11 Effective Budgeting Apps for Students

Jamie Moroney on 21 March 2019
11 Effective Budgeting Apps for Students

Saving your money just got a whole lot easier with our rundown of the best budgeting apps for students.

Managing your money can be hard, university is probably the first time you’ve had control over such a large sum of money. Knowing how to use it properly might not be something you have really thought about before and setting a budget can be tricky. Luckily there are some absolutely brilliant apps out there which help with budgeting to leave you with a bit more in your pocket at the end of every month.

What is Open Banking?

With the exception of Monzo, all the apps in this article use Open Banking to help you budget. Open Banking is a relatively new development that basically means banks have to supply your financial data to third parties if you ask them to. This might sound scary, and sharing your information in too many places isn’t recommended but all the apps we have listed have the same level of security protecting your financial information as your bank does, so trust us when we say, it’s completely safe.

So without further ado, let’s have a run through some of our picks for some of the best budgeting apps on the market right now:


Source: Yolt

Absolutely packed full of features, this is probably the most comprehensive budgeting app on the market. The diverse range of categories available to you when setting out budgets is really helpful for visualising how much you spend and on what. It also allows you to make spending notes so you don’t forget what that random £9 going out of your account was spent on.

Money Dashboard

Source: Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard is really useful if you have money in more than one account as it gathers all the data from your various different accounts and gives you an overall picture of the state of your finances. The built in budget planner does most of the leg work for you too this is quite a good app if you have no idea where to start with budgeting.


Source: Cleo

Classed as a digital financial assistant. Cleo is the most interactive app on the list, it essentially works through Facebook messenger and it’s 24-hour access allows you to ask questions about your budget and receive instant responses from a chatbot.


Source: Chip

Chip looks at your savings and automatically works out how much you can save and does it for you. They also offer incentives for getting your friends to sign up, by inviting someone to join Chip when they sign up you both get an extra 1% interest on any savings you make. You can invite up to 5 friends which makes 5% interest on your savings, which will probably be better than the interest in your current account.


screenshots of squirrel
Source: Squirrel

One of the best for apps for saving, owned by Barclays, Squirrel puts money aside in savings pots and keeps it out of sight and out of mind. It also offers the ability to set up things like a weekly or monthly allowance, which means every Monday can feel like a payday!


Source: Monzo

Not specifically a budgeting app but Monzo has many of the same features as the apps in this list. Plus, it has the added bonus of already being a bank (our #1 student bank in fact!), so you don’t need an extra app just for budgeting. Things like savings pots and instant notifications on spending make it easier than ever to track your spending and budget accordingly. Also creating a shared tab makes it incredibly straightforward to work out how much people owe you Plus the coral card is really cool.


screenshots of the digital bank account app Curve
Source: Curve

Curve isn't quite a bank but a digital current account, complete with a super cool card and an app that connects all your accounts so gives your real-time updates on your spending as well as not charging fees for spending abroad. Also a great option if you are an international student and wanted a UK account while you are studying here.


Source: mySupermarket

This isn’t quite as broad as the other apps, but what it does do well is check if you are spending too much on your weekly food shop. By comparing the prices across a range of supermarkets they claim to save you 30% on the price of your shop every time. You just create your normal shopping list and then the app works out which shop would give you the cheapest basket at the end!


Source: Splitwise

Great for shared expenses, if you regularly split bills on food, energy and broadband, this could be the app for you. The guys at Splitwise claim to be the fairness experts and ensure that IOUs are made simpler, we agree and this app could save a fair few arguments!


Source: Moneybox

A really simple and easy-to-use investment app, works by rounding up transactions and investing the spare change into a share portfolio, where your money will be invested in things like Netflix, Disney and Apple. It's also useful if you make lots of small purchases, like those cups of coffee to help get you through your 9am lectures! They all add up and you'll save a tonne in no time at all.


screenshot of the budgeting app Bean
Source: bean

Bean checks through all of your accounts and tracks your regular payments, like subscriptions and household bills, alerting you when you could make a saving or let them cancel the subscription altogether! Leaving you to spend more time (and money) on the things you want!

Jamie Moroney
Jamie Moroney on 21 March 2019