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

8 min Read Published: 15 May 2024

Budgeting is the best way to manage your finances in 2024. There is a huge variety of budgeting apps on the market right now making it easier than ever to manage your finances on the go. Budgeting apps can connect to your bank accounts and collate them all in one place making it easier to manage your spending and budget effectively without having to switch between several different mobile banking apps.

In this article, we take a look at the best budgeting apps on the market right now which also include the best app-only banks to help you budget every month.

1 Minute Summary - Best budgeting apps

  • Budgeting apps offer a range of features that make it easier to get your finances in order and manage your money.
  • There are lots of options on the market so we have put together a list of the best budgeting apps in 2024.
  • Snoop* is a good option if you're looking for a free app that combines all your bank accounts in one place to track bills.
  • Moneyhub* is a solid choice if you want a low-cost app with more advanced budgeting analytics features.
  • Emma* is a great choice if you want a premium app with advanced budgeting features, great savings rates, cashback, and a way to report rent payments to improve your credit score.

Which is the best budgeting app?

There are lots of different ways to budget in 2024. One of the most popular ways to stay on top of your finances is to use a dedicated budgeting app, but choosing the right one for you can be tricky.

This article provides a summary of the best budgeting apps in 2024, including the best free budgeting apps, the best low-cost options and our top pick for the best premium budgeting app.

Best free budgeting apps

Here are the best free budgeting apps on the market right now. You'll notice that some of these apps offer paid plans too. However, they have been included because they offer a free version with basic budgeting features that could work well for some.

Snoop*

Founded in 2019, Snoop is a solid free budgeting app if you're looking for an easy way to track household bills. It uses open banking to combine your accounts in one place and help you analyse your spending habits and make savings. Snoop is currently ranked 3.2 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot based on 60 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features Snoop offers.

  • Two plans to choose from Snoop Free 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.

HyperJar

HyperJar is a prepaid debit card and money app available to both children and adults. It's a great way to control your spending as it allows you to divide your money among different jars for different purposes and spend from them accordingly. The app is also completely free. It's ranked 4.7 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot based on more than 1,500 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features HyperJar offers.

  • 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.

Starling Bank*

Starling Bank is an award-winning app-only challenger bank with attractive features like 3.25% interest on current accounts as well as various budgeting tools. Founded in 2014, the challenger bank has grown in popularity and is currently ranked 4.3 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot based on more than 40,000 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features Starling Bank offers.

  • 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
  • Free debit card and app for kids (aged 6-15)
  • 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 4.48% interest

More information can be found in our independent Starling Bank review.

Chase Bank

Chase Bank is a relative newcomer to the UK having launched back in September 2021. However, the challenger bank is owned by J.P.Morgan and has more than 50 million active users in the US alone. If you like earning cashback and interest on your current account, Chase Bank could be one option to consider. Chase Bank is ranked 4.2 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot based on approximately 9,200 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features Chase Bank offers.

  • 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.

Best low-cost budgeting apps

If you're looking for a low-cost budgeting app, the choices below offer great features. Some of these apps have free versions too, but taking out one of the paid plans is the best way to make the most of the features on offer. The free versions are a good taster of what to expect in many cases and could work well for some.

Revolut

Revolut offers some of the best exchange rates on the market so it's an attractive option for travelling abroad. The paid plans offer higher fee-free spending abroad limits as well as higher fee-free ATM withdrawals, as well as better savings rates and cashback rates. Revolut is currently ranked 4.2 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot based on more than 150,000 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features Revolut offers.

  • 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.

Monzo

Monzo is an app-only bank with lots of helpful budgeting tools. However, to get the most of what it has to offer in terms of budgeting, you'll probably need to choose one of the paid plans. The cheapest one is Monzo Extra which costs £3 per month and comes with additional budgeting features. It won the SmartMoneyPeople Best Banking App award in 2023. On Trustpilot, Monzo is ranked 4.0 out of 5.0 based on more than 32,000 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features Monzo offers.

  • 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 Extra for £3 a month – this comes with additional budgeting features
  • Can upgrade to Monzo Perks or Monzo Max for £7 or £17 a month – these come with additional benefits like weekly Greggs treats, free railcards, and insurance policies (Monzo Max only)
  • Earn interest on Savings Pots

More information can be found in our independent Monzo review.

Moneyhub*

Moneyhub is another open banking money management app that is designed to combine all your accounts and help you make better financial decisions. It is priced similarly to its competitors but offers the added advantage of a great desktop experience for those of you who prefer analysing your finances on a bigger screen. It is currently ranked 3.8 out of 5.0 based on around 40 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features Moneyhub offers.

  • Subscription required – £1.49 per month or £14.99 per year
  • All new users get the first 6 months free
  • Access to budgeting features via a mobile app and desktop
  • Gain detailed 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
  • Monthly fee ensures that your spending data is not sold on to third parties

More information can be found in our independent Moneyhub review.

The best premium budgeting app

If you're looking for a budgeting app with advanced budgeting features and are willing to spend a little more, then Emma is a great option to consider.

Emma*

Founded in 2018, Emma is a money management app that has attracted more than 1.6 million customers since its inception. It uses open banking to combine information about your existing accounts, credit cards, and investments. It also comes with a range of budgeting and investment features to help you make the most of your money.

To make full use of Emma and connect more than two accounts, you will likely need to go for the paid option. Emma's app is one of the most comprehensive budgeting apps on the market right now. It's currently ranked 3.8 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot based on around 180 reviews.

Here is an overview of some of the key features Emma offers.

  • Four plans to choose from ranging from £0 – £14.99 a month
  • Earn up to 4.34% AER on your savings depending on your plan
  • Pay low FX fees on trades when you invest with Emma Invest (as low as 0.12% with Emma Ultimate)
  • Make use of rent reporting where regular rent payments are reported to credit reference agencies to improve your credit score
  • Group all of your accounts together in one place
  • Monthly savings prompts to keep your budgeting on track
  • Set your payday to track your spending between pay periods
  • Set budget goals in the app
  • Cut down unnecessary spending – Emma highlights wasteful subscriptions
  • Offers savings advice and recommends an affordable amount to save each month based on your budget

More information can be found in our independent Emma review.

An overview of the best budgeting apps in the UK in 2024

For those looking for a free app that covers the basics, Snoop* is a solid choice. Moneyhub*, on the other hand, is a fairly cheap app that offers a little more spending analysis. And if you're looking for even more advanced features and extra benefits like cashback and investment options, then Emma* could be one to look at as well.

 

If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers – Snoop,  Moneyhub, Emma