Here’s a list of the UK’s best money management and budgeting apps. These apps allow you to track spending, categorize expenses and cancel unneeded subscriptions.
All open banking budgeting applications listed here are available for Android or iOS.
Check out these budgeting apps:
Budget by Koody Analytics Forecasted Cashflows Savings Goals
Budget by Koody offers a budgeting and money management app that is easy to use. You can keep track of your finances with a personalized approach. It is a great option for anyone who wants to have all the benefits of a modern budgeting app but doesn’t need to link their bank accounts. The app allows you to set budgets and categorize your spending. You can also track your cash transactions, savings accounts, and investment accounts.
Budget by Koody provides an overview of your monthly spending with reminders of your future expenses, total monthly budget, daily spending limit, and a reminder of what you can spend each day to stay within your budget. For PS1 per month or PS10 per year, Budget by Koody Pro allows you to access additional features in the app.
Money Dashboard – Spending plan; Forecasted cash flows; Reminders
Money Dashboard, a personal finance and budgeting application, keeps track of all your spending and allows you to view all your accounts in one location. It connects to your accounts quickly and allows you to view all of your transactions. This means that you can keep track of your current online accounts, savings accounts, and crypto-wallets. Money Dashboard offers a Spending Plan tool that helps you manage your money through forecasted cashflows. Simply subtract your future bills from the balance to see exactly how much money you still have to save or spend.
Moneyhub – Spending analysis; Expenses classification; Goals
Moneyhub allows you to manage your money and use intelligent tools for achieving your goals. Moneyhub lets you view all your accounts and assets across all your devices. Get powerful insights into how you spend and tools to help change your behavior. Moneyhub will intuitively classify your transactions, and the Spending Analysis function shows you exactly where each month’s money went.
Moneyhub lets you set spending goals and track your progress so that you have extra money to spend on the things you really care about. You’ll also receive timely nudges with tips and tricks to help you save money and stay on track to achieving your goals.
Monese: Spending analysis; Expenses categorization; Savings Pots
Monese provides a range of personal finance services, including a budgeting and expense tracker. Money lets you set budgets for weekly and monthly periods, categorize spending, create savings pots, move money around, and receive instant notification of transactions whenever you make purchases.
Monese also offers additional features like multi-currency accounts, local payments, and international money transfers.
Snoop – Spending categorization & summaries; Discount code finder
Snoop, a money management app, allows you to view all your bank accounts together, categorize spending, get daily alerts, and view weekly or monthly summaries. Snoop’s discount code finder shares money-saving coupon codes for places where you have already spent money. If there is a saving to be had, it is yours. Snoop also helps you to reduce your mobile, broadband, and energy bills.
Snoop also has energy switching and a card checker. To learn more about their incredible features, visit Snoop.
Plum – Spending analysis and expense categorization; Autosaving
Plum is a money-management app that creates a complete picture of your finances to help you budget and save money. The app provides an overview of your finances and helps you track your money. Plum automates deposits and investments and switches your utilities automatically.
Download the Plum app for free. Set money aside with automatic deposits or Round-Ups. With Plum, you can withdraw as often and change your bills. Plum Plus or Plum Pro could be the right choice for you if your interest is in automatic investments and earning interest on savings.
Plum Plus: PS1/month (first month free)
Plum Pro: PS2.99/month (first month free)
Revolut Analytics; Spending prediction; Expenses category
Revolut, personal finance, and the money-management app allow you to track all your money in one place. It also makes it easy to manage your daily spending. Revolut lets you set limits to help with sticking to your budget. Revolut will recommend spending limits based upon your spending predictions.
Or you can just tell it how much to spend. You will receive notifications from the app to help keep your finances in check. The app also alerts you when you are close to your budget limit. The app will send weekly insights that allow you to dive into your spending habits. Revolut makes it easy to control all subscriptions, organize bills with pockets, and keep a full view of your accounts.
Revolut also offers other products like savings accounts and investment accounts, currency conversion, international money transfers, and cryptocurrencies.
Emma – Spending tracker; expense categorization; reminders
Emma, a money management app, automatically categorizes expenses to help you set budgets, cancel unneeded subscriptions, and ultimately save money. Emma allows you to see all of your financial data in one place. This gives you a better insight into your spending behavior and provides a wealth of tools to help with money management decisions.
Emma makes it easy to keep track of your bank accounts, investments, savings, credit cards, cryptocurrency, pensions, and other financial information in one place. Emma can also sync personal budgets with your pay period. Emma’s ‘Emma Reports’ feature will let you know if your spending is on the right track or need to slow down.
Upgrade to Emma Pro for PS9.99/PS59.99/year to gain more advanced features
Monzo – Spending analysis; Expenses categorization
Monzo Bank may not be a budgeting application per se, but it has worked hard to build a great money and budgeting tool. It lets you categorize your spending and view detailed spending reports. You can also move money around and create separate savings pots.
What is a budget?
A budget is a financial plan that will help you manage your income and expenses for a specific period.
Take the following example: Let’s suppose that you have a monthly net income of PS2,000 after taxes and national insurance contribution. It is important to make sure that you spend less than PS2,000 each month to avoid serious financial and mental health problems.
A budget is a way to plan out your spending for the PS2,000. You will never run out before your next payday. If you plan well, you may even have some money to invest or save for the long term.
How to Create a Budget
There are many methods to create a budget. You already have a financial plan if you have a method for estimating your income.
Koody recommends using the 50-30-20 Budget Rule. It is a great budgeting method that recommends spending 50% on your needs, 30% on your wants, 20% on savings, and additional debt.
Let’s keep going with the PS2,000 net month income example that we discussed above. The 50-30-20 budget rule allows you to allocate PS1,000 for your needs, PS600 for your wants, and PS400 for your savings and additional debt.
We have provided a simple budget calculator to make it easier for you. Use the budget calculator to quickly determine how much of your monthly income you should allocate to savings, needs, and wants.
Monthly Net Income
While the 50-30-20 budget rule is a great way to track your spending and create long-term plans for investing and savings, it doesn’t work in all situations. It is possible to modify the ratios to fit your circumstances.
You might want to consider if you have a lot of debt or cannot afford your monthly repayments.
Before you decide on the budget rule, consider your financial situation.
You can use a budgeting app to track, categorize, and analyze your spending to help you understand how much to give to what, where to save, and what to do with the rest.
Many of these budgeting applications are completely free to download and use. Many banks also offer a free-spending tracking and categorization function on their current accounts.
These are the main budget categories.
The main budget categories include savings, wants, or needs.
Not required (50%)
These are essentials that you cannot live without, like:
- Essential clothing
- Mortgage payments
- Car payments
- Utilities – energy, water broadband, phone bill, and TV license
- Healthcare and Insurance
- Minimal loan payments. Anything more than the minimum amount should be saved and put into extra debt.
Apply the 50-30-20 budget rules to allocate 50% of your income to your expenses.
These are the extras you buy that make your life more fun, like:
- Drinks and dinner outside
- New handbag
- Organizing a party
- Gym membership
- Tickets for sporting events
- Recent gadget
You can allocate 30% of your income according to the 50-30-20 budget rule.
Because our desires make life more fun, spending money is important. However, be cautious not to spend excessively. Affecting 30% of your net earnings to your desires is quite reasonable. It may even be too much, depending on your circumstances.
Savings and debt (20%)
This category is all regarding planning for the future. These are the two most important future events you should plan for.
- Long-term goals such as retirement, marriage, or house deposit
We have learned one thing from the Coronavirus pandemic: Emergencies happen. Prepare for them.
Koody recommends having an emergency fund for unexpected financial shocks such as job loss, major health issues, or large car repairs.
An emergency fund should have at least three months’ worth of living expenses. This would act as a buffer to prevent you from making poor financial decisions when it is necessary. Your emergency fund can be started by allocating 10% of your net income.
Long-term goals are the second category in Savings and Debt. Everyone has long-term goals. It could be retirement living comfortably. Some people might want to buy a house or get married. Whatever your goals may be, you might have trouble achieving them without proper planning.
If you feel it is necessary, allocate 10% of your net earnings to savings or overpaying debts.
How to not go over your budget
- Set Smart goals: Make SMART goals. Plan each month by setting SMART (Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. and Timely). It doesn’t make sense to try and save 70% of your monthly income if you haven’t saved more than 20% in the past. The rule of thumb is to start small and increase your savings goal each month. You can save 10% now and then try 11% next month.
- You can open a separate savings bank for each budget category. There is a total of three major budget categories: needs, wants, and savings. Separate savings account for each budget category or pot will allow you to better track your spending. An ISA account can be opened for savings, and standard savings or current account can be opened for your wants and needs. Monzo, Starling, and Barclays let you create virtual savings accounts within an existing account. You don’t need to open multiple accounts. This is also known as the envelope budgeting technique.
- Make a standing payment for every payday. You can use your bank’s app to create a standing ordering to move money from the current account to your savings account each payday. This will ensure that you allocate money to all budget categories as soon as you receive your paycheck. Set up a direct deposit to automate your investments if you have an investment account.
- Make budgeting easier with spreadsheets. These spreadsheets can be very useful and beautiful. But many people don’t follow through with their budgets. They can be difficult to manage and create and can also be time-consuming. You can use spreadsheets if they work for your needs. If spreadsheets don’t work, open smart manual budgeting applications (if you don’t want to connect your account to it) or an open banking app that connects to your account. This will eliminate the need to manipulate a spreadsheet. Before connecting an app or service, make sure it is approved by the FCA.
- Get rid of expensive debts It’s difficult to stick with your budget when you are in high-interest debt. So that you can build a realistic financial plan and budget pay off high-interest debts as quickly as possible.
- Make an emergency fund to cover financial shocks, such as job loss, unexpected medical bills, or major home and vehicle repairs. A plan cannot be made for an emergency fund, such as purchasing a new car, a gadget, or tuition to university.
- Join the 1p Savings Challenge. It’s a great way of establishing a good saving routine. Just save one cent on days 1, 2, and 3, and then 3p each day thereafter. Over PS650 could be saved after just 365 days. Monzo and other challenger banks offer the 1p Challenge as an option within their mobile banking apps. You can check to see if your bank has this feature.
- Keep track of your progress: You can easily see if your spending targets are being met if you use an automated service, such as a money management or budgeting app. It’s easier to keep track of your progress and stay on top of your finances.
Frequently Asked Question
Are budgeting apps safe?
Money Dashboard and Plum are modern budgeting apps that claim to use the same encryption technology used by all banks. This protects your personal information. They won’t save your banking credentials and can only read your data in reading/only mode. This ensures that your account is safe and secure, as well as the money inside it. These apps are also regulated and monitored by the FCA.
Are you looking for an app to keep track of how much you spend?
Budget by Koody, Plum, and Money Dashboard is a modern budgeting app that tracks your spending. This gives you a better understanding of your spending habits. Monzo and Starling banks can help you keep track.
How do I stop living from paycheque to salary?
Here are our suggestions on the best ways for you to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
- Set a budget
- Reduce your spending
- Improve your skills
- Create an emergency fund
- You can sell old items that you don’t use anymore
- Get a side hustle
- Payday loans should be avoided
Why are budgets failing?
Here are some reasons budgets don’t work:
- You have unrealistic goals
- Budgeting tools can be difficult to use and take a lot of time.
- Plan for emergencies and ad hoc spending.
- Don’t forget to set aside a budget
- Your expenses are more than your income
- You are insolvent
What is the best budgeting app for free?
Here are some of our favorite budgeting apps:
- Budget By Koody – Analytics; Forecasted Cashflows; Savings goals
- Money Dashboard – Spending plan; Forecasted cash flows; Reminders
- Monese: Spending analysis; Expenses categorization; Savings Pots
- Plum: Spending analysis, Expenses categorization and Auto-saving
- Swoop – Spending categorization, summaries; Code finder
- Moneyhub: Spending analysis; Expenses categorization; Goals