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Five apps to help you to save money without realising

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Written by: Danielle Levy
07/12/2018
Are you looking to get your finances under control ahead of a fun (but expensive) Christmas? Here are five ways to unconsciously save money.

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to get your finances under control, the good news is there are plenty of apps available to help you to meet your goals.

The first step is to think about what your objectives are, where you are happy to cut spending and what you would like to save towards. Whether you want to help your children with a deposit for a house or to buy a new car, technology is helping savers to work towards their financial goals.

Here are five saving apps to help you to get your finances under control in 2019…

Moneybox

From your morning coffee to last night’s supermarket shop, Moneybox rounds up your everyday purchases to the nearest pound and invests the spare change on your behalf. The proceeds can go into an investment account or a tax-efficient stocks and shares ISA, Lifetime ISA or Junior ISA.

The app invests the money in stocks and shares across the globe via index tracker funds. To get started you need as little as £1 and will then be required to select a risk profile – cautious, balanced or adventurous. Moneybox then does the rest for you.

If you are considering signing up to Moneybox, remember that the value of your investments can go up and down. Also, if you decide to assign the proceeds to an ISA, make sure you don’t go over the annual allowance of £20,000.

Anthony Bolton, a well-known fund manager, features amongst the app’s backers. He is now retired from the world of investing, but made his name managing the Fidelity Special Situations fund for close to 30 years.

Charges

There are two fees for this app:

  • A subscription fee of £1 per month, which is free for the first three months
  • An annual platform fee, equating to 0.45% of the value of your investments. This is charged on a monthly basis

Chip

This savings app analyses your spending habits and works out how much you can afford to save. It does this every few days, adapting to any changes in your spending and income. The money is then transferred from your current account to a dedicated Chip account automatically.

Chip offers 1% interest on its account, which can be boosted by an extra 1% if you refer a friend, moving up to a maximum of 5% for multiple recommendations.

Chip can gain read-only access to current accounts offered by Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS, TSB, Halifax, First Direct, Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank.

The app can also help those who are overdrawn to siphon money away to help pay off their overdraft.

Charges – Free

Squirrel

Are you prone to over-spending each month, leaving yourself with very little to put towards savings after your bills have been paid? The Squirrel app could be the solution you have been looking for. The app sets up a second bank account, which you pay your salary into. It then splits your incoming cash into three categories: commitments, spending and savings.

When it comes to paying your bills, the app releases the money back into your account the day before they are due. This can help you to avoid the temptation of frittering away any money that is essential.

Meanwhile, spending money goes into your account in weekly instalments and it is possible to specify budgets for other commitments, including a fuel allowance.

Money that is siphoned off into the ‘savings’ bucket does not earn interest, so it would be down to the individual to put the proceeds into a dedicated savings account.

Charges

Users receive two months free and then a £9.99 monthly charge is levied.

Bean

Unlike some of the other apps which proactively siphon off your money each month, Bean can boost your savings in a different way.

The app tracks and manages your bills and subscriptions, and will let you know if there are better deals available. It can even help you to cancel a contract for a service you no longer require.

All of your bills and subscriptions are displayed on a dashboard and you can receive notifications for relevant deals.

Charges – Free

Oval Money

By signing up to Oval Money, you provide the app with access to your bank accounts and credit cards.

The app then analyses your spending habits and tracks your spending on an ongoing basis to provide you with insight into where potential savings could be made. Users can program automatic savings into a dedicated savings account. These can be rounded up from purchases, taken as a fixed percentage of purchases or simply a fixed amount from purchases.

What’s more, users become part of a platform. Oval can anonymously analyse the spending and savings data from its community of users and provide insights. So-called ‘Ovalers’ can also share savings methods that have worked for them.

Charges – Free

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