The UK’s best budgeting apps of 2024

Discover the best budgeting apps to manage your spending and get better insights, and find out how they differ from banking apps.

Budgeting app reviews See what each app offers
Browse the table of fees & features Compare budgeting apps

Budgeting is never going to be fun, but at least budgeting apps can make it easier to manage your money or put some aside to save for something big. Certain apps can suggest ways to cut down your expenses, or identify subscriptions you might not be using. And many of these apps are free.

Here’s our pick of the budgeting apps crop.

Good for budgeting with friends and family

HyperJar


Free prepaid card

Children's accounts

No load fees
This budgeting app is designed to make it easier to plan, share and spend your money - and best of all, it’s free to use. As its name implies, you can open different “Jars” to allocate and organise your money for different purposes. For example, you could separate your Jars into kids’ clubs, groceries, and bills. You can also share Jars to act as digital kitties for between 2 and 100 people, making it easier to split bills on nights out. The Hyperjar card allows you to spend directly from your Wallet or any Jar, so you’ll know what you’ve spent where, and there are no fees for spending on your card abroad either. There's even an app and card for kids too.
  • Free to use
  • You can allocate spending money, bills and savings into separate Jars
  • Fee-free spending abroad
  • “H Money” programme lets you lock in cash to spend at certain retailers which earns an Annual Growth Rate until you spend it
  • Create shared Jars to split bills or joint holidays with family or friends
  • Kids’ app and card also available
  • It’s not a bank account so you’ll need to transfer money into it
  • You’ll need to stay organised to manage your different Jars
  • Before using your card you’ll need to link it to your Wallet or a specific Jar
Cost Free
Spending categorisation Yes
Spending analysis Yes
Budgeting tools Yes
Automatic switching service Yes
Saving pots Yes
Account types Credit cards

Good for connected accounts: Emma

Emma

Emma

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

Cancel wasteful subscriptions

Multiple account integration

Budgeting
The basic version of the Emma app is free and works in the same way as its peers, by pooling your account data. But it focuses on categorising transactions and suggesting where you’re overspending, including which one of your bank accounts is charging you the most in fees. Emma flags subscriptions you could cancel and tells you if you go over budget on any of the category spending limits you set. But it has less in the way of visuals and month-by-month comparisons than some of its rivals. One advantage to Emma is that it can integrate with your pension and investment and cryptocurrency holdings, if your provider is compatible with Emma.
  • Grouping all your accounts in one easy app will make budgeting easier
  • Stylish app with a number of budgeting features
  • Monthly savings prompt could help you save an affordable amount each month
  • Can integrate with all the big banks and a couple of the rising digital banks like Monzo and Starling
  • Track your cryptocurrency balances alongside your more conventional bank accounts
  • No week-by-week or month-by-month comparison feature. Makes it harder to track changes to spending habits
  • Like most budgeting app, it’s read only – so you can’t move money between accounts or make payments yet
Cost Free (paid-for 'pro' version available)
Cancel subscription Yes
Spending categorisation Yes
Spending analysis Yes
Budgeting tools Yes
Automatic switching service Yes
Saving pots No
Account types Current accounts
Savings accounts
Credit cards
Investments
Loans
Cryptocurrency

Good for setting goals: Wally

Wally

Wally

★★★★★

Read review

Bank level security

Stay organised

Reach goals faster
Wally is old school - you’ll need to manually input what you’ve spent (although you can take a picture of your receipts, or ask Wally to remember regular payments such as your rent). While this isn’t the fastest way to a monthly budget, you don’t have to connect the app to any of your accounts, which will appeal to the privacy-conscious. The app uses the data you enter to help you set a budget, then tells you how much of it you’ve got left, and how much you’ve spent in each of the categories you’ve specified. The basic version is free but there’s a paid-for Wally Gold option, with extra features such as a currency converter and custom budget tools.
  • You have total control over what you put in and how you organise it
  • Good range of budgeting features
  • Safe and sound – doesn’t go anywhere close to your bank account
  • The app is slick and looks good
  • You have to manually insert all the data, which can be really time-consuming
  • Some features that allow further flexibility are to be paid for
Cost Free (paid-for 'gold' version available)
Cancel subscription No
Spending categorisation Yes
Spending analysis Yes
Budgeting tools Yes
Automatic switching service No
Saving pots No
Account types Current accounts
Savings accounts
Credit cards
Loans

Good for understanding your money: Moneyhub

moneyhub

moneyhub

★★★★★

Read review

Understand your money

Get advice

Market leading tools
Moneyhub is a more personalised service - as well as offering tech tools to help you budget, it gives you the option to speak with an adviser. However, the human touch has a cost and Moneyhub is a subscription service. If you subscribe through Moneyhub directly, it’s 99p per month or £9.99 per year. For that, you get the usual breakdown of where you’re spending your money by category, your spending forecast and the ability to set savings goals. You can also review accounts such as your mortgage, pensions and investments. And you can connect with a financial adviser via the app.
  • Intelligent budgeting tools and spending insights.
  • You can share financial data and speak with an adviser.
  • Doesn’t share information with third parties.
  • Monthly or annual fee to use.
  • Some may not be comfortable giving Moneyhub access to their online banking.
Cost 99p/mth or £9.99/yr In App Store: £1.49/mth or £14.99/yr
Cancel subscription No
Spending categorisation Yes
Spending analysis Yes
Budgeting tools Yes
Automatic switching service No
Saving pots No
Account types Current accounts
Savings accounts
Credit cards
Investments
Pensions
Mortgages

Plum

Plum


Automate your savings

Track your spending

Get started for free
Plum has lots of tools to make sure you’re making the most of your money. Alongside its money management and budgeting features, Plum allows you to save, invest and control your pensions to plan for retirement in a tax-efficient way. Through AI and automation, you can take advantage of automatic deposits and round-ups. Plum will also automatically check to see if you can save money on your home utilities. So not only can you see if you’re being overcharged, but you can also compare how much you could save by switching to a new provider.
  • Integrates with all the major UK banks including digital banks like Starling and Monzo
  • Automated savings deposits determined by “savings moods”
  • Alerts if you’re overpaying on household bills
  • Interest Pockets for all subscribers
  • Opportunities to consolidate existing pension schemes
  • If you choose to invest with Plum, your capital is at risk
  • Access to money isn’t instantaneous, it can take 24 hours
  • Customer funds are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (apart from money in Interest Pockets, which is held on trust at the Investec banking group)
Spending categorisation Yes
Spending analysis Yes
Budgeting tools Yes
Automatic switching service Yes
Saving pots Yes

Compare budgeting apps

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Name Product Score Cost Cancel subscriptions Spending categorisation
Emma
Finder score
★★★★★
Free (paid-for 'pro' version available)
moneyhub
Finder Award
Finder score
★★★★★
99p/mth or £9.99/yr In App Store: £1.49/mth or £14.99/yr
Wally
Finder score
★★★★★
Free (paid-for 'gold' version available)
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How we chose these budgeting apps

From among the products featured on the site, we highlight those which our scoring, expert analysis and testing show are the best fit for specific categories, and then we display these picks in relevant guides on the site. The list includes apps that are not partners – our experts consider the whole of the market. A “good for” pick can mean that we felt several apps were about equal, so there was no “best” winner. Our picks might not be best for all circumstances, so it’s important to consider what your needs are before you choose your budgeting app. More details in our guide to how we rate budgeting apps.

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 formulae…! You could even update your spreadsheet every day and keep hold of receipts and track your expenses.

Or if you’re a bit lazier, 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. And most of them are free.

But it’s worth remembering that lots of digital banking apps are free, too (such as Revolut, Monzo, Starling, and Monese). So if you have a current account with one of these, you can also visualise your spending on-the-go and in real time.

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

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

Some of these apps are drawing in customers with free services, and will then offer add-ons or a premium version, or other services that will generate revenue. A couple of ways the free apps generate money right now are: selling anonymised spending insights to market research companies or offering potentially better deals, and then making a commission if you sign up to any of them.

What about free banking apps?

The challenger banking brands that started offering a basic account have started to diversify into other banking products (such as savings accounts, loans and kids’ cards). These products provide revenue sources. They’ve also launched premium versions, which generate revenue through a monthly fee. Some offer budgeting features too.

What about regular savings accounts?

If you’re looking for interest on your savings, then a regular current or savings account from a challenger bank (and indeed from many traditional banks) might not be for you. Interest rates have been low for years, and that doesn’t look likely to change.

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

The way budgeting and banking apps help you 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. Many apps provide graphs and charts to ram home the message.”

Michelle Stevens, Finder banking expert

In terms of helping you save up, apps like Revolut 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 accounts with a better rate. However, there are some options for saving and investing from among the challenger apps.

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

Starling offers (a very small amount of) interest, so it’s 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 (your capital will be at risk).

How to choose the best budgeting app

Here is a list of factors to consider when deciding which budgeting app is the best for your needs.

  • The cost. Some budgeting apps are free, but the more complex apps will charge a one-off fee or a paid subscription.
  • Do you want to connect with your bank accounts? Is it important for you to see your balance(s) in real time? Only some budgeting apps allow this.
  • Desktop or mobile? Do you want to be able to use your budgeting app on desktop, mobile or both?
  • Do you want to monitor your investments? Some apps offer investment monitoring services, but others don’t.
  • Do you want to automate your savings? Some apps, like Chip and Plum, will automatically move funds into a savings account for you. Is this a desire of yours?
  • Do you want help reaching a savings goal? Some apps are designed to help you save more money. Others simply work as an accounting tool.

Bottom line

Most Brits would like to be more organised with their money and budgeting apps provide the perfect tool to make this a reality. These apps are either free or very affordable and can help you make smarter financial decisions.

Frequently asked questions about budgeting apps

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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