Your Jan money plan: How to use me to organise your finances in 2021...
You’ve downloaded me (well done) so you’re clearly motivated to get a hold on your finances. So I thought I’d run through all the things I can do to help you boss your budget (I know, sorry, this is a humble brag sort of Snoop 😊).
The first step to financial freedom is knowing where you stand – and that’s where I can really help. Getting up close and personal with all your bank accounts is a must so you can keep tabs on everything. Why not tick these off your list? Each one takes just a few minutes.
📱 Get daily balance alerts
It's tempting to bury your head in the sand, but I promise you, knowing where you stand with your accounts will put you in control. My daily alert will tell you the balances of all your connected accounts in one message. See instantly where you might be low on funds, close to your overdraft or had big payments go out you might have forgotten about.
Just go to settings (top left of the app), hit notifications, and toggle daily balance alerts on.
📱 Connect all your accounts to get the full picture
You can now connect over 50 accounts to me, so make the most of it and connect everything you can. The more accounts you connect the smarter my info and insights get, and the better the picture you'll have of your finances.
📱 Rename your accounts to make scanning your accounts easier
Did you know you can rename your accounts to help you get organised? From the Snoop home screen, tap the account logo of the account you want to rename, then tap on it again. You can edit the name of your account by selecting the pencil icon next to your existing account name. Simply make your changes, hit save and you're all done.
You can also do the same through the 'Settings' screen. Just tap the cog icon, then 'Manage Accounts' and tap the 3 dots beside the account name you want to rename.
This helps things feel more organised and allows you to quickly make sense of your balances.
📱 Turn on notifications – we promise we won’t send too many
I like to send you useful notifications, for example, when one of your regular payments is up for renewal, when there's an amazing deal you might want to check out or if you’ve opted in to balance notifications (see below).
To turn notifications on, go to your phone’s settings, find the Snoop app and switch the button on to allow notifications. You can switch them off at any time if you change your mind. You can also turn balance notifications on and off in my settings whenever you like.
📱 Join forces with your partner and connect joint accounts
If you have shared finances it’s important to factor these into your own situation too. If you have a joint account you can connect it to me, as you would your other accounts as long as you have the necessary online banking passwords.
This will help you keep on top of all your money streams and help you discuss money matters with your partner.
📱 Check your transactions are in the categories you want
I like to think I’m smart (if I do say so myself) but sometimes I make assumptions you might not agree with about which categories your transactions belong in. If that’s the case, it’s super-easy to change them.
Just tap on a transaction, and then the pencil icon next to the category name. You can then select the new category you would like to assign.
📱 Exclude internal transfers so you get an accurate view of your finances
When you transfer money from one account to another it’s difficult for me to tell this is definitely an internal transfer and not coming from or going elsewhere. I know this can affect your totals but there’s an easy workaround to stop these internal payments appearing in your income section.
Simply tap on one of these transactions, and then the pencil icon next to the category name. You can then select ‘transfer’ and the transaction will be moved to the transfer category and won't appear in income calculations anymore.
📱 See all your regular payments in one place
One of the biggest things my team launched this year was our whizzy new regular payments section in the app. The Payment Hub is the capital city of Snoop – the central place where you can keep on top of all your bills, regular payments and subscriptions. When it comes to your bills, what isn’t in the Payment Hub, isn’t worth knowing! 😊
Here’s a flavour of what you can find and do… or tap to watch this short film for a live demo...
In the Payment Hub, you can see a full list of your regular bills plus analysis on whether payment have gone up or down and how often you’re paying it. You’re also able to link your payments to a specific service. So you can flag that a certain payment is an energy bill for example (if I haven’t already picked that up).
It is a powerhouse for helping you keep on top of bills and there will be more to come soon too. I’m super-proud of this one and think it will help you feel much more in control. If you get your Payment Hub set up now, you can relax for the rest of the year.
📱 Add renewal/contract end dates so you can forget about them
Another feature of the Payment Hub is that you can tell me when a particular contract is due to end or up for renewal. Once you’ve entered it you can come back any time to see all your end dates. Plus I’ll remind you nearer the time if you need to take a look – just at the right time for you to compare prices and get the best deal. Again, do the set up now to have peace of mind for the rest of the year.
📱 Audit your regular payments
For a list of these, scroll to the 'Payment Hub' tile on your home screen and tap on the link to get into the detail. You'll be able to scroll down to see all your regular payments. It's easy to forget services you signed up for ages ago. Have a good look through and decide if you're getting value. When was the last time you used it? If not in the last 3-6 months it's got to go!
📱 Do a 30s check for upcoming payments
Every Sunday afternoon I'll add a Snoop to your feed telling you about upcoming payments for the week. Take a quick look and make sure you have enough funds to cover them. If not, move money from savings if you have it. If you can’t do that, get in touch with the provider before the payment date to see how they can help.
📱 Easily check if you've more going out than coming in
Hit ‘View’ (top right of the home screen), then go to the 'Categories' tab and you can see a summary of money in and money out for each month. Flick through the last few months. If you're regularly spending more than is coming in, you're going to need to find some painless savings (see below). To make sure any transfers you've done between accounts don't get included, just categorise them as ‘Internal transfers’ or exclude them from spending summaries.
📱 Bust the big bills
Later this month I'm going to have lots more info on dealing with bills but there's no harm in getting a head start. Pick one area to cut costs in and challenge yourself to get it done. Energy or broadband are a good place to start. I can help you compare deals. Or go to your Snoop feed, hit ‘Browse’ and pick a category to focus on (e.g. Home & Family or Shopping). Once you're done, move onto the next category.
📱 Set yourself a monthly spending allowance
If you can't curb your spending, set yourself a monthly spending allowance for extras. You could allocate all these spends to my 'General' category to keep track of where you are.
📱 Scan my spending summaries
I send weekly and monthly Snoops showing the top places you've been spending. We all want to look forward but checking back over that week or month will help you see where all the big money’s going and where you might be able to cut back. If it’s not where you expect, you can make some changes.
Do you use me in any other ways to help with your budgeting? If so, let me know and I'll share the best ones. Email me at email@example.com