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Tried and tested: our favourite money-saving apps

They're quick, they're easy and they're portable. A good app can make managing your day-to-day far easier (and far more fun)

30 April 2018Frankie Jones 4 min read

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‘There’s an app for that’ has never been more true. Whether for exercise, games or organising your life, there are thousands of apps designed to help you work and play smarter.

We’ve already taken a look at some of the best apps out there for managing your money more effectively in the long run. But there are just as many apps to help you save cash in your day-to-day life. The apps we've picked can help you keep track of your money, seek out the best deals and help you spend less…

We often say that the best way to save money is to know exactly what you’re spending and this app helps you do exactly that.

It connects to your bank account and any credit accounts, and all your spending appears on the display. Best of all it’s categorised so you know exactly what you’re spending on dining out or on bills.

Pros: It’s simple, straightforward and free. It helps you keep track of spending across multiple accounts in real-time.

Cons: Some users complain that it can take several days for their transactions to show which slightly defeats the point. But the company says that’s not the case for most customers.

If you're trying to curb your spending, going old-school and using cash can be a great tactic. Paying in cash apparently activates your brain’s pain receptors, making it harder to part with.

But is there anything more frustrating than having to pay money to withdraw money, especially if you’re on a tight budget? According to Which? one in five ATMs now charge money to make a withdrawal, an expense you really don't need.

The ATM Hunter app solves that problem by directing you to the nearest free-to-use cash machines so you don’t end up forced to pay more.

Pros: It’s free and it can save you cash.

Cons: It only shows one machine at a time on the map, so it’s hard to compare routes and find the best one.

Unless you carry all your past receipts with you, it can be really hard to be confident you’re getting a good deal at the supermarket. Has the price dropped significantly? Is that two-for-one offer worth it? Could you get it cheaper elsewhere?

Fortunately, the MySupermarket app shows you the recent prices for items in your supermarket, as well as helping you compare prices from the competition.

Of course, you’re unlikely to rush out of a shop because you’ve been told bleach is cheaper in the supermarket down the road. However, it helps you work out exactly when you’ve found a bargain and should stock up – and whether you’d be better off switching your regular supermarket.

Pros: It’s free, it’s stuffed with information and it can even provide discount vouchers.

Cons: It's not exactly the best time-saver, in fact you'll probably be longer in the supermarket scanning and comparing prices.

If your wallet or purse is full of loyalty cards, you may not be getting the most out of them. After all, more than a fifth of people leave unused loyalty points languishing on their cards instead of using them to save money or treat themselves.

This app is a digital wallet for your cards and means you can store them all in your phone rather than cram them into your purse. It also helps you keep better track of how much you’ve accrued, helping encourage you to spend them rather than letting them go to waste in your wallet.

Pros: It’s free, it makes space in your wallet and it could save some real money.

Cons: Some users say that retailers with laser scanners sometimes struggle to scan the phone displays, so you risk not getting your points every time.

We’ve picked TopCashback but there are quite a few different cashback apps out there (Quidco is another favourite) so it’s worth comparing and finding the one that’s right for you. If you want to go pro at deal-hunting, then using a whole range of them can help make sure you're getting the very best deals.

These apps let you earn money buying your groceries. You just look for the deals, purchase them, take a photo of your receipt and upload it to the app. Sometimes the cashback is the same as the cost of the item, so it’s essentially free. You can also use them to save when you're shopping online.

Pros: You can earn money back on your shopping, store it in your cashback account and then withdraw it when you want a bit of a bonus.

Cons: The deals are often on new products and items to encourage people to try them, so you may not be able to get cashback on your everyday shopping unless you’re willing to try new brands.

Before you make any purchase it’s worth checking to see if there’s a discount available and VoucherCodes is one of the best apps to help you do that.

It brings together deals and vouchers from some of the biggest UK brands, often including Pizza Express, Debenhams and a range of high street stores.

Once again though, there are loads of other good voucher apps as well so if you have the storage space then it’s worth filling up with them. You could save a fortune.

Pros: It’s free and you can often find discounts for major retailers.

Cons: It won’t have the full range of discounts available so if you want to be sure you’re getting the best deal it’s worth downloading a few others too. Deals often expire or don't work so it can take a bit of time to find a suitable voucher.

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Written by Frankie Jones


Frankie takes the often confusing world of finance and makes it clear and simple, to help you get your money sorted.