Plum is a Money app available on both Apple and Android. I have been using this app for a few months now and I know it pretty well. This is my plum app review.
I used to be rubbish with money and I kind of wish this sort of thing had been around when I was younger and had no clue how to manage my money.
Did you know that over 25% of adults in the UK have no savings whatsoever This is a very scary thought If you ask me I would say the actual number is potentially much higher.
I have some savings but even I find it tough and I am now pretty good with money. The problem is invariably life. It just sometimes gets in the way and makes it difficult to save.
You are doing well and put some money away at the start of the month but then someone’s birthday you forgot about crops up or your washing machine decides top working. So all the money you have put by ends up being used and you have to start again the following month.
It’s a familiar scenario right? This is where Money and budgeting apps come in. I have tried quite a few over the last couple of years and if managed right they can really help you save money.
Money App Reviews:
I have done two previous reviews, One of the Mint app and also a Spendee review. Both of these are great apps and a little while ago I also put together a review of my top 7 best mobile budgeting apps.
These are amongst some of the best apps out there designed to help you budget and save.
Plum app was new to me though as it was recommended by my wife who had been told about it at work. I simply had to download it and give it a try.
With most money or budgeting apps, there seems to be a desire by the people that make them use as many options and details as possible. This, of course, is great if you want a comprehensive budgeting app. If on the other hand you just want a simple app that helps you save a little money each month then you don’t have many options.
This is where Plum app comes in.
The Plum app is by far the simplest budgeting app I have ever used and this is great for people that are far to busy with their lives to get to know the ins and outs of another complicated app.
The first thing you need to do is sign up for free right here. Once this is done simply link to your bank account. This only takes about 1 minute and is safe and secure so don’t worry about this.
Once this is done you can go in and start exploring the app. The best place to start for me is the Rules section. Yes, rules. Go to Brain and in there you will see the rules section. These are great as they tell the app what you want to do with your money.
Automatic, This is where the Plum app automatically sets aside an amount from your account every 4 or 5 days and puts it in your Plum savings. The app works out from your spending activity and the direct debits in your account how much it can swap into savings for you. This takes out all the hassle of working it out for yourself.
You can change the setting for how much Plum takes on the home page or via Facebook messenger. There are 5 different moods if you will when it comes to saving.
You can set the app to do Round-ups. Round-ups are where every Monday the Plum app rounds-up all your spending on your debit card to the nearest pound. The app then saves this excess cash for you on a Wednesday.
This is one of the best apps that round-up change that I have seen and used.
This is the best way of saving as if you are a regular user of your debit card this can add up very quickly. Once the app has done the round-ups this money simply gets added to your Plum account.
This is my favorite way to save via the Plum app. It makes it all very easy as I don’t even notice when the money goes from my account.
This one isn’t so much a rule as an instruction. It is an instruction as to where the Plum app puts your money. There are two places it can go. One into your plum account. or two into Plum investments (More on that in a moment) You can split it evenly or put 100% into one section or another. You can also use a handy slide to determine the split.
The Plum app has a handy little section for investments. Firstly you should bear in mind that should you wish to invest with plum investments you will need to sign up to Plumplus which is a low-cost premium subscription.
Plumplus is free for the first month which is nice so you can get a feel for it. After this initial free month, you have to pay £1 per month thereafter.
When investing you can choose between shares in some of the world’s biggest markets. If you invest in Tech for example then you will invest in shares in companies such as Apple and Facebook.
You could also invest in the American dream or Best Of British. These are self-explanatory and they run alongside 3 other categories which are clean and green, Rising Stars and European Essentials. Remember these are Shares only.
You can also invest in a mix of Shares and Bonds and let Plum know how much risk you would like to take on board with a simple Risk level slider to indicate the level of risk you are prepared to take.
Should I Invest?
Well, that is the million-dollar question and I am not a financial advisor. I would suggest looking through all the information that the Plum app provides and then if you choose to invest only invest with money you can afford to lose.
You could also get advice from a financial professional. Of course, like any investment you choose to make in life your capital is always at risk.
Your money is held in an investment account with Gaudi Regulated Services LTD. They keep your investments until which time as you choose to sell them. This money is protected by the FSCS guarantee.
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Plum App Pro:
Plum Pro is a new subscription service offered on the Plum app. For a small £2 monthly fee you get access to some excellent new savings options.
There are 3 new savings options to help you make the most of your savings.
Once this is set up then the Plum app will set aside an amount of money into your savings every time it rains in the location you live in. Again you can set the mood to determine how much Plum sets aside.
Also, you may want to bear in mind where you live, If you live in Manchester or Scotland in the UK then you could end up with 250 rainy day savings which are great for your savings but not if it leaves you with no money to see yourself through the month. 🙂
52 Week Challenge:
Pretty obvious this one but starting with £1 in week one and working up to £52 in the last week of the year Plum app will put this amount away on a set day each week to help you complete this saving challenge.
This will hopefully leave you with £1378 in your Plum savings at the end of the year. Nice work.
Again pretty clear this one. Paydays are the days when you have the most disposable cash and also the days when you are most likely to spend it. Try this option and Plum will set aside an amount every payday before you get a chance to spend it on rubbish.
Again you can set the mood depending on how generous you would like Plum to be when taking your money to your savings.
Plum Pro is only available in the Apple store currently with an android release penciled in for mid-2020.
Is The Plum App Safe To Use?
Let’s talk about the safety of your data first of all. Here are just some of the ways that the Plum app keeps your data safe.
Security tops our list of priorities. This is how we protect your data:
- We never store (or have access to) your bank login details
- Plum gets read-only access to your transaction data so in the unlikely event of a breach no money can be transferred out of your bank account
- We use symmetric cryptography (AES) to store any sensitive data
- Plum uses state-of-the-art password algorithms
- We use 256-bit TLS encryption to communicate between the browser and our servers
- Plum is a registered data controller and always act in compliance with the Data Protection Act
- Our servers run on Amazon’s cloud, trusted by some of the biggest financial institutions in the world.
Plum is authorized by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) to carry out payment service activities as a registered account service provider, under the payment services regulations 2017.
Plum is not covered by the FSCS (Financial services compensation scheme). This is because according to Plum they are never lending out any of the money in the accounts.
Essentially Plum is as safe as any other financial app in that your money should be safe and should there be a security breach your details and money will be secure.
At the end of 2019 Plum received a little bit of bad press. It had some bad reviews because of an issue when they moved to a new banking provider there were some cases reported that customers could not access their funds and were showing up in their accounts as pending.
This has since been explained by Plum and you should not really view this as being a reflection on their normally great service.
Plum App Summary:
I absolutely love the Plum App. For me, it means simple help with saving money and uncomplicated app interfaces. I can save without lifting a finger but more importantly without having to spend hours working out how to use every facet of the app.
If you are looking for uncomplicated help with saving then Plum is the app for you.
Try it today and let me know how you get on with it. It has really helped me start to save and that can only be a good thing.