Struggling to save money? These apps will help you reach your financial goals

Written by Jasmine Birtles

Do you find it impossible to save? Well, there’s a whole host of money management apps out there that can help. Jasmine Birtles, Money Magpie’s financial expert, picks out five of the best to help you reach your money goals. 

In Stylist’s new digital series In the Red, we investigate how debt is really impacting young women in 2022 – from our relationship with credit cards and shopping to examining how debt informs our relationships, our beauty regimes and the way we operate in the world. 

It used to be that a pen and paper and maybe an Excel spreadsheet were the main tools for the money-savvy.

But now, thanks to open banking, AI and some clever app developers, we have technology at our fingertips to help us save and invest our money.

If, like me, you already have app-weariness (“Oh you have an app for that do you? Make me care!”), you’re not going to be thrilled at the idea of downloading more onto your phone. But bear with me, because a few of them (just a few) are really worth your consideration to help you manage your money like a pro. 

Speak to a Financial Conduct Authority registered financial adviser before taking financial advice, and think carefully before making any decision.

The one for short-term savings

Hyperjar

When it comes to managing your money, Hyperjar starts old-school with virtual ‘jars’ (like your nan had) enabling you to allocate money to different areas like energy bills, food, travel, holiday etc.

It also has commercial jars you can use to save money to spend on different brands, such as Shell for your petrol, Notonthehighstreet for gifts, or FeelUnique for beauty and so on.

But the really cool element here is that any money you put into the commercial jars earns 4.8% interest while it’s there. That money can only be spent with the brand you’re saving for, but still, 4.8% is 4.8%.

The one that shows you where you’re spending

Money Dashboard

This app looks at your incomings and outgoings across all your various bank accounts and shows you where you’re spending the most, as well as where you’re at financially at any given time. 

You can also group together payments for certain things (like holidays or Christmas) and it also works out your projected monthly spending. 

It’s a particularly helpful app if you have a lot of accounts to manage at the same time.

The one for people who hate saving

Chip

You know you need to save but somehow you just can’t. There just keeps being too much month at the end of your money. Chip is here to help. 

Every time you spend its AI works out a manageable amount to add to that spending and adds this into its savings product. You can set savings goals, automatically pay yourself each payday and analyse your spending. 

Your savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000. You can even invest with them now too as they have teamed up with Blackrock to offer automatic investing as well as the savings product.

The one that keeps track of ‘lost money’

Plum 

Plum is a handy budgeting app with both free and paid-for versions. Basic Plum is free but you can also get Plum Plus for £1 a month, Plum Pro for £2.99 and Plum Ultra for £4.99.

Basically, Plum links to your current account through Open Banking and offers an AI ‘helper’ that analyses your spending, working out how much you could save every few days. This money is then sent to a savings account. 

It also shows you what it calls ‘lost money’, where it thinks you’ve been overcharged on bills that could be cheaper if you switched. Your spending is also tracked to show you how much you have left until payday.

The one for the eco-conscious 

Circa5000

This is an easy way to invest small amounts of money regularly and help the planet at the same time. 

Circa5000 (originally known as Tickr) enables you to invest in stock market funds to grow your money while helping the planet and society. 

It specialises in ‘impact investing’ where investments are chosen specifically for the good they are doing to society and the environment as well as their potential financial performance. You can set up a Stocks and Shares ISA with them, a Junior ISA and a personal pension. 

A really handy aspect of the app is that it does ‘round-ups’ where your spending is rounded up and the extra put into your investments.

Jasmine Birtles is a personal finance expert and founder of MoneyMagpie.com, a self-help money site full of information on saving, making and investing your cash. 

Images: Molly Saunders, Getty

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