Whether I’m dancing around the kitchen while cooking my dinner or walking around my apartment butt naked, becoming a homeowner has changed my life in a number of magical ways. Frustratingly, homeownership has obviously brought with it a series of challenges too. Mostly, financial ones.
Before I bought my own place, I was fortunate enough to live with my parents and pay very little in terms of living costs. The vast majority of my income was squirrelled away into savings accounts in preparation for my home purchase. Now though, it seems like not a day goes by without having some type of bill pushed through the door and my bank balance is being stretched to its absolute limits.
Because of this, I’m having to completely overhaul my budget and pay close attention to every penny. I’ve been using different debit cards for different types of purchase, planning my budget in a spreadsheet, and storing all my receipts in a special box. Technology has played a big role too, and I’m always playing around with different money apps to try and find the ones that work best for me.
So I was excited to discover a brand new money management app recently, me&mymoney. Created by investment platform evestor.co.uk, the app is designed to help people stick to their budget, save for big life milestones and even invest for the future. I’ve been playing around with it for a few days now and so here’s my verdict so far…
Please note that the images included within this post do not give you an accurate picture of my own finances. The screenshots were taken on different days and I played around with the app numerous times between each screenshot before finding the right settings for me.
What does the me&mymoney app do?
me&mymoney is a free money management app that can help you pay off your debt, save for something special, or simply get to grips with where your money is going. You can view your balances across a multitude of current accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and loans.
From the app’s homepage, you can gain a glimpse into how much money you have in your current accounts, how healthy your savings accounts are, the amount you have in credit card debt, and the value of investments you’ve made through evestor.co.uk.
Scroll a little further down and you’ll be able to take a closer look at your accounts. You”ll see exactly how much money you have in a particular account and you’ll be able to compare last month’s spending with your current progress.
How can the app help me manage my budget?
The app allows you to break your budget down into categories just like you would if using a spreadsheet or document.
Once you’ve set your budgets within the app, it deducts your expenses from the relevant categories so you know exactly how much you have left (and if you’ve gone over budget).
The app’s pretty clever and often knows which categories most transactions should fall under, but there may be some that slip through the net. Choosing the category yourself is easy to do and if you want to personalise the app to suit you, you may prefer to do this anyway.
Budgeting during the first few weeks of being a homeowner has been a real challenge. I’ve tried my best to be organised but it’s been difficult to determine exactly how much money I need for certain things. For example:
** It felt a little pointless adding ‘furniture’ to my monthly budget because when I moved into my apartment I already had a lump sum set aside in savings for this purpose. I’m also going through a huge furniture binge right now, but in a few months’ time I probably won’t need any.
**I’ve faced a number of unexpected costs that I didn’t take into account when I last looked at my budget. These include TV aerial installation (£80) and a full set of wheelie bins which the council have charged me for but are yet to actually deliver (£95).
**I still have no idea how much my council tax will be and I don’t know how much to set aside for energy bills.
So at this stage it’s difficult to determine exactly how much my outgoings will be once things have settled down.
Nevertheless, when I found the me&mymoney budgeting section, I figured I may as well make a start on my budget using the information I do have. By keeping track of my money and planning ahead I can make sure I live within my means, stay out of debt, and save for the future.
How can the app help me save for the future?
Now that I’ve ticked a house deposit off my list of things to save for, I’m moving onto other savings goals. For example, I want to grow my emergency savings, overpay my mortgage and save money to travel. In September I’m heading over to Florida for the FinCon money conference, and I need to set money aside for my hotel, flights and expenses. It’s going to be an expensive week!
To prepare for this, I’ve set myself a savings goal within the me&mymoney app.
Once I typed in the amount I wish to save along with the deadline, the app calculated how much I’ll have to save each month in order to reach it. £285.72! Yikes.
Thankfully, I have a couple of side hustles in the pipeline that should make this easier to achieve.
What is your favourite feature?
I particularly like the Tags feature. It’s similar to categories except you can create the tags from scratch and add more than one tag to each transaction. So, if for example you went out for a meal, you might wish to add a ‘Food’ tag and a ‘Socialising’ tag.
Here’s what my Tags section looked like after some tinkering with the app. I’ve since tweaked it further, but this should give you an idea of how it can look.
How secure is the app?
The app asks for a few personal details along with your online banking login information. You can pick and choose which accounts to add to the app and you can leave some out if you wish.
When you hand over your login details, you’re only giving the app the go-ahead to display the information provided by your bank. The app cannot touch your money and no transactions can be made via the app.
The app doesn’t store your online banking details and instead these logins are held securely by a trusted partner.
256-bit TLS Encryption is used in all of the app’s online communications and this is the same level of security used by high street banks.
If you’d like to add an extra layer of security, you can activate the Pin Entry Authentication option within the app’s settings. This takes seconds to do and if your phone was to fall into the wrong hands, this pin can prevent them from viewing your bank account information. A thief wouldn’t be able to make any payments or transactions from your app anyway, but adding a pin will stop them from seeing how much is in your accounts.
Can you use me&mymoney alongside other money management apps?
With so many personal finance apps available, one problem I’ve encountered over the last couple of years is that it can sometimes be tricky to make the most of several different money apps at once. You can download as many money apps as you like, but can you get them to work together harmoniously? It’s a challenge.
For example, I used my Starling Bank card throughout December to track how much I spent on furniture and home decor. I used my other bank accounts for all other expenses. However, since it’s not currently possible to add your Starling Bank details to the me&mymoney app, I was left scratching my head and wondering how I could track all the money I’d spent in Ikea within this new app.
Thankfully, I found a solution! It occurred to me that since all the money I placed in my Starling Bank account had come from other current accounts that could be connected to me&mymoney, I could track it that way by tagging these transactions with ‘Furniture’. Easy peasy!
If you’re wondering if me&mymoney will work alongside other apps, it’s all about playing around with it and finding a system that works for you.
Adding a category or tag to a transaction is really quick and easy to do, but if you want to alter multiple transactions, it can take quite a while to work through them all individually. However, the good news is that me&mymoney have already designed a multiple tagging feature which will enable you to select multiple transactions at once before tagging. The update should be live within the next few months.
Another thing I’d love to see evestor.co.uk tweak is the types of accounts you can add to the Savings section. I have a savings account with Halifax, but I don’t really use it and I prefer to put my savings in my Tesco Bank current account because it offers a higher interest rate. However, since the app automatically adds my Tesco Bank account to the current account section, any money I put in there won’t be deducted from my savings goal.
Thankfully, this is another thing that evestor.co.uk plans to change. The team is working on a feature that allows people to change their account type.
What’s your verdict?
me&mymoney really is a great app and I can see it becoming extremely popular as it begins to gain more publicity.
One of its best features is the fact it lets you manage everything all in one place – from your income and debt repayments to savings and evestor investments.
It’s completely free to use and if you’ve been thinking of using a money management app to control your budget, save for the future, track debt repayments, or even invest, I’d definitely recommend looking into me&mymoney to see if it works for you.
You can learn more here and download the app on iTunes or Google Play.
This post was created in collaboration with evestor.co.uk, but as always, all opinions shared are my own.
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