Looking for a free app that assists in keeping track of your accounts and of your spending? Take a look at this Money Dashboard review to see how good it really is.
Over the last few years, more and more of us no longer stick to just one provider for all our financial products. You may have your current account with one bank but find a better mortgage deal with another. In fact, if you have all your financial accounts with one institution, you’re probably not getting the best deal.
But having current accounts, savings, loans and credit cards with different companies can cause problems – primarily keeping track of your accounts and money. Do you know how much money you have in your bank when you deduct everything you owe? The chances are, you won’t. I certainly didn’t before I signed up for Money Dashboard.
What is Money Dashboard?
Money Dashboard is a place that will allow you to access your financial accounts from just one place.
The website states that it was founded in 2010 by a small team in Edinburgh. The controlling company of Money Dashboard was actually incorporated back in 2006.
By 2015, they had attracted over 100,000 customers to become the UK’s largest Personal Finance Management Provider.
According to their website, they are:
motivated by the mission to help all UK consumers get more happy & successful by empowering them to take control of their finances.
Is Money Dashboard safe to use?
Money Dashboard only has read-only access to your bank account. That means that money can’t be moved in and out of your current account from the app. They also use 256-bit encryption to protect your data.
Open Banking (the linking of various accounts) is now being embraced by the banking community. You can find out more about it here.
How does Money Dashboard make money?
You always have to wonder “what’s in it for them” when you see free apps. However, Money Dashboard makes its money by providing insights and market research to other companies, which helps them to understand consumer trends better. This data is fully anonymised and not traceable to you.
Money Dashboard may also receive commission if you sign-up to a service that they recommend.
Which banks does Money Dashboard work with?
Money Dashboard currently supports the following financial institutions:
- American Express
- Bank of Scotland
- First Direct
- Lloyds Bank
- Marks and Spencer
- Natwest Bank
- Pension Bee
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Starling Bank
- Tesco Bank
- Virgin Money
- Yorkshire Bank
Linking my accounts to Money Dashboard was fairly simple. All you’ll need are your login details for your bank account. Type these into your Money Dashboard app and within a few minutes, your accounts are linked.
In some cases, it’s not quite so simple though…
I attempted several times to link my Santander bank account without success. After a bit of digging, I found I needed to log in through my browser first so that Santander recognised my device. Ignoring my Santander issue, linking my six other providers took around 10 minutes.
So what’s the point?
Once linked to your bank accounts, your app will show you how much money you have and how much you owe in the form of positive and negative balances. But this is just one advantage of having the app.
Your “Dashboard” also has a handy chart that breaks down your spending. Your expenditure is broken down into over 15 categories so you can see where all your money disappears to.
If you withdraw cash, there is an option to tag which category you have spent the money in. You can even attach multiple tags if you have spent on several different things.
You can also compare your current month’s spend to the month before. There is also a filter so you can edit out anything you don’t want or don’t think is important.
The Money Dashboard app also has a budget tracker. You set what you want to budget for, the amount and then you’re able to watch your progress.
Money Dashboard can also predict how much you are due to spend over the coming months. The app looks at your previous bills and then gives you an expected outlay. You can add or delete transactions as you see fit.
The app doesn’t work with all financial providers. The major banks are included, but there are some providers I would like to see added, such as Nutmeg and Fidelity. Skipton Building Society is also missing, and as they are the first to offer the cash Lifetime ISA, I would like to see them added soon. I’m also surprised PayPal can’t be connected to either since so many people use it for online purchases.
If you want to get a completely accurate expected expenditure report each month, you will need to spend some time looking through your listed transactions.
Occasionally, some accounts will require you to re-enter your logging in details, which can be slightly annoying. However, this is due to the bank’s signing in process, rather than the Money Dashboard app itself.
Does Money Dashboard offer a referral scheme?
As you may or may not be aware, many finance apps offer an incentive for you to join. This is often around the £5-£10 mark.
Money Dashboard allows you to refer friends with a gift of 10 shares each. But how much is a share worth? Currently, nothing. But Money Dashboard promises that if the company is sold, you will receive some of the profits if you’re a shareholder.
My Money Dashboard review conclusion
This is an incredibly useful app. It does take a while to get used to and you will need to adjust some settings before everything will be to your liking.
Out of all the budgeting apps I have been using, this is probably the easiest I have found to get to grips with.
The referral scheme isn’t anything to get excited about but I suppose you have to be in to win it.
Sign up using my link below and we both earn 10 shares.
If my Money Dashboard review hasn’t convinced you, why not take a look at my review of the best budgeting and personal finance apps.