The Best UK Budgeting Apps for 2020

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The Best UK Budgeting Apps for 2020

If your New Year’s Resolution is to be better with your money, we’ve got the best money saving apps in the UK to get you started. Go on. Say ‘new year, new me’ again. You’ve earned it.


With this roundup of the best free budgeting apps, you’ll have saved for that diamond-encrusted bluetooth headset in no time (current asking price - $50,000).

Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard has been around for yonks (well, since 2010) and is highly rated by the experts as one of the best budget apps in the UK.

Use it to link up multiple bank accounts for an overview of all your finances in one place. It’ll then let you see where your funds are being spent, set up budget plans, and save towards bigger goals like a car or mortgage deposit.

Cleo

Not strictly a budgeting app but we won’t hold that against Cleo. She’s an AI based chatbot who (once you’ve linked up your bank accounts) can answer questions about your spending in an instant.

Unsure if you can afford a takeaway tonight? Send Cleo a message and she’ll let you know if it’ll fit in your budget. Any money you don’t spend, she can also ask if you want to put it aside into savings at the end of the week.

Their website is cool. Check it out for a preview of their free money saving app.

Plum

Another scarily smart piece of AI (without the dystopian Black Mirror vibes). Plum carefully monitors your finances and, every few days, sets aside the perfect amount to save away. They’re small transactions but it builds up fast.

The free budget app is cleverly calculated to transfer just the right amount based on your spending, but if you’re feeling ambitious? Let Plum know and it’ll ramp the saving up a notch.

Emma

Emma notifies you if you’re overspending on anything in a non-judgemental, ‘you do you’ way.

£40 this week at Starbucks? Hmm, maybe time to invest in a cafetiere (£10 - bargain). Also good at spotting wasteful subscriptions you might have stopped using. Err, we do use our gym membership, promise.

Either way, a solid money saving app that will keep you updated throughout the year.

Bean

Similar to Money Dashboard, Bean lets you link up your bank accounts into a read only format. It then keeps on top of your regular spending, letting you know if you’re paying too much for utility bills and the like, and whether you should look for a cheaper deal.

Regular notifications, plus tips on looking for better deals, make this one of the best budget apps for 2020 to keep you on top of your finances.

Monzo

Want to budget directly through your bank account? Monzo has taken the UK by storm, but in case you haven’t heard what they’re about, they’re a free app-based bank with a LOT of money saving features.

Set budgets, notifications when you spend, and move funds aside to ‘coin jars’ to kick start your savings.

Starling Bank

We’re not ones to pick sides - Starling Bank offers an alternative to Monzo that's also worth considering. 

To be honest, there’s really not a whole lot to choose between them. The Monzo card is a hot coral colour, whereas the Starling card is a nice shade of turquoise. Not sure if that’s enough to swing it either way, but hey. If you’re looking to save through a new app-based bank account, your best bet is looking into both before deciding which one is for you.

And if neither float your boat, there are other up-and-coming ‘challenger’ banks like Revolut and N26 that could be the answer.

Prefer to do it yourself?

If you’ve already tried some of the best UK budgeting apps and have decided they’re not for you, try taking a hands on approach and manage it all yourself. MoneySavingExpert have laid out a handy guide to take you through setting up your own budget planner.

A very excellent roundup of the best UK budgeting apps for 2020

Skip the nonsense, here’s a summary:

  1. Money Dashboard - gives you an overview of all your finances in one place to see how you’re budgeting for what.
  2. Bean - lets you know if you’re overspending on your bills and if you should look for better deals.
  3. Emma - similar to Bean, politely lets you know if you’re overspending and keeps control of your finances.
  4. Cleo - a delightful chatbot that can answer questions about your spending and help with your budgeting.
  5. Plum - carefully engineered to set aside just the right amount every few days to start your savings pot.
  6. Monzo & Starling Bank - ‘challenger’ app-based bank accounts designed around saving money from the bottom up.

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