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Best Money Saving Apps UK 2023

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Best money saving apps UK

In the UK, 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 money saving app can help you manage your money better, but which one do you choose?

Having worked in the retail investment sector in the financial heartbeat of the UK (London) over the last four years, I had the opportunity to experience the rise first-hand.

Additionally, in my 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 saving apps on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best money saving apps in the UK based on factors such as usability, safety, fees and additional features.

All the saving 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).

So, in a nutshell, what are the best money saving apps in the UK? The best money saving apps in the UK include Plum, Raisin and Moneybox. Plum offers automated savings through AI analysis of your spending patterns, while Raisin focuses on high-interest savings accounts and term deposits. Moneybox rounds up your daily purchases and invests the spare change into diversified portfolios.

Top Money Saving Apps Ranked

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

  1. Plum – Overall best money saving app UK
  2. Raisin – Best savings app UK for selection of banks & building societies
  3. Moneybox – Best money saving app for ISAs
  4. Cleo – Best app for saving money with tailored insights & practical tips
  5. Emma – Best free money saving app UK

Best Money Saving App UK Reviews

Take a look at the reviews and list I’ve prepared below of the top money-saving apps available in the United Kingdom.

1. Plum – Overall best money saving app UK

Plum - Overall best money saving app UK

As a customer myself, I am confident in recommending Plum as the go-to money-saving app for individuals seeking a seamless and rewarding saving experience.

With its innovative features, user-friendly interface, and commitment to security, Plum stands out as the expert choice to help users achieve their financial goals.

Plum’s intelligent analysis of spending habits sets it apart from its competitors.

By leveraging its connection to users’ bank accounts, Plum effectively assesses income, expenses, and financial patterns.

Through automated algorithms, the app identifies small amounts of money that can be saved without impacting users’ day-to-day lives. This tailored approach ensures consistent savings growth and acts as a reliable foundation for financial success.

The range of savings options offered by Plum is truly impressive. From easy-access savings accounts to investment funds, the app provides users with a diverse set of choices.

Additionally, Plum’s unique “Rainy Days” feature safeguards against unexpected expenses by setting aside money for such situations. This added layer of security ensures users are well-prepared for life’s surprises.

Plum’s user interface is designed with simplicity and clarity in mind. Users can effortlessly navigate the app and gain a comprehensive overview of their savings goals and progress.

The app’s proactive notifications provide timely updates and allow users to stay informed and motivated on their financial journey.

The security of personal and financial information is of utmost importance, and Plum takes this seriously. With robust encryption and secure data storage, users can trust that their details are safeguarded within the app’s ecosystem.

What truly distinguishes Plum is its commitment to helping users make informed financial decisions. The app’s chatbot feature offers personalised insights, prompt answers to queries, and valuable suggestions for optimising savings.

This tailored guidance, available 24/7, ensures users have access to expert advice whenever they need it.

Overall, Plum is an exceptional money-saving app that simplifies the process of saving and investing.

Its intelligent algorithms, diverse savings options, user-friendly interface, and commitment to security make it a standout choice.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned saver, Plum is an invaluable tool to help you achieve your financial goals. I highly recommend Plum for anyone seeking a seamless and rewarding money-saving experience.

  • Interest: 0% – 3.82% AER
  • Cost: £9.99 per month
  • FSCS Protection: Up to £85,000

Read my full Plum review.

2. Raisin – Best savings app UK for selection of banks & building societies

Raisin - Best savings app UK for selection of banks & building societies.

Connecting users to competitive interest rates, Raisin is a great option for those looking to grow their savings. This free app connects users to a range of savings accounts from various banks across the UK and Europe.

With Raisin, users can easily compare interest rates and choose the best option for their savings goals.

One of the standout features of Raisin is the sign-up bonus of £50, which users can receive by depositing anything in excess of £10,000. This is a great incentive for those looking to make larger deposits and earn more interest.

Additionally, Raisin offers FSCS protection, ensuring that users’ money is safe and secure. Overall, Raisin is a smart choice for those looking to maximise their savings and grow their wealth over time.

  • Interest: ‍0.05% – 3.90% AER
  • Cost: £0
  • FSCS Protection: Up to £85,000

Read my full Raisin review.

3. Moneybox – Best money saving app for ISAs

Moneybox - Best money saving app for ISAs.

You’ll love Moneybox for its variety of savings accounts, including a Lifetime ISA with a government bonus of 25% on all deposits up to £4,000 per annum.

This app is a great option for those who want to save for long-term goals like a first home or retirement.

Moneybox also offers a range of other saving options, including easy-access accounts and fixed-term savings accounts, with competitive interest rates.

What sets Moneybox apart from other apps is its focus on ethical investing.

The app offers a range of socially responsible investment options, allowing users to invest in companies that align with their values.

While investing always comes with risks, Moneybox makes it easy for users to start small and gradually build their portfolios.

Overall, Moneybox is a great choice for those looking for a variety of savings options and a socially responsible way to invest.

  • Interest: 3% – 4% AER
  • Cost: £0
  • FSCS Protection: Up to £85,000

4. Cleo – Best app for saving money with tailored insights & practical tips

Cleo - Best app for saving money with tailored insights & practical tips.

Cleo is an invaluable smart financial assistant that revolutionises the way we manage our money.

With its innovative features, user-centric design, and personalised insights, Cleo stands out as a game-changer in the realm of money-saving apps.

Cleo’s standout feature is its intuitive AI-powered chatbot. With a friendly and conversational interface, Cleo provides real-time insights into your spending habits, budgeting, and savings goals.

Its ability to understand natural language queries makes managing finances effortless and enjoyable.

What sets Cleo apart from its competitors is its deep understanding of user behavior and personalised recommendations.

By analysing your transactions and financial patterns, Cleo provides tailored insights and practical tips to help you make smarter financial decisions. Its ability to detect trends and identify areas for improvement is truly remarkable.

The visual representation of your spending and saving habits through Cleo’s sleek and user-friendly interface is both informative and motivating.

Cleo’s interactive charts and graphs allow you to track your progress and visualise your financial goals, empowering you to stay on top of your money matters.

Cleo’s commitment to security and privacy is commendable. The app employs robust encryption and authentication measures to ensure the safety of your financial data.

You can trust Cleo to handle your sensitive information with utmost care and protection.

One area where Cleo could further improve is in expanding its integrations with other financial platforms and institutions. While it already connects with major banks, broader compatibility would enhance the app’s usability for a wider range of users.

  • Interest: 0%
  • Cost: £0
  • FSCS Protection: Up to £85,000

5. Emma – Best free money saving app UK

Emma money saving app.

I am impressed with Emma, a comprehensive money-saving app that caters to the modern individual.

With its user-centric design and powerful features, Emma sets itself apart from its competitors.

From a user’s perspective, Emma excels in providing a holistic view of your finances.

Its intuitive interface allows for easy tracking and categorisation of expenses, giving you a clear understanding of your spending patterns. With visualisations and personalised insights, Emma empowers you to make informed financial decisions.

One aspect that distinguishes Emma is its ability to connect with multiple bank accounts, enabling you to manage all your finances in one place. This integration enhances convenience and efficiency, saving you valuable time and effort.

Moreover, Emma’s evolution has been remarkable. With each release, the app introduces new features and enhancements based on user feedback, addressing concerns and improving the overall user experience.

This commitment to continuous improvement is commendable.

In terms of benefits, Emma’s advanced budgeting tools and goal-setting features help users take control of their finances. The ability to set spending limits, track progress, and receive alerts contributes to better financial discipline and long-term savings.

While Emma offers a multitude of advantages, it’s worth noting that some users may find the app’s advanced features overwhelming at first.

However, the comprehensive help resources and responsive customer support mitigate any initial challenges.

In conclusion, Emma is an exceptional money-saving app that empowers users to take charge of their financial well-being.

With its intuitive interface, multi-account integration, and continuous improvements, it sets a high standard in personal finance management.

How to Choose the Best Money-Saving App For You?

When choosing a money-saving app, there are several factors to consider to ensure you select the right one for your needs.

Here are some tips on how to choose the best money-saving app for you:

  1. Research and Read Reviews: Start by researching different money-saving apps available. Read user reviews and ratings to understand their features, usability, and overall user experience. Look for apps that have positive reviews and a good reputation.
  2. Compatibility and Platform: Check if the app is compatible with your device’s operating system, such as iOS or Android. Ensure that the app is available for download on the platform you use.
  3. Features and Functionality: Consider the specific features and functionality offered by the app. Look for features such as expense tracking, budgeting tools, goal setting, automatic savings, bill reminders, and financial insights. Determine which features are most important to you based on your financial goals and priorities.
  4. Security and Privacy: Pay attention to the app’s security measures and privacy policy. Look for apps that use encryption to protect your financial information and have secure login methods. Ensure that the app has a strong track record in safeguarding user data.
  5. Integration and Compatibility with Banks: Check if the app integrates smoothly with your bank accounts or credit cards. Look for apps that support a wide range of financial institutions to ensure seamless connectivity and accurate transaction tracking.
  6. User Interface and Ease of Use: Consider the app’s user interface and ease of use. A well-designed and intuitive interface will make it easier for you to navigate the app, input your financial information, and access the features you need.
  7. Cost and Pricing Structure: Some money-saving apps are free, while others offer additional premium features at a cost. Determine whether the app’s pricing structure aligns with your budget and if the premium features are worth the investment for your financial needs.

By considering these factors, you can choose a money-saving app that aligns with your financial goals, preferences and provides a positive user experience.

How Do Money-Saving Apps Work?

Money-saving apps work by leveraging technology to help individuals track their expenses, set budgets, save money, and achieve their financial goals.

Here’s a general overview of how money-saving apps typically work:

  1. Expense Tracking: Money-saving apps allow users to link their bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts. The app then automatically categorises and tracks their expenses, providing a comprehensive overview of where their money is being spent.
  2. Budgeting: These apps enable users to set budgets for different categories, such as groceries, dining out, entertainment, and more. Users can define spending limits for each category and receive notifications or alerts when they approach or exceed those limits.
  3. Saving Goals: Money-saving apps often include features that allow users to set savings goals, whether it’s for a specific purchase, an emergency fund, or long-term financial objectives. Users can track their progress toward these goals and receive reminders to stay on track.
  4. Automated Savings: Some apps facilitate automatic savings by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar and transferring the difference into a savings account. This “round-up” feature helps users save small amounts over time without much effort.
  5. Financial Insights: Money-saving apps provide valuable insights into users’ spending patterns and financial habits. They offer visualisations, charts, and reports that help users understand their financial health, identify areas for improvement, and make more informed decisions.
  6. Recommendations and Offers: Many money-saving apps provide personalised recommendations and offers based on users’ spending patterns. These recommendations can include suggestions to switch to better financial products, save on recurring expenses, or find deals on products or services.
  7. Security and Privacy: Money-saving apps prioritise the security and privacy of users’ financial data. They typically use encryption and follow industry-standard security practices to protect sensitive information.

Pros & Cons of Money Saving Apps

Here’s a breakdown of the pros & cons of using money saving apps:

Pros:

  • Automated Savings: Money-saving apps often automate the saving process, making it easier to set aside money without thinking about it.
  • Financial Insights: These apps provide valuable data and analytics about your spending habits, helping you make more informed financial decisions.
  • Accessibility: Access to your savings and investments is at your fingertips, giving you the ability to manage your finances on the go.
  • Diversification: Some apps offer investment options, allowing you to diversify your portfolio with minimal effort.

Cons:

  • Security Concerns: Transmitting financial data through apps poses a security risk, although many apps have strong encryption and security measures.
  • Limited Functionality: While convenient, these apps may not replace the full suite of services offered by traditional financial advisors or banks.
  • Fees: Some apps charge management or subscription fees that can eat into your savings over time.
  • Loss Risk: If the app invests your money, there is a risk of financial loss, just like any other form of investment.

Best Ways to Save Money – Money Saving Tips

Saving money is an important financial goal for many people. Here are some of the best ways to save money:

  1. Create a Budget: Start by creating a budget that outlines your income and expenses. This will give you a clear picture of your financial situation and help you identify areas where you can cut back on expenses.
  2. Track Your Expenses: Keep track of your spending to see where your money is going. This awareness can help you make smarter spending decisions and identify areas where you can save.
  3. Cut Back on Discretionary Spending: Review your expenses and identify non-essential items or services that you can reduce or eliminate. This could include eating out less, canceling unused subscriptions, or finding more affordable alternatives.
  4. Automate Savings: Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a savings account. This way, a portion of your income is saved without you having to think about it.
  5. Comparison Shopping: Before making a purchase, compare prices from different sellers or consider using price comparison websites or apps. This can help you find the best deals and save money on your purchases.
  6. Use Coupons and Discounts: Take advantage of coupons, promo codes, and discounts when shopping. Look for deals online or in-store to save money on groceries, clothing, electronics, and other items.
  7. Save on Utilities: Reduce your energy consumption by turning off lights when not in use, unplugging electronics, and adjusting your thermostat. Consider energy-efficient appliances and switch to LED light bulbs to save on electricity bills.
  8. Cook at Home: Eating out can be expensive. Save money by cooking meals at home and packing lunch for work. Plan your meals, make a grocery list, and buy ingredients in bulk to save even more.
  9. Negotiate Bills: Contact your service providers (such as internet, cable, or insurance) and negotiate better rates or discounts. Sometimes, simply asking for a better deal can result in savings.
  10. Set Savings Goals: Have specific savings goals in mind, whether it’s for an emergency fund, a vacation, or a down payment on a house. Setting goals will motivate you to save and make it easier to track your progress.

Remember, saving money is a long-term commitment and requires discipline.

Consistently practicing these strategies will help you build a strong financial foundation and achieve your savings goals.

Check out my full guide on the ‘Best Money Saving Tips UK‘.

Also, here’s a good video featuring Martin Lewis about ways to save money:

Ways to Avoid Unnecessary Spending

Stopping spending on unnecessary things can be challenging, but with some strategies and self-discipline, it is possible to curb your expenses.

Here are some tips to help you stop spending on unnecessary things:

  1. Identify Your Spending Triggers: Pay attention to the situations or emotions that lead you to make unnecessary purchases. Are you more likely to spend when you’re stressed, bored, or influenced by advertising? Understanding your triggers can help you develop strategies to avoid or manage them.
  2. Differentiate Wants from Needs: Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it is a want or a need. Distinguish between essential items and items that are not necessary for your basic needs or long-term goals. This will help you prioritise your spending and avoid impulse purchases.
  3. Create a Waiting Period: When you’re tempted to buy something, impose a waiting period, such as 24 hours or a week. This gives you time to reconsider the purchase and evaluate whether it is truly necessary. Often, the initial impulse fades, and you realise you can live without the item.
  4. Make a Shopping List: Plan your purchases in advance and stick to a shopping list. This helps you stay focused on what you genuinely need and avoid getting swayed by impulse buys or marketing tactics.
  5. Set Spending Limits: Establish spending limits for different categories, such as entertainment, clothing, or dining out. Stick to these limits and be mindful of your overall spending habits. Tracking your expenses can help you stay within your budget and avoid overspending.
  6. Find Free or Low-Cost Alternatives: Look for free or low-cost alternatives to expensive activities or items. For example, instead of going to a movie theater, have a movie night at home. Explore free community events, borrow books from the library, or use free apps and resources instead of paid ones.
  7. Practice Mindful Spending: Before making a purchase, consider its long-term value and impact on your financial goals. Ask yourself if the item will truly bring you happiness or if there are better uses for your money, such as saving for a vacation or paying off debt.
  8. Avoid Temptation: Minimise exposure to situations or environments that trigger impulsive spending. Unsubscribe from retailer newsletters, avoid window shopping and be cautious of online shopping platforms that entice you with personalised recommendations.
  9. Surround Yourself with Support: Share your goal of curbing unnecessary spending with friends and family who can support and encourage you. They can help keep you accountable and offer alternative activities or ways to have fun without spending money.
  10. Celebrate Small Victories: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress in reducing unnecessary spending. Reward yourself with non-materialistic treats, such as enjoying a hobby, spending time with loved ones, or treating yourself to a relaxing activity that doesn’t involve spending money.

By implementing these strategies and staying committed, you can gradually reduce your spending on unnecessary items and develop healthier financial habits.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are numerous money-saving apps available in the UK that can help individuals save small amounts of money each month.

From Plum to Emma, each app offers unique features that can help users identify areas where they can cut back on spending.

In addition to savings, many of these apps also offer investment opportunities and pension plans, making them a valuable tool for long-term financial planning.

By using these apps regularly, individuals can build up a savings pot and work towards achieving their financial goals.

So, if you’re looking to save money in a simple and effective way, consider downloading one of the top money-saving apps available in the UK today.

FAQs

What is the best free money-saving app UK?

Raisin is the best free money-saving app in the UK. It offers a user-friendly platform to set goals, track expenses, and access savings accounts. With personalised insights and investment options, Raisin helps you make informed financial decisions and achieve your savings goals.

What is the best round-up savings app?

Plum is the best round-up savings app available. With its intuitive interface and automated savings features, Plum makes saving money effortless. It seamlessly rounds up your everyday transactions and saves the spare change for you. Additionally, Plum offers various savings options, intelligent budgeting tools, and personalised recommendations to help you reach your financial goals faster.

Are money-saving apps worth it?

Yes, money-saving apps are definitely worth it. They provide convenient tools and features that help you track your expenses, set budgets, automate savings, and make better financial decisions. These apps empower you to take control of your finances, save money effortlessly, and ultimately achieve your financial goals. With their user-friendly interfaces and personalised insights, money-saving apps are a valuable resource for improving your financial well-being.

Are money-saving apps safe?

All the money-saving apps listed here prioritise user safety. They offer Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection up to £85,000, ensuring that your money is safeguarded even if the app faces financial difficulties. Additionally, many of these apps hold an electronic money license, meaning they keep client funds separate from their own accounts in secure bank accounts. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), these apps are closely monitored to prevent any dubious practices, providing you with peace of mind. They also employ advanced encryption technology to maintain the security of your personal information.

How much should I save each month?

The amount you should save each month depends on your financial goals, income, and expenses. A common guideline is the 50/30/20 rule, which suggests allocating 50% of your income to necessities, 30% to discretionary expenses, and 20% to savings and debt repayment. However, your personal financial situation may require a different approach, and it’s often recommended to consult a financial advisor for tailored advice.

Are money saving apps safe?

Money-saving apps in the UK are generally safe, especially those that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These apps use encryption and other security measures to protect your data. However, it’s essential to read user reviews and the app’s privacy policy to understand how your information will be used and stored.

What are automatic savings apps?

Automatic savings apps are financial technology tools designed to help users save money by automatically transferring a pre-set or algorithmically determined amount of money from a checking account to a savings account. These apps aim to make the savings process easier and more consistent, often featuring additional functionalities like investment options or round-up features that save small amounts of change from everyday transactions.

Why should I use a saving app?

Using a savings app can automate the process of setting money aside, making it easier to reach your financial goals without requiring constant manual transfers. These apps often come with features like goal-setting, round-up savings from daily transactions, and even investment options, providing a multifaceted approach to personal finance. The convenience and added functionalities can make it more likely that you’ll stick to your savings plan.

You may also like:

  1. https://www.fincap.org.uk/en/articles/key-statistics-on-uk-financial-capability ↩︎

Will Fenton is the founder of Sterling Savvy. He is a personal finance expert and writes about trading, investing, budgeting, and other financial topics.

Along with his education in Economics & Finance, he has experience working in the financial services industry in London 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”.

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