000. Wealth isn’t about how much you earn, it’s about how much you keep (a good demonstration is lottery winners who ended up penniless). A small amount over a long period compounds.
But if you have as equally powerful spending impulse as you do earning power, you’ll end up at zero or in the negative. Budgeting plans keep your feet to the ground, so you run out of cash before your next payday – and ideally, so you have at least 10% for your long-term savings and investment pool.
How Does Open Banking Boost Your Savings?
Third parties who are permitted to access your banking accounts, and its data, can run more accurate calculations for budgeting and saving. This ranges from bringing all of your balances into one hub to fine-tuning its savings algorithms that squirrel away tiny amounts of your cash, without becoming unaffordable (or even noticed by you).
A survey conducted in February 2021 discovered that despite over 3 million people already using open banking, only 1-in-10 Which? subscribers used a finance app that wasn’t on their bank’s approval list.
Nevertheless, when the website further investigated its subscribers who were interested in the use of finance apps, over 50% of those surveyed admitted that they would want the ability to overview all of their bank accounts, with roughly 40% also saying they needed help with budgeting.