Snoop
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Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
Intro post

Snoop has changed the way I use my money and the way I see the world of finance, for the better

I’m 32 and am a very proud daddy of twins! Hard work but also the best thing ever. We have a fair amount of debt attributed to making a better home for our babies and I’ve been using Snoop to help manage our finances.

It’s been so useful finding new avenues to explore and opportunities to understand the world of savings/finance. For me Snoop is easily described as ‘Money Saving Expert Volume 2: The Superior Sibling’.

I believe it so much I invested in the recent crowdfund on Seedrs. Without overstating, it’s changed the way I use my money and the way I see the world of finance, for the better.

Snooper Stories - Snoop - Cheeky Smile Image
Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
January Post

I didn’t know, what I didn’t know – until I downloaded Snoop

My ‘money journey’, as I have newly coined it, has been considering my age fairly short. Up until my late twenties money was of very little concern to me. I had disposable income, so money had little meaning to me. Then I got a mortgage, which increased my awareness of money management, but only just. My partner and I then found out we were having twins. We needed a bigger house, bigger car, bigger fridge and everything you need for a baby, times 2! We needed more money…

Well, actually what we needed was to be better with the money and credit we did have. Thus began our ceaseless worry of how can we afford to do this. The question was always how can we, because invariable we could afford, with the right planning. Positivity probably helps a little too.

Then I found Snoop, which I came across in my search for something to help me manage my money better. Up until this point I found my banking app to be adequate but not particularly user friendly. It was more of a records system than anything – unfortunately, it still is. Snoop gave me ideas and places to look that I hadn’t thought of before. Sometimes this was just down to oversight but other times it was because I didn’t know, what I didn’t know.

Having someone/something prompting me to have a look at my bills because I am paying more on X than the average in the UK is pretty useful. Letting me know about deals in places I regularly use, makes so much sense.

This month I have managed to save money on our food shop, things we routinely buy, twice. I have had very timeous advice about home insurance as we were renewing ours. The payment forecasts are especially useful. Having a full picture of what is due out of my account at any one time makes managing money for us a great deal easier.

I have so far found the app itself very intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. It isn’t clogged up, but it is also not under detailed. It’s a really good balance of quality content and user friendly-ness. I have set myself the challenge of using every function on the app at least once in February. We’ll see how it goes…

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Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
February Post

Martin found his Mojo…and used every feature in the App!

So last month in my Snoop Bloggy Blogg, I set myself the challenge of using every function of the app. It wasn’t a difficult challenge I have to be honest so I can’t claim too much credit. The app is easy to use as I said last month 👍

First off I set about getting through my latest Snoops. Being able to clear those I am content I either do not need or have actioned is really useful. It keeps me on top of anything upcoming I may have forgotten about, which is relatively frequent unfortunately. The Pin feature allows you to ‘flag’ certain Snoops so I can make sure I get round to reading or doing whatever it may be.

Which brings me onto the Snoops themselves. One Snoop I really got onboard with was the launch of Mojo – The Mortgage Manager. Now I must add my mortgage fixed rate period is not up for renewal until September so I haven’t actually re-mortgaged yet. But I did enquire and got a call back fairly quickly to discuss options which is what you would expect. The great thing - there was no sense of overselling which is a pet hate of mine, so that was a refreshing change. I can update about that hopefully in Septembers blog.

One thing I have found invaluable has been the ability to add my accounts to the app. Having my current account and credit card in one place is useful for me for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easier and I am lazy. Second, having them linked to the app also allows the app to give you notification of what your outgoings are expected to be. It also lets you categorise your spending so you can see what you spend (or overspend in my case) your money on. Which is the next feature…

The Payment Hub is split into 3 different sections: Products, This Month and All Payments. The Products tab is where you can get a real understanding of what you spend your money on. For example, I now know that since I took out a Netflix account, I given them £224.74, which puts your £8.99 a month into perspective. I dare not look at my mortgage!

This Month tab is essentially a review of the current months forecasted expenditure – i.e. which payments you have made this month and what it thinks you are expecting to pay still to come. The All Payments tab is, a list of every payment you make regularly, so direct debits and standing orders. It will tell you their frequency, either monthly, annually and so on. This would be a good place to start if you are planning your long term financials. It should have everything from home insurance to your subscriptions to streaming services. 

Another feature within Payment Hub is the edit feature. I recently changed the payment dates of a few things, so being able to update Snoop with the correct dates meant that my forecast would be accurate when it came to having a look later in the month. You can also rename the payments whatever you want, within reason I assume. 

For the social amongst you, you can invite friends to join and receive a £5 Amazon voucher for each referral you make (up to a maximum of 5). You can find it in the settings. Which I also explored! Not the most exciting element, but still as an app, you customise your security and settings and so, like almost every other financial app. You can use Touch ID to login, change your pin, notification settings and so on. 

And last but certainly not least is the Becoming a Super Snooper area: It sets you 32 tasks all in all that help you get the most out of the app and your money. It’s not particularly time consuming and as with everything else in the app, it’s really simple and easy.

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Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
March Post

Martin’s round-up: he knows he can trust Snoop

This month Snoop prompted me to look at savings. Specifically, apps that ‘round-up’ for you. Say you spend £3.74 at your local shop, these apps will take the £0.26 and put that aside into a savings account. Whilst you are technically spending more from your debit account, you are saving a little on the side.

This has been a large part of me using Snoop. Financial decisions can often be daunting and overwhelming, but I have found using Snoop has taken the sting out of looking at my finances and has given me more confidence to actually do the things I need to and look at new opportunities like ‘round-up’ saving. Obviously since the pandemic, spending like that has taken a downturn, but I’ve still got £35.42 in a savings account just by rounding up my transactions.

As a side note, all recommended financial products within Snoop are regulated by the FCA, so you know they are reputable and legitimate. Which is more important to me now more than ever in an age of online scams and schemes. I know I can trust Snoop.

Over the last few months I have found myself turning to Snoop more and more before I shop to check there isn’t a cheeky little trick or code to help me get it cheaper or a better version elsewhere - or even from the same place I’m already looking! It’s the little things like a trick to get £10 off M&S Food when you spend £20.

This month more than others I seem to have seen a lot of advice on Snoop regarding things to watch out for.

One such piece of advice was about rising Vehicle Tax and another about the lockdown rules changing in Scotland. I haven’t been keeping tabs on the news for a while now, so these are updates I would otherwise have not known about. There are loads of examples of this kind of thing all over Snoop and I find it a really great way to stay on top of my fiscal responsibilities.

Something I haven’t used yet is the function to recommend content to Snoop. I think I may use this next month although I’d need to find something useful that Snoop hasn’t already claimed dibs on!

I know there’s a whole host of new features coming up which I’m looking forward to trying out and I’ll let you know how I get on with them when they go live.

Snooper Stories - Snoop - Pension Pots Snoop
Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
April Post

Snoop Almighty has shown me the way

This month I have to admit I have not been nearly as active as I would have normally been, as far as my finances go. Thankfully nothing eventful has arisen!

I did create the expectation that I would recommend something not yet found by Snoop or fellow Snoopers. I failed miserably.

Thankfully Snoop has bailed me out and delivered unto me a Snoop about pensions.

My pension pot has definitely not been on my radar since the second I finished signing my acceptance into the last scheme I entered.

This sent me on a search to actually find all my pensions and decipher what is likely to be the best outcome for me.

It is quite a complex affair admittedly, but once you get past the jargon it’s relatively simple.

Some pensions cannot be moved due to regulations (I have one of these), so there are no options here but to leave it alone – sorted.

And I found out that it mattered not a jot for the remainder of my pensions as they are so small.

But this is not to be the end of my foray into the pension dimension.

I, like many of you probably, do not consider my retirement all too often, but now I have plans for my pension, and not just as a passive investor.

Snoop Almighty has shown me the way.

 Snooper Stories - Snoop - Snoop holding a toy car
Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
May Post

Less than 30 minutes on Snoop saved me £80 on car insurance

In May I had a bit of moment. It lasted for around half the month.

I installed a VPN service on my mobile and it does not get on with the Snoop app.

It took me a good while to realise this, but since finding out I have been playing around with my ‘cards’ and updating my expenditure to make sure that the information Snoop has is accurate.

I have found it really useful to see what I pay out in this way as it gives me how much I have paid since the first payment I made. Which as I have said before, is actually harrowing, but it’s a wake-up call.

One particular wake-up call was regarding what I pay for television – I won’t mention them, but my old provider could be confused with the huge blue expanse above us.

It makes me want to be a little sick in my mouth how much I used to pay – even with a discount on another service. I now probably pay per year what I was paying them per month!

If that’s not an advertisement for using Snoop...

The next thing I managed to do was renew my car insurance for one of our cars.

I have to thank Snoop for this as I don’t think I even knew my insurance was coming to an end.

I would probably have ended up with a renewal quote that was not fit for me anymore and cost more than I should be paying. 

As it is, I have saved about £80. Not bad for about 30 minutes Snooping!

Next month, my challenge is not to let my VPN get in the way for so long.

Snooper Stories - Snoop - Mortgage Manager Snoop image
Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
June Post

Paying in full works out best for me

Since my last blog post I have not had a great deal on my to-do-list under finances. Thankfully though my VPN did not get in my way this month! 

Something that I have started to do in part because of Snoop, is forecasting future one-off payments - things like car insurance, home insurance, road tax and the like.

I generally pay these in full as it seems to work out cheaper over the 12 months.

Using Snoop I have been keeping track of these things and now as well as getting prompts from Snoop I have them in my calendar!

This would have been useful last month, finding out my car insurance is due more than a week before would be preferable.

Part of my mortgage is due for renewal in September. I would go as far as saying I am excited to use Snoops mortgage facility.

I would never have even put a penny on me saying anything like that in the past. But I actually am excited. 

Other than this, I have been low key this month. I will up my game in July!

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Article Author Image - Martin
Tales of Robot Hood | Martin Robertson
August Post

Martin has found his Mojo and has renewed energy

So far I have signed up to Mojo, played around all the new updates, switched to a new energy provider and spent some time getting used to the new layout for all my accounts. Which unfortunately for me is a few thousand in the negative!

Signing up to Mojo was very quick and very easy. It’s all online in the first instance. Once you have entered your information including your financials, you then get to see you recommended offer.

I had no idea when my fixed term was up on my energy. Everything being paperless I could not find it in my emails so, Snoop being able to easily track this for me made my life a whole lot less expensive. I have just submitted my application to change suppliers and get my £25 Amazon voucher from Snoop!

The new updates have taken a bit of getting used to for me. Not least when I see all of my debit and credit accounts summarised by one figure, which is horrifyingly negative. But it does give me food for thought and insight I would never have had otherwise. My bank certainly doesn’t offer this slightly wicked facility.

The rest of the layouts are much more user friendly, but looking back, I did not have a problem navigating around the app before the updates. But it seems more intuitive and more complete. The cards section feels more integrated with the rest of Snoops services and facilities.

Also Snoop has informed me that HSBC are offering £140 for switching your current account to them!

All in all a pretty good haul for me this month.

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