Money Dashboard is a free app that assists in keeping track of your accounts and of your spending. But how good is it really?
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 to Money Dashboard.
Linking my accounts to Money Dashboard was fairly simple. Generally, 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 all linked 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 to 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.
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.
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.
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.
Any security issues?
You, of course, have to enter your bank details into a 3rd party app. However, Money Dashboard has been operating since 2011 without any security issues I’m aware of. And don’t be too concerned if your phone should fall into the hands of somebody else. The app only shows your balance, so a thief will only know how much money you waste on takeaways and won’t be able to empty your account.
Open Banking (the linking of various accounts) is now being embraced by the banking community. You can find out more about it here.
Is Money Dashboard worth signing up for?
This depends. Initially, I loved the app as it gave me an insight into the total money I had (or didn’t). However, I soon realised that as I constantly moved money around my accounts to take advantage of bonuses (such as the Halifax Reward account) I already had a good idea. And as I have an iPhone, I can log into those accounts to check balances using my fingerprint in seconds. I used the app less and less over the months until I finally deleted it.
But, if you’re not quite as organised as me, it’s certainly worth checking this app out.
Or, take a look at the Chip app which uses technology to help you save.