We’ve compiled a list of the best budgeting apps in the UK. These are money management apps that will help you track your spending, categorise your expenses, organise your money, and identify wasteful subscriptions, manually or via a new technology called open banking.
Open banking budgeting apps allow you to connect your bank accounts to see all your transactions in one place, while manual budgeting apps provide a platform where you can input your transactions to see them all in one place.
All the budgeting apps listed below are available to download on Android and iOS. The open banking budgeting apps are registered with the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Here are the best budgeting apps in the UK:
Moneyhub is a powerful financial planning and budgeting app that allows you to see all of your finances in one place. With Moneyhub, you can connect your current, savings, joint, credit, mortgage, crypto, pensions and investment accounts and see all your transactions in one place. In situations where your accounts are incompatible with Moneyhub, or you have accounts without any digital presence, such as cash savings kept at home, or even a list of properties which you currently track in a notebook, Moneyhub will help you track these manually so that you can have a complete view of your finances. Moneyhub will also let you create budgets, categorise spending, set and manage financial goals, view spending reminders, and access powerful income, spending and investment insights. With Moneyhub, you can match your budgets to your payday, so it is easier to see exactly how much of your salary you are spending each month. Moneyhub also allows you to revisit your employment history to see how many pension schemes you might be a part of through your past employers and view all your pensions in one place. Moneyhub is available on desktop, iOS and Android devices.
When you join Moneyhub, you are immediately given a six-month free trial of the Premium membership. Once the trial is over, you have to subscribe to continue using Moneyhub for £1.49 per month or £14.99 per year (two months free).
Budget by Koody is a money management and budgeting app that offers a simple and personalised approach to keeping you on track with your finances, giving you complete control to account for your expenses and monitor your spending habits over time. It is a budgeting app that does not require you to sync your bank account or share any sensitive data, so you can rest easy knowing that the money in your account is untouched, safe and secure. Budget by Koody is an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy all the benefits of a modern budgeting app without connecting their bank accounts. You can set budgets, track spending, categorise expenses and keep track of your cash transactions, current, savings, investment, pensions, credit and crypto accounts, all without linking your accounts. Budget by Koody will also give you a continually updated overview of your monthly spending, with a reminder of your upcoming expenses, total monthly budget and daily spending limit to keep you within your budget. Budget by Koody also lets you budget in your preferred currency. You will have the option to budget in £, $ or € for a more accurate picture of your transactions according to where you are in the world. Budget by Koody is available on iOS and Android.
Budget by Koody is completely free to use. However, if you want to access more advanced features within the app, you can subscribe to Budget by Koody Pro for £1 per month or £10 per year (first two months free).
Snoop is a budgeting and money management app that allows you to see all your bank accounts together in one place. With Snoop, you can track spending, categorise expenses and receive insights to help reduce bills and cancel unused subscriptions. Snoop has an exciting money-saving feature that aims to help reduce your household bills. Snoop customers get access to money-saving offers and exclusive deals on broadband, mobile contracts, insurance, credit cards, loans, pensions, mortgages and energy. Snoop has an inbuilt price comparison tool that aims to help you find the best switch and save deals, saving you more money in the long run. Snoop will also help you avoid bank penalty fees, reduce wasteful subscriptions, find vouchers and discounts at the places you shop, track refunds, and spot unexpected price hikes. Customers can also set custom alerts to receive daily balance updates, upcoming bills, and weekly and monthly spending summaries. Additionally, Snoop creates a personalised set of money-saving suggestions, which it shares with you on a daily basis. The Snoop app is available to download on iOS and Android.
The basic version of Snoop is entirely free to use. To access more advanced features such as payday budgeting, unlimited custom categories, unlimited spending and refund alerts, offline accounts, custom spending reports, net worth tracking and spending analysis filtering, you need to subscribe for £3.99 per month. You can test out the premium features for seven days free of charge.
Plum is a money management and budgeting app that builds a complete picture of your finances to save you money and help you budget. With Plum, you can connect all your bank accounts and credit cards to see an overview of your finances in one place, analyse your spending, keep track of your money and compare household bills. Plum automates budgeting, saving and investing. If you sign up for Plum’s Money Maximiser, part of the paid subscription, Plum will transfer idle money from your current account to an interest-bearing savings account. Since the app can predict your weekly spending needs, it will automatically move money from the savings account to your current account weekly to cover your spending. Plum will also send you helpful alerts to help you keep track of your regular bills and payments. It will also let you know if you can save money on your home energy or broadband bills and help you switch to a new supplier where possible. Plum is available on iOS and Android.
It is free to download the Plum app, access the basic budgeting and money management features, set money aside, withdraw as often as you like, and switch your bills with Plum. However, if you are interested in more advanced budgeting features like the Money Maximiser, want to earn interest on your savings or want to put your money to work harder by investing in the stock market, you can subscribe for £2.99 or £4.99 per month (first month free). Plum has a third tier that costs £9.99 per month for those who want to access more investment opportunities.
Revolut is a personal finance and money management app with a variety of products to help you spend and save smarter. Revolut offers budgeting, payments, international transfers, currency exchange, savings accounts, investment accounts, cryptocurrencies and insurance. Revolut’s budgeting feature allows you to see all your finances in one place by connecting all your bank accounts to Revolut via open banking. Revolut customers also get access to powerful charts and analytics within the app to help you visualise your overall financial picture while keeping an eye on your spending habits. With Revolut, you can set budgets manually or by letting the app calculate spending limits to recommend to you based on your spending predictions. The app also sends notifications to help you stay on top of your money and even gives you a heads-up when you are nearing your budget limit. Revolut will send you weekly insights for a deep dive into your spending habits. Customers can also control their subscriptions in one place, organise bills with pockets and get complete visibility of all their financial activities. The Revolut app will also categorise your expenses to give you a clear picture of your spending habits with a breakdown by merchants, categories, countries, and more. Revolut is available on iOS and Android.
Budgeting on Revolut is free of charge. However, to access more features such as personalised cards, cashback on card payments, discounted international transfers, higher interest rates on savings, unlimited currency exchange and insurance cover, you need to subscribe to Revolut Plus, Premium or Metal for £2.99, £6.99 or £12.99 per month, respectively.
Monese is a personal finance and money management app with a host of offerings, including a budgeting tool and expense tracker. With Monese, you can set weekly or monthly budgets, categorise your spending, open separate savings pots, move money around and receive detailed transaction alerts and instant notifications whenever you make a purchase. Money saving is a particularly big feature on Monese, and customers can save in two ways: savings pots and interest accounts. Saving pots are a great way to put money aside, keeping it separate from your main account, but you do not earn interest on them. You can create pots in multiple currencies and withdraw money from them whenever you like. You can also round up your spare change and save the difference into up to 10 different pots per account. If you are looking for a savings account with interest, Monese has a marketplace where you can choose from several interest-bearing accounts with a wide range of UK banks. These interest accounts have FSCS protection, so you can rest assured that your savings are protected. Monese also has other features such as multi-currency accounts, credit and loans, local payments, international transfers, and travel money. Monese is available on iOS and Android.
The budgeting and expense tracking features on Monese are free to use. You also get a free and instant account in GBP, EUR and RON. To access more advanced features like insurance, bill protection and VIP customer support, you can subscribe to the Classic or Premium plans for £5.95 or £14.95 per month, respectively.
Monzo is a UK bank with a budgeting and money management offering. Monzo Bank offers budgeting, interest-bearing savings accounts, short-term interest-free and interest loans, and phone and travel insurance. Monzo’s core budgeting features include connecting all your accounts with open banking, categorising your spending, envelope budgeting using Monzo Pots, bill splitting, payday budgeting and rounding up spare change. With Monzo, you can connect your bank account and credit cards to see all your financial activities in one place. Monzo also allows you to set a custom budget start date that you can align with your payday to make tracking the outgoings from your salary seamless. If you are a fan of the envelope budgeting method, you will find Monzo Pots very useful. Pots are a simple way to put money aside and set it apart from your spending money. The cash in your Pots is separate from your spending money, and you can create Pots for anything, including rent, groceries or holidays. Monzo will also round up your spare change and automatically put it in a Pot of your choice. You can also pay bills directly from your Pots by setting up direct debits, standing orders, or simply making a manual transfer yourself. Monzo’s bill-splitting feature allows you to automate the bill-splitting process with your family and friends and settle them whenever you like. Monzo is available on iOS and Android.
It is free to download and use the basic budgeting features on Monzo. However, to access features such as connecting your other bank accounts, creating custom categories, tracking your credit score, accessing interest-bearing accounts, and using the phone travel insurance features, you have to upgrade to Monzo Plus for £5 per month or Premium for £15 per month.
Emma is a money management and budgeting app that automatically tracks and categorises your expenses to help set budgets, cancel wasteful subscriptions, and save you money in the long run. With Emma, you can connect your bank accounts and credit cards to view all your finances in one place, giving you a clearer insight into your spending behaviour. You can also track investments, cryptocurrencies, and pension accounts and view them all in one place. Emma will sync your personal budgets to your pay period and use the ‘Emma reports’ feature to let you know if you are on track or if you need to slow down your spending. With Emma, you can create and manage savings goals, which you can link to your savings account. You can also use the net worth calculator to see your overall financial position and ways to improve. The net worth calculator lets you manually include your assets, such as houses, cars and artworks. Emma has a host of other tools to help you make smarter decisions with your money, such as payments, cashback and commission-free stock trading. Emma is available to download on iOS and Android.
It is free to download and use the basic budgeting features on Emma. However, to access features such as cashback, bank transfers, priority customer support, goal setting, net worth calculation, custom categories, unlimited budgets and smart rules, you need to upgrade to Emma Plus, Pro or Ultimate for £4.99, £9.99 or £14.99 per month, respectively.
Money Dashboard is a budgeting and money management app that keeps track of your spending and lets you view all your accounts in one place. It connects to your accounts in minutes and manages all your transactions in one place, which means you can track your online current accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and crypto wallets at once. Money Dashboard also has a ‘Spending Plan’ tool that encourages effective money management through forecasted cash flows. By deducting your upcoming bills from your balance at any time, you will know exactly how much money you have left to spend or save. With Money Dashboard, you can organise your transactions the way you want, transfer money between all your bank accounts in one app, personalise how your spending is grouped and organised, review how your spending habits have changed over time, and get notified when your balance is looking low and bills still due. Money Dashboard is available on desktop, iOS and Android.
Money Dashboard is entirely free to download and use. There are no subscription plans to upgrade to, and all users enjoy the same benefits without paying anything. That said, it is important to highlight that Money Dashboard makes money by selling anonymised user data to businesses and institutions.
A budget is a financial plan for your income and expenses over a particular period of time.
Consider the following example - suppose your net monthly income (after tax and national insurance contributions) is £2,000. You need to ensure that at the end of each month, you have spent less than £2,000 as spending more could lead to severe financial and mental health problems.
A budget helps you make a spending plan for that £2,000. A plan that ensures you never run out of money before your next payday. If you do it right, you might even have some money left over for long-term saving and investing.
There are many ways to create a budget. For example, if you have your own method of estimating your income and expenses, making a plan to keep your costs below your income, paying your debt when due and saving a little for the future, you already have a budget.
At Koody, we recommend using the 50-30-20 budget rule to create a budget. The 50-30-20 budget rule is a brilliant budgeting technique that suggests spending 50% of your income on your needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings and extra debt.
Let’s continue with the £2,000 net monthly income example we used above. Using the 50-30-20 budget rule, you will allocate £1,000 to your needs, £600 to your wants and £400 to your savings and extra debt.
To make it easy for you to understand, we have included a simple 50-30-20 budget calculator below. Use the budget calculator to quickly estimate how much of your monthly income to allocate to needs, wants and savings.
The 50-30-20 budget rule helps you categorise your spending and make long-term savings and investment plans, but it does not work in every circumstance. There are situations where you might need to be a bit flexible with the rule, and it makes perfect sense to adjust the ratios to suit your needs.
For instance, if you are struggling with debt and can barely afford to meet your monthly repayment obligations, allocating 30% of your income to wants and 20% to savings and extra debt might not work for you.
Consider your own financial situation before deciding on what budget rule to use.
A good budgeting app that tracks, categorises, and analyses your spending could help you better understand how much to allocate to wants, needs and savings.
Most budgeting apps today are entirely free to download and use. Additionally, many banks now offer a spending tracking and categorisation feature on current accounts free of charge. These features are excellent for budgeting.
The three main budget categories are needs, wants and savings.
Needs are things you cannot do without–your absolute necessities, such as:
Using the 50-30-20 budget rule, allocate 50% of your income to your needs.
Wants are the extra things you spend money on that make life more enjoyable, such as:
Using the 50-30-20 budget rule, allocate 30% of your income to your wants.
Since our wants make life more enjoyable, it is important to spend money on them. But be careful not to spend too much. Allocating 30% of your net income to your wants is just about reasonable. And, depending on your personal circumstance, 30% might even be too much.
Savings and debt are all about planning for the future. There are two critical future events to plan for:
If there is anything we’ve learnt from the Coronavirus pandemic, it is that emergencies happen, and it pays to be prepared.
At Koody, we strongly recommend building an emergency fund to cater to unforeseen financial shocks like a job loss, major health issue or massive car repair.
Your emergency fund should be equal to at least three months’ living expenses. This will serve as a financial buffer preventing you from making poor financial decisions during a crisis. You can start by allocating 10% of your net income to your emergency fund. Read more about building an emergency fund in our How to Build an Emergency Fund guide.
The second category under Savings and Debt is long-term goals. We all have long-term goals. For some, it could be living comfortably in retirement. For others, it could be buying a home or getting married. Whatever your goals, without adequate planning, you might struggle to achieve them.
Allocate the remaining 10% of your net income to saving towards your long-term goals and overpaying your debts (if you think it is necessary to do so).
Read our Investing for Beginners guide to learn more about investing and financial planning for your future.
Here are our top tips to help you stop going over your budget:
Modern budgeting apps like Moneyhub and Snoop claim to use the same encryption technology as all major banks to protect your personal information. They do not store your banking credentials and can only access your data in read-only mode. This means that your account can’t be breached, and the money in it can’t be touched. These apps are also regulated by the FCA.
Most modern budgeting apps like Budget by Koody, Moneyhub and Plum keep track of your spending to give you a clearer picture of your spending habits. Banks like Monzo and Starling also help you keep track of your spending.
Here are our recommendations for the best ways to stop living paycheque to paycheque:
Here are a few reasons why budgets fail:
Here are the best free budgeting apps in the UK:
Here are our top ten ways to save money as a beginner:
Budget by Koody is an excellent tool for keeping track of your money and organising your finances. You can keep track of your spending, categorise expenses, get spending insights, set and manage savings goals, access learning resources, and so much more, all without the need to connect your bank account. Other budgeting apps featured on Koody also help you track and manage your spending.
To choose a budgeting app, you should consider the following:
Open banking is a new technology that allows third parties (such as budgeting apps, payment processors, banks, lenders, credit rating agencies, and other financial institutions) to view your bank and other financial transactions in real time or make payments on your behalf with your permission.
In simpler terms, with open banking, you can share information from your bank, pension, investment, crypto or loan accounts with third parties.
When you give this kind of access to third parties, such as budgeting apps or credit rating agencies, it allows them to view all your bank transactions, make payments on your behalf or aggregate all your transactions across different financial providers to give you a complete picture of how you spend your money or a sense of your creditworthiness. The UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), monitors and regulates open banking activities.
The easiest free budget app in the UK that does not require you to link your bank account is Budget by Koody.
Here are the best money management apps in the UK:
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