Emma Finance

How To Use Emma – Your First 10 Days

There’s a whole bunch of free and juicy features waiting for you when you first download Emma.  

To make sure you’re getting the most out of our app, we’ve decided to write this handy guide to navigating all the Emma Finance features during your first 10 days! 

Day 1: Add Multiple Accounts

Hoorah, you’ve officially downloaded Emma and have connected one of your accounts.  

The next thing you’re going to want to do is connect all of your accounts. With Emma, you can connect as many accounts as you like! 

The Accounts tab is split into different sections – Everyday, Savings, Investments & if you’re in the US/CA you’ll also have a Loans section.

To add an account, click the button which says “Add Account”. 

How To Use Emma

You’ll now be prompted with a list of banks we currently support. The process is straightforward from here, you just need to select your bank of choice. If you can’t see your bank on the main screen, try searching for it using the search bar. 

Next, you’ll be directed to a consent screen. This makes sure that you’re aware of the data we’re going to access. We don’t share this data with any third party providers, apart from those that make the actual connection such as Plaid (Canada and US only).

You will then be asked a couple of questions to finish connecting your bank account to Emma, but it shouldn’t be long before your details are visible in our app. 

If you can’t see your bank on the list, you can suggest an integration by posting on the Emma Community.

Multiple Bank Accounts

Day 2: Set Budgets

Now that your Emma account is linked to a financial institution, creating budgets is extremely simple.

First, you’ll need to go to the Analytics tab. You’ll see a message which says Set Up Budgeting, so click where it says Let’s get started. You’ll then need to choose your budgeting period.

Your budgeting period could be payday to payday – or you could set up a budget that rolls over monthly. You can find out the difference between these budgets on our FAQ page here. Choose whichever you think works best for you!

How To Use Emma

There are two ways you can now set budgets in Emma. The first is by setting a total budget, i.e. this month I can spend £1,000. Or, if you want more detail, you can set individual budgets by category. For example, you could allow £100 a month for groceries, £150 for bills, and so on. 

Emma Finance Budgeting App

Your total budget and the combined total of your category budgets do not have to be equal. If you want your total budget to be equal to the combined total of your category budgets, copy the Combined Budget Total you find at the top of the edit budget screen and enter it as your total budget.

If you’ve set budgets by category, you’ll now be able to track your spending vs your budget each month. You’ll notice as you spend more money in each category, the category box fills up with colour. You can use this as a visual guide to make sure you don’t go over your budget. 

We’ll also keep you on track of your budgeting by sending you helpful notifications if we think you’re likely to overspend in one area! 

Day 3: Review Your Subscriptions

Today we’re going to focus on reviewing your subscriptions.

Emma is able to detect recurring payments and subscriptions you might have, from direct debits to standing orders to normal purchases. Clever, right?!

You’ll find all of your subscriptions at the bottom of the Feed tab. Click on “see all” and you’ll  be directed to a screen which shows Active and Inactive subscriptions. 

An active subscription is something you are currently paying for, whereas an inactive subscription could be an old energy supplier, or mobile phone contract that you are no longer being charged for. 

For your active subscriptions, we’ll let you know if there is any change in the amount paid. Next to the merchant name you’ll see a little arrow which identifies if your bill is more, or less, expensive than last month. This can be a great way to identify any issues or price hikes that you may not have been aware of. 

Review Your Subscriptions

We’ll also predict when your next payment is due, helping you manage your cash flow more effectively! 

If Emma has not picked up on any transactions you consider to be a subscription, you can also add this by clicking on the Add button in the top right-hand corner. Simply search for your transaction, and select it as a recurring payment. 

Day 4: Edit A Category & Add A Tag

Every time you spend money we’ll automatically group this spend into set categories. 

Today we want you to have a go at editing a category. Open the Emma app and on the Feed tab, you’ll see a section called Recent Transactions. If you click the “see all” button you’ll be directed to a whole list of your recent purchases. 

Under the amount spent, you’ll see the category name. There may be occasions when the category we’ve automatically assigned needs to be changed. 

For example, there could be a transaction for Tesco which has been categorised under “groceries” when actually this was petrol and should be grouped under the “transport” category. 

If you want to change the transaction category, select a transaction and click on the category button underneath the transaction name. Select a new category. If you want to apply this change to all transactions with that merchant name, click “apply edit to all”. 

If you’d like to categorise your spending in even more detail, you can add a tag. A quick and easy example would be creating tags like #train #flight and #fuel for transactions under the category ‘Transport’.

You can then also filter what you spent across a certain period of time via tags in your feed.

Day 5: Visit The Save Money Tab

By now you should be getting to know your finances pretty well. You’ve got all your accounts linked in one app, you’ve set your budgets, you’ve reviewed your subscriptions and you’ve even organised your categories and tags. You really are well on your way to greater financial control! 

But now it’s time to find out how we can help you SAVE money. 

The Save Money tab has a whole host of features that can help reduce your outgoings. We’ll help you save on your bills, compare insurance, pay off your debt, and more! The offers available are slightly different depending on if you’re in the UK or the US. You can see each of the services available on the image below – the UK services are on the left, the US is on the right.

Spend some time looking through each of the tabs and decide which feature may be best for you and your finances. 

How To Use Emma

Day 6: Use The Search Function

One of our newest features is the ability to search through all your transactions. To access this feature, go to your most recent transactions list and click on the small magnifying glass in the top right corner.

You have a few options here. You could either search for a merchant name, or you could use the filters at the bottom of the page. Here’s what each of the filters does. 

  • Filter by category
  • Select specific merchants
  • Filter by tag
  • Select transactions with a price higher than >x
  • Filter on transactions with a price lower than <x
  • Choose a date range – this/last week, month, quarter or year
  • Filter by if the transaction has a receipt attached to Emma

You can use all of these filters in conjunction with each other. As shown in the image below, where we wanted to see all our transactions this month for transport under £5. 

Emma Finance Budgeting App

Day 7: Sign Up To The Fun Stuff

One of our main goals at Emma is to make money management fun. That’s why we offer two exciting features, the Emma weekly quiz and the Emma weekly spending reports. 

The weekly quiz comes out every Saturday and gives you the chance to win £500! Just answer all 5 questions correctly, and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win the money. 

Then there’s the weekly spending reports. Every Tuesday you’ll be sent a spending report which gives you valuable insights into how you’ve spent your money that week. We’ll tell you what your biggest spend was, which category you spent the most money on, and if we think you’re likely to go over budget this month. 

To make sure you receive these fun features, go to the More tab, then click on the cog to access your Account Settings. Scroll down until you see “preferences” and make sure you’re set to receive both of these features! 

Emma Finance Spending Reports

Day 8: Use The Scramble Function

By now you’re probably thinking, “yep this app is really good, I’d love to show it to my friends”? 

With scramble mode, your data will be shuffled and the currency will be changed to ‎¥‎. This means you can take your pals through the app, without worrying they’ll be checking out how much you earn, or spend! 

Day 9: Try Emma Pro 

All the features we’ve mentioned so far are completely free on Emma! But, we do also have a premium version for those that want to manage their money in even more detail. 

With the premium version you get a whole bunch of extra features. You can:

  • View your Accurate Net Worth by adding the value of your real estate, cars, jewellery
  • Create Custom Categories for those areas of your spending we don’t currently cover
  • Export your data into a CSV file so you can analyse your spending in excel
  • Action Advanced Transaction Editing by re-categorising multiple transactions, as well as renaming transactions
  • Add Offline Accounts to get a full picture of your spending, even for the banks Emma doesn’t support 
  • Split transactions to help you more accurately manage your spending across different categories 
  • Set rolling budgets, so any money not used in one category can be rolled into the next month 

We’ve written about these features in more detail here, and you can give it a go for free with our 7-day free trial! 

Day 10: Get Friendly

You’ve now been using Emma for quite a while and have had time to get to grips with all of our amazing features. There’s just a couple more things you can do in our app!

1. Finish Your Profile

It’s nice to make things a lil more personal, so today we’re going to work on finishing your profile. Open the Emma app and click on the tab which says “More”. 

In the top left corner you’ll see there’s a space for you to add your own picture. You can either take a photo, or choose one from your photo gallery. 

Underneath your new profile photo there’s a section called Quests. If you click this button, you’ll now be directed to a list of locked tasks for you to complete. You should see the “upload a picture” task is no longer locked! Hooray. 

If you wanted to play around with your personal details, like name and email address then click the back arrow, and then the cog icon in the top right corner. From here click on personal details and change the information as you wish. 

2. Follow Us On Socials 

The money-saving fun doesn’t stop with the weekly spending reports and quizzes. We’ve got loads of fun money-saving tips and discussions happening on our social channels. You can click through to them by following the links at the bottom of this article, or you can access them through the app by going to Account Settings and scrolling down to the “about us” section. 

3. Leave Us A Review

If you’ve really enjoyed all of the free features available on Emma, we’d love it if you could leave us a review. Find your way to the Account Settings page and click on “Rate this app”.

If you know anyone that you think would be interested in Emma, then invite them to join the app by clicking on “quests” and then “invite 1 friend” 

Budgeting App Reviews

Summary 

Remember at the start of the article we said there were a whole bunch of juicy features waiting for you in Emma? Well, we hope they’re all a little clearer now! 

If you have any questions about any of these features, then head to the in-app live chat! 

And as always, if you thought this article was useful then let us know on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or on the Emma Community! 

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.

Rebekah May

I'm Bekki and I'm the Junior Marketing Manager at Emma. I'm a foodie-loving Londoner who likes nothing more than helping people with their finances!