The 9 Best Money Saving Apps – Excel at Budgeting in 2022

Tom
Tom July 2022 Content Creator 11 min

Table of contents

Some of the best apps give us back our time by automating tasks and remembering things so we don’t have to. We employ them like little automated helpers: they store information for us, recommend things for us, recommend food to eat, and help us get places. 

Money saving apps are like accountants we can hire to help us with almost every aspect of our financial lives. They can help us with saving money, investing, budgeting, and smart spending. Some even help us with our financial literacy. The result of employing so many automated accountants is living a richer life thanks to intelligent software handling so many financial chores for us. 

Many of these apps cost money, however, and using too many would become a financial chore unto itself. Let’s not even get started on how time-consuming it can be to sift through the thousands available and all the different services they provide. 

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of the best money saving apps. Our list is curated to highlight specific apps and the features they offer, so you can choose the right one according to your specific situation. Hire the right automated accountants for you to live a richer financial life. 

Digit – Optimising saving decisions

Price6 month free trial, $5 monthly subscription fee
PlatformsApp store, Google Play
AvailabilityUSA

Digit encourages users to save money by automating the process of saving. We sometimes find it difficult to save because we have to consciously put aside money ourselves—sometimes it just feels like we’re cheating ourselves out of our own money. 

We can avoid this feeling by letting Digit do it for us. Users connect digt to their checking accounts and the app automatically saves small, varying amounts of cash, holding the accumulated funds in its own savings account until the user decides they want to use it.

Digit also lets you put a limit on the amount of money the app puts away so it doesn’t destabilise you during the month. The savings feature can also be paused and unpaused depending on your financial situation at the time, and its overdraft protection feature means the app will never move any cash if it causes the checking account to go into overdraft. 

Potential drawbacks: Low-yield saving account rates make it difficult to earn from your savings.

HyperJar – Spend life well

PriceFree
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play
AvailabilityUK, USA

Find it hard to diversify your savings? Your bank account might have spaces or separate accounts, but it’s never enough for all the little things: groceries, bills, dinners out, weekend trips—not the big savings, but the dozens of little ones.  

HyperJar addresses this problem by allowing you to place your money in ‘jars’ designated for certain things. So, you’ll have a jar for your fuel, daily shopping, upcoming dinner with friends, etc. 

While these general jars don’t pay any interest on your individual jars, you can link the app with specific retailers. So if you’re booking accommodation for a holiday with Hotels.com, you can put money away in a jar linked to Hotels.com and generate a hefty 4.8% interest rate on those savings for your holiday. If you’re saving for a trip with friends or settling a bill afterwards, you can share jars with friends who also have the account. 

Potential drawbacks: Limited amount of retailers with which to earn from savings. 

Snoop – Track spend, save cash

PriceFree or £3.99/month or £31.99/year
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play
AvailabilityUSA, UK

We could all use a personal assistant to monitor our savings, let us know when we’re overpaying, and create lists telling us how we can save money—especially one that never sleeps and doesn’t take lunch breaks. But how could we ever meet those expectations?

Snoop is an app designed for just that. Described by the company as a ‘clever robot that’s able to help you spend, save, and live smarter’, Snoop is your personalised and tireless robot money butler. 

In addition to the features listed above, Snoop can also: 

  • Track rewards with a rewards monitor and help you spot opportunities to save with your credit card and elsewhere
  • Offer a better energy deal if you’re overpaying on your current one
  • Assess broadband deals and offer you the best one
  • Monitor your bills to make sure you’re not overpaying
  • Forecast the months and weeks to make sure you’re across all upcoming payments

…and more! There are features still coming to Snoop in the future, as it’s a brand new app and its developers are still thinking of ways to diversify your personal robot’s skillset. 

Potential drawbacks: Information delivered by the app is sometimes unclear. Snoop’s paid version doesn’t offer any features that don’t already exist on other free apps.

YNAB – You need a budget

PriceFree for 34 days, $14.99/month, $98.99/year
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play
AvailabilityGlobal

Does budgeting give you a headache? Of course it does—budgeting gives everyone a headache. The spreadsheets, the numbers, the exhausting job of giving every single dollar its own purpose… easier to just leave your money in a big pile on the living room floor. 

Fortunately, YNAB presents a methodology for creating your own budget that lends sane-making structure to the madness of budget creation. 

YNAB has four basic principles designed to make a better budgeter out of you:

  • The zero-based budget approach: every aspect of your income is given a purpose
  • Expenses goals and monthly payments: pay off irregular expenses outside your regular budget (fines, repairs, etc.)
  • Carry over funds: when you overspend on one category, transfer money from a different category to balance it out
  • Rotate your money: spend the prior week’s money instead of the money that’s most recently come into your account

Potential drawbacks: Not all bank accounts link with YNAB. Users will encounter a steep learning curve. YNAB has no internal bill pay feature. Once the free trial is over, the app is rather expensive.

Mint – Budget & expense tracker

PriceFree
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play
AvailabilityUSA, Canada

Mint often stands out as the free alternative to YNAB. Where YNAB charges a costly fee, Mint is entirely free. One of Mint’s standout features is how it allows users to sync up a variety of different accounts: 

  • Bank accounts
  • Money management accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Credit cards

Once your accounts are synced up, Mint will track your various transactions and assign budget categories, making it much easier to see where you’re spending and how much you’re spending there. Any expenses you have that fall into several categories can be duplicated and spread across multiple ones. 

Potential drawbacks: Not all bank accounts link with mint. Because Mint is free, it relies heavily on advertisements. 

Want to keep track of your business finances? The Penta App might be a perfect match.

Qapital – Find money happiness

PricePrice: 30 day free trial, subscriptions start at $3/month
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play
AvailabilityUSA

We’d all be better savers if we carried around personal tip jars. Spend €5 on a falafel and toss 30c extra into your tip jar for savings; buy a lemonade for €2.50 and throw in another 10c. A week’s worth of spending and you’ve saved up enough to cover drinks on Friday night. 

Qapital operates on this principle, also called IFTTT: if this, then that. It essentially rounds up each transaction and puts the extra amount into a separate savings account. It’s like making a small investment every time you spend money. 

When using the app, you can use the standard function which rounds up every spending to the nearest whole unit (euro, dollar, etc.), but Qapital provides two alternatives: make your own savings rules, or pick one of its preset options:

  • $2 round up: round to the nearest $2, so spending $2.50 you’ll put away $1.50
  • Automatic savings: the app automatically puts away a set amount of money to an assigned category on a certain day
  • Spend less rule: key into the app that you want to spend less than a certain amount at a particular shop, and the app will put the difference away for savings, thus rewarding you for spending less
  • Guilty pleasure rule: transfer a set amount each time you over-indulge
  • Reward goals: use savings as a reward system by telling Qapital to put away a set amount every time you do something like go to yoga, exercise, get a full 8 hours sleep, whichever daily accomplishment you want to invest in!

Potential drawbacks: Not all bank accounts are able to sync up. There are some sign-in issues.

Plum – Make your money go further

PricePrice: Free, subscriptions start at £1.99/month
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play
AvailabilityUK

Artificial intelligence is threading its way into every industry, speeding up processes and maximising convenience. Surely you’ve wondered when this powerful technology is going to start helping you save money. 

Plum is one of the first savings apps to take advantage of AI technology to help users save money. When you link your bank account to the app, Plum analyses spending and transactions and works out for you the most ideal way to save money. These savings will be stored in a savings pocket and will build up over time according to the method Plum has devised. 

Users can take their savings one step further by using investor options and earning interest on your savings. This involves spending extra by investing in a Plum Stocks and Shares ISA or General Investment Account. 

Other Plum features, some of which are for paying subscribers only, include: 

  • Rounding up to the nearest £1
  • Weekly deposits
  • Investing options as low as £1
  • Choose to save or invest every time it rains (subscribers only)
  • Adjust saving amount month to month
  • Bill tracking
  • Linking to more than one account
  • Overdraft feature
  • Retirement savings
  • Fee-free Visa debit card (subscribers only)

Potential drawbacks: Plum is only available to residents of the UK.

Acorns – Save and invest accordingly

PriceSubscriptions start at $3/month
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play
AvailabilityUSA

Anyone who starts making money for the first time is faced with the looming problem of what to do with it. The solution people invariably offer is ‘invest’. But where? And how much?

Acorns presents itself as the app that helps beginners wade safely into the investing waters. A loose change app similar to Qapital, the novice-friendly investor app rounds up to the nearest dollar of each purchase and puts it away in a specialised savings app. 

Where Acorns differs from other loose change apps is with investment features. The app selects exchange traded funds for you after conducting a survey designed to determine your financial goals. You’ll be asked to provide your age, income, net worth, and other personal financial information. 

Because Acorns is ideally for novice investors, users can’t buy or sell individual stocks through the app. It’s better seen as a dry run for safe investing, which can lead you onto bigger investment adventures with a little experience. 

Potential drawbacks: Acorns has an expensive subscription fee at higher levels. The investment options are limited.

Long Game – Prize-linked savings

PriceFree
PlatformsApp Store, Google Play Store
AvailabilityUSA

Many money saving apps take a passive approach to saving. They fit into the background of your life, taking care of saving for you through purchases or analysis of your income. For those who want to take a more active approach to saving money, game-based money-saving apps are a great alternative. 

Long Game is one such app. With a focus on casino games, lottery draws, and scratch-and-win games, users win in-game currency which they can use to play more games and potentially win cash prizes. 

When signing up with Long Game, users will be prompted to open a bank account with one of the app’s partnering companies. You then set a preference for how much you would like to save ($5 minimum), and how frequently you would like to save it (weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly). How much you save determines how many coins you earn, which then gives you the chance to win cash prizes. 

Long game is free to play because, although you put your own money in (which you can withdraw at any time), the app earns its money from the profits earned by the banks investing your money. 

Potential drawbacks: Playing the games to any point of reward is time-consuming.

Money saving apps overview

BudgetingInvestingSpending analysisActive savingPassive saving
Digit 
HyperJar
Snoop
YNAB
Mint
Qapital
Plum
Acorns
Long Game

Conclusion: money saving apps

Hopefully we’ve shown here that there are far too many useful money saving apps to keep putting off your money saving plans. Whether you want to get into investing, put some of your change away, budget better, or gamify the money saving process, today’s app marketplace is likely to have an approach that will work for you. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Money Saving Apps

Money saving apps serve many different purposes. Some of the major categories include: budgeting, investing, games, knowledge, saving, spending analysis, and more.

If you find you have been trying to save without success, money saving apps can provide solutions to the problems you’ve been running into. They can help by providing rewards, forcing discipline, or helping you save without even knowing it.

All major money saving apps are usually equipped with data protection and top-range security features  to keep users’ funds and information safe. However, you should always check the company website and user reviews for full information on the safety of the app.

Passive saving apps in our list include Digit, Snoop, Qapital, Plum, and Acorns. These apps automatically put money away either when you spend on daily purchases, or on a set date/time.

Disclaimer: This selection of apps was made at the personal judgement of the Penta Editorial Team. None of these apps are connected to Penta and there is no paid advertising cooperation with the persons and companies behind the apps mentioned.

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