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Which mobile app is best for managing my money?

Compare the UK’s best budgeting apps to find the right one for you.

Everyone wants to save – towards Christmas or a holiday, or major events such as your first home or retirement.

Happily, there are some cutting-edge personal finance apps that will help you to manage your spending and save money. Some just look pretty, while others will tell you off for buying too many coffees, remind you when a bill is due, or take money and quietly stash it in a savings pot without you noticing.

Compare budgeting apps

Here are all of the UK’s leading money management apps. For more information on each, click on the “Compare” checkbox. Or click “More info” for in-depth reviews on each app.

Updated June 16th, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Interest Savings goals
N26
Free
None
n26 'Spaces' feature lets the user open sub-accounts to stash your money away
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
No interest
Set budgets in the app
Free
0.5% AER up to £2,000, 0.25% over £2,000 to £85,000
Create different spending goals and protect money from daily spending
None
No interest
Not a feature

Compare up to 4 providers

We’ve ordered the table based on our most popular digital banking reviews. This list contains all of them.

Why should I use a budgeting app?

You don’t have to. You could whip up a financial modelling spreadsheet instead to track your incomings and outgoings each month using an array of complex formulae. You could even update your spreadsheet every day and keep hold of receipts and track your expenses.

Or you could download a budgeting app today and it could take care of all of that for you. The real benefit of these apps over manual budgeting and traditional banks is simplicity and ease of use.

The other benefit is that the apps are mostly free! While some charge a fee, many banking apps don’t (such as Revolut, Monzo, Starling, Monese). For no money, you can visualise your spending on-the-go and in real time.

Picture not described: digitalbanking-1.png Image: Getty

If they’re free, how do banking apps make money?

A lot of banking apps are drawing in customers with free services, and the companies plan to diversify later with more traditional banking products (such as savings accounts, mortgages, loans, overdrafts). These products provide the apps with potential revenue in the future.

Some apps are partnering with other fintech startups, to cross-sell each others’ services. Head to our news section for the latest developments in digital banking.

What about regular savings accounts?

If you’re looking for interest on your savings, then these apps might not be for you. Though savings accounts might not be for you, either. Interest rates have been low for years, and that doesn’t look likely to change.

Low interest rates have played a part in driving people away from big banks and towards these newer startups.

While a few do offer interest (see below), most don’t.

The way these apps help you save is by acting as pocket accountants, automatically categorising transactions so you can budget better. If you think you’re spending too much on eating out, then take a look at the cold hard numbers. Some apps even provide graphs and charts to ram home the message.

In terms of helping you save up, apps like Revolut and Cleo use algorithms to work out how much you can afford to squirrel away. If you choose, they’ll also automatically transfer the money to a savings pot.

Which of these apps can I earn interest from?

Longer-term savers may be looking to earn interest from their savings pot. A number of these money apps don’t currently offer interest. However, there are some options.

Tandem offers a fixed savings account. Check out our Tandem review to find out more.

Starling offers some interest, so it’s definitely worth considering.

So does Monzo, but you need to be able to put aside at least £1,000 to open a Savings Pot.

Moneybox is an easy and simple investment app which works by rounding up your transaction to the nearest pound and investing the spare change in a share portfolio.

Nutmeg or Plum also offer investment options.

DIGITAL BANKING NEWS

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