Helen Darby uses Snoop to help with short and medium term financial planning
I’m 34, live in Doncaster and work 4 days a week in education. I’m married and have been for just over 3 years. Snoop helps us manage our finances and set goals and targets for short and medium term plans.
We have a mortgage and our priority is to pay it off as soon as feasible to avoid excessive interest. The main reason I downloaded Snoop and started using it in August 2020 was to help me budget, manage my regular payments and see where/which categories I’m spending my money in. For me, the best thing that’s helped me save money is the Snoops which alert me to voucher codes/deals/promotions - they’re all in one place and I’ve often saved £15+ on regular treats/shopping. It’s a great saving and has made my money go further without having to cut back.
The features I look at most regularly are the Payment Hubs (I can clearly see what’s coming out of my account on a monthly basis and whether or not the payment had increased /decreased from the previous month) I also find it useful to see when my mobile and broadband contracts end to remind me to search for a better deal when the time comes. Snoop helps me plan ahead and for day-to-day expenses.
Did somebody say, “just save on a takeaway”?
Helen’s treats haven’t gone away, they just costing less. And she’s decided she’s going pay herself first in 2021.
This has been a January like no other that I can remember but I’m still determined to begin working on my 2021 financial goals.
With Snoop’s help the stress of money saving is taken away because my Snoops are personalised to my spending/savings habits. I ‘pin’ my most useful Snoops to make them even quicker to find.
One thing Snoop has helped me with this month is a ‘dormant’ direct debit subscription I’d forgotten to cancel. I noticed it instantly in my transactions. After a quick check, I could see the mysterious £10.21 was for a brand of luxury teabags. Not such a luxury if you forget to cancel them (which I did) but with Snoop I spotted it straight away and there’ll be no other unexpected expenses.
Friday night is takeaway night for us - I’ve used my Snoops for VoucherCodes to help cut the price of a weekly takeaway treat. Codes for 30% or 35% have saved me over £17 on one order. As we’d be ordering it anyway, a simple check of Snoop for a code has been a quick way to save!
Saving is not something I usually associated with January. This year, however, my goal is to have a ‘pay myself first attitude’. This doesn’t mean ignoring bills and incurring debt! It means moving money into my savings account the day I get paid.
Snoop helps me see how much I’ve saved for my short/medium term goals. Because all my accounts are linked to Snoop, I can see where I’m meeting my goals.
In my short term savings, I can build up a set amount each month to pay for planned expenses later in the year e.g. insurance. It’s a small effort now, which will benefit my finances throughout the year. I’ve even renamed the account - which I’d encourage everyone to do - to help me focus on why I’m saving! I know this will motivate me to keep doing it if my initial enthusiasm wears off.
Feeling increasingly financially confident and in control
February marked six months of Snooping for me. I feel increasingly financially confident and in control compared to my old money habits. Snoop has helped me prioritise how I want my financial future to look.
Of course, no February is complete without obligatory marketing of Valentine’s Day, but now I plan my spending rather than shopping impulsively. I saved 40% via a Snoop for Valentine’s cards - proof my money saving habits were improving! I also subtly suggested where my husband could order some couriered flowers too, because I like to be helpful... ❤️
Some of my ‘fun’ spending is not happening this month, so using ideas for savings challenges within my Snoops has been useful. Where could I put the money I’d usually spend instead? The answer is simple - in an account that offers the best interest rate to help achieve my goals more quickly - thanks Snoop! (I will fully support businesses when they’re able to re-open.)
Paying to have my car exhaust repaired wasn’t top of my financial goals this month, but it was essential spending and my short-term savings helped.
It’s good for me to see where my money is going and with the categories within Snoop, in one click I can allocate exactly where my money is going.
Spotting scams, cutting bills, happy mum, happy Helen
Saturday mornings usually involve a cup of tea and a scroll through my Snoop feed to see what’s new.
I’m not used to Saturday’s starting with unsolicited texts asking for payment of a £2.99 delivery fee purporting to be for a Royal Mail parcel.
Especially when I hadn’t ordered anything!
Snoop alerted me to this type of scam on the day I received the text. Great timing!
Cut my mobile bill without switching? 📲
Snoop’s scrutinising of my spending means it’s likely I’ll save upwards of £12 a year with Airtime Rewards. Airtime Rewards is a free app which can save money off your mobile bill just for spending on things you’d buy anyway. What’s not to like? (And I’ll be keeping an eye on whether I can save more than £12 a year - I’m quietly confident I can!)
The first thing I did after setting up my own Airtime Rewards account was to send a referral to my husband.
Within this one Snoop, two of us saved on our mobile bills with very little effort!
Mother’s Day 💐
I like to treat my mum and I also like to get the best deal I can for my money.
This Mother’s Day Snoop presented me with a code for 25% off flowers from Bunches and 40% off a personalised Moonpig card.
Happy mum, happy me!
Look Ahead 👀
Snoop shines a spotlight on my spending and the upcoming payments helps me see exactly what my outgoings are each week.
There’s no more guess work for me regarding payment dates so I’m in control of my money and it feels good!
Birthday’s, bills and balance – AKA April!
As well as being super-focused on good money-saving habits, I have one more thing in common with Snoop – we both have our Birthday in April, Happy Birthday Snoop!
My mum and my husband’s birthday are all in April so it’s a busy month for my spending!
Thankfully with a little help from Snoop, I’ve made savings on great gifts.
My personalised April price hikes have been invaluable. Do I want to pay £37-48 more a year for services or bills I’m already budgeting for? Absolutely not!
My broadband bundle and mobile contract will increase by £3 per month (£36 a year), so I’ve made sure that my contract dates are stored in the Payment Hub so I can get a better deal at exactly the right time!
In the meantime I can offset some of my mobile bill with Airtime Rewards, a Snoop recommendation which I’ve been using since last month.
Snoop also helped me discover Shopmium and this month I became a ‘Gold’ Shopmium app member!
This means I was rewarded with a free chocolates for my birthday. And there’s only one thing better than chocolate – free chocolate!
As well as saving on groceries and beauty items I’ve earned referral credits by encouraging my friends to join. Win win!
Snoop knows I shop regularly at Sainsbury’s and has presented three helpful Snoops: a link to their latest offers, ways to save with a delivery pass and an offer for 25% off 6 bottles of wine.
It hasn’t stopped there, it’s also helped me check I was making the most of Nectar rewards and made sure I wasn’t missing out on points.
April has been a more expensive month for me and Snoop helps me see where my money is going - hello family birthdays, I see you!
I’m finding the categories really useful and track the top five categories I’m spending in.
I then think, is this working for me? If the answer’s yes, I’m getting the balance right.
If it isn’t, I know Snoop gives my spending habits nowhere to hide and helps me make money work for me.
Helen’s money habits have improved greatly with Snoop
The non-essential spending in my budget has definitely grown in May as lockdown lifted and life began to open up again.
What would help me hang on to my good money habits? A snoop offering a chance to try Snoop’s new features first. I hit ‘like’ immediately and encouraged my husband to do the same!
My money habits have improved greatly since I started snooping but I’m aware they can improve further, with Snoop’s help.
For example, until this month, the letters CPA meant nothing to me. (Continuous Payment Authority in case you were wondering too)
My mum and husband mentioned them to me for different reasons.
First, Snoop alerted my husband to a payment for Spotify, suggesting cost saving alternatives for music streaming.
It made us ask ourselves if we were we getting value from it. We use it daily so it’s a clear yes for value/use, but it’s great to know if our budget needs to change we can access other music options in one click.
Second, Snoop saved my mum £15 in May by alerting her to a CPA she’d forgotten about. It was a timely reminder because it was due to renew on June 2nd.
Without Snoop, £15 would have been paid for a long forgotten annual subscription. That money can now be put to better use 😊 Thanks Snoop!
I’m not loyal (to banks) and so if there’s a good deal or switching bonus, I’m interested.
That said, I always ask is it worth it? Snoop scrutinised my spending and worked out the answer for me!
It calculated that with my direct debits and the cashback the account offered I would actually lose money so no switch for me!
Snoop’s analysis saved me both time and money by working out what would (and wouldn’t) work for me.
I also found an eye-opening snoop which analysed my spending and gave me tips/tricks to save where I shop most often.
I admit to feeling a sense of trepidation as I scrolled down and saw the figures from my last 12 months of spending. It made me think seriously about where my cash had gone.
My goal is to maximise the ways to save that Snoop has shown me. As such I’ve signed up for Checkout Smart to earn cashback when I spend at my most visited shops.
Snoop’s money-saving ‘snoops’, daily balance alerts and spending analysis are keeping my finances healthy and on track which is a great feeling. See you next month!
Helen has been checking out Snoop 4.0 and loves the extra personalisation
“You’re the best of the best” Thanks very much, Snoop! I think you’re great too!
In my Snoop feed this month I found out I’m in the top 5% of Snoopers, based on my use of the app.
I log in daily to help me save money and calculate my costs and can see instantly where my money goes and not my casual estimates of what I spend.
This month, I’ve tried the new 4.0 upgrade of Snoop and spoiler alert – it’s great.
The spending analysis feature helps me compare my month-on-month spending, either by category or retailer.
I love the extra personalisation too – I’ve created “custom categories” including investing and pets, which helps me pinpoint my monthly outgoings even more.
Snoop helped my husband bag a free Google Nest by shopping at John Lewis.
By buying some shiny new headphones he got the Google Nest free of charge - we’re making full use of it in the kitchen – from telling us a joke or playing great music whilst we do some boring (but essential) household stuff.
Snoop helped me get some other freebies – Fairy and Lenor products by entering my details and reviving a free sample by post with a discount voucher for my next purchase. The plates are cleaner, and the clothes are softer at no cost!
Car and home insurance are usually big bills that drain my accounts so this month I've been comparing quotes within the app and been entered into Snoop’s Golden Quote prize draw.
Snoop knows where I shop so I have the chance to win something I love just by finding out how much I could save. Fingers crossed for July 🤞
How does my spending compare to others? I used a Snoop to find out and discovered that I'm in the top 35% of supermarket spenders, not a shock after the last year, but I don’t intend to keep my spending so high!
I’ve now got links to all the supermarkets I buy from showing me how I can cut costs.
Auto-renewals get the chop and mindful money
July is a busy month for my finances, with lots of yearly expenses coming at once - home insurance, Amazon Prime to name just a few.
Luckily during one sensible moment in January, I decided to start putting a small amount aside from my budget each month to help pay for essential costs later in the year.
Knowing my car insurance is due for renewal next month got me thinking when I saw a Snoop about record low prices for car insurance. Clearly, it’s a good time to start looking for a great deal!
My current insurer didn’t impress me by putting up the price of my cover by £50+ despite not claiming. Through Snoop, I found a renewal for less than last year’s premium - another win for my finances!
Auto renewal payments are easy to forget about and unexpectedly expensive! That’s where Snoop comes in super handy.
The app reminded my mum that a roadside assistance policy was about to auto-renew, but the helpful nudge from Snoop meant she found a better price and cancelled the policy just in time.
I’d be in the wrong job if I didn’t like learning new things!
When I saw a Snoop about Kakeibo (the Japanese art of money saving) I was intrigued.
Mindful spending and keeping a handwritten record was a new approach, but it helped.
Being paid mid-month means I plan my monthly spending differently to others.
By checking what I’d got planned (that wasn’t free) helped me budget and seeing the numbers on paper made me consider what I really thought was ‘essential’.
Having renewed Amazon Prime this month the timing was great for a link with personalised promo offers for Amazon, including some offers for Prime customers, saving me time and money.
Finally, congratulations to Snoop for winning twice at the British Banking Awards, well deserved!
One year on – what Helen’s learnt about her finances with Snoop
This month marks 12 months for me using Snoop.
What have I learnt about my finances? Plenty!
The top three things that stand out are: spending insights, specific categorisation and my Snoop feed.
Over the last year, I’ve found out exactly where my money is going.
Every Monday I see my spending summary - where and how much I’ve spent the previous week- something I’ve never seen before and it’s often surprised me by showing me how often I’m spending at particular places.
Snoop’s success, for me, lies in its specifics. It allows me to see all my accounts in one place and categorise each transaction.
It slices my spending and saving into neat categories and I really rate the new custom categories I’ve created (pets, investing, takeaway habit) to specify areas of my spending I want to keep track of.
Over the year, my Snoop feed of tips and discounts has undoubtedly saved me money I’d have otherwise spent without considering if I could get a better deal.
It makes me a better shopper and saver- which might sound like a contradiction- yet it’s true!
Snoop’s showed me the best deals at beauty retailers, supermarkets and department stores because it knows where I shop.
It also shows me how to get the best savings rates to make my money work harder for me.
What do I want to achieve in the next twelve months with my finances?
In case you were wondering, it’s not vast wealth and a luxury lifestyle!
It’s building better every day habits with the help of the app.
To stop paying as much as I have been for a mobile contract and get a better value deal!
It’s only when I saw the total for the year in Your Bills that the true cost of the contract became clear to me (lesson learnt) and thankfully my contract ends soon-ish.
Wish me luck for the year ahead!