The best way to manage your finances is through budgeting and now is the time to start. Everything is now accessible through your smartphone, including the world of banking, meaning that you can also budget effectively from your phone. Many budgeting apps now can connect electronically to your bank accounts to collate them all in one place so it makes it easier to manage your spending and budgeting effectively, without having to flip through a number of different mobile banking apps.
Previously, Money Dashboard was a popular choice when it came to free budgeting apps that offered detailed insight into your budget. However, it recently announced its closure from 31st October 2023 and a number of apps now require a subscription fee in order to benefit from similar features offered by Money Dashboard.
Below we take a look at some of the alternatives to Money Dashboard as well as app-only banks that help you to budget each month. Take a look at our independent reviews of each app to get a better understanding of which app may work best with your individual finances.
Best budgeting apps
Emma - Good for finding wasteful subscriptions
- Four plans to choose from ranging from £0 - £14.99 a month
- Groups all of your accounts together in one place
- Helps you to avoid using your overdraft and pay off any debt
- Monthly savings prompts to keep your budgeting on track
- Allows you to set budget goals
- Helps cut down unnecessary spending by highlighting wasteful subscriptions
- Offers savings advice and recommends an affordable amount to save each month based on your budget
- Limited features with the free account compared to other apps
More information can be found in our independent Emma review.
Snoop* - Good for tracking household bills
- Two plans to choose from Snoop and Snoop Plus at £4.99 a month
- See all of your bank accounts in one place within the app
- Track your bills and get notified if you can switch to save money
- Get a summary of your spending in the month and of any upcoming payments
- Categorise your spending
- Set monthly spending budgets
- Get notified of 'Snoops' which are ways to save money based on where you spend
More information can be found in our independent Snoop review.
Moneyhub* - Good for data privacy
- Subscription required - £14.99 per year or £1.49 per month (first 6 months free)
- Gain insights into your spending habits via a spending analysis tool
- See all of your accounts in one place
- Set spending goals
- Receive notifications that remind you when bills are due
- Ability to seek financial help or advice if needed
More information can be found in our independent Moneyhub review.
HyperJar - Good for spending from separate budgets
- Free to download and use
- Budget effectively with separate 'Jars' for your money
- Includes a prepaid debit card that allows you to spend directly from your Jars
- Restrict spending from a Jar to certain shops and retailers
- Pocket money app and kid's card to encourage money management for children
- Exclusive discounts and rewards based on your spending
- Fee-free spending when abroad
More information can be found on the HyperJar website.
Budgeting with an app-only bank
Budgeting apps are a great way to control your finances but now there is the opportunity to budget via digital-only banks. Below we have listed banks that have the same or similar features to many of the above apps alongside their own fully functional personal bank accounts. You may also now be able to get some budgeting features with your current high street bank so it can be worth checking to see what features your existing bank offers.
Monzo - Good for budgeting
- Can be used with Apple/Google pay
- Set spending budgets
- Clear and easy summary of spending
- Instant notifications
- Set up direct debits and standing orders
- Pay people easily
- Avoid unnecessary fees when spending abroad
- Effortless savings feature that allows you to round up payments to the nearest pound, the pennies get added to a 'savings pot'
- Withdraw cash abroad with no fees (monthly limit applies)
- Can upgrade to Monzo Plus or Monzo Premium for £5 or £15 a month
- Earn interest on Savings Pots
More information can be found in our independent Monzo review.
Starling Bank* - Good for round-up saving
- Voted Best British Bank in 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021
- Allows multiple savings goals all in one place
- Real-time updates to track daily spending quickly
- Get notifications on payment-related activity
- Gain spending insights on your spending activity
- Rounds up your spending to the nearest pound and the money is automatically put into a savings pot.
- Speed up your savings by electing to increase the amount that rounds up each purchase. You can choose x1, x2, x5 or x10
- Fee-free spending when travelling abroad including cash withdrawals
- Earn 3.25% interest on current account balances up to £5,000 or open a 1 Year Fixed Saver with 5.53% interest
More information can be found in our independent Starling Bank review.
Revolut - Good for travelling abroad
- Built-in budgeting
- Round up your spending to the nearest pound and the money is automatically put into a savings pot
- Instant spending notifications
- Spend money abroad with no fees (limits apply)
- Withdraw cash abroad fee-free (monthly limit applies)
- Earn interest on Savings Vaults
- Although Revolut operates as a bank, it is still waiting for its UK banking licence to be approved and so your money is not currently covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
More information can be found in our independent Revolut review.
Chase Bank - Good for earning interest
- Get a spending overview on your transactions in a month
- Save money into separate current accounts
- Round-up spending and earn 5% interest on round-up change
- Earn 1% cashback on purchases for the first 12 months
- Earn 1% interest on current account balance
- Fee-free spending abroad
- 24/7 customer support
- 4.10% interest on a Chase Saver account
- FSCS protection
More information can be found in our Chase review.
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