Best Money Saving Apps in the UK 2021

Updated: Sep 20, 2021
Best Money Saving Apps UK 2021

Contents:

Best Money Saving Apps

We’ve put together a list of some of the best money saving apps in the UK. These include a range of open banking auto-saving apps that round up and save your spare change, and payment cards that enable you to save money through fair exchange rates, free ATM withdrawals and more.

Compare some of the best money saving apps in the UK below.

All the apps listed here are available on Android and iOS.


Chip - Auto-save and invest; Set savings goals; Up to 0.70% AER

Chip Logo
Interest
0% - 0.70%
Cost
£0 - £3 per month
£85,000
Green Check Mark
FSCS Protection

Chip saves you money by analysing your bank transactions, identifying spare change and automatically setting it aside for you. By adjusting the save level, you can decide whether you want to take things at a steady pace or go full speed ahead and save money faster. You can review and tweak each auto-save before Chip moves your money, or choose to skip a save altogether. Chip's technology will learn from your tweaks and adjust your future saves to fit. Chip has some fun deposit features such as Payday Put Away and Save Streaks. And you can withdraw your money from the app whenever you want.

Chip also offers automatic investments.

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Monese - Round up purchases; Savings pots, Travel money

Monese Logo
Interest
£0
Cost
£0 - £14.95/month
Red Cross Mark
FSCS Protection

Monese allows you to save money 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’re looking for savings with interest, Monese has a Marketplace partnership, where you can open a savings account with interest. All you need to open a Monese account is your ID and a selfie photo. No credit checks are required.

Monese also offers travel money, international money transfers and multi-currency accounts.

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Currensea - Save on FX fees when travelling abroad

Currensea Logo
Interest
N/A
Cost
£0 - £10/month
Red Cross Mark
FSCS Protection

Currensea allows you to save money on FX fees when travelling abroad with your Currensea card. Depending on your chosen Currensea plan, you can save anywhere from 85% to 100% on FX fees worldwide. Currensea conveniently connects to your bank account through Open Banking without the need to prepay, top-up or create a new bank account when you sign up for a card. Each Currensea plan offers fee-free ATM withdrawals of up to £500 per month, and £750 per month for Elite members.

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Plum - Round up purchases; Auto-save and invest; Up to 0.40% AER

Plum Logo
Interest
0% - 0.40% AER
Cost
£0 - £2.99/month
£85,000
Green Check Mark
FSCS Protection

Plum calculates how much you can afford to set aside and automatically saves it for you. The app gives you an overview of your finances and analyses your spending to help you keep track of your money. Plum also identifies if you're overpaying on bills and can switch you to a better supplier automatically to help you save extra. If you feel the app is putting away too much or too little, you can always adjust the save amount. You can also withdraw your money from the app whenever you want. Plum has some fun deposit features such as Round Ups, Pay Days, 52-Week Saving Challenge, and Rainy Day Savings Rule.

If you're interested in automatic investments or want to earn interest on your savings, Plum Plus or Plum Pro might be for you.

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Curve - Fee-free ATM withdrawals when you travel abroad

Curve Logo
Interest
N/A
Cost
£0 - £14.99
Red Cross Mark
FSCS Protection

Curve gives you the power to spend money from any of your accounts using just one card. It allows you to save money through fair exchange rates and fee-free ATM withdrawals when you travel abroad, gives you access to your spending history at any given time and notifies you with every payment to help keep track of your finances. You can link the Curve card and card to Apple, Google, or Samsung Pay and benefit from compatibility with all Mastercard and Visa cards. Curve also has some really cool features such as "Go Back In Time", "Anti-Embarrassment Mode", cashback at your favourite retailers, personalised rewards and travel benefits.

While Curve does not have FSCS protection, it offers customer protection up to £100,000 if you encounter an issue with your payment, such as receiving counterfeit goods or not receiving the goods or services you paid for.

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Cleo - Auto-save; Set savings goals; Up to 1.50% AER

Cleo Logo
Interest
0% - 1.50% AER
Cost
£0 - £5.99
Red Cross Mark
FSCS Protection

Cleo is a fun automatic savings and budgeting app that helps you save money through personalised budgets, spending breakdowns and saving suggestions. When you set a saving goal, Cleo can identify exactly how much you need to put aside within a set period of time, without breaking your budget. The app also has a smart chatbot that helps you manage your finances in an entertaining way. The "Roast Me" feature is particularly comical. The app turns red when you switch to roast mode, and Cleo begins to help you identify poor spending patterns and recommend ways to improve them. If you find finance, budgeting and saving money boring, this app might just change your mind forever.

While Cleo does not offer FSCS protection like the other automatic savings apps listed here, it pledges to cover you up to US$250,000.

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Moneybox - Round up purchases; Auto-save and invest; 0.25% AER

Moneybox
Interest
0.25% AER
Cost
£0
£85,000
Green Check Mark
FSCS Protection

Moneybox's Round Up feature allows you to save spare change by rounding up your card transactions to the nearest pound and saving the difference. (e.g. if you spend £2.30 on a coffee, Moneybox automatically saves 70p for you). You can choose to save your money in either a 45-Day Notice Account or a 95-Day Notice Account. If you want to take a break from saving or feel the app is putting away too much, you can always turn off Round Ups. You can withdraw your money from the app once a month.

Moneybox also offers automatic investments.

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Monzo - Round up purchases; Set savings goals; Up to 0.70% AER

Monzo logo
Interest
0% - 0.70% AER
Cost
£0
£85,000
Green Check Mark
FSCS Protection

Monzo Bank has a Savings Marketplace within the Monzo app where you can pick from an ever-growing number of providers and competitive interest rates to suit your savings goals. With the Monzo app, you can set savings goals, round up your spare change and automatically save the difference into a savings pot.

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Starling Bank - Round ups; Set savings goals; Up to 0.5% AER

Starling Bank
Interest
0.05% - 0.5% AER
Cost
£0
£85,000
Green Check Mark
FSCS Protection

Starling Bank’s "Saving Spaces" feature works as a virtual piggy bank, allowing you to set saving goals and set money aside from your main balance. You can personalise your Saving Space with an image and title to help incentivise your savings and use the Round Ups feature to put your spare change into a space of your choice. You’ll still earn interest on your savings up to the applicable account limits.

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How do Money Saving Apps work

Money saving apps offer a variety of features and perks that can help increase your savings and improve your spending habits overall. These will depend on the type of saving apps you wish to use.


Automatic savings apps help you save spare change by regularly moving small amounts of money into a separate savings account or rounding up your purchases and automatically saving the difference, whilst payment cards offer a number of benefits, including fair FX rates, fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals and more.


Most money saving apps will require you to link to your bank account so that you can easily access your funds when setting saving goals, putting money aside or making payments and withdrawals abroad.


Best ways to save money

  1. Keep note of your expenses.
    Recording your expenses is a great starting point when it comes to saving money. This means taking into account every grocery shop, meal out with friends or utility cost to gain a clearer picture of your spending habits. Once you’ve listed each expense, you can place them into separate categories and set realistic spending limits for each. By tracking your category totals, you’ll spot the areas that you may be overspending in. Budget by Koody is an excellent resource for tracking and categorising your spending.
  2. Regularly check your bank transactions.
    Regularly keeping an eye on your bank transactions is one of the best ways to save money. Without this step, you could risk missing a sudden increase in a regular subscription fee, or an incorrect charge to your account. Most banks today offer an online banking service that makes tracking your spending very straightforward. A five-minute daily scroll through your banking app could save you a fair few pounds in the long run.
  3. Budget for savings.
    Here at Koody, we recommend setting aside roughly 20% of your monthly earnings for savings and investments. This recommendation comes from the 50-30-20 budgeting rule, which encourages spending 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants and then saving the remaining 20%. When you budget, you must think realistically about how much money you can afford to spend against your monthly income. Budget by Koody is an excellent tool to help you on your personal budgeting journey. You can track your spending, categorise expenses, get spending insights, access learning resources, and so much more, all without the need to connect to your bank.
  4. Set saving goals.
    Incentivise your savings by setting personal goals. Whether you’re saving for a short-term goal like a wedding or vacation, or a longer-term goal such as retirement, it’s important to consider how much you’ll need to set aside over time. Commit to putting away a small amount each week or month to reach your goals and enjoy the rewards you’ve saved for.
  5. Find ways to cut back on your spending.
    You should always look for ways to cut back on spending, especially if you find that your expenses are too high compared to your monthly income. Here are some clever ways to limit your spending so that you can grow your savings pot further.
  • ~~Set yourself an ‘eating out limit’ or a ‘coffee limit’. The amount that we spend on food and drink each month can add up rapidly, so limiting yourself to four coffees a month instead of eight, or opting for cheap eats over an expensive restaurant could make all the difference.
  • ~~Shop second hand. If you’re in need of a specific household item, furniture or even new clothes, there are several apps that will allow you to buy second-hand products that are in need of a new home, usually at a discounted price. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll be opting for a much more environmentally friendly option too.
  • ~~Go through your subscriptions every few months. Going through a list of active subscriptions every quarter might serve as a reminder that you’re spending too much on services that you either don’t use enough, or don’t use at all. It’s easy to forget what you’ve opted into, particularly if you signed up a long time ago, so this is an essential step in identifying what subscriptions you should cancel.
  • ~~Allow yourself a cooling-off period. If you find yourself tempted to make a relatively large purchase, wait a few days before going ahead with it. In this time, you may realise that you’re perfectly fine without it, or you may have increased your savings and therefore be in a more comfortable position to make the purchase.

How to stop spending on unnecessary things

  1. Create a Needs vs Wants List and focus on the needs.
    While it can be tempting to splash on a new wardrobe or designer bag, you want to avoid prioritising such items over your needs, i.e. rent payments, groceries and household bills. A Needs vs Wants List allows you to spend on necessities first, and then make an informed decision on whether your budget would allow you to spend on the wants.
  2. Bring lunch from home.
    If your job involves commuting to and from an office, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of buying your lunch every day. Instead, you could make and bring in your own lunch whilst treating yourself to a meal out once or twice a week. It could be the difference between spending £40 a week or just £24!
  3. Shop with a list.
    A simple and effective way to avoid spending on unnecessary items is to create a shopping list - and this works for any type of shop, not just your groceries. By creating a list, you’ll stay focused on the things you need and less likely to be tempted to splurge on the things you want.

Advantages of Money Saving Apps

  • If you choose to use an automatic savings app, it usually requires little to no effort from your end to save money - most of the work is done for you!
  • Money saving apps encourage good saving habits and help incentivise your savings through personalisation.
  • They offer a fun way to learn about money.
  • In some cases, you earn some interest.
  • Your money is usually in a separate account, so the temptation to spend it all is reduced.
  • If you’re using a payment card to save money abroad, you may get access to extra perks including airport lounge access, various leisure discounts and cashback.

Disadvantages of Money Saving Apps

  • Some apps do not have full Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection - we'll tell you which.
  • You need to have a smartphone to use them.
  • Some offer very little interest on savings, if at all.

1. Are money saving apps worth it?

Money saving apps can be a great tool to help improve both your spending and saving habits. They offer a variety of saving incentives, from auto-save functions such as Round-Ups to goal setting and regular spending insights to help you identify areas in which you can cut down on your spending.

2. What app rounds up your money?

Here are some of the best apps that round up your money:

  1. Chip - Auto-save and invest; Set savings goals; Up to 0.70% AER
  2. Cleo - Auto-save; Set savings goals; Up to 1.50% AER
  3. Plum - Auto-save and invest; Automatic utility switch; Up to 0.40% AER
  4. Monese - Round up purchases; Savings pots, Travel money
  5. Moneybox - Round up purchases; Auto-save and invest; 0.25% AER


3. How much should I save each month?

Here at Koody, we believe you should aim to save around 20% of your earnings each month as per the 50-30-20 budgeting rule. (Spend 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants and save the remaining 20%). It’s important to keep in mind that the 50-30-20 budgeting rule is merely a guide. We all have varied circumstances and saving goals, so adjusting these percentages to make them more realistic and personal to you is still a great way to stick to a specific spending limit and saving plan each month.

4. Are money saving apps regulated by the FCA?

Yes, all the money saving apps listed on Koody are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


5. Are money saving apps safe?

Banks such as Barclays and HSBC have the full £85,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection, which means that if you bank with them, you can get your money back up to £85,000 per financial institution if they go bust.


Money saving apps are quite different. They only have FSCS protection on the money you keep in a standard savings account with them, not an e-wallet or electronic money account.


This doesn't mean your money in an e-wallet isn't protected. Instead of the FSCS protection, your money is held in a bank account ring-fenced from their operating cash - this is normally with a big bank such as Barclays or HSBC. Should the money saving app go bust, your money will be protected since it's held separately from the firm's own money.


Apart from FSCS protection, these apps also claim to use the same encryption technology as all major banks to protect your personal information. They are also regulated by the FCA, so you can rest assured that their activities are monitored by the financial watchdog.


6. What is the best app for saving money?

Here are some of the best apps for saving money in the UK:

  1. Chip - Auto-save and invest; Set savings goals; Up to 0.70% AER
  2. Currensea - Save on FX fees when travelling abroad
  3. Plum - Auto-save and invest; Automatic utility switch; Up to 0.40% AER
  4. Cleo - Auto-save; Set savings goals; Up to 1.50% AER
  5. Curve - Fair exchange rates; fee-free ATM withdrawals when you travel abroad


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