If your bank balance is feeling the pinch after some Christmas spending, or perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to be better with money, well we are here to help. We’ve got some top tips on how to budget for the year ahead, be more aware of your spending, and save better.
Money Savings apps
One great option for a free money-saving app that you can download to your phone is Snoop. It works by letting you see all your bank accounts and credit cards in one place, it looks at where you’re spending money, even categorising your spend so you can see what things you’re spending the most on and letting you know about potential upcoming payments, based on what went out of your account last month. It also helps keep an eye on bills such as gas and electricity to find you a better deal. It will even help you save money at places where you already spend.
There are other apps similar to Snoop, such as Money Dashboard, Yolt and Emma which all help you to keep an eye on your spending.
Switching Bank Account providers
The likes of Monzo, Starling, N26 and Revolut have proven incredibly popular, as you can get real time spending notifications, spending categories to help you manage where you’re spending you’re money, and help you save money with ‘round-ups’ (rounding to the nearest pound and saving the change for you). These are mobile based accounts and so you can do everything off your phone.
Or if you prefer traditional or online banking, it might be time to look around at other providers – check out overdraft fees, whether they’re offering any incentives to switch, but be sure to check out their Trustpilot reviews to ensure they’re customer service is worth switching for.
Again, there are a number of great saving accounts which help you save, without you really noticing it. One of those is MoneyBox which is another app based account which you can start with saving your spare change, a regular amount or add money when you want. Their aim is to help you save and invest for the future so you can achieve your financial goals. The app is simple to use and if you’re using an investment account, they’ll help guide you to what is best based on your risk appetite. Other similar apps include Plum, Chip+1 and Nutmeg. Just be sure to know what you’re investing and the associated risks.
Budgeting the old-fashioned way
Whilst the apps are a great way to see all of your accounts together, and help you save your spare change without really noticing, there’s still nothing quite like an excel spreadsheet to understand all your outgoings in one easy-to-use place. Whilst it can take a bit of time to set up, looking through your online bank accounts to see what bills come out and what other monthly expenses you have, it can provide real satisfaction forecasting future payments and savings. If you want to, you can even categorise your spend into sections for bills, insurances, groceries, clothings, other monthly expenses such as petrol, subscriptions etc.
Review your bills to see how you can save
It’s always worth seeing where you can save money, from looking at your utility bills, seeing what deals you can get through your Television and/or broadband provider or perhaps switching to a competitor. But again, make sure their service is top-notch, you don’t want to save a few pounds only to be left frustrated by their lack of customer service.