Published on: 13 May 2019
A new wave of smartphone apps could help you put together a savings habit with little or no effort.
There are a couple of different types. Some work by rounding up any payments to the nearest pound and stashing away the difference. Others help you analyse your spending habits and suggest how much you can afford to save.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the different options and how they can help you be more efficient with your money.
Launched in 2016, this London based company actually invests your small change instead of storing it. You’ll need to download the app, then enter your bank details to link it to your account. You can choose to make one-off payments or just use the round-up option. There are three investment options to choose from: cautious, balanced and adventurous. It may take two weeks to withdraw any money.
Savings app Plum launched in 2017 and has around 375,000 customers. Its main function is to estimate how much you can afford to spare and will then transfer small amounts up to five times a month into your savings account.
You can choose between six settings: 'Normal' is the default, while 'Beast' mode, for example, ramps up the amount you save by as much 75 per cent. However, you will not earn any interest.
Withdrawals are paid within 24 hours on business days.
You can also opt to invest your cash. Choose from three risk options: conservative, balanced or growth. You can pick the types of firms you want to invest in, such as ethical or tech companies.
If you need your investment back, it can take up to a week.
Since launching in 2014, Tandem has amassed more than 500,000 customers. It was the first savings provider to insist that you manage your account via a mobile phone.
How does it work? First, download the Tandem app on to your mobile phone and link it to your current account using Open Banking — a system that allows banks and third parties to share your financial information securely.
To do this, you need to enter your online banking details. Then, every time you use your debit card, your spending will be rounded up to the nearest pound.
The extra will be moved into a flexible savings account paying 0.5 per cent interest once a week. You will be notified first to give you a chance to change your mind. You can withdraw funds at any time.
Tandem's Safe to Save feature monitors your spending and calculates how much extra you can afford to put away each month. The maximum it will recommend is 15 per cent of your income.
Monzo Bank began offering app-only current accounts in late 2017 and now has more than one million customers. It launched its savings tool Coin Jar in March 2018.
How does it work? To sign up, download the Monzo app and open a current account. Then create a 'pot' and select the option to round up transactions automatically.
You can set up multiple pots for different goals — for example to save for a holiday or house deposit.
Any payments over £1 will be rounded up to the nearest pound and the extra will go into your chosen pot.
You can also reward yourself for good spending behaviour or set up a penalty pot. You could agree to tax yourself £5 automatically every time you order a takeaway. You can access cash at any time.
There are many more versions of these savings apps out there so you will want to find the one that suits you best, the advantages are there for all to see. So many people are finding it harder and harder to save, so this might be a way of taking it out of your hands and letting someone else do thr hard work for you.
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