We all love a fresh start! The best fresh start of all is a brand new year, and the new resolutions it brings - resolutions that we rarely stick to. (Raise your hand if you ever purchased a gym membership in January... and stopped going before the month was even over.)
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year is “saving money” (or spending less, whichever way you look at it). Sounds familiar? It’s one of ours too, yet we never seem to stick to it.
Are you hoping 2018 is the year you finally save up enough to treat yourself to a tropical holiday or a brand new flat screen TV? We’ve compiled a list of apps to help you stay on track all year. Let’s take a look now!
1. Money Dashboard
Like the name suggests, Money Dashboard (free to download on Android and iOS) allows you to see all your money and spending on a single dashboard. You’ll need to connect your bank and credit accounts to the app, but don’t worry - it’s all secure!
Then, you can use to app to see how much money you’re spending, and what you’re spending it on. Using this information, you’ll be able to decide where you can save money. The app also allows you to create saving goals to motivate you to spend less.
Cashback sites are a fantastic way to save money on your everyday purchases. Now, you can do that from your mobile! Using the TopCashback app (free on Android and iOS), you’ll be able to download vouchers and get discounts on your favourite items, while also getting money back for these items. But one of the best features on the app is the receipt scanner - simply upload a picture of your grocery shopping receipt to get cashback on these too!
The Squirrel app is basically your own personal accountant. You’ll need a Barclays account to set it up, and it costs £3.99 per month, but it’s oh-so worth it. Your salary will need to be paid into the Barclays account, where Squirrel will divide it into 3 categories - commitments (like your bills and rent), savings, and spending money.
Squirrel will, well, squirrel money back into your current account whenever it’s needed - so just before your electricity bill is due, for example. Then, the app allocates some of your paycheck for savings - according to the goals you set - and keeps these safely in a savings pot. Finally, it divides whatever is left into weekly allowances and transfers these into your current account at the start of each week.
Chip is a little bit like a mix between Money Dashboard and Squirrel: it connects to your online banking to learn about your spending habits and save a little bit of money wherever you can. Every few days, the app will automatically transfer some money into a savings account depending on how much you’ve been spending already. If you’re a little more frugal one week, the app will know it’s okay to save more, while if you’ve overspent on a night out it won’t take money out of your current account. One fantastic feature Chip offers is the ability to save even when you’re in your overdraft, so you can get out of it quicker!