Being sensible with your money, adding to your savings and keeping track of where it’s going can seem like a minefield at times. So many things to keep track of and so much temptation to buy all the things!
Luckily, there are also tons of amazing free resources to help keep us on track - here are eight of the best.
Clearscore allows you to check your credit score for free - forever. Not only that, but it shows you all of the accounts you have and their balances (mobile provider, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.) so you can check that everything is correct, shows you a timeline of how your credit score has changed over time and gives you advice to help you improve your credit score.
I signed up for Clearscore at the end of 2015, when I was first starting to improve my finances, and I was genuinely shocked at how much you get for free - I don’t know why anyone would pay for their credit score when this exists!
Chip is a free app which uses an algorithm to work out how much money you can afford to save each week, and automatically saves it for you. Clever, right?
All you have to do is connect your current account to the app and it will move money into a separate “Chip” account, which is run by Barclays, every couple of days, based on what it’s calculated you can afford. You can withdraw your money at any time, and it also allows you to set a savings goal and tells you how long it will take to reach it.
Okay, so this is the best thing since sliced bread (is sliced bread really the best thing we have?).
Do you have loads of loyalty cards, but never have the right one on you when you need it? Stocard is an app you upload the details of all your loyalty cards on to, so you don’t have to remember them. Instead, you have a barcode for each card which you scan at the till.
You can even see your balance and current offers for each card. Absolute genius.
Squirrel is another app to help you save, but it also has the added bonus of helping you stick to a budget. It’s basically a separate bank account run by Barclays. When you join, you add in your monthly outgoings and any savings goals you have and it will pay the money you need it, so you don’t accidentally spend your bill money on more fun things and go overdrawn.
This one isn’t new, but always compare prices for things like insurance, utility bills and even credit cards to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
There are a few money comparison sites, but I’ve linked to Compare The Market because you get two for one cinema tickets (RIP Orange Wednesdays) and frankly, I just think meerkats are the cutest.
Vestpod focuses on lifting the taboo around money by talking about it openly, sharing advice and real life stories and hosting workshops. They want to make managing money more simple, more inclusive and educate without being patronising.
Oh Money Diaries, how i love thee. If you want to feel less alone about your financial circumstances, give these a read. There are people from all kinds of backgrounds working in different jobs, and for a nosy parker like myself it is super interesting to see how other people spend their money.
Just two things - leave your judgment at the door, and don’t read the comments if you’re faint-hearted!
That’s right! Apps are great and all, but sometimes the humble spreadsheet is just the ticket. I use a good old fashioned spreadsheet to track my business income and expenses, and a spending tracker to see where my money is going and how I can use it more wisely.
If you fancy getting your own spending tracker, go to the top of this post and I’ve made one that you can use - it even has a handy chart which tells you how much you’re spending on different things, so you can cut down if you want to. It’s a Google sheet, so make sure you make a copy and save it to your own Google Drive.
Which apps and websites do you use to manage your money?
Are you ready to swap money stress for financial empowerment?
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