Disclaimer: This article has no affiliated links. All these apps have been picked, tried and tested by yours truly.
I haven’t been the worst with money, but I haven’t been the best either. I’m still very grateful that no one gave me a credit card before I was 23.
When I say that I haven’t been the worst, I mean that I managed to get to adult life without ruining my credit score and with my debt under control. But when I say I haven’t been the best, it means that I didn’t do much with my money at all, apart from spending it.
So a couple of years ago, I decided I had to at least know where I was spending all my salary, and see if there was anything I could do about it.
It turned out there was.
I come from a family where we didn’t talk about money, and I had no experience of managing money at all. Let alone know anything about savings accounts, interest rates, budgeting and (yikes!) investing.
I won’t bore you with details of my pretty standard money adventures and epiphanies, but I will share the apps that helped me make managing my finances a little easier.
Click here to download the budgeting sheet I created to set me up for a great start.
1. Spending Tracker: If you really just want to know where you spend your money
It does what it says in the tin. You spend the money, and note it under the category it belongs to. This one was super helpful in the first couple of months when I had absolutely no idea where I was spending my money. It helped me get a realistic view of my spending habits and allocate budgets accordingly.
2. Emma: If you want a full financial overview
Emma pretty much does everything you would expect from a budgeting app and a little more. You can connect a multitude of money accounts, from current accounts and savings to investments and pensions, making Emma a one-stop shop for all of your finances.
The app also allows you to set up spending categories, create bill reminders, and keep tabs on your credit score.
3. Nutmeg: For your first steps in investing
I always thought investing was for people who worked in the stock exchange, until I understood it wasn’t. I honestly saw an ad for Nutmeg on the tube and thought, oh this is nonsense but I had a look anyway. You should too, it’s simple and actually worth it. That, or buying Bitcoin (just kidding!).
4. Monzo: If you like your banking simple
I have accounts with different banks, but the ones I use for most of my day to day are in Monzo. Both current personal and joint accounts are kept here and I always know what’s coming up or if we’re overspending or if we have enough money set aside for a weekend away or something new for the flat.
I joined Monzo right at the beginning (mainly because of the hot pink card) and stayed because of how simple my accounts are to manage. Not like other old school banks out there (yes, I’m looking at you HSBC!).
Ready to start? Download your free budgeting spreadsheet here.