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[Open Discussion] What apps do you use for budgeting? Smarter solution needed!

Anny
Team SMARTY
Team SMARTY

It's my favourite time of the month coming up - payday! 😄 💸

For years, I've been using spreadsheets to manage my finances. Nothing too fancy, just a broad overview of monthly spending and savings. No meticulous categorisation that breaks down every single latte and grocery shop, just the basics. But lately, I've been wondering if there's a quicker and less manual way...

In the past I have experimented with free budgeting apps, but none of the features or categories quite fit the bill. And I'm still unsure about sharing my account details through open banking. So I gave up and created my own spreadsheet. It worked, but it's time-consuming, especially with multiple investment, savings and current accounts to track. 

I'd love to know:

  • Have you found a smarter, simpler, more efficient way to manage your finances?
  • Do you use budgeting apps with open banking - and do you trust it with your financial data?
  • Are there any budgeting apps worth paying for?
  • And for those with multiple accounts, how do you keep everything organised without pulling your hair out?! 
7 REPLIES 7

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

I use two bank accounts. 

One account is the one from which my bills are paid from. 

The other account is “my money”, barring any disaster / unexpected expense, which I can use for every day expenses.

As my bills are ring fenced in a separate account, I just use the notes app on my iPhone to keep simple track of my bills. 

I have never seen the point of using apps like the soon to close “Money Dashboard”, “Snoop” etc to track my bills, especially not a paid service which would cost me money, as the bank account that I solely use for bills does all the tracking I need. I really don’t need to write them in the notes app, thinking about it. 

As long as I transfer the required amount of money each month into the account which is solely used to pay bills, everything is fine.

Kon_flux
SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

I used to write it all down on a spreadsheet. 

Now I have a spreadsheet of all my bills and how much I pay to each per month including bills I pay yearly just broken down how much they are per month, this is to work out how much I need to put into a pot each month.

I have switched my bank over to Monzo and set up pots, each pot has a name like bills, saving, food, to spend etc and each month when I get paid Monzo splits my money up into these pots (I said the amount that should go into each pot) 

This way looking at Monzo I know exactly how much I have left for food or going out for the month and I have managed to save a lot more this way.

With bills when they come out of Monzo I said to take the money out of the bills pot.

 

 

Bubblesthefish6
SMARTY Maverick
SMARTY Maverick

I use Monzo as my main spending card and get paid into my proper NatWest account. From NatWest I then divide it up between my NatWest savings and the rest into monzo. In monzo I have my card and then an 'easy access' saver (i.e. next day access). I save bits of change into this account with roundups from purchases and drop a tenner in from time to time. The rest of the money my monzo app budgets for me and makes sure I have enough left to pay bills etc. I really like monzo.

MSF
SMARTY Superhero
SMARTY Superhero

I used a cheap program called iCompta for many years with great success. A recent iOS upgrade has stopped it working properly and it is too old for the developer to write new code.

I researched and found a free, open-source programme called Money Manager Ex and so far this works well. It is however only for Mac.

Anny
Team SMARTY
Team SMARTY

Thank you everyone for all the great suggestions! For anyone interested, we've put together an article over at the SMARTY blog on the Best Budgeting Apps in the UK including the apps recommended in this discussion 💸

Sounds like it's time for me to check out Monzo and make the most out of their saving 'pots' 😆

MSF
SMARTY Superhero
SMARTY Superhero

@Bubblesthefish6  When I followed up on the smarty article, it suggests that the first two apps discussed (Mint and Colt) have been closed down - can you confirm that?

Anny
Team SMARTY
Team SMARTY

Hi @MSF we have updated the article with Snoop and Plum budgeting apps which are currently live in the UK - thank you so much for following up on the blog!