Struggling with a budget
I have never been particularly good with money - bills have always been paid, rent transferred and the balance on my cards cleared, but generally at the end of each month I’m left wondering where my money has gone and feeling the pinch in the last week or so before payday. When I became pregnant last year, I started putting a certain amount away each month in order to provide me with a cushion to supplement me through maternity leave - now 3 months in, I’ve realised that I’d rather keep hold of these savings for something more tangible, and instead live on my reduced income. In order to do this, I need to become a more mindful spender, being aware of where my money is going so I know where I can cut back and make smarter decisions. With this in mind, being asked to review Moneyhub was quite apt.
Moneyhub is available on both Android and iOS and was relaunched in December 2015 after an overhaul of the look and feel. It comes fully loaded with a direct connection to your bank accounts, the ability to verify and categorise individual transactions, analysis and breakdown on where you spend the most as well as goals to help you take better control of your money.
The transaction inbox and spending analysis are particularly good, the process of going through and confirming each transaction and assigning it to a category is enough in itself to make you more aware of patterns in your spending, it quickly became apparent that I was single handedly supporting my local Starbucks one coffee at a time, which made setting my first spending goal easy - less House Blend, more Nescafé.
On the whole, the app is easy to use and pleasant to look at. The set-up process is quick and verifying your transactions as they come in soon becomes addictive. There are several nice touches with how they present your data to keep you motivated and returning to the app; things like seeing how much you’ve spent in comparison to this time last month means it’s easy to know when you should be slowing down on the purchases and encourages you to look ahead to the rest of the month to see if you can make up the difference. The ability to create your own categories gives the app a more tailored feel and the search functionality allows you to view a list of similar transactions over a longer period of time - particularly helpful when trying to change a regular spending habit.
Moneyhub is a freemium app with a free 7 day trial, and then it will cost you £2.99 per month in subscription fees, or £29.99 as a one off payment for the year. At first I thought this was a bit much considering I could technically get the same information from my online banking if I wanted to, but with my new found knowledge surrounding my money I quickly realised that actually £2.99 is a fair price for the convenience of having the information available in such a helpful and accessible way - it’s just one less latte per month.
- Looks: 4 / 5
- Ease of Use: 5 / 5
- Build quality: 5 / 5
- Price: 3 / 5
- Overall: 4.25 / 5
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Mark joined Choose Wisely in 2015. He continues to work in close contact with the providers, brokers and journalists operating in the world of consumer credit.