Money Dashboard Review: Top UK Budgeting App? (2021)

Money Dashboard is a personal budgeting tool that’s available on desktop and mobile app. It was founded in Edinburgh in the UK in 2010 and now has over half a million users.

Money Dashboard Review

They have helped pioneer the personal finance and budgeting industry, which in 2018 saw the introduction of open banking which allows secure connections to banks via secure APIs. Previously data had to be collected by “screen-scraping” where you had to share login details which understandably made some users a bit nervous. However, now open banking allows a secure connection without sharing any personal details.

How Does Money Dashboard Work?

Money Dashboard Neon is the newly released mobile app that lets you manage all your finances in one place. The app allows you to connect your different financial accounts, such as bank accounts, savings account, credit cards and investment accounts.

Once connected you can automatically sync all of your data into once place quickly to review your finances and help you manage your money more effectively. Each transaction is also automatically categorised based on predictions which you can also manually change.

How to Set Up a Money Dashboard Account?

To get started you’ll need to download the Money Dashboard app from either the Google Play Store for Android or the Apple Store for iOS. Once you’ve downloaded the App you’ll be asked to set up your account with the usual name, email address and password request.

However, you’ll also be asked the primary reason for joining Money Dashboard and be presented with a number of options such as buying a house, reducing debt or saving for a holiday. This is because Money Dashboard earns money by anonymising your data and selling it to 3rd parties to help with their marketing. Although on the plus side, this does mean the app is free with a number of features available that are premium in other apps.

How to Budget within the App?

When you’ve set up your account and connected your accounts, your data should be automatically synced into the app and all of your transactions sorted into categories.

Money Dashboard seems far more intuitive when it comes to categorising your transactions with it getting it right most of the time. This could be due to being one of the oldest companies in the personal budgeting space so they’ve had more time to perfect their technology.

If any aren’t categorised correct, you can simple click on that transaction and modify the category. Money Dashboard will then learn this change and use it when trying to categorise any future transactions so should help save you time going forward.

Now you’re ready to set up some budgets. There are 2 ways to set up a budget, at an overall level and by individual category with both being an important way to manage your finances at different levels.

Overall Budget

To set an overall budget, go to ‘Overview’, ‘Budgets’ and then select ‘Create a Budget’. Then you can click on ‘Select all’ then ‘Continue’ and the app with calculate the average for each category and give you a budget total. You can now edit this budget total to be anything you wish, ideally aligning it with your overall spending or saving goals.

Category Budget

To set a budget specific to a category, you need to follow the same path going to ‘Overview’, ‘Budgets’ and then select ‘Create a Budget’. Although now instead of clicking ‘Select all’, you click into an individual category, then click ‘Continue’. The app will then calculate an estimate based on your previous spend in that category, although you can modify this figure to be anything you wish.

This does take more time that just setting the overall budget, although is definitely worth it as will give you complete visibility on where your money is going and allow you to take any appropriate action.

If you want more help with budgeting, check out this detailed guide showing exactly how to create a personal budget. This includes how to set goals, where to focus and even how to spend more money on what you truly enjoy whilst still saving!

Set Up Your Pay Cycle

To help with budgeting, Money Dashboard has created a great feature to allow you to change your pay cycle. Most budgeting apps work by calendar month, so the 1st to the 31st of each month.

However, if your income comes into your account on a different date, you may want to review the spend on a different time frame starting from when you’re paid. I know many people that are paid at odd times in the month, such as the 3rd week of the month.

To find this setting, you can click on the 3 lines menu in the top right of the app and then select ‘Paycycle’. This then allows you to select the day you get paid and app will change to revolve around your payment schedule.

Set up Scheduled Payments

To help with forecasting your future spend, you can set up scheduled payments for the recurring payments that you know are going to come out of your account regularly. This can be anything such as rent, insurance, council tax or subscriptions.

The benefit of setting these up is it will quickly allow you to see how much money you have available each month after your fixed expenses have been paid. It’s also a great exercise to spot any recurring payments that aren’t providing you the value you once received and brings them to your attention so you can cancel them, instant savings!

To set up a scheduled payment, go to ‘Overview’, ‘Budgets’ and then select ‘Scheduled Payments’, then click ‘Add Scheduled Payments’. Once you’re here you will be presented with a list of recent transactions where you can select the recurring payments and select their frequency such as weekly, monthly etc. If any stop or are cancelled, they can easily be removed as a scheduled payment.

Money Dashboard Cost (free)

Money Dashboard is free to download and there aren’t any hidden features that will cost you more. The platform makes money by anonymising your data any selling it to advertisers and recommending you 3rd party products and services that you may be interested in.

The recommendations are usually centred around financial products and services like loans and credit cards, so make sure you do your own research to see if they’re a good fit for you.

Is Money Dashboard Safe?

Yes, the platform is safe. It uses bank-level 256-bit encryption to make sure you have a secure connection. They’re also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have ISO 27001 accreditation so they internal processes, systems and security and continually checked to make sure they’re a high standard.

Money Dashboard also makes use of open banking so you don’t have to share any log in details and just allow read-only access. So in the unlikely event anything were to happen the limit level of access means that your money is safe.

Supported Banks

  • Amazon
  • American Express
  • Aqua Card
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclaycard
  • Barclays
  • Burton Card
  • Clydesdale
  • Debenhams Card
  • Dorothy Perkins
  • Evans Card
  • First Direct
  • Fluid Card
  • HSBC
  • Halifax
  • House of Fraser
  • Laura Ashley Card
  • Lloyds Bank
  • MBNA
  • Marbles
  • Marks and spencer
  • Miss Selfridge Card
  • Monzo
  • Nationwide
  • Natwest Bank
  • Nutmeg
  • Opus
  • Outfit Card
  • PensionBee
  • Revolut
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Sainsburys
  • Santander
  • Starling Bank
  • TSB
  • TUI
  • Tesco Bank
  • Topman Card
  • Topshop Card
  • Virgin Money
  • Wallis Card
  • Wealthify
  • WiseAlpha
  • Yorkshire Bank

Here is a list of all the supported banks within Money Dashboard although new ones are continually added all the time. For example, Capital One is listed as coming soon and many more will follow. If you don’t see your bank on the list then you can submit your provider to them directly so they know there’s demand for adding it to the platform.

Adding a Manual Account

If your account isn’t in the list, luckily all is not lost and there is a manual workaround. What’s great about Money Dashboard is they offer this feature for free, whereas many other budgeting services reserve this as a premium paid feature.

To access this feature, go to ‘Accounts’, ‘Add account’ and then select ‘Create offline account’ and follow the instructions.

Money Dashboard Alternatives – Money Dashboard vs Emma vs Yolt

The new Money Dashboard Neon mobile app has recently been released and has significantly improved the platform where previously it only had a desktop-only app. It can now easily compete with both Emma and Yolt in the mobile space, although now there’s also the added bonus it can be used on both desktop and mobile which may be useful to some users.

One distinct advantage is that the platform is free. There are multiple features within the app that come as a premium paid feature in other apps such as custom categories, split transactions and offline accounts.

So depending on your situation, if you are just looking for a free app to manage your money, this could be the one for you.

Money Dashboard Referral – Refer a Friend Bonus

To help encourage growth on the platform, Money Dashboard is currently doing a referral offer where if you refer a friend they award you and your friend with 10 member shares. This means you’ll effectively get a small stake in the business just for signing up and recommending people.

If you want to sign up and get 10 member shares, I’d really appreciate it if you used my link for Money Dashboard.

If you’re already a member, they have a referral section in the app that you can get your unique refer a friend link.

What are Member Shares?

Member Shares are effectively a very small piece of the business and act as a right to a payment when Money Dashboard is bought. They are part of a campaign to help grow the number of users on the platform and have allocated 1 million member shares available to earn as a referral bonus.

For each referral, you are awarded 10 member shares. However, they’re not actually equity shares, so unfortunately don’t pay dividends. The value of the shares fluctuate based on the size of the company, so when Money Dashboard grows, they’re worth more.