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Best Budgeting App UK

If like me you have multiple bank accounts and you dream about connecting all your current accounts (all major banks available), and debit and credit cards in one place budgeting apps are definitely for you. They are a nice financial product that will also help you organise your monthly spending now when the cost of living is raising exponentially.

What is the best budgeting app in the UK?

It all depends on many factors. I tested four of them so that you can compare them side by side and decide for yourself which money-saving or budgeting app is best suited for your needs.

The most popular budgeting apps in the UK

There are plenty of them but I picked up these to analyse:

Why use budgeting apps? (TABLE)

For me, it was the at-glance view I needed. I have 5 different bank accounts – set up in the pre-COVID-19 times when saving money and reaping the benefits of bank switches was a sensible activity. So in order to monitor these from time to time, a budgeting app sounded like a handy solution.

Memory and Disc and battery power usage + features of the top compared apps:

AppDisk SpaceMost UK BanksBudgetingMoney Saving TipsBattery usageCPU usage timeCashbackGraphsStealth mode
Yolt145MBYesYesNo32.01mAh3:24YesYesYes
Emma81.30MBYesYesNo124.57mAh9:34YesYesYes
Snoop46.06MBYesYesYes80.51 mAh6minNoNoNo
GoSavesYesYesNo15.81 mAh1:28NoYesNo
Tested on Huawei Pro Mate 10

YOLT

I have been using this app for a few years now and it looks like it’s one of the most ‘sophisticated’ on the market. There are 5 icons on the bottom navigation bar.

Yolt Dashboard

On the main dashboard, you can see all accounts balances but also separate accounts and cards to click on for more info. 

You also see your total spent and graph with the data comparing the spent to the previous period.

You also get to see all categories at glance – although that graph is hugely inaccurate so one may dig deeper to see categories.

The dashboard also shows savings. Although for me it doesn’t detect the savings accounts I have so it looks like poor sync in that regard or maybe I have too little on my savings account admittedly I don’t have many savings accounts as I save money in another way… 

When analysing your transactions (4th tab at the bottom of the app menu) they are ordered by:

  • Spending categories are mostly correct but not always
  • Merchants – all spent by the brands you got stuff from but also your income 
  • Timeline aka online statement
  • Tags – for you to tag items further

Yolt action

The second tab called ‘Action’ is a marketplace with products like 

  • savings growth (Raisin)
  • insurance (pay by mile car insurance, Homelyfe, Simple insurance, Pluto)
  • pensions (PensionBee)
  • investments (from Wheltify)
  • sending money abroad (FXcompared)
  • gas & energy switching options (MoneySupermarket)
  • borrowing (Monevo)

Tracking 

  • Budgets
  • Bills and subscriptions
  • Earning rewards aka cashback if you start a purchase on a site you arrived to straight from YOLT

Yolt pay

The next button is to pay from within the app when using any of your connected apps. I havent used that but believe it works as if you were paying straight from your bank account, so potentially it saves you from logging to your regular bank now you are already inYOLT.

Yolt PROS

  • Easy accounts connections
  • You see all your accounts in one place
  • You see all regular payments (bills, subscriptions etc)
  • Money insights – really nice spent view- I like to see which brand is the one I spent the most so I can optimise the spent
  • Utility switching is available as well as many more financial services
  • Second best re battery drainage – amongst compared by me
  • Easy management of wasteful subscriptions

Yolt CONS

  • You get money-saving tips albeit its 1 blog article with rather generic and simple tips, not reactive tailor-made to brand offers
  • Needs the most disk space amongst those compared
  • Some transactions get an incorrect category
  • sync sometimes fails so you need to reconnect 
  • second best re battery drainage – amongst compared by me
best budgeting apps UK
Best budgeting apps UK

EMMA

Colorful and at first glance similar to YOLT. 5 icons in the app’s bottom screen menu.

EMMA Feed

Starting with the FEED that shows :

  • The balance at glance, 
  • Opportunities to analyse spent (bills), 
  • Our spent report (my Amazon addiction sadly confirmed by stats) 
  • Recent transactions & weekly spent
  • Money left in a given period (if you set up payday periods and budget spent). I like the fact they separate committed spent from any other irregular one.
  • Countdown to the next payday
  • ‘What did I spend on’ – you can filter by period or brand
  • Subscriptions (mortgages, insurance any regular bills, etc)
  • Cashback offers

EMMA Analytics

The second tab ANALYTICS analyses all you spend in detail in a given pay period. It’s done by categories or by merchants. What I like is the fact they exclude the money I send between my accounts as a part of the ‘required for perks balance’ standing order chain…

EMMA Save Money

The third tab ‘SAVE MONEY’ shows ideas on how the app can help with saving money(similarly to YOLT they offer help with switching utilities, combining pensions, starting to invest, comparing insurance, etc. 

EMMA Accounts

ACCOUNTS shows the balance, savings, investments and loans in a visual form.

EMMA More

The last tab MORE focuses on extras such as signing up for a PRO version or cashback offers.

Emma Pro is one of the subscription options that provides you with more features than the free, default version of Emma and the lower subscription option, Emma Plus.

These are the additional features currently available in Emma Pro:

  • Custom Categories 🧙‍♂️
  • Set Savings Goals🌴
  • Exporting Your Data 🚀
  • Advanced Transactions Editing 🔍
  • Rename Transactions ✏️
  • Create and track offline accounts in any currency 💵
  • Smart Rules 🧑‍🏫
  • Split Transactions ✂️
  • Rolling Budgets🏃‍♀️

EMMA PROS

  • Easy accounts connections
  • You see all your accounts in one place
  • You see all regular payments (bills, subscriptions, etc)
  • Beautiful UX
  • Best budgeting functionality among all compared
  • Most categories are correct and quick
  • Money insights – loads of GRAPHS – which I love
  • Utility switching available (energy, broadband & mobile)
  • Insurance or mortgage comparison
  • Needs little disk space – 2nd best on my list when comparing all 4
  • You earn money when you refer friends and they have that offer pinned on the top & bottom of the app screen (under FEED)
  • Easy accounts connections
  • You see all your accounts in one place
  • You see all regular payments (bills, subscriptions etc)
  • Money insights – really nice spent view- I like to see which brand is the one I spent the most so I can optimise the spent
  • Utility switching is available as well as many more financial services
  • Second best re battery drainage – amongst compared by me
  • Easy management of wasteful subscriptions

EMMA CONS

  • Worst re battery drainage – amongst compared by me
  • They offer help finding loans – as a money-saving blogger I dislike that section

With Emma Budget App, you can easily track your expenses and get a clear picture of where your money goes. This clever budget tracker will help you make smarter decisions and stick with your goals.

SNOOP

Snoop is an artificial intelligence bot that offers you money management – you see the bank accounts on the top of the screen. You can click on any of them for more info.

You have 3 options to see:

Snoop Transactions

You see transactions from all accounts at a glance.

Snoop Categories

Categories for Money in & Money out (income, general, shopping, home & family and finances)

Snoop Regular Payments

Regular payments (insurance, fees, taxes, mortgage, anything else, etc.)

Snoop PROS

  • Easy accounts connections
  • You see all your accounts in one place
  • You see all regular payments (bills, subscriptions etc)
  • Money insights
  • Utility switching available (energy, broadband & mobile)
  • Needs little disk space
  • Snoop finds deals based on the transaction you spent money on
  • They are crowd-sourcing deals from customers so you can submit your deal
  • Easy accounts connections
  • You see all your accounts in one place
  • You see all regular payments (bills, subscriptions etc)
  • Money insights – really nice spent view- I like to see which brand is the one I spent the most so I can optimise the spent
  • Utility switching is available as well as many more financial services
  • Second best re battery drainage – amongst compared by me
  • Easy management of wasteful subscriptions

Snoop CONS

  • Some transactions get an incorrect category
  • Poor sync (no salary or mortgage payments registered in the last 2 months)
  • Third best re battery drainage – amongst compared by me

Lately, I saw a post from my friend @mrmoneyjar and he was actually praising Money Dashboard as his fav budgeting tool as it’s everywhere no matter if he is on his desktop or his phone…So it wins with all of the above apps if you need a multi-device budgeting solution. Money Dashboard Neon offers advanced features such as custom categories and split transactions for free, something we have to pay for when getting Emma. Money Dashboard is also simplistically designed.  So actually, Money Dashboard may be a good alternative to Emma.

My fav money management app is EMMA not because of the beautiful interface although a nice design helps but mainly because it’s the cleverest in recognizing what is what and separating the money correctly between the right categories even on a day of purchase. It also shows what is left in a budget and how many days till the next payday. All pretty good functionalities I want from a budgeting tool. I also like Snoopbut only for the news and tips on saving money connected to the brands I spend my money on. So wish I had EMMA & SNOOP in one app.

However if the above doesn’t convince you to try any of the compared apps how about using a paper version of the budget?  

A while ago I wrote a whole post about Kakebo as I love anything Japanese…Check it out.

Ah if you look for some more ideas regarding cheap living check this post.

About admin

I am not Martin Lewis but Martyna aka Money Saving Girl. When I first came to the UK I was on a super tight budget, so I know how hard it is not to have money or how to get creative to get 'more for less'. I share with you my money saving tips about anything which worked for me. Be it free samples, shopping tricks, iTunes, various discount apps, websites and reward programs. Occasionally I write about traveling or insurance.

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