The concept of ‘financial freedom’ has attracted a lot of interest over the past few years. It feels liberating to buy rounds for friends with the quiet response: “This one’s on me.” But it’s become clear that many of us will need to start monitoring our income and spending as inflation rises in the UK.

The thought of monitoring my spending struck me with fear especially when I saw my flatmates mammoth spreadsheet tracking every penny. But soon I noticed the multitude of budgeting apps that make personal finance much simpler. They quelled my anxieties. And could save me £££ too.

These are some of the best.

1. Nous

Nous is an app that helps you better understand your changing household bills. This is particularly useful at the moment following the announcement that Ofgem would be raising the household energy price cap by 80%. But also if our new prime minister decides to act on that.

New Nous users need only connect their open banking account through the app to start the process. Nous will then evaluate your bills and forecast their future changes. You can even add other members of your household to improve the accuracy of the forecasts.

2. Snoop

Snoop is another app that helps you track bills. But it also tracks your other spending too. It will then suggest ways for you to reduce certain bills like mobile service providers in line with current offers from other providers.

Snoop’s various free functions make it a brilliant option for people who want to monitor their spending across multiple accounts on a single platform. There is a premium version (only £3.99) that enables enhanced functions like unlimited custom spending categories.

There are many other similar apps out there. But Snoop provides some of the best functions on its free membership level. All you need to do is connect the bank accounts you want to track through the app.

3. MoneySavingExpert

There’s a good chance you’ll already know about MSE. And if not, you might have heard of Martin Lewis, MSE’s founder. But it always surprises me to find out how few people I know use the website. It’s just released a new app too, and that's why it makes our best budgeting apps list.

The new app, called MoneySavingExpert, helps people access MSE content through an easier format. The content is all related to reducing bills and making more of your money available for the spending you care about. It provides invaluable advice about managing personal finances during the current cost-of-living crisis.

4. Loop

You might have once deemed energy bills a ‘low priority’ if you live alone or in a house share. But there’s a good chance that, wherever you live, you’re thinking about them now. If you only download one budgeting app, we suggest it's this one.

Loop’s app helps you track your household energy usage. It works by connecting with your smart meter, which, if you don’t have one, energy providers often offer to install for free. The app then offers energy-saving insights based on the data.

Loop claims that it helps users reduce their electricity usage by 10% on average. And the app is free, so it really is an easy decision to make.

5. Moneyhub

Moneyhub works somewhat like Snoop. It tracks your spending and bills across multiple accounts to provide detailed analysis about where you spend your money. This can help you better understand your finances and reduce costs where possible.

Moneyhub’s principal difference is its goals-based approach. You can use it to set specific goals across multiple categories to track your status as a month progresses. It makes personal finance a lot easier to keep track of.

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