2020: The Battle of the Budgeters

Budgeting 2020

In such uncertain times, it is more important than ever to be conscious of how much you spend and what you are spending on. This is highlighted through recent figures suggesting that the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has led to the British economy shrinking in record numbers, by more than 20% in April alone The Guardian article. With this in mind, it can be useful to use one of the many financial apps that each claim to be the fairy godmother to making your saving dreams come true.

However, here lies the problem: which app is the right one for you? 

GOSAVEX

Though only being in the alpha phase of their app, it does not stop them from being one of the most appealing financial apps available to young people due to their huge offering.

Usability 5/5 – Is there a financial app without cool, modern designs and easy navigation? It would not appear so, since Gosavex follows the trend of cool colour schemes and a minimalistic approach that provides a warm welcome into the world of saving your dough. They have stuck to only 3 main pages with easy to understand titles, so you can avoid that outer space-like financial jargon and use the app in comfort. They also have a demo-mode which lets you see how the app would work when you have your bank account synced without having to actually do so!

Safety 4/5 – Missing out on full marks due to the extra measures of their competitors, Gosavex still has numerous measures in place to ensure your details and money are safe. With email verification, a password, unique code, and 256- bit encryption, they have plenty of steps to ensure your account is created securely. Unique to this review, Gosavex also makes a pledge on their website to never sell or rent your information to anyone – meaning no annoying third-party emails or phone calls for you!

Features 5/5 – You better get comfortable and grab a snack, because Gosavex has quite the variety of features to accommodate all of your digital finance needs. By far the most comprehensive budgeting app on our list, they offer plenty of unique abilities such as showing where you spend on a heat map and provide an easily accessible, printable, report summary, containing 2 years of your financial behaviour. Their most recent feature allows a safe and convenient way of loaning up to £2000 to family and friends. It includes plenty of messaging templates suggesting how to pop the question when you’re asking Mum for help with rent and even an option of selecting an interest rate to sweeten the deal! 

If you are interested in learning more about what Gosavex could offer you, download the app here: https://gosavex.com.

OVAL

With over 350,000 users, you may have already heard about Oval and what they have to offer. As a financial app with a variety of capabilities, they have consolidated their position in the market as a reputable option. 

Usability 4/5 – Oval is a modern and well signposted app on the whole, and didn’t appear to have any bugs or glitches present. However, with all of the diverse features they provide some users may find it hard to navigate at first. This is understandable with the nature of the app though, and after some time getting used to where things are it should not be an issue.

Safety 3.5/5 – It is without doubt that in terms of creating an account, Oval is the Fort Knox of financial apps. Requiring verification codes from email and phone, voice and face recognition plus scanning a form of ID just to get started on the app, you are sure to have burned some calories by the time you can start saving. In addition, they use SSL encryption to protect your connections and take measures to ensure that no-one has direct access to your account. Though this sounds like your money is untouchable, some reviews on sites such as Trustpilot suggest that certain customers have been the victims of fraud through the use of the app, meaning points deducted.

Features 5/5 – Fancy using the money you have saved to become the next Wolf of Wall Street? Oval is the app for you, offering investment opportunities with easily defined levels of risk that could seriously bulk up your account. On top of allowing you to monitor your spending, saving and budgeting habits, Oval’s virtual coach sets you fun missions to help you save. Finally, Oval are unique on the list in offering their own debit card service through Oval Pay, which includes state-of-the-art financial technology that allows you to accumulate savings with every transaction.

YOLT

Considering Yolt has over 1 million registered users, it is no surprise that they feature on the list.

Usability 4.5/5 – As you start the app, some really informative pop ups appear to simply describe what each menu will provide when you enter, acting as a cool introduction to the user. In general, the app has a really sleek design with an easy to navigate setup.

Safety 4.5/5 – With phone and email verification necessary and a need to create your own password and pin, Yolt finds a happy middle ground in the level of security processes we have found in these apps. The company is a venture from Dutch multinational banking & financial services corporation ING, so they use bank level security measures ranging from top grade encryption to identity verification. Easy to set up and sufficient measures to make you sleep soundly at night with the confidence everything is as it should be.

Features 5/5 – In summary, Yolt lets you do pretty much everything you could want when it comes to a financial app. From seeing categorized transactions, budgeting and tracking your spending to managing your subscriptions – Yolt is a jack of all trades. Yolt allows you to split bills with friends, and transfer money between loved ones as long as they have an account with most popular banks- what’s not to like?

Cleo

Finally, we have Cleo, who are probably the most unique app in market at the moment. They use an AI-powered chatbox as a replacement for your normal banking app, who you can ask questions and create dialogue to learn more about your saving and spending. 

Usability 5/5 – The app makes you feel comfortable straight away with the conversational theme that the app uses. Once you sign up, you can maintain conversation with Cleo through Facebook or Whatsapp, just like asking your friend how much you have saved this month! 

Safety 5/5 – Another financial app that seems to have gotten their safety measures nailed down. 256-bit encryption, email verification and read only access are features within the industry known to be reliable, they are so confident in this that they even offer an £85,000 cover on your account. It doesn’t seem like they have had to use this measure much however, as they have an excellent 9.6/10 rating on Trustpilot!

Features 3.5/5 – Cleo lets you keep track of your daily, weekly or monthly spending whilst viewing your spending habits in simply categorized charts. For beginners to saving and particularly those who are text-savvy, it really is a great app that helps you start thinking about the subject. However, it must be said that it is a far more simplistic approach to the others on the list, so if you are looking for something with a little more oomph this may not be the app for you! 

In conclusion, here are the scores on the doors:

NameScore
Gosavex14/15
Yolt14/15
Cleo13.5/15
Oval12/15

It appears we have a tie! Although, you know the specifics of each app and what it can offer you, so it may come down to personal preference on which is the best for you – happy saving!

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