Getting on top of your finances can make life sweeter, and it’s easier than ever to take control when you have a supercomputer in your pocket. Check out this year’s best money saving apps and sites to help you manage your money, save some pennies and develop healthy new spending habits.
Quick wins and short-term savings
From discount codes to cheap flight finders, these popular and easy-to-use apps could save you money on your everyday spending.
So-called “supermarket deals” can be a minefield. Even after you’ve decided if you really want the product, it’s still difficult to work out if an offer is actually saving you any money. Taking the guesswork out of the equation, MySupermarket shows you previous prices for items on offer and compares them across 15 different supermarkets. Plus, the app lets you earn cashback on items you buy.
If cashback interests you, CheckoutSmart generates a daily list of items with cashback available. After you’ve joined the service, you’ll see the rewards on offer and if you decide to buy anything (in store or online) just upload a photo of the receipt and the cash is added to your CheckoutSmart account. You choose whether you want your earnings to be paid into a bank account, credit card or PayPal account, and once your CheckoutSmart balance has reached the minimum threshold, the reward is transferred into your chosen account.
Whether you’re a frequent flyer, or just like saving a few pounds when you jet off, Momondo is a handy app to have on your phone. Free to use, it finds and compares ‘billions of real-time prices on flights, hotels and cars’, passing on the latest deals without adding any fees. Much like anonymous online browsing, Momondo claims the prices it generates will never be affected by the number of searches you’ve made.
If fashion is your spending weakness, try an app that lets you compare the styles you love by price. Style Compare also lets you shop by product, department, label and store to help you find your favourites at the best prices.
With national and local discounts letting you access the best range of deals, VoucherCodes is probably the most well-known UK savings app. You can use the app to search for discount codes plus online and printable vouchers, deals and sales for over 5,500 UK retailers, restaurants and attractions.
If you’re more likely to use discounts in your own area, Vouchercloud allows you to find local deals by using your location. Suitable for iPhone and Android, you can download the app for free then simply show your voucher on the screen of your phone when redeeming it.
Created by Mastercard and suitable for all devices, the Mastercard Nearby could be more useful than ever this year: in late 2017 there were reports that one in five of the country’s free-to-use ATMs could be at risk of closure. Paying to withdraw your own money is always annoying, and if free withdrawals do become harder to find, this app, will locate free-to-use ATMs close to you making it a must have.
Making your money go further
If you’d love to see your savings grow and make your monthly income stretch a bit further, check out these apps to help you manage and make the most of your money.
Chip helps you save and makes your money work harder. After giving Chip read-only access to your current account (you’ll need to check if your bank is on Chip’s list of partners), its AI-powered algorithm calculates how much you can afford to save, putting money aside for you automatically by transferring an amount it has worked out to be affordable into a separate savings account. It can also help you pay off your overdraft by building up your savings (even when you’re in the red) and using them to pay off your overdraft in one go.
One of the most common ways to waste money is paying for services you no longer use or have that are way over the going rate. To avoid pouring cash down the drain, Bean tracks and helps you manage regular payments, including bills and subscriptions to services such as Spotify and Netflix, alerting you if there’s a better deal available. It can also help you out if you’re stuck with an expensive energy deal and have never switched providers before. The free service is available by signing-up on the Bean website.
Even if you struggle to save, setting a target – whether that’s a holiday, a wedding, a new car or a deposit on a house – can help you get motivated. Once you’ve defined your dream, these apps can help you achieve it.
Savings Goals Pro
If you’re saving towards a long-term target (or even a shorter term expense – such as a holiday or Christmas shopping!), Savings Goals Pro lets you enter a target amount and deadline before calculating a bespoke savings schedule (the amount you’ll need to save each month or week). Tracking your progress, easy-to-follow graphics show how much you’ve saved and how far you’ve got to go. The app (for iOS devices) costs £3.99 from the Apple App Store.
Apps to change your habits - for a lifetime
If you’d love to break old spending habits and develop a healthier (and wealthier) approach to your finances, these clever apps could help and inspire you to change.
Is your wallet stuffed with loyalty cards? Or do you have a host of them squirrelled away in a desk drawer? Maybe you’ve lost count of all the cards you’ve lost. Loyalty cards can save you money and generate great offers - but you need to use them to reap any rewards. Acting like a digital wallet, Stocard stores all your loyalty cards in one app. Whenever you shop at a relevant store you just show the cashier the relevant loyalty barcode on the free Stocard App to collect points and discounts, meaning you won’t need to cart all those plastic cards around.
The Salary Calculator
If you’re looking for a new job, trying for a promotion or struggling to work out what you’ll be paid next month, getting to grips with your salary can be a headache. The UK Salary Calculator works out your take-home pay based on your annual, hourly, daily or monthly wage, taking National Insurance contributions, student loan repayments and pensions into account. As well as keeping track of how much disposable income you’ll have each month, it can also compare salaries between old and new jobs and has a mortgage and debt consolidation calculator to help you manage your finances.
Measuring up to nine household utility meters, the Meter Readings app uses your meter data to work out usage, costs and savings, showing everything in simple graphs. UK users can compare usage and costs against energy supplier prices to see if they could be saving more money – it even helps you switch suppliers directly from your device.
Don’t worry, be appy!