Money savvy tools to protect you from the easter bounce and beyond
The Easter bounce is not a myth, with 2017 proving just that. UK retailers and restaurants have enjoyed consumers splashing the cash this weekend, with stats showing a rise versus last year being largely attributed to an increase in online shopping and casual dining. The holidays can have a positive impact on struggling high street shops, retail parks, theme parks, restaurants, museums, bars, zoos...you name it. This year is no different and fat cat executives across the UK will be praying for a sugar rush to their bottom line - with the perfect concoction of milder British weather and the exquisite timing of national pay day at their disposal.
High street chains attempted to lure in customers by offering over 50% discounts on certain clothing ranges, whilst Barclaycard claim in-store sales rose by 14% year-on-year on Good Friday and Saturday. No surprise here, however, online retailers saw a rise in purchase volumes by around 26% versus last year. The credit card provider also believe 4 in 10 Brits booked casual meals out this weekend, with such luxuries coming at a cost to the 'experience' driven millennial. Easter is often an overlooked event in the spending calendar and it can be a catalyst to a month of dipping into the red. The 'bounce' gives the high street a short-term financial boost at the expense of our bank balance. The solution? Having the correct tools to help you budget, track your spending and save for all events in the 2017 calendar. Here are 3 tech savvy companies looking to do just that:
They describe themselves as the savings butler that we have all been waiting for. By linking your bank account to the app, Plum provides you visibility and the ability to track your spending, whilst they get to work and analyse your everyday transactions. What is benefit of the latter? It helps them understand how you manage your money, so they can frequently transfer a calculated sum of cash automatically to your Plum savings pot. The aim is to make saving an automated hassle-free process. This pot of savings can even be invested, with their slogan claiming you can earn 3% by investing the cash on RateSetter (a peer-to-peer lending platform - click here for my recent blog post on what this actually means). As always, with any investment....your capital is at risk!
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Many of us have several bank accounts scattered everywhere, making tracking your spending a logistical and practical nightmare. This is the exact problem Money dashboard are attempting to solve. This company gives you the ability to view all of your balances across different bank accounts under one roof. Once you have lined each account to Money Dashboard, all of your transactions are automatically grouped and categorised. Whether it’s your energy bill or eating out, the transparency on how, when and where you are spending your cash allows you to make better financial decisions all year round.
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This online bank is challenging the traditional incumbents and leading the digital wave of institutions trying to make young people think differently about money management. Currently there are zero setup or usage fees and their contactless MasterCard is really handy for the modern day millennial. Get instant spending notifications via their app, add receipts to your purchases, get real-time balance info and manage your budget and goals as you wish. You can even use this pre-paid card when you take your trip abroad this summer! Earlier this month Monzo announced they were officially a fully authorised, unrestricted bank. Given they are only offering a beta product for the moment, this solution may not be for everyone...yet!
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In the digital age we live in, there are so many tools we can use to make us more money savvy! Personal finance apps are popping up everywhere we look and they all claim to do one thing - help us manage our money more effectively. In reality, outside of the millennial target market, many still feel more comfortable and secure with established players. This doesn't mean that you can't use tech to your advantage - the large UK banks all have their own apps for banking on the go, ensuring us can throw away the notepad and pen for good!