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Plum App Review: A Comprehensive Review of the Plum Savings App
Plum App Review: A Comprehensive Review of the Plum Savings App
Overview of the Plum Savings App
In today's increasingly digital world, managing money can feel overwhelming. However, with the help of financial apps, individuals can take back control of their finances. One such app is Plum, a powerful tool designed to help users save money, invest, and manage their financial lives in a smarter way. In this comprehensive review, we will dive into every aspect of the Plum app, from its features to its drawbacks, so that you can decide if it's the right tool for your financial journey.
Getting Started with Plum
Getting started with Plum is easy and straightforward. After downloading the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, users need to sign up with a valid email address to create an account. The app uses bank-level security and 256-bit encryption to safeguard user information.
Once signed up, users must link their primary bank account to the app. Plum currently supports most major UK banking institutions, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, and Royal Bank of Scotland. The account linking process involves inputting your online banking credentials securely for the app to access transactional data.
With the account linked, Plum's algorithms analyze the user's spending habits, income, and regular expenses to develop a tailored savings strategy. The app then begins executing automatic savings transfers from the user's bank account to their Plum account. Users can also manually contribute to their Plum account at any time.
Main Features of Plum
1. Automatic Savings
One of Plum's core features is its ability to intelligently analyze your financial habits and automatically save money for you. Breakdown-by-breakdown, here is how Plum's automatic savings work:
Plum rounds up your purchases and sets the spare change aside as savings. For example, if you spend £2.20, Plum will round it up to £3 and save the difference (80p);
Save the Date:
This feature links small savings amounts to specific calendar events, like birthdays or anniversaries;
In this challenge, the app saves £1 the first week, £2 the second week, and so on, helping you save £1378 in a year; and
Rainy Day Rule:
Plum saves a fixed or percentage amount each time it rains in your local area, promoting saving on rainy days.
2. Investment Options
Plum offers users a simple way to invest without the need for prior investing knowledge. Users can choose from various investment themes, such as Tech Giants, Ethical, and Emerging Markets. Each theme is a low-cost, diversified fund managed by reputable fund managers. Plum offers the following investment themes:
Plum PLUS ISA;
Plum ULTRA ISA;
Emerging Markets; and
Keep in mind that investment accounts have fees: the regular investment account has a monthly management fee of £1, while stocks and shares ISAs have a 0.40% annual management fee.
3. Bill Switching
Plum's bill-switching feature compares your energy supplier with others in the market and helps identify potential savings. If it finds a cheaper energy supplier, the app will recommend switching to the new provider to lower your energy bills. Switching within the Plum app ensures a smooth transition and is often handled without any manual intervention.
4. Money Maximiser
Money Maximiser is a premium feature that automatically moves your savings into the highest-earning interest account available in the Plum ecosystem. This allows your money to grow over time while minimizing effort on your part.
Pros of Plum
Ease of use:
Plum has an intuitive and easy-to-understand interface that makes it simple for users to navigate and manage their savings;
The app's algorithms and features make saving money seamless and almost effortless;
Plum offers a range of investment themes suitable for various risk profiles, making it accessible to all users;
Bank account integration:
The app supports integration with most major UK banking institutions, ensuring a wider reach for potential users;
Bank-level security and encryption methods provide users with peace of mind about their financial information; and
The ability to find cheaper energy suppliers adds another layer of savings and financial efficiency.
Cons of Plum
Plum is currently limited to users with UK-based bank accounts;
Fees for investment accounts:
While relatively low, fees associated with investment accounts may be a drawback for some users;
Users have limited capacity to customize their automatic saving rules, which might not suit everyone's preferences; and
Although the chatbot interface is user-friendly, some users may prefer traditional controls and menus.
Overall, the Plum app is an innovative and user-friendly tool that simplifies the process of saving and investing, catering to the needs of modern users. Its automatic savings features, investment options, and bill-switching capabilities make it a powerful platform for managing money efficiently.
However, keep in mind that Plum is currently limited to users with UK-based bank accounts, and some users may balk at the fees associated with investment accounts. Additionally, limited customization options and the chatbot interface may not suit everyone's preferences.
In conclusion, if you are a UK-based user looking to save money effortlessly and explore investment opportunities, Plum could be an ideal solution for your financial needs.
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