Top five money-saving apps to help you stick to a budget this year

By Linda Howard

We have almost reached the midway mark for the first month of the new year which is the perfect time to reflect and re-evaluate those resolutions made just a couple of weeks ago.

For many people in Scotland, one of the most popular promises made every year involves money, whether that be saving more, making a plan for a big purchase such as a house deposit or car, home improvements, or finally going on that dream holiday - Covid travel restrictions permitting.

However, more often than not, savings plans fall by the wayside as real life intervenes and we lose our focus, however, financial experts at mCashAdvance, have put together a list of the latest money-saving apps which are designed to motivate you and keep your savings on track, while helping you stick to a budget throughout 2022.

Top five money -saving apps 2022

Moneybox

Moneybox has a handy round-up feature which rounds your purchases to the nearest pound and a variety of saving accounts for your money to go into including a Lifetime ISA which is the most efficient way to save for a house deposit - www.moneyboxapp.com.

Plum

Plum is a Fintech start up that links directly to your bank account and uses algorithms powered by artificial intelligence to work out exactly how much you can afford to save without you needing to do a thing.

This app is aimed at people who struggle to save as it transfers the money you can afford to save across without any intervention from you - https://withplum.com.

Cleo

Cleo is a savings and budgeting app that uses spending insights, regular expenses to help you effectively manage your finances.

Connecting to your primary current account and analysing your spending habits so you can see where exactly your money is going. You can also set up notifications for when you are approaching your limits - https://web.meetcleo.com.

Emma

If you are known to overspend from time to time and often find yourself getting into debt then Emma is a great money saving app for you.

Emma connects to all your cards, current accounts, credit accounts, savings, investments, cryptocurrencies and pensions so they’re all in one place to conduct a full analysi so you can track your expensenses and spending habits - https://emma-app.com.

Raisin UK

Unlike many other money comparison sites which list some of the best interest rates available, Raisin UK offers its users an account through which you can access the saving rates of your choice which means you only need one account instead of multiple at different companies.

Raisin UK makes moving funds around to take advantage of new rates a quick process - www.raisin.co.uk.

Mobile money apps could help you stick to a budget and improve spending habits (Getty)

Simple ways to start saving money in 2022

If you need a nudge to set your savings plan in motion, Thomas Allder, Customer Director at Vanquis, shares some simple ways on how you can spend less this year and budget like a pro.

Take some time to look over your accounts

Before you set your 2022 saving goals, make sure you have a clear picture of your regular outgoings and debts. You’ll feel much more confident about your financial position, how much you can realistically save and when to start. It’s a good idea to prioritise paying off any debts before you start saving.

By looking over recent bank statements you’ll be able to see where you could be overspending. If you’re shocked at how much you’re spending on food, for example, could you save money by planning meals and doing one weekly food shop? Or could you cut down on takeaways? If you notice lots of purchases from the same retailer, challenge yourself to a month of no spend there and see if that impacts your bank account.

Reassess subscriptions

Make a list of your monthly subscriptions to check you aren’t paying for things you aren’t using. If you started off with free or discounted trials, you might find they now cost more than you expected or you’d forgotten you’d signed up completely. If you think something offers poor value or is not being used enough, then cancel it. You can always start it up again if you decide you’re missing it.

Create a budget

Your budget should take into account your monthly income, minus your bills, subscriptions and any other essential outgoings. The amount left over needs to be enough to pay for your food, transport and day-to-day life.

Zero spend challenge

Challenge yourself to a few zero spend days a month. Set them as days when you’re not working or working from home.

Simple tips such as planning your meals ahead, eating leftovers, making your coffee at home and avoiding shops can really help.

See how many days over the year you can go without spending a single penny. This can help you become more conscious of your regular spending, as well as saving you some extra cash for the year.

Have a clear out and earn some extra cash

The New Year is the perfect time to have a clear out of anything you no longer use or wear. This way, you will be able to declutter your home and earn a little extra cash on things you sell.

Whether it’s clothes, homeware, unwanted Christmas presents, your old laptop, TV, games or books. If you think something could be useful to someone else, check the going rate for similar items and put it on a marketplace site like ebay, Facebook Marketplace or GumTree.

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