Seven ways to save money using your smartphone
Get started with a simple savings account
Starting a savings pot can be done in just a few minutes online, and today some of the best easy access accounts are online-exclusives. For instance, savers can earn 1.50% AER with the Online Savings Account from Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
Easy access accounts overall are improving, as the average rate of 0.63% is the highest seen since February 2016 when it was also 0.63%, so they are worth reviewing.
Customers can apply online at Marcus.co.uk but must have a UK mobile phone number.
Download the Stocard app
If you have multiple loyalty cards, which offer free cash, discounts or future goodies, there is a free and simple way to have these cards at the ready, in the form of the Stocard app. It scans each barcode on your loyalty cards and logs them so you can access all your cards quickly using only your mobile phone.
Stocard is free to download via Google Play (Android) and the App store (Apple).
Register for cashback sites
Cashback websites have boomed in recent years and it’s easy to see why. They allow consumers to earn money back on their everyday spending, with Quidco and TopCashback among the top choices to earn cashback from thousands of different brands. What’s more, these sites are free to sign up to and they provide mobile apps for added convenience.
Both the Quidco and TopCashback apps are free to download via Google Play (Android) and the App store (Apple).
Sign up for free vouchers and offers
Consumers don’t necessarily have to go into a store to pick up vouchers or find out about discounts these days; in fact, shoppers can gain access to thousands of vouchers and deals online for free, or even at the touch of a button via a mobile app.
Sites like Groupon and VoucherCodes allow shoppers to earn an array of cashback or discounts and even help them save cash on home delivery, and it doesn’t cost a penny to download the apps.
Both the Groupon and VoucherCodes apps are free to download via Google Play (Android) and the App store (Apple).
Use Chip to save
Sometimes the action required to save gets put off or people simply don’t want to put away a set amount each month using a standing order. Now, there is a free app that can save a flexible amount of cash automatically, called Chip.
Chip works out how much money users could save and sends a text message as a notification before transferring the cash to a separate pot. Users can even see how long it would take them to save towards a certain goal, making it effortless to start building a savings fund.
Chip is free to download via Google Play (Android) and the App store (Apple), and connects to most of the biggest bank brands.
Save the change
Customers can ‘Save the Change’ using their Lloyds Bank current account to grow their savings. When customers are in credit, a single purchase is rounded up to the nearest pound, with the difference transferred into a separate account by signing up online. Bit by bit these transactions can build up over time; if a purchase for £1.25 is made, Lloyds will transfer 75p into their savings account, which could see them save £5.25 in a week if this is spent every day.
Customers can also activate ‘Everyday Offers’ to earn cashback at selected retailers, which can be activated online or through the bank’s mobile app.
Registering for ‘Save the Change’ online is free, as is activating ‘Everyday Offers’, and the Lloyds Bank mobile banking app is free to download via Google Play (Android) and the App store (Apple).
Budget to realise what you can save
Sometimes the easiest way to figure out whether it’s possible to save is by scrutinising both income and outgoings, but it might not be a task consumers want to work out manually. Thankfully, there is an app for that; with Money Dashboard it’s easy to keep on top of everyday finances and it can help customers determine what spare cash is left to put towards a specific savings goal.
Budgeting tools such as this one can help consumers figure out what they can afford to lose, such as a daily takeaway coffee.
Money Dashboard is free to download via Google Play (Android) and the App store (Apple), and connects to many brands.
The above is a small selection of money-saving apps or sites. Other similar services are available.