Surveys suggest that women save less but worry about saving more. We know that we should be putting money aside for a rainy day, and ideally investing it for our future, but somehow in spite of our prowess in making other purchasing decisions, we often panic when faced with the variety of savings products.
Combine that with temptation – money burning a hole in our pockets is definitely a problem, especially when the sales are on – and even well-paid women are rarely saving as much as they could.
Plum claims to be the solution we’ve been waiting for.
It’s a smart chatbot app which you operate through the Facebook Messenger function on your phone. Plum’s AI software analyses your historic earnings and spending and then predicts what you can afford to save.
It then moves that amounts into a savings account via direct debit, so you don’t even have to think about it. And as the software is dynamic, it continually adjusts the amount it puts aside for you, adapting to your latest financial situation.
If you’ve gone into your overdraft, for example, Plum will know about it and thus not debit any money for savings.
Who is Plum For?
Plum is for anyone who has some disposable income after your essential bills are paid, but often tempted to spend it rather than to save.
Changing this kind of behaviour is tough if you’re on your own, but Plum does the hard work – both calculating what you can afford to save and transferring the money – for you.
If you normally spend whatever is in your bank account, and are too lazy or disorganised to save, try Plum for a few weeks and watch your savings add up effortlessly.
How Do I Sign Up?
You won’t find Plum in the App Store yet: access is via Facebook, as it is controlled through Facebook Messenger. Click here to sign up and follow the steps from there.
However, you can still use Plum without a Facebook account. All you need to do is to download the messenger app and select ‘not on Facebook’, enter your phone number and start saving!
If you try Plum, find it works for you, and you want to help spread the word, you can then become a Plum Pal, one of their catchily named brand ambassadors.
Plum will pay you £5 for every new customer you introduce, so if you have a strong network you can capitalise on, it can become an attractive additional income stream as well as a savings tool.
Does It Really Work?
Plum’s user interface is intuitive, and all the clever stuff is done for you so all you have to do is set it up and go.
Providing you are earning more than you need to keep afloat on a daily basis, Plum will start saving for you. Using Plum helped me save an extra £100 in the past month without any effort on my part.
The feedback from those who have been using it for a month or more (i.e. long enough to see the benefits) is overwhelmingly positive, and as Plum has bank-level security, you can use it with peace of mind that your data and your money are secure.
The good news is, there’s no cost to the user for using Plum, which is an added bonus.
There’s the investment function, so if you don’t need to draw on your savings in the near term and would like to see them grow, it’s a great way of micro-investing.
They’re also developing a conventional app version of the software, which you will be able to download from the App Store, and this will certainly be attractive to those potential customers who are put off by the current Facebook integration.
What Are The Alternatives?
Moneybox is also an attractive option as it rounds up your spending to the nearest pound and then invests the proceeds on your behalf in a tracker fund.
To learn more about Plum and round up our Plum review checkout out our interview with Kevin of Plum.
Interview with Kevin Debien at Plum
Plum is the first AI-powered Facebook Chatbot globally which allows you to start saving money automatically without any effort, fees or changes in spending.
Plum allows you to take control of your finances effortlessly, without changing your lifestyle, budgeting or even noticing. Plum is for everyone who wants to supercharge their savings and grow their money effortlessly.
How did you come up with plum?
Victor and Alex were friends living in London, on similar salaries who were both struggling to save. Plum was born out of a personal challenge between its co-founders, Victor and Alex, to see who could save faster and smarter.
At the end of every month, Victor put aside the money that was left over in his current account. Alex, on the other hand, wrote a programme which started to regularly calculate how much he needed until the end of the month and downloaded his transactions. Whatever he didn’t need was automatically transferred into his savings.
After a few months, they compared balances and changes in lifestyle. Alex had saved far more than Victor! What’s more, Alex hadn’t had to change his spending habits or even remember to put the money aside.
With less hassle, he’d saved almost double what Victor saved.
And that’s how Plum started.
How does it work?
Our goal here at Plum is helping people grow their savings by helping them manage their money. Plum helps you manage your personal finances in lots of ways.
Our AI tech helps you save money automatically. You can also invest those savings within Plum for a decent return. You can even earn money by referring friends (£25 for every 3 friends).
On top of all of that, we make sure you are not being overcharged on things like energy bills and help you switch if you are.
Plum connects to your current account and dynamically analyses your past earnings and spending.
Using this data, our algorithm calculates daily what amount it can safely put aside without affecting your daily life and moves it to your Plum saving account via direct debit. You can access your savings anytime, within 24 hours of notice.
Do I get regular access to my savings?
Yes, you can access your savings whenever you like.
Can I withdraw my savings? And how often can I do this?
Yes, you can withdraw whenever you like as often as you like. Just type ‘withdraw’ and the amount you would like.
Where is my money saved?
Your Plum savings account is created and administered by our partner MANGOPAY, an EU-licensed financial institution, and your savings are held as e-Money at Barclays. Your savings account is virtual and so has no account number and sort code.
Do you also invest my money? And is there a difference between savings and investment on the app?
Plum savings are never at risk or lent out in any way and so do not gain interest. You can indeed invest with Plum. It is a different feature. To start investing your money type ‘invest’ into Plum. As with all investments capital invested is at risk.
How much have you saved or invested using your own app?
I have saved over £1,100 in 4 months and invested over £900
What has been your biggest highlight so far?
That we are saving users millions of pounds a month after just launching a year ago. Some of these people were not able to save before using us, we have helped people get out of debt, go on holiday for the first time and get themselves into a better financial position all round.
That’s an amazing feeling, to know we are making a real positive impact on people’s lives, providing real value to our users.
We also won Start-Up of the year at the National Technology Awards 2017 which was great!
What’s unique about the app? What makes plum different from other money-saving apps?
Plum allows you to take control of your finances effortlessly, without changing your lifestyle, budgeting or even noticing.
For example, we focus on helping you save rather than tracking how you spend like many other financial assistance platforms.
Our goal is to make money management automatic, so you don’t have to make consistent decisions to be better off.
We focus on helping you save in lots of different ways beyond just autosaving for you. Plum helps you manage your personal finances in lots of ways. From investing your savings to get a real return to checking you are not being overcharged on things like energy bills and switching you if you are.
Our Plum Review
Plum is not unique in its product offering, but the app is well designed, easy to use, and effective. The effort of saving is gone, and as the money Plum has saved for you is kept in a separate account, it’s much harder to get carried away and spend it.
The idea of having a virtual bank account with no sort code or account number is a little alarming at first, but as e-banking is probably the way of the future, it’s something we’ll all have to get used to.
Plum is FCA regulated and it’s Barclays who holds the e-money for you, so you can save with Plum in confidence that it’s a bona fide, licensed entity.
So if you want to make saving a habit and effortless:
- Go to Plum,
- click the blue “Sign Up” button,
- follow the steps and
- Start saving today!
How much are you saving each month? Are you saving as much as you could? With a micro-savings app such as Plum, you can not only find out what is a sustainable rate of saving for you, but also make those savings with little effort on your part. Try it and let us know how you get on.
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