Squirrel review

We take a closer look at the budgeting app taking on overspending.

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Squirrel

Squirrel is a financial app with a twist. Rather than just monitoring your spending, Squirrel discourages it.

As the name suggests, the aim of Squirrel is to help you squirrel away money for when you need it most, by using your own motivations to customise the experience.

What is Squirrel?

Squirrel is a budgeting app that encourages saving. It’s not the first app to do this but its personalised approach to helping you to save is innovative.

Instead of the “one size fits all” system that some of its cousins use, Squirrel works with your lifestyle and savings targets to create a plan specifically for you. It ring-fences your savings money and expenses, and releases your spending money to your normal bank account.

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How does Squirrel work?

The first thing you do after you register with Squirrel is tell the app why you’re trying to save. There are several options to choose from and Squirrel customises its functions according to what you pick.

Once you’ve outlined your income and motivations, Squirrel asks you to budget your monthly earnings, separating them into categories: commitments, savings and spending. You choose the amounts. Once your salary is paid each month, Squirrel filters it into what you need to keep back, and what you can spend. It puts to one side your savings and living expenses (until you need to pay your bills, at which point it releases the cash to your current account). Your spending money goes straight to your current account.

The app itself is straightforward. The main page holds all the major aspects of your account, and from here you can explore the features Squirrel provides. These include:

  • Monthly income. Estimate your income for the month. You can also go into more detail and specify where the money is coming from and what it’s for; for example, child tax credits or a gift.
  • Expenses. Set the amount of money for your necessary expenses, such as rent, utilities, tax and bills. Add new expenses when you need to.
  • Savings. Squirrel divides your savings tab into two sections: a rainy day fund and unexpected costs. It keeps your money here until you request it.
  • Spending. Set your desired spending amount. Within this tab you can choose how you want to receive your spending money, either through a lump sum or a weekly allowance.
  • Payments. A record of your payments, as well as a list of upcoming payments.
  • Drop-down menu. Check your profile, invite a friend to join, chat with customer service and access the FAQs.

Using Squirrel abroad

Squirrel is a sensible travel companion. While it doesn’t function as a card, it can accompany one, keeping an eye on your budget so you can enjoy your time away without spending too much.

And it could be the reason you end up saving enough for your holiday in the first place.

If you're travelling abroad

If you’re heading abroad, use our travel money section to find the cheapest deals on foreign currencies, or our travel section for tips on how to get cheap flights!

Squirrel fees, limits and pricing

While Squirrel is a fintech app, it isn’t a challenger bank. It doesn’t offer a current account, it’s just a place to store your money.

As such there is only one fee you need to worry about and that is the subscription. The subscription fee will cost you £3.99 a month, which is about 13p a day. And to find out whether it works for you, Squirrel is offering a three month free trial.

Is Squirrel safe?

As with any company handling your money security is a big priority. Squirrel is registered with the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, so if your money is lost it will be refunded. And Squirrel does not loan your money or move it around.

Your account is protected by a password and your data is protected with industry-standard encryption.

Pros and cons of Squirrel

Pros

  • Quick and easy account setup.
  • Custom user experience.
  • Record of your past and future transactions.
  • Helps you understand where your money is going.
  • Encourages saving.
  • Supported by established banks and the government.
  • Reasonable price for a subscription fee.
  • Safe and secure.
  • Registered with the FCA.

Cons

  • App can be clunky at times.
  • Subscription fee may turn some people off the app.
  • Not an alternative to regular bank accounts.
  • Some people may find it hard to trust their money to a company with no face-to-face communication.

Compare Squirrel against its competitors

Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Ratings Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Key benefits Link Representative example
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
39.9% EAR variable
£125 when you switch
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Plus earn 2.75% AER / gross interest with the linked HSBC Regular Sever
To be eligible for HSBC Advance, customers will need to pay in a minimum of £1,750 per month or £10,500 over 6 months and must qualify for a minimum £1,000 arranged overdraft. To be eligible for the £125 switching offer, customers must switch from a non-HSBC Group current account product. Other T&Cs apply. Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you’ll be charged interest at 38.9% (0% EAR variable on first £25, 39.9% thereafter).
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
15% EAR variable
Award-winning current account, apply in minutes
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
No fees for spending or withdrawing cash overseas - currencies are converted at Mastercard’s standard exchange rate
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
39.94% EAR variable
Interest and fee free overdraft
for first four months when you switch
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Up to 15% cashback at a range of major retailers
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.94% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance plus a credit building feature
Go to site
Account fee of £5.95 per month.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Earn cashback on your purchases when you shop through the ThinkMoney rewards portal
Account fee of £10 per month or £15 per month.
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RebeccaJanuary 9, 2019

    Hi! I have different payments coming in each month and going out at different days as well. How can you help with this?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Squirrel can help you with your budgeting. With the app, you can determine each month how much of your money is going out and how much is going in. You have a control on which day payments are made. Once you give Squirrel a try, you would have a better idea of how it can help you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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