In recent years, the market for budgeting apps has opened up, with many new products being launched. This is largely due to the introduction of Open Banking in the UK in 2020. Designed to allow consumers more control over their financial data, Open Banking has seen banks and other financial institutions allow secure access to consumer data by licensed Fintechs. This has allowed the budgeting apps to connect to multiple different accounts held by a user, and then get all of this data in one place, so that budgeting tools can be applied across an individual’s entire financial life.
Snoop launched in 2020, so is a very new app. They recently received £15 million in funding.
Money Dashboard is actually far older than Snoop, having originally launched their budgeting product in 2011. However, since the rollout of Open Banking in 2020, they have launched a completely new, smartphone app product called Money Dashboard Neon.
Best for: Plans, Costs & Fees
Money Dashboard is completely free. They do not have any monthly subscription plans, and all features are available within the one app.
Snoop is also free to use, and has no paid version.
How do Money Dashboard and Snoop make money? Both apps are open about the fact that they will sell your data to 3rd parties. The data will always be anonymous, but the 3rd parties will use data to discern consumer spending trends.
/ Verdict /
Both apps are free, and you can’t get much cheaper than that. However, as with any free product, you do need to think about how they will make money, and in the case of both these apps, it is by selling your data. If this is something you do not want, then it is better to look at one of the several apps which don’t do this, but you should expect to pay a monthly fee.
Best for: Features
- All of your bank accounts, credit cards and various other financial products can be connected, so you can create an overall budget
- Apply spending categories across all of your accounts
- All bills and subscriptions in dedicated area
- Create your own budgets
- Available balance to spend after all outgoings
- Customise the app to fit your own requirements
- Spending Sorter – The app automatically categorises your spending
- Payment Hub – every outgoing payment in a single list
- Spending Summaries – daily, weekly and monthly
- Checkers – the checkers analyse spending and suggest savings with your energy, cards, mobile and broadband and Insurance
- Discount Code Finder – the app searches for discount offers related to your spending
- Money Saving Scanner – find money saving opportunities
- Mortgage Manager – allows you to compare your mortgage with other deals in the market
- Look Ahead – the app will tell you on a weekly basis your upcoming outgoings so you can be prepared
Snoop also have a large number of other features that are currently in development, which you can see here.
Snoop have a smaller list than Money Dashboard, but still have 30 of the biggest banks and other providers supported, plus they cover all New Day credit cards.
/ Verdict /
Features-wise, Money Dashboard aim for a simple, budgeting focus, providing a dashboard that allows you to see all of your finances in one place. Snoop have budgeting functions also, but they place a big emphasis on recommendations of other ways you can save on existing spending, with their Checkers. These could definitely be of use, but are also clearly another way for Snoop to make money by referring customers to 3rd party products.
Money Dashboard have a huge number of integrated financial institutions, which is hard to beat, but Snoop cover all of the big banks and credit card providers, plus they support a huge range of branded credit cards. Both would cover most people’s requirements.
Best for: Safety and Security
Both apps utilise Open Banking technology, which is safe and robust, and ensures that they do not have access to your passwords or login details at any time, and have read-only access to your transaction data. Both also state that they have bank level encryption of all of your data.
As mentioned in the costs section above, both Money Dashboard and Snoop are free to use. However, they will take your transaction data, anonymise it, and sell it to companies that wish to use this data for various reasons. If you want a budgeting app that does not sell your data, you have several to choose from, such as Cleo, Emma or Moneyhub.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme: Neither Money Dashboard or Snoop offer any product where they can take or hold your money. Therefore there is no need for them to be covered by the FSCS.
/ Verdict /
Both apps have the high levels of security you would expect these days in regard to your data. They do both sell your data, so if this is something you do not want then it is best to look elsewhere for your budgeting needs.
Best for: Extras
Money Dashboard has been around for a lot longer than Snoop, but in a way they are both providing a new service, as Money Dashboard Neon is a new venture. However, they have many years of running a budgeting service, and as such, should have a very good idea of the features that customers will find value in.
Snoop are clearly very new, and this is shown by the large list of features that are said to be ‘Coming Soon’ on their website. As well as the budgeting functions, Snoop are very focused on finding ways for you to save, by analysing certain areas of your spending, such as utility bills, credit cards, insurances and other things.
/ Verdict /
For dedicated budgeting, Money Dashboard have a wealth of features that they have offered to customers for many years. Whilst Snoop also have some similar features, then focus far more on finding money saving opportunities via their checkers, so you can find better deals.
As a pioneer within the budgeting space, Money Dashboard are at risk of being overtaken by new entrants, like Snoop. However, with their launch of Money Dashboard Neon, they have given themselves a good chance to compete. Snoop is very new, and many of their budgeting features are still in development.
With budgeting apps, it is very much down to taste in regard to their usability and features. You need to like to use an app if you are going to find it useful and keep on opening it.
As these apps are both free, it would be possible to download them both and test drive them at no cost, so that’s probably the best way to work out which is for you.