When it comes to saving money for something – big or small – people often believe the best course of action is to try to earn more. Although earning more money is never a bad thing, it’s not necessarily the only way to go about things.
Better money management is often the key to improving your immediate financial situation without having to make too many changes. Sadly, many people don’t really know the full extent of their incomings and outgoings and, therefore, find it difficult to know how to save money.
One of the main reasons for this is that it can seem like a time-consuming task to have to regularly go through your bank accounts to find out how much you can afford to save. However, there’s now a way to automate this process by using an artificial intelligence assistant called Plum.
What is Plum?
Plum is an app, powered by artificial intelligence software that’s cleverly designed to use algorithms to analyse your financial incomings and outgoings. With this data, Plum then helps you to put more money aside by automatically depositing what it decides you can afford to stash away at any given time.
The idea here is to grow your balance automatically without negatively impacting your day to day life.
How does Plum work?
Plum works by connecting to your bank accounts and analysing your financial situation. To do this, the software will look at all your incomings and outgoings – mortgage, rent, shopping bills, subscriptions, daily spending, and so on.
Once Plum has analysed your spending data, it automatically calculates how much money you can afford to put aside into a savings pot without negatively affecting your daily finances or putting you into an overdraft.
This process is repeated every 4-5 days and Plum will make different decisions depending on your circumstances at the time. For example, if you have a higher amount of income one month, Plum may decide that you can put more money aside. Likewise, if you have less income one month, Plum will deposit less money or sometimes won’t save at all.
This is an ongoing process designed to make sure you’re always saving an appropriate amount of money.
What features does Plum have?
On the surface, Plum seems to be a straightforward money management assistant that’s useful for people who want to save money and make it an automated process. Although this is the case, Plum has an extensive range of other features.
Downloading the Plum app will allow you to link your bank accounts and start putting money aside through the software’s algorithm.
The great thing about this is that you can sit back and allow Plum to take control. There’s no need to inform Plum about potential ups and downs within your account because it’s analysing this for itself every few days. Money will be sent to a e-wallet via direct debit and you’re able to withdraw at any time.
The team at Plum know that people have different goals and, as such, may want to build an emergency fund in a wide range of ways. For example, if you’re saving for a large ticket item like a holiday then you might want to save more aggressively than someone who just wants a little extra cash in their account before Christmas.
For this reason, Plum allows you to change your saving mood to direct how much money you’ll be putting away. For example, if you’d like to put a lot of money aside, you could select Beast Mode. This means Plum will aim to stash away as much as possible within safe limits. This won’t affect how often you save.
Plum’s True Balance feature considers regular payments such as rent and bills to give you an adjusted ‘true balance’. This figure is useful because it allows you to get a true reflection of how your finances are looking at any given time in the month.
The diagnostics feature allows premium users to get a more detailed picture of what they’re spending their money on each month. Spending habits are categorised into groups such as shopping, entertainment, transport and so on.
The Pay Days feature is useful for people who tend to burn through wages quickly as soon as pay day arrives. Instead, the Pay Days feature can be set up to set aside extra money as savings when your wages arrive before you get a chance to spend them elsewhere.
This feature is a great new way to add penny saving to your life. When you turn it on, Plum will round up your spending to the nearest pound and send the excess to your savings account. For example, if you buy a coffee for £2.70, Plum will round this up to £3 and send the excess £0.30 to your savings.
Save on Bills
As Plum can see what you’re spending your money on, it can also work out if you’re overspending on your energy bills. If you are, you’ll be notified and will have the ability to switch to a lower cost tariff in the press of a few buttons.
Plum has partnered with lots of different merchants and will offer cashback on purchases made through the app. Examples of merchants include ASOS, Groupon, Carphone Warehouse, and Waterstones.
Ultimately, Plum provides an easy way for people to put money aside money without really realising that they’re doing so. The fact that the algorithm makes sure your savings won’t negatively affect your day to day spending habits means it’s a no-brainer for anyone looking to save money.
The basic moneysaving features are also free to use so it’s worth giving it a try if you’re curious. The fact that you can withdraw your savings at any time is an obvious bonus, but you can manually intervene if you want Plum to behave differently. For example, you can change your saving mood if you want to save more or less and can also tell Plum to stop saving altogether if you no longer wish to use the service.
The Plum app is a money management tool which is FREE to use and can be accessed directly on your smartphone.
Plum works by connecting to your bank accounts and analysing your financial situation. Using this information it offers features like cashback, saving money on your bills, and automatic savings.
Plum is completely free to use and while its free tier offers amazing features like automatic savings there is also Plum Plus for £1 a month or Plus Pro which is £2.99 a month with both offer additional features.
Plum is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.