The cost of living crisis is causing “anxiety and uncertainty” for millions – but apps to help “feel a bit more in control” amid soaring prices can save you money, a consumer expert has told Sky News.
Inflation reached 9% in April – its highest level in 40 years, further pushing up the cost of food and energy bills.
Consumer expert Gemma Godfrey called the current situation “unprecedented” and said phone apps can help people “understand their finances” – but warned they could also “compound the worry”.
She said: “In the face of uncertainty, a financial app can help people feel a bit more in control of their money. From helping to budget, to saving some cash and trying to help it grow.”
While these apps “can make a big difference” to those looking to save some cash, Ms Godfrey does warn they could also add “unnecessary pressure” to people already doing everything they can.
For those keen to try, here are seven apps – some recommended by Ms Godfrey and others chosen by Sky News – which could help you save money.
Money Dashboard allows you to see all your accounts in one place, know how much money you have left until payday, and grow your savings.
The app, which has been downloaded more than 100,000 times, allows users to set custom budgets and automatically imports and tags transactions.
‘Digital change jars’
These apps allow users to build up savings by rounding up everyday purchases and squirrelling away the change.
Ms Godfrey said if you are able to build up any spare cash, then “saving it into a separate account can protect it from being spent”.
“Apps like MoneyBox, Plum and Chip are like digital change jars and can help motivate you to save more,” said Ms Godfrey.
“Beware that if the money is invested, it could fall in value as well as rise.”
Honey browser extension
An extension for various web browsers, Honey lets users automatically apply discounts to online shopping orders to help them get the best deal.
The free utility – available for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera – searches the internet for working voucher codes and then applies them with one click.
Honey claims that its members save an average of £95 per year.
Another app that allows users to collect all their bank accounts and credit cards in one place, Snoop bills itself as a “Robot Hood” that aims to save money.
The company says the app is always finding clever ways for users to save money at the places they already spend.
It also says Snoop can spot if you are overpaying on your energy bills and can move you to a better deal.
The OLIO app aims to connect neighbours with each other and with local businesses, so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.
A quick browse shows a variety of food and non-food items being offered for free to those who can make use of them.
To access items, simply look at the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy, and arrange a pick-up via private messaging.