5 free apps to help you get control of your finances

24th June 2019

Man smiling with mobile phone

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Feeling in control of your finances is really important. Research has found that happiness, wellbeing and self-esteem are influenced by your sense of financial control - and not by how much you earn.

Lots of other companies are also trying to help people with their finances. If you’re not sure where your money goes, how to invest, or what your pensions are worth, here are five free apps to help you see the wood for the trees.

Yolt

Yolt logo

Yolt gives you an eagle’s-eye view of all your finances. You can see your current and savings accounts, pensions, and investments all in one place.

The app has categories such as eating out, travelling, and holidays, so you can quickly see where your money’s going. It then helps you manage your spending by setting budgets. You can also monitor your subscriptions and look for better energy deals.

You can’t move money in or out of your account via the app, but you can move money between your accounts once you’ve been directed to your bank’s online portal

Yolt makes money by getting commission on any deals you take out with their partners.

Also consider Emma, Money Dashboard, and Cleo.

PensionBee

PensionBee logo

It’s rare to have a job for life these days, and as you move from company to company you’re likely to accumulate several pensions.

If you’d rather just have one to keep track of, PensionBee will combine all your pension pots and give you a new plan with a single balance.

The app lets you set up direct debits or bank transfers, and there’s a pension calculator to help you plan payments.

It’s free to transfer your old pensions, and to make contributions and withdrawals. But you have to pay a fee when PensionBee starts managing your pension.

Freetrade

Freetrade logo

This app offers free basic stock trading in hundreds of UK and US stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

You can buy stocks in companies such as Amazon, Tesla and Pinterest. Remember that the value of any investments, or income from them, can go down as well as up.

While a basic order is free, Freetrade does have some charges. There’s a fee for instant orders in the UK and US, for example.

There are plans to launch a premium account, which will have a subscription fee.

ClearScore

ClearScore logo

Thinking of applying for a loan, such as a mortgage?

ClearScore lets you see your credit score and report for free. It updates them monthly, and gives you tips about how to improve your score.

A credit report is a record of information about your credit history which a lender looks at before deciding whether to lend you the money. A credit score is a figure that also helps lenders make up their minds.

When a lender checks your report, called a hard credit check, the check is recorded on your report. Lots of hard credit checks in a short period of time can affect your credit score as a lender might think you’re applying for so much credit because you’ve got money trouble.

Checking your report and score with ClearScore is what’s known as a soft credit check. Soft credit checks don’t leave a trace on your report, no matter how many times you do them.

ClearScore makes money from the commission they receive if you buy a financial product they suggest.

Monzo

Monzo logo

Monzo, which has a coral-coloured debit card, is an app-based bank which can help you get on top of your finances.

It sorts your spending into categories, such as eating out and transport, so you can see where all your money’s going.

You can set budgets, put money into a savings pot that earns interest, and get notifications if you’re spending too fast.

It’s free to have an account, but you’ll be charged if you use your overdraft. You’ll also be charged if you withdraw more than £200 a month when you’re abroad.

You might like to know that we’ve worked with Monzo in the past.

There are lots of other personal finance apps out there and we’re not saying these five are the best. They’re just to give you some ideas. Have a good look at what else is available before making a decision.

We hope we've given you a good head start in your search!

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