Not all apps have to be a waste of your time and money – in fact, there are some out there that can actually save you a bundle. If you’re looking to save some extra cash, whether it’s for a rainy day or a house deposit, using an app can be a really quick and efficient way of monitoring your savings progress. They can also be quite fun, adding a gamified element to proceedings, which can really alleviate the stress and strain that is often associated with saving money.

A quick search for savings apps online will bring up lots of lists that may seem daunting and overwhelming. So where do you start? What do you go for? Some apps have different specifications, so you should bear that in mind. But if you’re looking for advice, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll go through some of the best apps that will save you money, with what and who they’re specifically good for, as well as some pros and cons of each one.

Moneybox

Losing your change can be a bit of a headache. Whether it falls out of your pocket, or makes its way down the back of the sofa, it can seem like such a waste. As more things go digital though, what if there was a way to never lose out on those spare bits of change again? This is where Moneybox steps in. Moneybox basically rounds up every purchase you make and takes the extra few pennies or pounds and automatically invests them in stocks and shares ISAs. Not a bad way of saving you some money! 

You may be asking yourself whether it’s worth it though – is 20p investment going to make any difference? Well, if you keep on making purchases, you’ll soon start to see your savings swell, and you’ll end up with a bit more than you would have otherwise. So whatever the weather, you’ll end up with a bit more than what you originally had! Moneybox is really good for adding to your savings with minimal fuss, plus if you’ve been tempted by the world of investing, it’s a great starting point.

Pros

  • Simple and smart introduction to investing
  • Good growth rates
  • Knowledgeable customer service support 24/7

Cons

  • Relatively limited investment selection
  • At £1 a month, it can be a pricey option due to the proportionate Moneybox account value

Monzo

You may well know of those flashy orange cards by now! Once upon a time, Monzo was just a prepaid debit card, but now it’s joined the ranks of the real accounts – with the added twist of being a mobile-only bank. If you’ve already got an account with someone else, you might be wondering what the point is in opening another account – but trust us when we tell you that there’s nothing quite like Monzo!

Monzo alerts you to each and every outgoing payment with a notification, which is also logged in the app. You’re also able to organise each outgoing payment into various categories, and that data is then turned into a bunch of really handy pie charts where you can clearly see how you’re spending and what you’re spending. Worried about your spending? Monzo offers you a handy budgeting setting and will let you know when you’re getting near them. Monzo is really good for tracking your spending, meaning you can monitor and save as you go. 

Pros

  • Tracking and analyzing your spending is really easy
  • ‘Pots’ to set money aside for specific purposes
  • One-stop-shop with all sorts of products offered

Cons

  • Better savings rates elsewhere
  • Costs £1 every time you add to your account
  • Not great for travel money

Chip

Chip gets read-only access to your bank account, analysing your incomings and outgoings, and then gives you intel on where you might be able to cut back and save. With a centralised messaging system, it then encourages you to make those cuts and save as a result. You can then add money to your virtual piggy bank within the app itself.

More gamified and friendly than the other apps, it effectively celebrates each and every time you manage to save it celebrates for you – making saving just that bit more fun! In addition to this, any money that you put into your Chip account will garner 1% interest annually, which is accrued weekly. Chip is good for identifying where you can cut back and save, as well as helping you earn interest on your savings.   

Pros

  • Easy to get started on
  • Handy savings goals predicted for you
  • Really good percentage on your returns

Cons

  • No standing order option
  • £5000 saving limit on interest accounts
  • Only one bank account can be connected to Chip

Squirrel

This savings app is basically a virtual piggy bank that you can access on your mobile. But this particular piggy bank is one you won’t be able to smash open if you want to get at your funds! Squirrel is perfect for people who might get over excited with each paycheck and splash out straight away – before covering the bills and other important expenses. 

Transferring your salary to Squirrel will let you specify how much money you need for bills, and how much you can save. The app will then slowly release little slices of this amount to you, on dates when the bills are due for instance. You can also set specific, customised savings goals (for a holiday or for Christmas presents for instance) and Squirrel will then siphon off money to meet these goals. Squirrel is amazing for people who want to really discourage any frivolous spending and stretch their pay packet to the very limit.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Really encourages saving
  • Keeps a concise record of past and future transactions

Cons

  • Occasionally quite clunky to use
  • Doesn’t work as an alternative to traditional bank accounts
  • Subscription fee may put people off

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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