Smartphone apps have made it easier than ever for us to manage our lives, including sorting out our finances. From finding discounts to building a budget and even streamlining our pensions, there’s a wide array of apps to help with money matters.

Here’s our rundown of some of the best money-saving apps, how they work, and where to download them.

What is it? Launched in April 2020, Snoop uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help consumers make the most of their money.

How does it work? Once downloaded, you link your bank and credit card accounts to the app. This is easiest if you already have all your account apps downloaded to your smartphone – otherwise you’ll need to dig out your log-in details.

The app can then highlight how much you are spending on particular items, such as food and transport, and will also let you know whether your regular bill payments are rising or falling over time. You will find money-saving tips that are tailored to you on a personalised feed – these suggest better deals and ways you might be able to save, based on your bills and shopping habits. If, for example, you’re a regular Amazon user, you could find details on how to access free vouchers, or if you’ve been with your energy provider for years your personalised ‘snoops’ may flag a cheaper deal.

The aim is that the app does the hard work for you to save you money. It will also provide useful tips such as letting you know the best time to renew your car and home insurance, and reminding you to buy travel insurance when you book a trip.

Snoop makes its money through commissions, and provides anonymous transaction data to market research companies to help find consumer trends. Access to your accounts is ‘read-only’ through the app, to keep your money safe and no-one can make transactions using your data. Like many money management apps, Snoop uses Open Banking, which is a banking practice that enables banks to supply your financial data to third parties with your permission. Snoop is authorised and regulated by the city regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use.

How to get the app: You can download Snoop for iOS and Android here:

What is it? An app designed to make it easy for you and your family to build a nest egg for you, your children and grandchildren, whatever your budget. 

How does it work? Beanstalk aims to shake up the way people save and invest for both themselves and their children’s futures. With no minimum starting deposit or minimum monthly contributions, you can start saving with just a few pounds a month.

Beanstalk’s Junior ISA and ISA can be set up in minutes and you can view all your saving pots in one place. Friends and family can link to your account from their own app to top up your children’s savings pots and send you messages to let you know what the money’s for, for example, a Christmas or birthday present, meaning no more trips to the bank or queueing to deposit cheques.

Beanstalk has some useful features that can help make saving part of your daily routine, allowing you to round up totals, so for example, when you buy yourself a coffee, Beanstalk will round up to the nearest pound and drop the spare change straight into your child’s or grandchild’s savings pot. You can also get money back on shopping through KidStart savings. With over 2,300 retailers on their site, you can do your usual shopping and get the money back paid into your Beanstalk account.

Rather than offering a confusing range of investment options, there is a simple sliding ratio that lets you choose whether to invest more in cash funds or share funds. With the right ratio, if you start depositing £5 per month when your child or grandchild is born, by the time they are 18, they could have as much as £8,000 in savings, although it’s important to remember that the value of investments can fall as well as rise.

Due to HMRC rules, only parents and guardians are legally allowed to open a Junior ISA, so if a grandparent would like to start using Beanstalk for their grandchildren, they can simply invite the parent during the quick sign up process to Beanstalk. The parent can then open the account and link the grandparent so they can contribute directly.

How much does it cost? The app itself is free to download and to start the investment ball rolling, you will need to deposit at least £5 into your account. When you are up and running, Beanstalk charges an annual management fee of 0.5% of your account value. The funds offered have annual charges deducted directly from the funds themselves, ranging between 0.12-0.15%.

How to get the app: If you want to access Beanstalk via its website, you can do so at Beanstalk, where you can also download Beanstalk for iOS and Android.

What is it? Topcashback is a money-saving app offering cashback on your online purchases, in-store deals and discount vouchers.

How does it work? Download the app and enter your email and a password. You can then use it to shop online through your smartphone. Doing so could earn you money back on all sorts of purchases. Instead of visiting your favourite retailer’s site, for example, you go to the app, search for the retailer’s logo, and click on it to be redirected. If you then buy something, you will earn cashback on your purchase. This is essentially a commission paid to the cashback site, which is then passed to you. You can monitor how much cashback you’ve earned via the app.

Cashback is available on a wide range of goods and services, from broadband to insurance, energy plans, and garden furniture. According to Topcashback, members receive an average of £345 per year in cashback. Cashback rates vary widely – you could get 1% cashback on one purchase and as much as £150 cashback on another from a different store. You can also earn cashback when you use your debit or credit card at some shops on the high street, but you must register your card with the app first.

You can make withdrawals from your cashback balance into your bank account, donate to a charity of your choice, or choose instead to receive vouchers for, say, Amazon or Marks & Spencers.

Topcashback earns money through advertising and bonus payments for gaining a particular amount of sales for certain retailers.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download, but you’ll be signed up to a month’s Plus membership trial, which costs £5. This will be deducted from any cashback you earn. So if you don’t earn any cashback, you won’t have to pay anything. Plus membership enables you to earn a bonus – currently 65% of any cashback you earn, so if the brand you buy from is offering £5 cashback, you’d receive £8.25.

How to get the app: You can download the Topcashback app here:

4. Olio

What is it? A food-sharing app that connects you to your local community with the aim of reducing waste, and saving money.

How does it work? You can list anything on the app that you won’t be eating in your household – such as tins cluttering up your cupboards, spare home grown vegetables, or fresh food that risks going to waste, but hasn’t yet gone off. You take a photo of the item using your phone and add it to the app. Neighbours who live nearby can receive customised alerts and request anything that they want. All items are offered for free. You can also list non-food items such as toys, household and beauty items.

Alternatively, you can search for food or other items that are being offered within your local area for example, a nearby neighbour might be offering loaves of bread,or bags of spaghetti – but you may also find toiletries, books and an array of other items listed..

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use.

How to get the app: You can download Olio here:

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5. Too Good To Go

What is it? Too Good To Go is an app that connects you to restaurants, cafes, shops and local businesses that have food that didn’t sell, allowing you to buy it at a discounted price.

How does it work? Each day millions of pounds worth of food goes to waste in food establishments across the country and Too Good To Go lets you buy this food cheaply that would otherwise end up in the bin. When you download the app, you will enter your current location and you will see the businesses that have food available that day in your area. Once you’ve selected a business you will see the ‘magic bags’ they have for sale that day. These bags will usually contain a surprise mixture of products that have been put together for you, and they could contain anything from that shop. Most shops will only have a limited number of bags available each day, and sometimes won’t have any at all, so you have to be quick.

How much does it cost? The app itself is free to download, but you will need to pay for the magic bags when you want to get one. They cost anything from £1 up to £7, but you’ll always get a considerable discount on the food in the bag.

How to get the app: You can download Too Good To Go here:

What is it? Plum is an app which connects to your current account and analyses your income and outgoings to identify your regular spending patterns.

How does it work? Once you’ve downloaded the app, you connect it to your current account and it analyses your income and outgoings to identify your regular spending patterns. It then works out the amount you can afford to save daily without leaving you short, and transfers this amount into your Plum account every four or five days by Direct Debit. You can make withdrawals any time you want and you can also pause the amount you save if you want to.

If you choose one of the app’s premium options (see below) you can choose to invest your savings by typing ‘invest’ into Plum. There are seven different options to choose from with different risk levels and returns. Bear in mind that if you decide to invest, rather than leaving it in your Plum account, there’s a risk you could lose money. The premium options also enable you to open an Easy Access Interest account that currently pays 0.4% Annual Equivalent Rate (AER). This account is provided by Investec Bank and the rate paid is variable so could change at any time.

When Plum notices you are being overcharged on a bill, for example, you’re paying more than you should for your overdrafts, electricity bill or broadband contract, the app will notify you and find a cheaper deal based on your specific needs. It will then help you switch over in a few clicks.

How much does it cost? You can download the app for free and it won’t cost you anything to put money aside, withdraw your cash or switch your bills. There are two premium options available which you do need to pay for. If you want to invest, you’ll need Plum Plus, which has a £1 monthly fee, plus a yearly and fund management fee of 0.41% on average. The Plum Pro option costs £2.99 a month and gives access to Plum investments and a range of other tools to help you save, such as personalised pockets for your money if you’re saving for various different goals. There is also the Plum Ultra option which costs £4.99 a month and has all the benefits of Plum Pro, as well as additional cash back and a money maximiser tool.

How to get the app: You can download Plum here:

7. Monzo

What is it? A clever, budgeting digital bank app.

How does it work? Many people who hadn’t yet signed up for internet banking may have done so during lockdown as it’s the simplest way to manage your money from your own home. App-only bank Monzo is one of the digital bank options, and comes with an array of savvy features that can help you to spend less.

For example, it provides you with real-time spending notifications, and enables you to set spending targets, divided by category. You can also set a bill tracker that will let you know if your regular direct debits are higher or lower than usual.

The app has plenty of other features. For example, you can create different savings pots so that you can set money aside for particular goals. You can also use a bills pot to manage your regular direct debits. The bank card that comes with the app offers fee-free cash withdrawals in the European Union, and up to £200 per month elsewhere in the world.

Monzo is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), guaranteeing up to £85,000 of your money if the bank goes bust. You may be concerned with security if you are using an app to do your banking, but bear in mind that one of the most common ways people get scammed is by handing over their bank details on the phone.

How much does it cost? It’s free to open and run a Monzo account.

How to get the app: You can download Monzo here:

8. Quidco

What is it? A money-saving app offering cashback and discount vouchers on online and in-store purchases.

How does it work? As you shop via the app you can earn cashback on your purchases on anything from energy deals to clothes and many other items. You can also register your debit or credit card on the app to earn cashback in-store, and if you want to, you can swap any cashback you earn for Argos or M&S vouchers, for example.

Quidco also offers a ‘ClickSnap’ facility, which enables you to save on your supermarket shopping by getting cashback on groceries. You browse the items offered – which change regularly – and purchase them at the relevant supermarket. You then activate the offer on your account and upload a picture of your receipt showing your purchase.. Cashback is then paid into your Quidco account as normal.

How much does it cost? It’s free to sign up to Quidco, and like TopCashback, it offers a premium membership, which costs £1 and is paid through cashback earned. Alongside the potential for bonus cashback and payout bonuses.

How to get the app: You can download Quidco here:

9. Chip

What is it? A saving app that helps you save automatically and earn better returns using artificial intelligence (AI), Open Banking and innovative tech.

How does it work? Chip analyses your transaction data from your bank, and automatically saves on your behalf. Inside the app, savers can create goals, track their progress, receive motivational nudges and allocate their savings. Customers’ data is protected by 128+ bit encryption, 3D-Secure and the latest Open Banking technology.

How much does it cost? The basic Chip membership is free and you can deposit between £1 and £85,000 in any of their FSCS-eligible savings accounts. Interest is paid every day and you can withdraw any time you want. They offer different savings tools, such as their auto-saving technology that puts aside money for you, goal setting and investment opportunities. You can upgrade your membership to the ChipX membership whenever you want, which costs £3 a month and offers everything from the basic membership plus wider access to all of their investment funds, Stocks and Shares ISAs, ethical funds, fund management, innovation funds and a lower investment platform fee.

How to get the app: You can download Chip here:

10. Stocard

What is it? A digital wallet for your loyalty cards which keeps you up to date with any special offers. 

How does it work? Many of us have several loyalty cards we collect points on when we shop in our favourite stores. For example, among the most common are the Boots Advantage Card, the Tesco Clubcard, and the Nectar card, which can be used to collect points in Sainsbury’s and other stores. Find out more about loyalty cards in our article Shop loyalty schemes: what are your points worth?

But how often have you found yourself paying for shopping having left your loyalty card at home, or in the depths of your bag where you can’t locate it? This app enables you to store all your cards in one place so that you no longer need your physical cards. You simply ask the cashier to scan the store’s card from your phone, or use it when you shop online, and your points will automatically be added to your relevant card balance.

The app also includes offers from the stores you hold loyalty cards with, and copies of their in-house magazines, so you can shop for good deals while they’re available.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use.

How to get the app: You can download Stocard here:

11. VoucherCodes

What is it? A discount app with money-off vouchers and discounts on a wide range of goods and services from takeaways, to energy deals and your shopping.

How does it work? There are plenty of discount voucher websites and apps, but this is one of the easiest to use, and has some of the best reviews, with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

Once downloaded, you simply enter your email address and a password. You can save your favourite shops on the app, so it can find the best, personalised deals for you. At the time of writing, you could receive up to 20% off gifts in the Very summer sale, and 30% off orders at Adidas. You can search before buying anything to see if you can get money off through the app.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use.

How to get the app: You can download VoucherCodes here:

12. Sprive

What is it? A new independent mortgage overpayment app which aims to make it easier for you to make regular mortgage overpayments.

How does it work? Sprive uses open banking and artificial intelligence to work out what you can afford each month based on your spending and automatically sets that money aside for you. You can then send that money straight to your lender with one tap in the app, or adjust it if you want to. Of course, many mortgage providers will charge fees if you overpay too much, with most allowing you to pay 10% of your outstanding balance with no fees. To help with this Sprive has an overpayment limit feature that you can set to ensure you aren’t hit by any early repayment charges.

Currently, Sprive is only available in the UK and only with the following banks and building societies, which include: HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, Santander, RBS, Virgin Money, Halifax, Natwest, Yorkshire Building Society, and TSB Bank. Sprive are looking to enhance this range of providers on an ongoing basis, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the app if your mortgage provider isn’t on the current list.

How much does it cost? There are no charges to use the app or its services. Sprive is developing a feature that scans the mortgage market for better deals for its customers, so makes its money much like a mortgage broker, earning a commission from your lender if you choose to remortgage with them.

How to get the app: You can download Sprive here:

13. Hyperjar

What is it? A budgeting app that enables you to set up mini accounts, or ‘jars’, to set money aside for specific goals.

How does it work? You load cash onto a prepaid Mastercard that comes with the HyperJar app once you’ve signed up. Your card will arrive within a few days and you can use this to spend from your specific savings jars. You can choose as many jars as you like – for example, towards buying a car, specific holidays, or a particular item of furniture. You can also set up specific jars to spend at particular retailers such as Boden and Not on the High Street, and earn interest on your savings of up to 4.8%. New partners and offers are frequently added to the app.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download.

How to get the app: You can download Hyperjar here:

14. Moneybox

What is it? An app that rounds up purchases you make on your card to the nearest pound and puts the change into a savings or investment account.

How does it work? Rather than taking the change when you pay for something, you can automatically invest it into an investment account. The app is an easy way to dip your toe into the stock market, or stick to cash, and you can start earning with as little as £1. For example, if you buy something costing £2.70, the app will round the purchase up to £3 and save 30p into your account. There are a wide range of accounts to choose from, including stocks and shares ISAs, general investment accounts, Lifetime ISA, and cash savings and notice accounts.

How much does it cost? The app is free to use for three months and then £1 a month.

How to get the app: You can download Moneybox here:

15. Youtility

What is it? A simple way to keep on top of your regular bills, and potentially reduce costs by seeing if you can switch to a better deal.

How does it work? Once you’ve downloaded the Youtility app and signed up using your email and a password, the app uses Open Banking to access your accounts from the various providers listed on your bank statements. You will be able to see all your household bills on one screen, including your energy bills, insurance, TV services, broadband, mortgage and rent payments, as well as council tax bills.

You can view a year’s transactions, to easily see whether your payments have risen or fallen over that time. You can view your average payment for, say, your mobile bill, and when you paid the highest amount. You can also choose to track other payments, such as gym membership. You will receive a notification if your bill is higher than normal,and you can also see how much you’re paying compared to someone in a similar situation – for example, other households living in a property similar to yours.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use.

How to get the app: You can download Youtility here:

16. Chase

What is it? A bank app offering a current account and a savings account, as well as the ability to round up any current account spending and save it. The app also allows you to monitor your spending so you can see where your money is going.

How does it work? The Chase current account enables you to earn 1% cashback on everyday purchases when you use your Chase debit card online or in-store for a year. There are a few exclusions though, for example, you won’t earn cashback when you use your debit card to pay for items in antique shops, estate agent fees, or for gambling and betting.

The Chase saver account pays 1.5% variable interest daily, which is paid to you monthly.

If you choose to round up your current account spending to the nearest £1, the app will autosave the difference for you. Your round-up balance will earn 5% annual interest a year before tax. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly, and you can access and spend your money whenever you like. After a year, any remaining round-up balance will be transferred to your chosen Chase current account, and you’re free to start saving all over again.
The app has other features too. For example, you can open several free current accounts if you want and use them to spend from, budget, and set aside money in the way that works best for you. You can also get an overview of your spending each month, so you can see exactly where your money is going.

Chase is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), guaranteeing up to £85,000 of your money if the bank goes bust.

How much does it cost? It’s free to open and run a Chase account.

How to get the app: You can download Chase here:

17. Raisin

What is it? Raisin is essentially a savings service which enables you to choose from a range of different banks and savings providers to save with. By embracing challenger banks, foreign banks and those not on the high street, Raisin claims it can offer you a better choice of competitive savings accounts in one place that you might not find elsewhere.

How does it work? Once you’ve registered on the app you’ll have a choice of competitive savings accounts available to you from over 20 different providers. You don’t need to fill out a new application form each time you want to open a new savings account, as you’ll have provided all the necessary information when you registered. You can open as many accounts as you like, and can choose between fixed rate bonds, notice accounts and easy access accounts. All the savings accounts available in Raisin’s marketplace are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) or the European country equivalent.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use. Whenever someone opens a savings account through Raisin’s marketplace, the partner banks pay Raisin a fee, which is how it makes money.

How to get the app: You can download Raisin here:

18. Emma

What is it? Emma is a money-management app that uses open banking to combine all your bank, savings and credit card accounts in one place to manage your finances better.

How does it work? You get real-time information across all your accounts, as well as your previous history to see where you can save money. Setting up is relatively straightforward, as you search for your account providers within the app to link your accounts. However, you’ll need all your login information before you can get started.

Features include setting up payday spending to track your spending from the date you receive your salary. You can also set a total monthly budget, and you’ll get an alert if you breach this, and track subscriptions so you can see where you may be wasting money.

You can track your spending in more than a dozen different categories, setting your own budget for each. Ultimately, the app is designed to give you an overview of your finances and help guide you towards better money management.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use, but you can upgrade to Emma Plus (seven days free then £4.99 a month) or Emma Pro (seven days free then £9.99 a month) for more features

How to get the app: You can download Emma here:

19. Trolley

What is it? Trolley is an app that enables you to compare all your favourite supermarkets so that you can get the best prices on your groceries.

How does it work? The app enables you to compare supermarket prices, create lists of your favourite products, view the price history of any product, and get price alerts when the cost of the products you buy changes.

Supermarkets covered by the app include Asda, Tesco, Waitrose, Aldi, Co-Op and Sainsbury’s and you can also compare the costs of toiletries at shops including Boots and Superdrug. The app claims that, in total, you can find the lowest prices on more than 130,000 products from over 7,000 different brands, and using it could save you up to 30% on your weekly shop.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use.

How to get the app: You can download Trolley here:

20. Rest Less

What is it? No list of money-saving apps would be complete without our own Rest Less app, which includes a whole section dedicated to special offers and discounts.

How does it work? Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can access the discounts page which is shown in the drop-down menu. You can also take advantage of a wide range of comparison tools which can help you find the best deals for your broadband, mobile phone, mortgage, car insurance, bicycle insurance, pet insurance and energy.

Some of the discounts shown include up to £200 off per couple on last minute holidays with Travelsphere, 80% off your first box of tailored dog food with, and 20% off cycling accessories at One Less Car.

How much does it cost? The app is free to download and use.

How to get the app: You can download the Rest Less app here:

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