Last month, the Refined Currency team ran our first ‘Let’s Talk Money’ forum of 2018 discussing money in almost all its entirety. Those honest and insightful conversations with people looking to make their money work better for them and a little inspiration from a fellow contributor, Josy, provide the inspiration for this post. Here’s a round up of apps and websites I am down for in January.
From an Android user (all Android errrything), Spendee has been one of my best money budgeting apps. I use the free version where I manually input my spending and I don’t sync it with my bank account because I have trust issues. I prefer the manual input for now as it allows me to keep track of what I am spending money on. It provides a superb overview of where my money is going with beautifully designed, easy to read graphs. So when I see that over 50% of my income goes to food and drink, I know it’s rice and stew until further notice. The interface is beautiful and I can schedule transactions periodically allowing me to track if I can afford certain events or holidays without intervention.
Ratesetter has provided me with a great first impression to investing in peer-to-peer lending platforms. I have invested in Ratesetter for less than a month so my excitement is a little premature. However, setting up my account and depositing my investment via a debit card was quick and easy. I invested into the Rolling Market at a market rate of 3.4%. With my investment, capital and interest are repaid every month and automatically reinvested at the market rate on that day. The good about the rolling market is that you can access your capital at any time with some restrictions; choose to have the interest returned to you every month; or set a new rate at which you want your capital and interest reinvested every month. Moreover, I’m in it for the long run, so I’m going to let it roll on for at least 6 months and re-evaluate then.
The minimum investment is £10 so it’s a great way to get your feet wet. While, Ratesetter is regulated by the FCA, your investment is not covered by the FSCS scheme but by Ratesetter’s Provision Fund so you could end up with less that what you started with. Therefore, proceed with caution.
These two bank accounts have been paramount in getting my money from zero to hero for 2017 so I’m bringing them to 2018. I have both as a current account (I upgraded my Monzo pre-paid mastercard) but I only use Starling at the moment. I prefer the bright colour of the Monzo card but the 0.5% monthly interest Starling provides just about tips the scale (even if it ends up being 2p, the free money is psychological honestly). Starling is brilliant to ensure I stick to my weekly budget. I deposit money into it every Sunday (via a standing order) and use it for all my regular purchases (e.g. lunch, groceries, shopping, petrol) that week. Whatever is left over by the next Sunday goes into my savings and it’s topped up again. If by Wednesday, there isn’t anything left, then again, there’s rice at home.
Deals, discounts and voucher codes
These really aren’t a specific website but I cannot recommend them enough. I recently saved over £50 off a hotel booking from a voucher code I found on the 4th discount site I visited. I was even able to upgrade the room to a suite and pay the same amount. Which is why I urge everyone to check for discount codes before purchasing anything online. It takes a few minutes but could save you £100s. Check our new deals and discounts page dedicated to giving you the latest offers. We will be updating it regularly so keep an eye out!
Exactly a year, I wrote about Qmee. While I like the concept of free money, it can be a bit of a work to earn a substantial amount (however free money is still free money). Qmee is a browser app that rewards you for online searches you already do on Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Bing or Ebay. It provides immediate cash rewards, price comparison deals and vouchers (essentially pennies). Moreover, you can net more money by completing surveys which can take up to 10 minutes to complete to gain 50p. I have it installed so I gain money for searches I do anyways. If I had a much younger sibling who liked to play with my phone, then it may be worth passing my mobile to them to complete those surveys and gain money to buy sweets (might as well start teaching them to work for their money)
Do you know of any apps or websites you would like us to try out? Let us know!
This post was written by Joy
Glossary of terms
Capital – defined as financial assets or financial value of assets, so in this case, money, dosh or dough that has been deposited
FCA – the big bosses that regulate the conduct of financial firms in the UK
FSCS scheme – where you can be compensated by up to £85,000 should the company go bust