Four of the best apps to help you manage your money
These four tools will help you to cut your bills, track your spending, save up, and even file your tax return.
While many things came to a halt during lockdown, the spread of digital banking accelerated. More than one in five of us tried online banking for the first time, according to research by McKinsey & Co, a consultancy. We have also seen a shift away from cash as we all try to keep our distance with contactless payments.
If you’ve familiarised yourself with bank and credit-card apps during lockdown, how about taking things a step further? Here are the best money apps to help you with everything from filing your tax return to investing your spare change.
Help cutting your bills
If you want personalised help cutting your bills, consider Snoop. It is “designed to identify ways in which you could save money based on what you’re already doing”, says Jayna Rana on ThisIsMoney.co.uk. “It will take note of the stores you shop at and then let you know if there are voucher codes available for next time.”
If you collect reward points, Snoop can help by alerting you to opportunities to earn more of the types of points, such as airmiles, that you collect. It will also help you shop around for the best energy deals. Snoop is registered and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City regulator.
Help filing your tax return
Get help filing your tax return with Untied. It allows users to link the app to up to three bank accounts and two income streams. It then gives you an estimate of what your tax bill is likely to be. For £11.99 a month you get Untied’s “essential” version, which “allows you to link more bank accounts and sources of income, and will submit a tax return on your behalf,” says Kate Palmer in The Sunday Times. The average accountant charges £150-£250 to file your tax return. Untied is regulated by the FCA and supervised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Help with your direct debits
The average adult spends £39 a month on unused direct debits, standing orders and recurring card payments, according to NatWest. The most common unused subscription is a gym membership. But many of us are also paying for mobile phones we no longer use and video-streaming services we don’t watch.
Get help sorting through your subscriptions with Emma. This free app is “described as ‘your best financial friend’...designed to help you avoid overdrafts, cancel wasteful subscriptions, track debt and save money”, says Rana.
You can use Emma to set budgets and track all of your accounts, including investments and pensions, in one place. The app has “the ability to find and cancel any wasteful subscriptions you may have signed up to but forgotten about”. The Emma app is registered with the FCA and uses “state-of-the-art security measures, so you can rest assured your data is safe”.
Help with saving
Plum, meanwhile, will help you develop the habit of saving. The free app tracks your spending habits and gauges how much you can afford to save, then puts some money aside for you every few days. Upgrade for £1 a month and your savings can automatically be invested into shares and bonds via a Plum Isa. Plum is registered and authorised by the FCA.
One for the future
Finally, keep an eye out for Jamm Today, which should appear later this year. It will help users find the best online investment platform, comparing fees at various robo-advisors based on how much you plan to invest.