If you’re looking for a UK budgeting app, you’re in luck. There are probably more platforms dedicated to helping you track personal finances than ever before. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to choose between them!
Thankfully, Money Dashboard is emerging as one of the biggest and most promising names in personal finance tracking. With the year we’ve all had, it’s safe to say plenty of us could use a bit of a helping hand when it comes to getting our finances under control.
In this Money Dashboard review, I’ll take a look at what the app offers you in terms of finance tracking, how it could help you develop better financial habits, and why it might be the best app for budgeting in 2021.
What is Money Dashboard?
Money Dashboard has been around for longer than many people think. Founded back in 2010, it started life as a desktop platform, and quickly became a trailblazer in personal finance tracking. This is back in an age before open banking apps and a plethora of money management apps!
Since that time, and beyond the open banking boom of the late 2010s, Money Dashboard has continued to refine itself and to offer some of the most secure personal finance management services available. They even led the way by offering a mobile-first money management service, meaning that Money Dashboard users had the chance to explore their finances via the smaller screen before many other rivals or even banks.
The original Money Dashboard is now known as the ‘classic mode’, with Money Dashboard Neon being the current standard. This version of the app is a little more stripped-down and scaled-back than the original, but it still offers a highly informative and usable interface.
Ultimately, Money Dashboard lets gives you an overall picture of your finances by allowing you to track money from multiple accounts, all in one app location. You can even streamline and organise what you spend, when, and why.
If you don’t have the time to read my full Money Dashboard review right now, here are a few key facts you should know about before starting to use the software.
- Money Dashboard is free to download, sign up for and use.
- You can use the app across iOS and Android devices. There’s also a desktop version.
- Money Dashboard lets you add cards and bank accounts.
- You can also add investment accounts from the likes of Nutmeg and Wealthify.
- You can explore spending habits and plan ahead for big payments.
- You can keep track of bills and add tags and categories to specific payments.
- Money Dashboard is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
- The app offers 256-bit encryption, so all your data is safe and secure.
How Does Money Dashboard Work?
Money Dashboard allows you to attach and bring together all of your spending sources and financial platforms into one place. This means that, after a quick sign-up process, you can add bank accounts, credit cards and even investment accounts such as pensions and ISAs.
You can then start setting yourself goals and tracking so that you know what you’re saving for, and so you can see where your money is going. It’s worth noting that you can’t actively make transactions from the app, it is purely for organisational purposes.
Money Dashboard allows you to set up custom tags and categories, too. This means you can arrange your spending tracking however you wish. It’s also a great way to plan for the future, as you can see your income streams and can plan for what you are likely to spend over the weeks and months to come.
Is It Safe to Use Money Dashboard?
Yes. Money Dashboard is immensely secure, offering industry-grade security at 256-bit encryption. This means your data is completely safe, and it’s actually to a similar standard you’d expect from your existing banking apps.
Therefore, you can comfortably track and organise your money via Money Dashboard without fear of losing anything sensitive. As mentioned, the app has no way for you to actually spend or transfer cash, either, so there’s no need to worry about anything going astray, or you losing access to anything particularly sensitive.
The app and service is also backed by the FCA, the Financial Conduct Authority. Therefore, should anything happen to the brand, you have some assurance.
Money Dashboard Features
Let’s take a quick look and breakdown the main features and perks Money Dashboard has to offer:
Bank Account and Credit Card Linking
Set up details for all your bank accounts via the app. That includes savings accounts and standard current accounts, too. Don’t forget that you can also link your credit cards through the platform, allowing for you to track personal finances on borrowing as well as on available cash.
Investment Account Linking
What I really like about Money Dashboard is the fact that it now allows you to bring investment and pension accounts on board, too. This means that you can link up services such as those from Pensionbee, Wealthify and Nutmeg and actively manage your future wealth. I’ve also been advised that there are a number of additional investment platforms in the pipeline that will be available to link to your Money Dashboard.
I really think this transforms the app from a standard budgeting tracker into more of a net worth tracker by giving you the full picture of all your financial accounts in one place. It’s a major plus and one of the best enhancements the service has adopted over its years of growth.
Categories and Tags
Check your spending and set up tags and categories for different types of expenses. For example, you could categorise household bills, entertainment expenses, travel costs and more into their own categories.
This could help you see where your money is going from month to month in a clearer pattern, allowing for less muddling and compounding of cash seemingly flooding out of your accounts.
Manage Your Bills
Bills, naturally, are likely to be the biggest drains on our bank accounts. Therefore, it’s little wonder why the bill management side of the app is so popular. You can take a look at projections for your balance after your direct debits finish processing.
You’ll also be able to track any recurring subscriptions you have in place, whether you have credit agreements set up or recurring standing orders.
One of the major pluses of this software is the fact that you can tailor and customise it to your own ends. There’s no need for you to stick to the same template or shell! Set up a payday or two on the app and you can let Money Dashboard know when you’re likely to see cash coming into your bank(s).
Planning ahead financially is one of the most difficult parts of budgeting full stop, but thankfully, Money Dashboard offers a lot of support in this regard.
You can set yourself clear targets and plans based on ideal savings or investment totals, and the app will help you calculate the best routes forward. Therefore, you no longer have to do much of the money crunching yourself.
The big selling point of this finance tracking app is, of course, that you don’t have to leap from app to app or program to program. If you’re like me, you may have two or three apps on the go to manage current income, savings and investments.
Therefore, the fact that you can seamlessly bring everything together here is a major plus. There are also more than 40 bank providers and services which you can congregate into the app, meaning it’s highly likely your own bank accounts will already get coverage under the scheme.
As it’s an app, Money Dashboard can deliver banner alerts and notifications to your tablet or smartphone regarding expenditure, your latest money charts, and more besides. If you prefer to receive texts, you can – as there is an SMS system in place.
Essentially, it’s rather like having an accountant in your pocket – letting you know when to check your money and what you have left available.
Is Money Dashboard Free?
Yes – right now, Money Dashboard is completely free. That’s likely to be a big plus for lots of people – particularly as you’re going to be using the app to help get better control over your money in the first place!
However, the app and its owners have to make money somehow, and thankfully, they are refreshingly upfront with this side of things.
Money Dashboard makes money through cross-advertising and market insight. This means that they will take anonymous data from its users and tailor advertising and deals to you they may feel are ideal for your circumstances. For example, they may offer you loans or credit cards that appeal to your specific financial profile.
This is something that some people or prospective users may not be too sure about, meaning it is always worth consulting the full terms and conditions before you get started.
The Verdict: Is It Any Good?
As a past and current user of Money Dashboard I have to say I’m really impressed with the latest version. The user interface is very slick on both desktop and app. The alerts system is great and the custom categories and tagging coupled with the projected balance chart make it a genuinely useful tool that I continue to use on a regular basis. The option to now add investment accounts is also a real game changer for me.
If you are looking for a complete budgeting tool and personal finance tracker then I would highly recommend taking a look at Money Dashboard.
Alternatives to Money Dashboard
There are also several alternatives to Money Dashboard out there which offer slightly different services. Of course, the downside is that other competitors haven’t been in the game anywhere near as long as Money Dashboard has!
Popular choices include YOLT, which continues to pick up rave consumer reviews, as well as EMMA and YNAB. There are slight differences in how you can track and organise your money across all of these platforms, so make sure to read a few reviews and to see what the general verdict is on each.