Check out the banking app made for millennials that shows how you're spending money and flags potentially wasteful payments.
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Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
Expert reviewEmma is best for savers and budgeters who also exchange in cryptocurrencies. The app allows you to check up on your spending habits and track your cryptocurrency balances alongside your conventional bank accounts.
But unlike other budgeting apps, this one doesn’t have a long-term tracking system.
What is Emma?Emma is a money management app based in London that’s now available in the US, as of June 2019. The app lets you set a budget and connect your bank accounts and credit cards to track all your transactions in real time from one hub. Emma aims to help you avoid overdraft charges, find wasteful subscriptions and give you insights into your spending.
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How does Emma work?Emma aggregates all your bank accounts and credit cards in one app. Here are the other budgeting and money-management features it offers:
- Subscription breakdowns. It separates repeating payments, like subscriptions and bills, from daily spending. This lets you easily see what subscriptions you’re paying for so you can cancel ones you don’t use.
- Spending categories. It breaks down your spending by category and vendor so you can see exactly how you’re spending your money.
- Fee tracker. The app lets you track exactly when and why big banks have charged you fees. Fees it tracks include overdraft charges, fixed account fees and foreign transaction costs.
- Budgeting tools. Tell the app how much you want to budget by category. The app sends you notifications if you go over.
- Savings advice. Using smart tech, it tells you an affordable amount to put aside for saving at the end of each month.
- Cryptocurrency integration. Easily track your cryptocurrency balances. Supported cryptocurrency exchanges include Coinbase, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Kraken, Bitfinex and individual Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses.
How safe is Emma?Emma uses read-only access to you bank account, which means that it can’t withdraw any money. Plus, the app uses end-to-end 256-bit TLS encryption — the same kind that banks use to keep your data safe.
How does Emma app make money?Emma currently makes money in two ways:
- Emma Pro. Emma Pro is a premium version of the Emma app that offers a more customizable experience. Emma Pro costs money, but in exchange you get custom categories and you can rename your transactions, export your data in a spreadsheet and add manual accounts to track cash or overseas bank accounts.
- A marketplace. Emma features certain providers in a section called Emma Rewards. When you sign up with one of those providers, Emma gets paid.
Pros and cons of Emma
- Easy to use. Grouping all your accounts in one easy app will make budgeting easier.
- Includes budgeting tools. The app includes a number of budgeting features.
- Includes savings tools. Monthly savings prompt could help you save an affordable amount each month.
- Offers cryptocurrency integration. Track your cryptocurrency balances alongside your more conventional bank accounts.
- Not good for long-term tracking. There’s no week-by-week or month-by-month comparison feature, which makes it harder to track changes to spending habits.
- Can’t be used to transfer money. Like most budgeting apps, it’s read only — so you can’t move money between accounts or make payments.
If you prefer a comprehensive budgeting app with long-term tracking, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when looking for budgeting apps and check out our guide to budgeting for beginners.
Compare with other budgeting apps and digital banks
Frequently asked questions
Image source: supplied, photographer: Emma