If you’re looking to keep a tighter leash on your spending and want help saving, then Oval Money may be worth considering. Although it’s not my favourite money app, you can claim a free £5!
Oval Money claims to be a free app that helps everyone be “money wise”. Not only does the app allow you to track your spending, but it also allows you to save money too without lifting a finger.
Like all other money apps, you will need to link the app to your main bank account. If you have other banks accounts or credit cards, you can link these too. You’ll also need to provide a phone number and email address for security purposes.
Signing up wasn’t the easiest process as I was unable to find my nationality. I tried under British, U.K. and English without any luck. In the end, I had to choose Gibraltar. But after reading reviews of the app on iTunes, I discovered I wasn’t the only one.
Is Oval Money safe?
I know safety is a major concern for everybody when it comes to these type of apps. After all, it was only a couple of years ago that banks were telling us never to share our banking details with anybody else – especially 3rd party apps. However, there has been some backtracking on this recently. In fact, many banks seem to be promoting Open Banking now.
Personally, I don’t think our details or accounts are 100% safe with anyone. Only recently, Tesco Bank was fined for failing to protect their customers. The fewer places you have your details stored the better, but I’m not concerned that Oval Money proves more of a risk than any other provider. I wouldn’t have signed up if I did!
How does Oval Money work?
The app will monitor the money going in and out of your accounts. It will provide a breakdown on how much money you earn and where it is spent. This information is provided to you in the form of a rather snazzy pie chart.
The chart is broken down into categories such as Home and Family, Goods, Food and Drink, Leisure, Fees, Transfers and Other.
Now the clever part. You can set the app to save money when you spend n certain categories. For example, you could set the app to save 10% every time you spend money on clothes. At the end of the week, the app will calculate how much you have spent and send 10% of this money to your e-wallet.
So it’s really useful then?
Well, I’m not sure how accurate the app really is. For example, in July my total earnings came to £100 but my expenses came to £11,988.21! Apparently, I spent £1733.29 on food and drink and £2150.99 on my Home and Family. Rather disappointingly, I only spent £13.30 on Wellness (although I have no idea what this is).
If I spent that much in a month, I would quickly run out of money!
Saving with Oval Money
I use other apps, such as Money Dashboard, to keep an eye on my accounts so monitoring wasn’t one of the main features that appealed to me. What really interested me was the option to save money.
Being able to spend and save at the same time seemed like a great idea. I decided not to change any of the money-saving settings to see what would happen.
This was my first mistake. In the space of 14 days, the app took £97.59 from my account. Now, I’m not a wealthy man, so this seemed like a fairly substantial amount.
Never fear I thought, I could adjust my settings, save less and transfer the money back from Oval every month. This was when I met a nasty surprise. To withdraw my money, I would be charged £1. I was shocked by this and looked through all the correspondence I had received and couldn’t find any mention of the fee. I checked the Apple store to find others had been equally surprised by this.
After emailing Oval Money, I received this response.
The link provided by Benedetta does indeed state that there is a fee. However, this was never made clear when I signed up.
As you can see from the comment below from Bernedetta, the £1 charge has been removed, which is a great step. And it’s always good to see a company adapting and listening to customer’s needs.
Is it worth signing up for?
This isn’t my favourite money app, but it’s worth considering. Plus, if you use the code PCVMV8U when you join, we both receive a free £5. And who can say no to free money?
Other alternatives worth looking at are Money Dashboard and Chip. The former allows you to keep an eye on all your accounts and spending, whereas the latter automatically saves from your bank account. But the Chip app also pays you interest, which can be as much as 5% and makes more financial sense.