5 min Read
30 Sep 2019

Written by Damien

Damien is one of the most widely quoted money and investment experts in the national press and has made numerous radio & TV appearances. He created MoneytotheMasses.com while working in the City when he became disillusioned with the way the public were left to fend for themselves because they could not afford financial advice.

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The best budgeting apps in the UK: How to budget without trying


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 budget effectively from your phone too. 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. Below we take a look at some of the best budgeting apps that will help you get your finances in shape.

Best free budgeting apps

Emma - Great for finding wasteful subscriptions

  • 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 cancelling wasteful subscriptions
  • Offers savings advice and recommends an affordable amount to save each month based on your budget

Yolt - Great for tracking spending across multiple accounts

  • View all of your accounts in one place
  • Track your spending and set realistic spending targets using spending reports
  • See charts that highlight your spending history
  • Easily transfer money between different accounts
  • Set budget goals and track your bills

Money Dashboard - Great for helping you budget for future goals

  • Voted the Best Personal Finance App in 2017 & 2018
  • Automatically categorises transactions
  • Dashboard to clearly see the categories of your spending, shown in various graphs
  • Allows you to set multiple budgets with notifications of overspending
  • Allows you to plan and predict for your finances and budget in the future
  • Shows all of your transactions on all accounts in one place

Tandem - Great for simplicity

  • Automatically shows you the money you have to spend each month
  • Alerts when you receive a payment or if a bill has increased
  • Can help you reduce your energy bills by finding better deals to save you money
  • By tracking your spending it can offer help or advice to improve

Best paid for budgeting apps

Moneyhub - Great for data privacy

  • 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
  • Subscription required - 99p per month

Budgeting through a 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.


  • Can be used with Apple/Google pay
  • Sub-accounts called 'spaces' aimed to help save for goals
  • Spending breakdown
  • Instant notifications
  • Insurance with the N26 metal card
  • Fee free spending abroad
  • Online banking service


  • Can be used with Apple/Samsung/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 'coin jar'
  • Withdraw cash abroad with no fees (monthly limit of £200)

Starling Bank

  • Voted Best British Bank 2018
  • 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 x2, x5 or x10
  • Fee free spending when travelling abroad including cash withdrawals


  • 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
  • Withdraw cash abroad fee free (monthly limit applies)
  • 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)