As the Apple App Store celebrates its 10th birthday, we take a look at some of the most popular apps to help you budget, save and invest your money.
When Apple launched the App Store on 10 July 2008 with 500 apps, it sparked a huge shift in how we communicate, keep fit and travel – as well as how we manage our cash.
It may feel like there’s an app for everything nowadays, so Which? looks at some useful tools to download for budgeting, splitting bills, making some extra cash, saving and investing.
Money Dashboard: see all your accounts in one place
Money Dashboard is an app that lets you see activity in your current accounts, credit cards and savings account in one place – it currently supports syncing data with 59 providers.
The app lets you monitor exactly how you’re spending your cash, budget and plan for the future with saving goals.
You’ll need to give the company read-only permission to view and sync data from your accounts. Money Dashboard says it uses the same industry-standard security as the banks.
If you’re looking for an overview over your cash, it may also be worth checking out Yolt, which brings together all your UK accounts in a single platform.
Squirrel: separate bill money from fun money
Squirrel is an app-based budgeting account that’s useful for those that struggle to make their money stretch to payday.
It separates out your bill money from your spending money, so you can set clear savings goals and budget effectively.
You just need to add your monthly expenses and savings goals. The app will then release money for bills as they are due and give you spending money each week so you don’t run out by the end of the month.
Saving and investing apps
Moneybox: round-up investing
Moneybox promises a simple way to get into investing.
It works by rounding up whatever you spend on everyday purchases to the nearest pound, and investing the change into tracker funds.
You can choose your level of risk; either cautious, balanced or adventurous.
However, there are fees to consider. The app charges a £1 monthly subscription fee (although the first three months are free) and an annual platform fee of 0.45% of the value of your investment per year.
Also, it’s important to remember that the money you invest is at risk, meaning you could lose what you put in, and the value of your investment can go down as well as up.
Digital banks Revolut, Starling Bank and Monzo offer a similar feature for savers. They round up every transaction and put the difference in a separate savings account.
Unlike Moneybox, your money won’t be at risk. But while Starling Bank pays interest of 0.5%, you won’t earn you a return with Revolut or Monzo.
Chip: saving without trying
Chip is an app powered by artificial intelligence that studies your cash flow and automatically saves money when you can afford it.
It links to your current account, then every few days calculates what you can afford to save based on your spending habits. It then transfers that money to a Barclays savings account.
The account doesn’t pay any interest unless you recommend friends. You earn a 1% bonus on your savings for each friend you refer to the app, up to a maximum of 5%.
Chip is free and works with Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS, TSB, Halifax, First Direct, Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank accounts.
Splitwise: best for IOUs
Splitwise can take the stress out of sharing expenses between groups of people. For example, if you’re on holiday with friends or living with flatmates.
Within the app, you can track every time someone picks up a bill on behalf of the group.
At the end of the week or month, it then tallies up who owes what and sends people a friendly nudge to pay up.
PriceSpy: compare prices on the go
The PriceSpy app can help you compare prices for anything from games consoles to kettles on the go.
You just need to scan a barcode to find out whether you’re better offer buying the product from another retailer or online.
You can pair it with the Which? Review app (£3.99 a month), which contains over 9,000 product reviews, to make sure you’re buying the best products at the lowest price every time.
Vouchercodes: never miss out on a discount
The Vouchercodes app lists thousands of discount deals and money-off codes to use at restaurants and shops nationally and locally.
The deals are refreshed regularly, so downloading the app allows you to check for bargains on the go.
Shpock: boot sales whatever the weather
Shpock is an online marketplace that allows you to sell and earn money from your unwanted clothes, games, furniture and more without stepping foot outside.
You can create a listing with a picture, a description and a price. There are no fees to worry about – so it’s a cheap alternative to other online marketplaces like eBay.
Another site that offers a similar alternative is Preloved.
Checkoutsmart – make money at the supermarket
Checkoutsmart allows you to earn cashback on selected items bought at supermarkets like Asda, Tesco or Sainsbury’s.
You just need to select the items you plan to buy from the list of offers, make the purchase and take a snap of the receipt. You’ll then have cashback paid into your bank or PayPal account.
To maximise your cashback offers, it may also be worth checking out ClickSnap.
Zapper: quick cash for your clutter
Zapper allows you to exchange your old CDs, books, phones, electronics, games, gift cards and even Lego for cash.
With each item, you scan in barcodes rather than manually entering the information, so you can quickly get through your entire collection.
If you’re trying to offload technology or books, you can also try MusicMagpie.
Quidco: cashback on the go
The Quidco app allows you to earn cashback when you shop, either on your mobile or in-store.
To earn cashback online, you just need to check if the retailer is offering cashback using the app and complete your transaction with the tracked link.
To earn cashback in-store, you’re asked to link one or more of your debit cards to your Quidco account, activate an offer you plan to use, and then make your purchase. Cashback will then be paid into your account.
The offers update daily and you can keep track of the money you earn within the app.
If earning cash while shopping appeals to you, it may also be worth looking at TopCashback.
Find out more: 8 smartphone apps that make you free money