We spotted The Money University singing our praises on Instagram, so decided it was best we found out exactly what they loved about Emma. We talk budgeting, getting your finances under control, and of course all things Emma.
What made you first start sharing money-saving tips on Instagram?
Over the past few years, I’ve read lots of books and blogs which have rewired my brain when it comes to money.
Reading has made me question whether there’s more to life than working all week, spending big chunks of your hard earned money at the weekend, going into debt for 25 years to buy a house, and then heading into retirement feeling financially uncertain.
If you get the foundations right: healthy (even diverse) income, healthy saving and investing, you can take a literal decade off your working life – as well as lift the weight of financial stress for a lifetime.
It made me think: why was I never told any of this? I thought – I should just start sharing what I’m finding out. I have done that now and I’m really enjoying it!
You recently posted on your Instagram account that Emma was one of the best free budgeting apps (thanks 😉). How has Emma helped you on your money-saving journey?
When people think about budgeting, you might think of someone a bit miserly or mathsy pouring over a spreadsheet and meticulously updating it every month.
It really isn’t like that, anyone can easily budget – and Emma has been a great way for me to keep an eye on everything I’ve got going on.
It sucks in all the info from my various accounts (current account, credit card, stocks and shares ISA) and shows it to me in one place.
I can see how much I’m spending at a glance. Which is all I need. I can inspect things if I’m unsure why my spending has gone up, and then I think “aah yeah, that’s the weekend I visited my mate – got the train, went out” etc. etc.
What surprised you most about your spending after using Emma?
The erratic nature of my spending was the biggest surprise at first.
Even though you might be doing okay financially, if you’re having to constantly juggle accounts, dip into savings, transfer money from one place to another, you’re not really in control of your money.
Automating your money system from month to month using Emma, puts your mind at ease.
Do you have a favourite feature on Emma?
The accounts tab is definitely my most used part of Emma. This is where you can see everything that’s going on at a glance, without having to open different apps or browsers.
I use Emma in conjunction with Monzo, and I then use Monzo pots to basically do an envelope budgeting method. With Emma you can see all of your individual Monzo Pots, plus then all your other accounts.
I’m also a big fan of Emma’s merchant “history” feature which lets you click on individual merchants and look at what you spent this week, the total number of transactions, your average spend, and your total spent.
Good for scoping out just how much damage Uber or Deliveroo are doing to your account.
Are there any features on Emma that you’d like to make more use of?
Honestly there’s probably a lot I should be using. Because I have my budgeting sorted out through the envelope method, I know my budgeting is taken care of. But I think I could be making more of Emma’s in-app budget features.
There’s also the comparison services Emma has integrated into the app. I’ll be trying these out when my tenancy is up for renewal and I’m looking for new broadband and energy deals!
And lastly, we’re big fans of emoji’s at Emma – if you had to describe your finances using one emoji, what would you pick and why?
I am a big fan of thinking of money like water.
Your money needs to flow in, fill up your various buckets (your needs, your savings, your investments) and little bits of it need to be siphoned off here and there to keep the whole system flowing. Is there an emoji for this?
This one is okay… ♻️ This one I think is a bit dubious? 💦 This is too chaotic 🌊, so I think I’ll go with this one 💧
Didn’t do a great job with that question, did I?
And for more money blogger interviews, click the link here.
Emma is a money management app that connects all your bank accounts to track your monthly spending and subscriptions. Emma will help you visualise and take control of your finances. Make sure you aren’t overspending, and show you practical steps to start budgeting effectively.