My budgeting swap helped me save £2,600 in a year – it's so easy anyone can do it | The Sun

My budgeting swap helped me save £2,600 in a year – it's so easy anyone can do it | The Sun

IT'S all too easy to spend money with your smartphone, but Harriet Claypole found it can be just as good at helping save cash.

The 25-year-old from Stamford, Lincolnshire, managed to put aside a whopping £2,600 in just over a year with the help of a money-saving app.

Plum is an app that works out how much you can afford to save and then sets it aside for you.

Harriet started using the app in December 2021 after a colleague recommended it.

The event manager had tried saving money before using more traditional ways – but like many of us, she had little success.

Plum was a "game changer" because it meant Harriet could save without really having to do anything.


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She said: "Seeing the money build up is so amazing because it doesn't feel like a chore.

"I still can't believe just how much I managed to save in a relatively short space of time."

Harriet connected her bank account to the app which means it can see her income and outgoings.

It regularly identifies how much she can afford to save and the money is automatically transferred into a savings pot in the Plum app.

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Because the app can see what you usually spend it makes sure you're not left short, and only takes as much as you can afford to save each time meaning the amount can vary.

For Harriet her savings average out as around £50 per week.

In just over a year she's managed to save £2,600 – and has never noticed the cash leaving her account.

She told The Sun: "I used to be awful at saving

"When I got my first full-time job, I decided to start putting away £100 into a savings account every pay day.

"But I didn't keep it up and I'd often find myself dipping into my savings because I'd left myself short.

"I even tried making a spreadsheet to keep myself on track, but that didn't stick either."

Her nest egg came in handy when her car broke down and she needed a deposit to put down on a new one.

There's no fee or penalty for withdrawing your money and savings stashed with Plum are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000.

You can earn up to 2.7% AER in Plum's easy access interest account – but you could find better interest rates elsewhere.

Plum is free for the basic version which lets you set up saving deposits and round-ups.

A paid for version offers more features but costs between £2.99 and £9.99 a month.

Without the savings made with the app, Harriet said she would never have been able to afford to get a new motor and would have needed to borrow the money.

It's thought that nine million people people in the UK have no savings and another five million have less than £100, according to the Money and Pensions Service.

There are plenty of reasons to save money, including for retirement or if you lose your job.

Harriet is now building up her savings again and hopes to have enough cash by summer so that she can go on her first holiday with partner Sam Moore, 28, a lighting and sound engineer.

"It's really exciting to see my pot grow and to know that I have money to treat my family and friends to a nice present or if an emergency happens," Harriet said.

"I don't even need to check the app very often, but I know that my savings are ticking along nicely in the background.

"I've had more money in my savings then I ever thought I would have and I'm now much more disciplined about dipping into it."

What other money saving apps are there?

There are lots of other money apps that can help you to budget and save.

Most apps are free, but some may give you the option to upgrade your subscription.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said apps are a great way to start saving – but it's important to make sure you don't get sucked into paying for an app that isn't helpful to you.

She said: "It’s definitely worth trying the free app first, and checking whether you can do what you need to without a cost, before being sucked into a monthly subscription.

"Don’t forget, you’re using these features to help you manage your money better – not to spend more of it."

Below, are several money saving apps that work in a similar way to Plum.


You can connect Snoop to your bank account and credit cards.

It gives you a personal robot to help you budget better and you'll be notified about where you can make potential savings, such as by switching a utility provider.

You can also set up alerts so you don't overspend.

Snoop can be downloaded for free onto your smartphone via the Apple or Google Play store.


The online bank's app gives a clear summary of your spending in different categories and rounds up outgoings to the nearest pound to set aside savings.

You can set up spending targets in categories, and a bill tracker flags if your direct debits are higher or lower than usual.

It can be downloaded it from your phone's app store for free.


Emma is another free app that can be downloaded from either the Apple or Google Play store.

You can see all your accounts in one place and track spending in dozens of different categories.

You can set your own budgets, work out how you can save and receive regular bill and spending updates.

It's a good way to get a snapshot of your overall finances and how to manage these best.

Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard is a free app for your phone that gives you spending categories to make budgeting simpler.

They can be seen on your personal dashboard and include things like essential bills and food.

You can set budgets and see what's left each month.

The app will also let you know if you're spending more than you can afford.

Banking apps

Personal finance expert Sarah said it’s well worth checking the budgeting options in your banking app.

"Bank apps can alert you to your spending, and they might round it up each day, which helps you keep a closer eye on your spending as you go along," she said.

"Some of them will divide your spending into categories, so you can see far more clearly where your money is going, and where you need to cut back.

" They may also let you use that to set monthly spending budgets, and will let you know when you’re getting close to the target.

"For those who like to be even more organised, they might let you set up pots, to keep money for things like bills separate to the rest of your account."

The free Natwest app, for example, has a spending and budget tracker that categories your spending and lets you set a budget to help you keep track of your outgoings.

If you bank with Barclays, you can download the free app to get spending alters to help to you stay on top of your balance.

You can also add spending limits and add a cap on how much you can spend using contactless.

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Meanwhile, we spoke to a mum of two who is on track to pay off her mortgage three years early with a supermarket trick.

Plus, we reviewed five budgeting apps that can help you to save thousands.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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