When it comes to saving money, the greater automation you have the better - that way you don't have to think about it all the time.
And to help you do just that, there are a number of apps that will automatically save money for you, help you cut back on your bills, and make you mindful of your spending.
But with hundreds of apps to choose from, which ones are worthwhile having on your smartphone?
Best money saving apps
To help you budget: Yolt
If you have more than one account, including credit cards, then it’s not always easy to stay on top of each one. Yolt brings all your accounts together so that you can view them on one single dashboard and see what money is coming in and out.
The app also lets you set a budget so that you can track how much money you spend in any given area, such as eating out or fashion.
Yolt also comes with a prepaid card for your everyday spending. You can only spend what you put on it, so if you’re on a tight budget, this can help you control it.
But when you do spend on it, Yolt will automatically shift some money into a virtual savings jar for you, so that you are still saving when you spend. For example, if you spend £3.25 on lunch, Yolt will round it up to £4.00 and put 75p into savings. These small amounts will soon add up.
Help you spend smarter: Snoop
Snoop launched last year to help you reduce your outgoings.
The app keeps a close eye on your bills and will let you know if payments are creeping up, suggesting you may need to review your provider and switch to a better deal. You could save hundreds of pounds a year on everything from energy to broadband costs - your flatmates will certainly thank you for this one.
If you're out shopping, Snoop will let you know if there are any discount codes available for you to take advantage of at the till. Like Yolt, the app also lets you see all your accounts in one place so that you can see exactly what money you have and how much you are spending.
To help you split costs: Hyperjar
If you’re the type of person who likes to split their spending into categories to curve unnecessary buys, then the HyperJar app is for you.
The app allows you to put money into digital jars, which you can then dedicate to groceries, holidays, entertainment and so on.
You can use it to manage your own spending, but it is also a great way to share costs with friends and flatmates. Take a look at the Hyperjar app’s ‘shared jar’ feature, which allows users to create instant digital kitties with up to 30 people.
Whoever sets up the shared jar can give permission to everyone in the group to view the jar and make purchases – as long as they too have the app. It will show exactly who is using the money and where it is spent, so you can keep a close eye on the pot – perfect for a Hen Do! Once you have a system that works, use it for all of your socialising, or even with flatmates, to keep costs fair.
You can also create dedicated jars to spend at some of your favourite retailers such as Not on the High Street, Blow Ltd or Feel Unique for example. You’ll earn 4.8% in interest on this jar. So, for example, if you create a jar for Feel Unique, and put in £50 – you’ll earn a monthly interest, giving you more money to spend when you eventually buy something from that retailer. The interest can only be used at your dedicated store and can’t be withdrawn, so only use this feature if you intend to spend there.
HyperJar comes with its own prepaid Mastercard, but you can also link your bank account.
Help avoid overdrafts and to save: Emma
If you’re an over-spender and not quite sure where your money goes each month, this one is for you. Emma is a budgeting app that gives you spending insights so that you can better manage your money.
Once you connect all your bank accounts, the app tracks your spending and categorises it to help you understand your habits by showing you where you are spending the most and help you cut back.
And if you’re always going into your overdraft, this app will alert you so that you can take action to prevent it.
Boost you savings: Chip
Chip is all about saving money without lifting a finger. You simply link your bank account and Chip’s artificial intelligence will work out what you can ‘afford’ to save and automatically shifts money into a savings account for you. Don't worry, you will get a notification before it does that, so you can say ‘no’ if you prefer.
But if you're struggling to save, then small amounts put away can help build the good habit; Chip says users save an average of £221 a month, although you can set goals to save more.
Chip gives users access to savings accounts that will pay interest on your savings at daily competitive rates.
The app is free, but there are fees - so do the maths to make sure the costs do not wipe out the gains. If you use Chip's auto save feature, the app will charge you £1.50 every 28 days - regardless of how much you save. The first £100 is charge free.
To help keep costs fair: Splitwise
We may not be going on holidays right now, but when we do, make sure you keep the cost between mates fair with the Splitwise app.
One person in your group can download the app and then create a ‘group’. Then, every time someone makes a payment, such as paying for a round of drinks or an evening meal, you simply enter the details of the cost and who paid into the app and tick the names of the people that will owe money.
At the end of the holiday, the app will work out an equal split for the group. You can then settle up by either paying cash or putting the money straight into a bank account.
Cut your phone bill: Airtime Rewards
Cut the cost of your mobile phone bill with this app, which rewards you every time you shop at certain stores.
Airtime Rewards works with over 80 retailers - such as Boots, New Look and Uber Eats, for example. When you shop with them, you will get cashback, which can be around 5%-10% on the value of your purchase. The cashback can then be used to redeem against your mobile phone bill. Airtime Rewards works with the majority of large network providers,
You have to link a bank card to the app, which will then use tracking technology to give you cashback. According to the app, users manage to slash around 10% off their bill each month.
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