Sterling Savvy

Best Budgeting Apps UK 2023

Best budgeting apps UK

Looking for your perfect budgeting app?

I’ve tested, scored, and ranked the best budgeting apps in the UK.

Whether you’re looking for user-friendliness, in-depth spending analysis, or low fees, I’ve got you covered.

So, in a nutshell, what are the best budgeting apps in the UK? The best budgeting apps in the UK include Snoop, Plum, and Moneyhub. Snoop offers personalised financial insights and money-saving tips. Plum is known for its automatic savings features and also offers investment options. Moneyhub provides robust budgeting tools and analytics, helping you get a comprehensive view of your finances.

Top Budgeting Apps UK Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best budgeting apps to use in the UK based on my hands-on analysis:

  1. Snoop – Overall best budgeting app UK
  2. Plum – Best budgeting & money management app UK
  3. Moneyhub – Best UK budgeting app for detailed analysis & insights
  4. Emma – Best for integration with pension, investment & crypto holdings
  5. HyperJar – Best budgeting app UK for prepaid card

Best Budgeting App UK Reviews

Research shows in the UK that 39% of adults (20.3 million) don’t feel confident managing their money1.

I want to help change that.

Using something as simple as a budgeting app can help you manage your money better, but which one do you choose?

In my previous role working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”, I was able to work with and test some of the biggest money and budgeting apps on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best budgeting apps in the UK based on six key criteria:

  1. Fees
  2. Bill switching services
  3. Subscription canceling
  4. Savings account interest (where applicable)
  5. Investment options
  6. Apple app store score

Factors such as usability, safety, spending categorisation and analysis, education materials, and additional features were also considered.

All the budgeting apps I’ve reviewed below are available on Android and iOS, and more importantly, regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

1. Snoop – Overall best budgeting app UK

Snoop - Overall best budgeting app UK.

The overall winner on my list of the best budgeting apps and what I personally recommend is Snoop.

Snoop is an innovative budgeting app that brings a personalised touch to managing personal finances.

With its user-friendly interface and intelligent features, Snoop aims to help you make smarter financial decisions and optimise your money management.

One of the standout aspects of Snoop is its automatic transaction categorisation and analysis.

Snoop connects safely to your bank accounts and sorts your expenses, giving a clear view of how you spend.

This feature shows your financial habits and points out where you might save.

Snoop goes beyond simple expense tracking by offering personalised money-saving recommendations.

Based on your spending data, the app suggests better deals, alternative products or services, or alerts users about subscription renewals and price changes.

These tailored suggestions aim to empower you to make more informed choices and potentially reduce expenses.

The bill reminders feature is another valuable aspect of Snoop. You can set up reminders for upcoming payments to ensure you never miss a due date or incur late fees. It helps you stay on top of your financial obligations and maintain good financial habits.

Snoop’s chat-like interface adds a conversational element to managing finances. You can ask questions, seek financial advice, or explore various topics.

This feature enhances user engagement and makes the process of managing money more interactive and enjoyable.

Overall, the tool’s auto-categorisation, custom tips, and simple design help you manage your money and reach financial targets.

I recommend Snoop if you want a personalised approach to budgeting without wanting an interest-earning savings account or the option to invest.

Key rating criteria:

FeesBill switching servicesSubscription cancelingSavings account interestInvestment optionsApple app store score
Free option
Plus: £4.99/month


  • Suggests bill switches
  • Categorises spending
  • Tracks credit cards and offers advice
  • Provides rewards and special deals
  • Offers weekly and monthly spending summaries
  • Sends daily notifications


  • Lacks interest and investment options

2. Plum – Best budgeting & money management app UK

Plum - Best budgeting & money management app UK.

Plum is an innovative budgeting app that offers a unique approach to saving and managing personal finances.

With its intuitive interface and AI-driven features, Plum aims to simplify the process of saving money and achieving financial goals.

One of the standout features of Plum is its automated savings functionality. The app analyses your income and spending patterns, intelligently calculating an affordable amount to set aside regularly.

This automated saving system takes the hassle out of manual transfers and helps you develop a consistent savings habit effortlessly.

Plum’s AI assistant is another valuable aspect of the app. You can interact with the chatbot to receive personalised recommendations and insights based on your financial data.

Whether it’s optimising recurring bills, identifying potential areas for saving or providing financial advice, the AI assistant adds a helpful layer of guidance to your financial journey.

The app’s transaction categorisation and spending insights provide a clear overview of your expenses, making it easy to track and understand where your money is going.

Plum also allows you to set custom financial goals, empowering you to work towards specific targets, such as saving for a vacation, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund.

While Plum offers a free version with essential features, there is also a premium subscription called Plum Plus. This subscription unlocks additional benefits, such as higher savings interest rates, investment options, and more advanced features.

It’s worth considering whether the premium features align with your financial needs and goals.

Overall, Plum is a top-rated budgeting app for individuals looking to streamline their savings process and gain better control over their finances.

Its automated savings, AI-driven recommendations, and insightful analytics make it a valuable tool for both beginners and experienced savers alike.

Plum is a great option if you’re looking for an app that can do it all, help you budget, earn interest on savings, and invest.

FeesBill switching servicesSubscription cancelingSavings account interestInvestment optionsApple app store score
Free option
Pro: £2.99/month
Ultra: £4.99/month
Premium: £9.99/month
YesNo4.94%Funds, stocks, Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), Stocks & Shares ISA4.7


  • Automatic saving and investing
  • Interest-earning savings pots
  • Investment options available
  • Offers ISAs and no-cost savings accounts
  • User-friendly mobile app


  • Fees vary based on investment options selected.

3. Moneyhub – Best UK budgeting app for detailed analysis & insights

Moneyhub - Best UK budgeting app for detailed analysis & insights.

Moneyhub is a top pick if you’re looking for a budgeting app that offers spending analysis, payday budgeting, and robust insights, as well as a seamless connection to your bank accounts.

If you want to have full control over your finances, downloading Moneyhub is one of the best things you can do.

The app lets you link your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments together, so you can easily see your transactions and learn about your spending.

It then provides key insights on how to improve your overall financial health.

The app sorts expenses by category, displays your spending for each, and gives tailored tips to help you save.

Moneyhub’s payday feature helps you budget based on your pay schedule to avoid overspending.

I would recommend Moneyhub if you want detailed analysis, however, it’s not as interactive as the other top-rated budgeting apps and lacks additional features I’ve come to expect from these platforms.

FeesBill switching servicesSubscription cancelingSavings account interestInvestment optionsApple app store score
£1.49/month (£14.99/year)NoNon/an/a4.2


  • Strong budgeting tools
  • Affordable subscription
  • Data isn’t shared with third parties
  • Easy setup and use


  • No free plan offered
  • Supports fewer banks than others
  • Less interactive than rival platforms

4. Emma – Best for integration with pension, investment & crypto holdings

Emma - Best for integration with pension, investment and crypto holdings.

Emma is one of the simplest budgeting apps that makes managing your personal finances easy.

Emma’s easy interface and strong features make it a top pick for expense tracking and meeting financial goals.

The app effortlessly connects to various bank accounts, credit cards, and even cryptocurrencies, providing a comprehensive overview of your finances in one place.

The transaction categorisation is accurate and customisable, making it easy to understand where your money is going.

Emma’s budgeting tools help you set spending limits, while its insightful reports and notifications keep you informed about upcoming bills and subscriptions.

Additionally, the app’s saving goals and debt-tracking features offer a clear path toward achieving financial milestones.

Overall, Emma is a reliable and intuitive budgeting app that empowers you to take control of your money.

FeesBill switching servicesSubscription cancelingSavings account interestInvestment optionsApple app store score
Free option
Plus: £4.99/month (£41.99/year)
Pro: £9.99/month (£83.99/year)
Ultimate: £14.99/month


  • Consolidates accounts in one app for easy budgeting
  • Modern app with robust budgeting tools
  • Monthly savings reminders for consistent saving
  • Tracks both cryptocurrency and traditional bank balances


  • Lacks detailed spending habit comparisons
  • Read-only; can’t transfer funds or make payments

5. HyperJar – Best budgeting app UK for prepaid card

HyperJar offers a unique approach to budgeting, making it easier to plan, share, and spend your money seamlessly.

This free app allows users to allocate their finances into different ‘jars’ tailored to their spending habits, such as groceries or transport.

By using a prepaid card, either physical or digital, users can directly load funds and spend from designated jars. Impressively, linking stores like Sainsbury’s or Aldi to specific jars automates expenditure, ensuring money gets debited from the right jar during purchases.

Additionally, HyperJar incentivises users by offering interest when they commit to spending with select partner brands. For instance, saving for a TUI trip can earn an Annual Growth Rate (AGR) of 10%, growing your savings pot over time.

Shared spending jars are another feature, enabling budget management between parents and children or among housemates.

While the app stands out for spending abroad with zero transaction fees and its focus on teaching kids about money, it’s important to remember that cash withdrawals aren’t possible with the prepaid card and funds aren’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

HyperJar is making waves in the UK’s budgeting app scene, with a majority of Trustpilot reviews rating it 5 stars, especially from parents aiming to instill wise spending habits in their children.

FeesBill switching servicesSubscription cancelingSavings account interestInvestment optionsApple app store score


  • Free
  • Organises money into distinct “Jars” for spending, bills, and savings
  • No fees for overseas spending
  • “H Money” program offers growth rates with select retailers
  • Shared Jars feature for bills or trips
  • Offers kids’ app and card


  • Requires external transfers
  • Needs regular management of Jars

Best Budgeting Apps UK Compared

Here I’ve compared the apps based on six key rating criteria you must consider:

RankBudgeting appFeesBill switching servicesSubscription cancelingSavings account interestInvestment optionsApple app store score
1SnoopFree option
Plus: £4.99/month
2PlumFree option
Pro: £2.99/month
Ultra: £4.99/month
Premium: £9.99/month
YesNo4.94%Funds, stocks, Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), Stocks & Shares ISA4.7
3Moneyhub£1.49/month (£14.99/year)NoNon/an/a4.2
4EmmaFree option
Plus: £4.99/month (£41.99/year)
Pro: £9.99/month (£83.99/year)
Ultimate: £14.99/month

How to Choose the Best Budgeting App for You?

Choosing the best budgeting app for you depends on your personal preferences, financial goals, and specific needs.

Along with the key rating criteria I used to rank the apps, here are some aspects to consider:

  1. Features: Look for apps that offer features aligned with your budgeting requirements. Consider whether you need expense tracking, bill reminders, goal setting, automatic categorisation, saving features, or investment tracking. Prioritise apps that offer the features that are most important to you.
  2. User interface and ease of use: Opt for an app with a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation. A well-designed and easy-to-use app will make it more enjoyable and efficient to manage your finances.
  3. Data security and privacy: Ensure the app you choose takes data security and privacy seriously. Look for apps that use encryption, secure connections, and have transparent privacy policies to protect your financial information.
  4. Compatibility and accessibility: Check if the app is available on your preferred platform (iOS, Android, web) and if it syncs across multiple devices. Consider whether you want offline access or the ability to access your budgeting information on the go.
  5. Integration with financial institutions: Verify if the app supports integration with your bank accounts, credit cards, or other financial institutions. Seamless integration can automate expense tracking and make budgeting more convenient.
  6. Cost: Evaluate the pricing structure of the app. Some budgeting apps are free, while others offer both free and premium versions with additional features. Consider whether the app’s pricing aligns with your budget and the value it provides.
  7. User reviews and ratings: Read user reviews and ratings to get insights into the experiences of other users. Pay attention to feedback regarding app reliability, customer support, and overall user satisfaction.
  8. Customer support: Check if the app provides reliable customer support channels, such as email, live chat, or a dedicated support team. Prompt and helpful customer support can be crucial if you encounter any issues or have questions about using the app.
  9. Recommendations and referrals: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or trusted sources who have experience using budgeting apps. Their firsthand experiences can help you narrow down your options and find apps that are highly regarded.

Ultimately, the best budgeting app is one that aligns with your specific needs, is easy to use, and helps you effectively manage your finances.

Consider trying out a few different apps to see which one feels most comfortable and suits your financial goals.

What Is a Budget?

A budget is a financial plan that outlines your projected income and expenses over a specific period, typically monthly, quarterly, or annually.

It serves as a tool to track and manage one’s finances, providing a framework for allocating income and controlling expenses2.

A budget typically includes two main components: income and expenses. Income refers to the money coming in, such as salaries, wages, investments, or other sources of revenue.

Expenses encompass the various categories where money is spent, such as housing, transportation, food, utilities, debt payments, entertainment, and savings.

The purpose of creating a budget is to establish a clear picture of how money is being earned and spent.

By setting financial goals, prioritising expenses, and monitoring progress, you can make informed decisions to achieve your desired outcomes.

A budget helps identify areas of overspending, allows for adjustments, and promotes responsible financial behavior.

Budgeting involves estimating income, listing all known expenses, and allocating funds to different categories based on priorities and financial objectives.

It is essential to review and adjust the budget regularly to adapt to changing circumstances or unexpected expenses.

A well-planned budget can help you save money, reduce debt, build wealth, and work towards financial stability and long-term goals.

How to Create a Budget?

To keep things easy, I personally recommend a 50/30/20 budget rule.

Creating a budget using the 50/30/20 budget rule is a simple and effective way to allocate your income into different spending categories.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Determine your after-tax income: Start by calculating your monthly income after deducting taxes and other necessary deductions.
  2. Allocate 50% to needs: Assign 50% of your after-tax income to cover essential needs, such as housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, insurance, and minimum debt payments. This category includes expenses that are necessary for your basic living requirements.
  3. Allocate 30% to wants: Allocate 30% of your income to discretionary spending and non-essential wants. This category includes expenses such as dining out, entertainment, travel, hobbies, and non-essential shopping. These are expenses that bring you joy and enhance your lifestyle.
  4. Allocate 20% to savings and debt repayment: Allocate 20% of your income towards savings, investments, and debt repayment. This category includes building an emergency fund, saving for future goals (such as retirement or a down payment on a home), and accelerating debt repayment.
  5. Track and adjust: Monitor your spending regularly to ensure you stay within the allocated percentages for each category. Make adjustments as needed, especially if your income or expenses change over time.

Remember that the 50/30/20 budget rule is a guideline, and you can modify it to fit your specific circumstances.

If your financial situation requires more savings or debt repayment, you can allocate a higher percentage to those categories.

Using this budgeting method helps provide a balanced approach to managing your income, ensuring that you cover your essential needs, enjoy discretionary spending, and prioritise saving and debt reduction.

Also, here’s a great video by Andy Webb from Be Clever With Your Cash about Creating a budget you can stick to:

Top Tips to Help You Stop Going Over Your Budget

Here are some of my top tips to help you stop going over your budget:

  1. Track your expenses: Keep a record of all your expenses, whether it’s through a budgeting app (highly recommended), spreadsheet, or simply a notebook. By tracking your spending, you’ll have a clear picture of where your money is going and can identify areas where you tend to overspend.
  2. Review and adjust your budget: Regularly review your budget to ensure it aligns with your financial goals and current circumstances. Make necessary adjustments to your spending limits and categories to reflect your priorities and accommodate any changes in income or expenses.
  3. Identify problem areas: Analyse your spending patterns to identify problem areas where you consistently exceed your budget. It could be specific categories like dining out or impulse purchases. Once identified, develop strategies to address these areas, such as setting spending limits or finding alternative, more affordable options.
  4. Set realistic goals: When setting your budget, make sure your goals and expectations are realistic. Setting overly restrictive budgets can lead to frustration and the temptation to overspend. Allow room for occasional treats or small indulgences to maintain a healthy balance.
  5. Use cash or a spending limit: Consider using cash for certain discretionary expenses, as it can help you visually see and limit your spending. Alternatively, set a spending limit on your credit or debit cards to avoid exceeding your budgeted amounts.
  6. Practice mindful spending: Before making a purchase, take a moment to evaluate whether it aligns with your budget and financial goals. Ask yourself if it’s a need or a want, and whether it’s worth the cost in relation to your overall financial well-being.
  7. Build an emergency fund: Having an emergency fund can provide a financial buffer and prevent you from dipping into other budget categories when unexpected expenses arise. Prioritise saving a portion of your income towards an emergency fund to avoid budget setbacks.
  8. Seek accountability and support: Share your budgeting goals with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor who can provide support and hold you accountable. Discussing your progress and challenges can help you stay motivated and focused on staying within your budget.

Don’t forget, developing good budgeting habits takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.

By consistently following your budget and making conscious spending choices, you can gradually stop going over your budget and achieve better financial stability.

How to Safely Connect to Your Bank

Many apps promise to transform your financial management, but determining their safety can be challenging.

Sharing your financial data with external entities has its risks, such as potential breaches if the entity is compromised. However, precautions exist to maximise data security.

Before sharing, consider these steps:

Verify with the FCA register

Every company should display its regulatory details on its website, which includes its trading name and FCA reference number (often referred to as FRN). This information is typically found at the website’s footer.

Cross-check these details against the FCA register. Depending on the app’s services, its authorisation may fall under ‘account information service providers’ or ‘payment initiation service providers’.

Refer to

To further validate an app or service, visit for a list of certified providers.

However, not every regulated app is on this list; some access open banking through an already approved entity. In such instances, this connection should be transparent on the app’s site.

Review data permissions

Data shared via open banking is guarded by the GDPR laws. These laws ensure your personal data is used only for agreed purposes, isn’t shared or stored indefinitely, and allow you to withdraw your data permission whenever desired.

If any service doesn’t match these checks or seems non-compliant, it’s advisable to refrain from sharing your data with it.

Final Thoughts

To budget successfully, mindset matters.

A budgeting app helps build good money habits and manage your funds.

After reviewing some of the best budgeting apps in the UK, it’s clear their easy features and automation keep you engaged with your money, helping you work toward your financial goals.

From tracking your spending to helping you save money, there are a variety of features available to suit your needs. However, it’s important to choose the right app for you and your financial goals.


What is the best budgeting app for couples UK?

Honeydue is a highly recommended budgeting app for couples in the UK. It is specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of couples when it comes to managing their finances. Honeydue allows couples to create shared budgets, track expenses together, and coordinate their financial goals effectively. With features like real-time updates on shared accounts, bill reminders, and communication tools, Honeydue promotes financial transparency and collaboration between partners. By using Honeydue, couples can work together to stay on top of their finances and make informed financial decisions as a team.

What is the best spending tracker app UK?

Money Dashboard is widely regarded as one of the best spending tracker apps in the UK. With its free platform, Money Dashboard allows you to conveniently link and manage multiple bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts in one place. The app provides a clear overview of your spending patterns, categorises your transactions automatically, and offers insights to help you understand your financial habits. Money Dashboard empowers you to set budgets, track your expenses, and make informed decisions to achieve your financial goals. Its user-friendly interface and robust features make it a top choice for tracking and managing your spending in the UK.

What is the best student budgeting app UK?

Emma is widely considered one of the best student budgeting apps in the UK. It offers a range of features specifically designed to help students manage their finances effectively. Emma allows you to connect multiple accounts, track your spending, set budgets, and categorise expenses. With its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, Emma makes it easy for students to stay on top of their finances. The app provides insights into your spending habits, offers personalised recommendations, and helps you identify areas where you can save money. Whether you’re a student trying to stick to a budget, track your expenses, or save for future goals, Emma is a reliable and popular choice for managing your finances as a student in the UK.

Are budgeting apps safe?

Budgeting apps generally employ high-level encryption and security measures to protect your financial information. However, safety can vary between apps, so it’s essential to research and choose an app that is reputable and complies with financial security regulations.

Why should I use a budgeting app?

Using a budgeting app can help you easily track your income, expenses, and financial goals all in one place. The automated features often included in these apps can make it simpler to manage your money, giving you a clearer understanding of your financial situation and helping you make informed decisions.

Do budgeting apps really work?

Yes, budgeting apps can be highly effective for managing your finances by providing real-time tracking of income, expenses, and financial goals. However, their effectiveness largely depends on your commitment to consistently inputting accurate data and following the budgeting guidelines set by the app.

What is the best budget app UK not linked to bank account?

The best UK budget apps not linked to bank accounts are Goodbudget, Spending Tracker, and Daily Budget Original. Each offers unique features to help manage money. They allow users to manually input expenses and set budgets without connecting to a bank.

What is the UK alternative to Mint?

In the UK, alternatives to Mint include Emma and Snoop. Both apps offer expense tracking and financial insights. They are popular choices for managing finances without using Mint.

What is the UK alternative to rocket money?

In the UK, if you’re seeking alternatives to Rocket Money, consider Emma and Snoop. Both apps provide robust financial management tools. They are widely recognised for their features and user-friendly interfaces.

Are budgeting apps worth it?

Yes, budgeting apps can be worth it. They provide clear insights into spending habits and help set financial goals. These apps can simplify money management and promote wise financial decisions.

Is it safe to connect your bank account to a budgeting app?

Connecting your bank account to a budgeting app can be safe if the app is reputable and uses strong encryption. Always check the app’s security features and reviews. However, sharing financial details always carries some risk, so it’s essential to stay informed and cautious.

What is open banking?

Open banking is a system where banks and financial institutions share user-permitted financial data with third-party providers through secure APIs. It aims to promote competition and innovation in financial services. With open banking, users can access better financial products and manage their finances more efficiently. It’s regulated to ensure consumer data safety and privacy.

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I’m Will! I recently left my job working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies in London to start Sterling Savvy, a place to empower people in the UK financially.


With my experience working with some of the biggest financial services companies in the world and my education in Economics & Finance, I want to help you be more savvy with your money. 


You can read more about my mission here.

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