The ability to budget money is a key part of managing personal finances.

Whatever method you choose, the aim is to plan for anticipated bills and control spending to maximise the amount of money you can save.

Traditionally, if you wanted to budget your spending and savings, you might have used an envelope system to allocate money between budget items. It’s a simple/intuitive technique, but also laborious and time-consuming!

If you want to track your spending and get to grips with your budget, without counting through piles of cash, a budgeting app like Plum can help.

What is the Plum Spend Tracker?

The new Plum Spend Tracker is an automated tool that helps customers budget their spending and savings by giving them a full picture of their monthly outgoings across all their bank accounts and credit cards.

The automatic spending tracker will group a customer’s transactions into categories, allowing them to see their total spending e.g. for entertainment, takeaways or travel, and track any trends over time.

This new feature is just part of our redesigned Spend tab, which also includes other intelligent insights like the Bill Tracker (that automatically detects any regular payments and keeps track of those that are already paid or still due within the current month).

Plum Product Manager, Lia Papageorgiou, said: “Our new Spend Tracker is the ideal budgeting partner for 2024. High inflation is still a significant factor in the UK economy at this time, driving up the cost of everyday consumer goods… So it’s important to make sure every penny counts! 

A real-time breakdown of spending can be helpful for anyone keen to remove the pain from the process of creating and sticking to a budget.

When coupled with our redesigned Spend tab, customers could be in a far better position to understand their finances and make informed decisions about their spending and saving. This reflects Plum’s mission to maximise wealth for our customers.”

How does the Spend Tracker work?

When you link your bank accounts and credit cards, Plum uses Open Banking to give you a complete overview of all your finances.

The Spend Tracker can then automatically consolidate transactions into different categories for analysis. There are 18 categories in total, including Transfers, Bills/Utilities, Shopping, Groceries, Transport, Eating out, Takeaways, Entertainment, Travel and Insurance.

To avoid distorting the overall picture, we exclude transactions not related to actual spending e.g. transactions between linked accounts.

Who can use the Spend Tracker?

The Plum Spend Tracker is currently available for all UK customers using both iOS (Apple) and Android devices.

The feature will be released for customers across the EU later in 2024.

Customers using either the Basic (free) version of Plum or Plum Pro can see their total spending from linked accounts and a breakdown of the top categories. Ultra and Premium tier subscribers in the UK will be able to view the full breakdown of their spending by category over time.

How else can Plum help me budget and manage spending?

Whether you’re just looking for an extra hand to manage your money, or your ambition is to fully automate your budget, Plum has you covered!

You can start by setting up simple automations like the Weekly Depositor or Pay Days to transfer your savings or spending money to a separate account.

Or, to boost the amount you set aside, you can consider using other auto-deposit rules like our AI algorithm (available for all customers), the 52 Week Challenge and Rainy Days (both included with a Pro subscription or above) or the Naughty Rule and 1p Challenge (which are exclusive for Ultra and Premium subscribers only).

To place a cap on the amount you have available to spend, Ultra and Premium subscribers can order their free Plum Card, which can be loaded with money directly from their Plum account or linked bank.

Finally, if you’re working towards multiple goals (e.g. a house deposit and holiday spending money), you can use Plum’s Splitter to automatically divide your deposits between different savings pockets.

T&Cs apply. Plum does not offer financial or any other form of advice. Individuals should make their own decisions or seek independent advice.

To learn more about budgeting with Plum you can check out our website.


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