This post is in collaboration with Chip
Yes, that 90p is important! I have never been any good at saving, probably because we have always ‘just about’ manage to get to payday on our wages, all the extra money is taken up by house renovations, on top of a mortgage, childcare, treats etc. I made a vow to buy less clothes this year and wanted to focus on putting money aside – we already transfer a bit at the beginning of the month for treats and bills but we never really save. And with the renovations it always feels like a ‘one day in the future’ thing to focus on.
EDIT August 2020 – Chip have started to charge £1 when they help you save over £100 over a 28 day period. This is about to go up to £1.50 in October 2020.
So I signed up to the Chip app via my phone in January (new year: new finances cliche, anyone?!). You join with your bank account and it uses a super high-tech algorithm to put aside money from your account into the app (Chip is FCA protected). The clever bit is that through the algorithm, it only takes an amount that it works out you can ‘afford’ to put aside (it compares millions of transactions to work this out), some days it might be £20, some days it might be £2.40.
For me, it takes the ‘thought’ of saving out of the equation, the app takes the money away automatically (but pre warns you via email and the app, so you can cancel the ‘save’ at any time). It also keeps the money safe but you are free to withdraw the money whenever. If you feel you need the £22.40 back that they chipped away last week? Just withdraw it the same working day.
And the images and gifs are quite hilarious, too.
I really like their light-hearted approach to money, as it shouldn’t be stressful or a chore. But it is important to make your money work for you, and through using Chip I realised how much it was possible to save when I thought, in fact, it was impossible. I even encouraged Chris to download the app and he loves it, too!
So when Chip asked if I’d think about doing a little money diary for them, I knew it’d encourage me to save even more, especially over a period of intense lockdown. Chip actually found that their users and downloads increased during coronavirus as people were thinking more about saving money and having a safety net, which is always a good thing!
So I wrote down a little diary from April – June 2020 of my savings. Bearing in mind we weren’t paying for nursery/holidays/dinners out but these were replaced with renovation costs, excessive food shops as well as unexpected roof leaks and household costs. We did a mortgage holiday but this money went straight into building work.
Here’s how I managed to put aside £774.90 in three months (which went straight into our savings AKA the building fund!).
APRIL – Chip saves
I had my app on auto save level 5 – ‘serious stuff’ – which is the highest auto save level, and you can adjust it at any time to a setting you are comfortable with.
It started slow…and then upped once I was staying in more and spending less (due to coronavirus).
Payday was early this month, on 24th (hence why more was taken on 27th) but I kept the amount in Chip until the end of the month (30th) before transferring into our savings.
April total: £232.19
MAY – Chip saves
14th May – although I was THRILLED to be saving £389.25 so early on in May, I knew we had a few things to shell out for with some big birthdays coming up and wanted to get a few takeaways with the stress of the building work going on in the background. I decided to move from the highest auto-save setting of ‘serious stuff’ down to auto-save level 3 ‘Goldilocks’ which is described as ‘just right’.
15th – I withdrew £89.25 and left £300 savings remaining in the app.
Chris then mentioned the ‘minimum bank balance’ feature which he had implemented so that it always leaves at least £100 in his account. I realised mine was on zero, so I added that function too so I knew I’d always have £100 contingency in my bank account.
The next day the saves lowered to:
May total: £315.40
JUNE – Chip saves
22nd June – I cancelled a save for the first time since January! I knew we wanted to put extra some money aside for a wallpaperer for the bathroom, so wanted to leave more than the minimum in my account. I simply pressed pause for the rest of the month when I got the notification of a new save, and as easy as that, all was good with the world again.
June total: £227.31
Total save April – July £774.90
Looking at the figures, it seems such an easy journey to get to just under £800 in savings, and I’ve honestly never had that much saved before in my life. At the moment, it’s all going towards the building fund but I am so excited one day to put it towards a pension or an amazing holiday (hopefully both!). I have spoken to a few people who managed to save up for their wedding dresses through this app and it really takes the thought out of putting money aside.
There are so many extra functions to make use of, too, such as a #PaydayPutAway which can move a designated amount to your Chip account on an assigned payday, overdraft saves, you can add goals as well as highlighting your ‘save streaks’ to help motivate you and offering predictions on how much you’ll save if you kept up the save streak over 50, 100 and 365 days.
If you think you can’t possible save right now, I’d recommend giving Chip a go – I am now a keen saver and seeing every pound put away is the most satisfying feeling. And I am richer.
Ellen Switzer says
In the US (and perhaps in the UK?) there is an app called Acorn that I use. Every transaction that you make in the assigned account, it will round up that purchase to the next dollar amount, and invest that difference into a stock portfolio. So you bought a coffee for $3.50 – it will take .50 from your account and invest it! Its a very fun app and it clearly shows you everything it is doing. I’ve saved over $1,000 in 3 months!!! And, ive earned 6% back in interest, a solid $60. It is the easiest money i have ever saved (I too am not very strong at saving…), other than my retirement fund. Im going to continue saving money this way for our next renovation on our condo!
Alexandra Stedman says
Oh brilliant! I think we might have that here….I have a post coming up soon on the best money apps as well! xx
You may want to mention that Chip charge £1 (soon to be £1.50 I think?) if you save more than £100 in 28 days. I didn’t realise this until I received an email from them a few days ago to notify me of some changes to their terms, in which the increase to £1.50 is mentioned. I know it’s only a small amount and Chip need to make money from their service but I think it’s important to know and something I don’t think was made clear when I opened my account (which I did after reading your review 😊). I see the app is also referred to on your latest guest post about money apps which also states that it is ‘free’.
Alexandra Stedman says
Oh thanks for this! At the time of writing this, it was completely free – I’ve not been charged £1 yet and think it’s implemented from October? But am double checking with Chip and we can adjust the info accordingly. Thanks for flagging! x