Best budgeting apps in the UK

In today's fast-paced world, managing your finances has never been easier thanks to the rise of budgeting apps and digital-only banks. Whether you want to track your spending, save for a big purchase, or plan for your financial future, there's a budgeting app out there to suit your needs.

In this blog, we will explore the best budgeting apps available in the UK, provide tips from our SMARTY community on getting the most from them, and answer common questions about their effectiveness and cost.

Best budgeting and money management apps:

Snoop: Best for Holistic Budget Planning

Key features:

— Built-in comparison tool to search for the best deals on financial products and utilities.

— Easy to set up and integrate your accounts in one place.

— Notifications on your upcoming bills and identifies wasteful bills.


— Advanced features such as unlimited spending categories and personalised payday tracking may require a subscription.

— Users might express security worries when connecting their bank accounts.

Emma: Best for AI-powered financial management

Key features:

— AI-driven insights for personalised financial tips.

— Debt tracking and management capabilities.

— User-friendly interface for easy navigation.


— Fewer advanced features for investment tracking.

— Some features may require a subscription.

Plum: Best for Saving and Investing using smart AI

Key features:

— Budgeting and spending AI to help predict your spending habits.

— Smart rules and reminders to regularly save small, affordable amounts.

— A range of investment fund and stock options to build your portfolio.


— Investment fees can be expensive if only investing small amounts.

— Benefits such as the Plum debit card and cashback is only available on paid versions.

Best app only banks for budgeting:

Monzo: Best for digital-first banking experience

Key features:

— Real-time transaction notifications for better spending awareness.

— In-app budgeting tools and savings "pots."

— User-friendly mobile banking experience.


— Limited physical branch presence for traditional banking needs.

— International fees for foreign currency transactions may apply.

Tip: Check out this discussion thread for insights into how the SMARTY community use Monzo pots for managing bills and expenses, as well as other budgeting methods.

Starling Bank: Best for all-in-one digital banking

Key features:

— Personal and joint accounts with in-app budgeting features.

— "Round up" transactions to save spare change.

— Investment tracking for a more holistic view of your finances.


— Limited physical presence compared to traditional banks.

— May not offer all the services of larger banks.

Revolut: Best for international travel and currency exchange

Key features:

— Multi-currency accounts for easy international transactions.

— Cryptocurrency support for investment diversification.

— Spending analytics and budget tracking.

Cons: — Limited lending and credit products.

— Charges for some premium features and international ATM withdrawals.

How to get the most from budgeting apps:

Set clear goals:

Define your financial goals, whether it's saving for a vacation, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund. This will give your budgeting app a sense of purpose.

Regularly track your expenses:

Make it a habit to input your expenses into the app. The more up-to-date your data is, the better your financial decisions will be.

Use the budgeting features:

Leverage the budgeting and categorisation features provided by these apps to see where you're overspending and where you can cut back.

Review and adjust:

Periodically review your budget and make adjustments as needed. Life changes, and so should your budget.

Had enough of the malarkey of rising prices? Take a look at this blog for advice on how you can cut your mobile costs and save money with SMARTY.

Do budgeting apps really work?

Budgeting apps can be highly effective tools for managing your finances, but their success depends on how well you use them. The apps themselves don't create financial discipline, but they can provide the structure and insights needed to make better financial decisions.

How much do budgeting apps cost?

The great news is that most budgeting apps are free to download and use. They generate revenue through premium features, advertising, or by offering affiliated products. Users can typically enjoy the core features without spending a dime, making them accessible to everyone.

SMARTY: Best for stress-free SIM plans

With the right budgeting apps and a disciplined approach, you can take control of your money, set and achieve financial goals, and ultimately build a more secure financial future.

And when it comes to budgeting for essential expenses, SMARTY's flexible 1-month SIM plans are a great tool to customise your mobile service to fit your exact needs.

With no contracts, no annual price rises and the option to change your plan every month, you've got the freedom to scale your mobile service up or down depending on your usage and budget.

Check out the full range of SMARTY SIM plans available, including Unlimited data, calls and texts for £20 a month, so you can easily take control of your mobile expenses and budget like a pro. No stress.

  • SMARTY Team
  • October 27th, 2023