Imagine how it would feel to reach your financial goals? Whether managing money day to day, saving for your first home or investing for your future, it can be hard knowing how best to organise it all. But thankfully, there are tools that can help make things simpler.
Here’s our top, tried and tested tools and books for getting your finances exactly where you want them. Some are our personal favourites, while others have been highly recommended by our trusted readers who, just like you, needed some financial order. We’ll continue to update this post as we come across other great tools that we use and love.
Tools for Saving and Investing Money
Deposit on a house, new car, wedding dress or That Handbag to Die For, children’s education or simply building wealth, these apps and online platforms make saving and investing simple. Even if you can only put away as little as £1 at a time, all you need to do is set these up, then watch all those pennies turn into pounds!
Chip Automatic Savings App
Chip allows you to put money away in a savings account, and you probably won’t even notice you’re doing it. Simply connect Chip to your current account, it will then calculate how much you can afford to put away, and automatically puts it away for you.
It analyses your spending, calculates your savings and doesn’t disrupt your lifestyle. Meaning you don’t have to remember to put money away, or spend money meant for savings, by mistake!
The good news is that you can get a 2% interest on your savings if you use the promo code: NUGGETS2.
Plum Savings App
Saving money can now be done quickly and easily via Facebook Messenger. Install Plum into your Messenger app and securely link it to your bank. Plum uses smart tech to analyse your spending and puts away what you can afford, without you having to lift a finger. If you’re in your overdraft, Plum will know, and won’t take any money until you’re back in positive figures.
Choose to save or invest, and since it’s linked to Facebook, it feels familiar and much less daunting than banking apps can feel. You can even earn £5 for referring a friend!
Moneybox Investment App
Save up your spare change and make investing a painless experience with Moneybox. Say you buy a chocolate bar for 79p and you pay for it with your bank card. Moneybox rounds the purchase up to £1 and takes the remaining 21p and invests it in a stocks and shares ISA.
You won’t even have to think about it. You could end up investing in Blue Chip companies like Netflix and Amazon, that you probably thought you could never have access to!
You can also choose to add a fixed amount of money each week, which Moneybox will automatically invest for you. Even if you have no investment knowledge, Moneybox is super simple to use. You’ll be amazed by how quickly your tiny investments add up.
Wealth Simple Investment Platform
Start investing with as little as £1 with Wealth Simple, who make it easy to invest, no matter how much money you have to invest. You can be up and running in just five minutes.
If you like, you can speak to a qualified investment advisor for free, who can help you decide where to invest. If not, Wealth Simple will take care of everything and make the best choices for you. This platform also highlights socially responsible brands that you can invest in, if you’d prefer your investments to be in more ethical companies.
Nutmeg Online Investment Management
You need a £500 deposit to start investing with Nutmeg. If you’re investing less than £5,000. You’ll also need to pay in £100 per month.
Nutmeg does everything for you and offers automated monthly investments as well as wealth management advice. They’ll invest your money across a range of assets to spread the risk, without sacrificing your potential returns. Nutmeg also automatically reinvests your dividends.
Tools for Managing Your Money Like a Pro!
Even if you’re not saving for anything in particular, it’s still a good idea to plan and budget. These money management tools analyse where your money goes so you can view your spending habits, reduce frivolous spending, and make the most of the money you have left over.
You Need a Budget (YNAB) Money Management Software
You Need a Budget will change your relationship with money and take control of your spending. It’s ideal if you’re frustrated with living month to month, in debt and with no savings.
It helps you focus on where on your money comes from, and where you need to spend it by categorising your spending. It encourages you to give “every pound a job” so that your money works just as hard as you do! Try the 34 day free trial to see how much it could change your life.
BankTree Net Worth Software
Managing your money properly will help you get a grip on what you have, and how you can stretch it further. BankTree provides software that helps you do exactly that by allowing you to view your banking, savings, credit cards and investments all in one place.
Viewing your net worth in such a way is the key to your financial freedom. With BankTree’s interactive reports and charts, you’ll be able to track your savings as you become more and more money savvy! Click to learn more and start a free trial.
Money Dashboard Personal Finance App
Link your bank account, credit cards and savings accounts together with Money Dashboard and get a real time view of how much you have, and where.
Money Dashboard analyses your spending habits and transforms them into colourful graphs and charts so you can easily see where you’re spending. Then you can see where you want to make changes and get Money Dashboard to set and track your saving goals!
Cleo Intelligent Money Assistant
A virtual assistant that tracks and looks after your finances, could be just what you need to stay on top of your spending and saving. Make Cleo your virtual friend that makes you think twice about where your money goes.
Cleo analyses your finances, categorises your spending and helps you improve how you use your income. It works via Facebook Messenger and you can chat to Cleo just like anyone else on your friends list! Cleo makes budgeting and saving simple and fun, will display your current balance whenever you need it, and even offers tips to improve your finances.
Squirrel Budgeting App
If you find that you constantly have more month than money, Squirrel could help. The app allows you to split your income into bills and savings, and then gives you a weekly allowance to spend how you like.
It drip-feeds your money into your bank account when you need it, i.e. to pay the rent or mortgage on a certain day. It makes budgeting a breeze, is simple to set up and use and crucially, removes the temptation to spend the money you don’t have or would rather save. The motivation it provides to save is addictive!
Find the Best Deals and Save Time and Money With Comparison Sites
Whether you’re looking for a better energy deal, a new credit card or the best value broadband, comparison sites truly are worth using.
They’re designed to be quick and simple to use, and ultimately save you time, and crucially, money. You can get prices and quotes in minutes, enabling you to make a fully informed choice. Switching suppliers is fast and pain-free.
Our favourite comparison sites include:
Earn Money While You Spend!
Imagine earning money as you shop your favourite brands? Imagine no more! Make extra money in your spare time by getting commission for doing the things you do every day:
With Swagbucks, all you need to do is shop online at certain retailers, watch videos, play games, take part in surveys or search the internet. In exchange, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed as gift cards to spend on Amazon, or as cash into your PayPal account.
TopCashback has a deal with 1000’s of retailers that earns them commission each time you shop on a retailer’s site that you’ve accessed via the TopCashback site. TopCashback then adds cashback to your account that you’re free to spend. It’s as simple as that!
Quidco works in the same way as TopCashback, earning you money as you buy the things you normally do. What’s not to love?!
Checking, Understanding and Improving Your Credit Score
Your own personal credit score contributes to how much it costs you to borrow money. If your credit score is low, it could mean that you end up paying a higher rate of interest on loans – money that could be better spent elsewhere. So, it’s crucial that you keep an eye on your credit score.
Ideally you should do this every year, to make sure there’s no mistakes which could damage your chances of affordable credit. There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK, that all use a different checking system. To make absolutely sure your credit score is correct, its worth checking with all three:
Each one is easy to use and will provide you with a free, easy to understand credit report. This report will highlight what impacts your ability to get credit, and can help you improve your score if you need to. It will also identify any theft of your financial details.
Make checking your credit score something you do at least once a year.
Invest in Yourself
Here’s two ways to help you invest in yourself. You can use these to learn not just about money, boost you career, hone your skills, learn something new, or expand your knowledge on just about any subject!
Udemy and Skillshare Online Training Courses
With more than 20,000 free and paid-for online courses to choose from, you’re bound to find the right one for you with Udemy and Skillshare. Learn what you like, whenever you like, at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home.
With so many courses available, you can learn new skills or upgrade your existing ones. When you expand your knowledge and boost your skills, you can increase your ability to earn more money, a key part of financial success.
Audible Audio Books
Audible has the world’s largest collection of audio books covering every genre you can think of. Sign up for a free trial and listen to your first book for free on the go, anywhere!
Choose from thousands of books that can help you hone and develop your interests and skills. A more knowledgeable you is in a better position to negotiate pay rises and promotions, bringing you closer to your financial goals. Listen to your chosen audio books as you travel, work, exercise or relax.
Recommended Reading (or Listening)
We’ve put together a list of our favourite books to help you get ahead with your finances and career. Financial empowerment at its finest, they’re all must-reads!
Here’s some essential reading for getting your mind focused on reaching your financial goals…
Transform the way you handle your finances by looking at the spiritual and emotional side of spending money. Get to the core of your financial issues, rather than just surviving each month.
An iconic read, with memorable and entertaining stories that will inspire you to make the most of your money.
Money Management and Financial Planning
Learn how to manage money and plan your future with these essential reads…
By the same author as Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office this book inspires and empowers women. It highlights the mistakes many of us make, and how we can correct them. Every woman should read this book, for smart money management and investment.
An essential, non-patronising and funny guide to women and shopping sprees, pension plans, ISAs and pre-nups.
Give your finances a makeover with these small, actionable, sustainable steps that build up to money empowerment.
This book is free from jargon and full of common-sense tips on building a strong financial foundation. If there’s a secret to getting rich, it’s in this book!
Wealth Building and Investing
Understand what it takes to build personal wealth by investing wisely…
A must read for long term investors, this book is endorsed by the world’s third richest person and investor, Warren Buffett. This is a read that you’ll go back to again and again to help you make smart investment decisions.
This book is by one of the most influential supporters of low cost investing and is essential if you’re looking to invest in the stock market. Especially if you’re new to investing or paying large amounts to have your funds managed.
Career and Personal Development
Get ahead at work with these essential reads…
It’s a sad fact that women still face unique challenges in the workplace and this book will help you navigate the corporate world. The 101 unconscious but destructive behaviours it highlights will help you identify where you could be stronger. It includes practical tips and advice on getting ahead in your career.
A fantastically researched but succinct book, this is essential reading for women and their male partners and colleagues. It’s set to become iconic and addresses issues and societal behaviours affecting women in business that have been brushed aside and blindly accepted by many for too long. Packed with concrete advice, it applies to women in all stages of life.
Got any great ones you recommend? Let us know down in the comments below!
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