Our goal with this article is to compare three of the most popular budgeting apps: Yolt, Money Dashboard and Emma.
Although there are a lot of reviews out there, the fact that we’ve built a budgeting app ourselves and use it regularly means we have a good understanding of what makes each app different.
We’ll let you know what Money Dashboard does a great job at, and what makes Yolt and Emma great alternatives as well. If you’re leaving Yolt due to the app closing down, then hopefully this comparison will give you an idea of whether to go for Money Dashboard or Emma.
We’ll be covering:
- The various features of each tool on a table
- The main differentiators of each app and its pros and cons
- What kind of person is suited to each app
Here’s a quick feature overview of each app:
At Money Dashboard, our goal is to do what it says on the tin: provide an app that helps you manage your money. You’ll easily connect your bank accounts, view all your accounts in one place and track your spending. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Money Dashboard:
Your bank will be on our list
We pride ourselves on being connected with the largest number of banks and building societies in the UK (over 60 connections!). That means it’s highly guaranteed that you’ll be able to use Money Dashboard with your various bank accounts. And it won’t be just your bank accounts, you’ll also be able to connect to accounts like Wealthify, Coinbase and Pensionbee — so you can track your investments, your savings and pensions. View all connections and their current status here.
Available on desktop and mobile
Managing money sometimes requires using spreadsheets and a big screen. Money Dashboard is an app that works on iOS and Android, but we also have a desktop web app.
If using the big screen is important to you, then you’ll be pleased to know that our app works on desktop, laptops and across any screen size (try for yourself).
We’ll never become a bank
Whereas other apps like Yolt will require you to use a payment card, Money Dashboard sticks to what we do best: budgeting and money management. That means we won’t ever hold your money and you won’t be using a Money Dashboard card to send and receive money.
It also means you won’t have to go through the whole preamble of verifying your identity and waiting for a card to arrive — you can start right away. We are also free, and will always stay free.
No personalised insights
We offer a handy spending plan that helps you forecast your budget and will let you know how much left you’ve got to spend for the next few months based on your previous expenses.
However, we won’t offer personalised recommendations on where you can save your money. Our visuals are also mostly restricted to the web application rather than the phone app.
No payments to other people or rewards
Within the app you can transfer money between your account, but you won’t be able to use Money Dashboard to pay for bills, spend money or split a payment. We’re not planning on offering bank accounts or issuing cards, so if that’s important to you then you might prefer going with a different budgeting app.
We also don’t offer cashback. While you might earn a decent amount of cashback with other budgeting apps, we only focus on the money management side.
No calendar view
Some people prefer a calendar view where they can view their bills easily over time. Although we are considering it on the roadmap, we don’t currently offer a calendar view. If this is something that is a dealbreaker, then we understand that another app might work better for you.
Great for: The Money Dashboard app is great for someone who wants to get up and running with their budget quickly, and likes seeing everything in one place. It’s especially useful for those who like managing budgets on their desktop.
Yolt has announced they are closing down and all users need to withdraw their money by the 4th of December. If you’re a Yolt user looking at alternatives, then you’ll be interested in comparing the current features of Yolt with Money Dashboard and Emma. Here are some of the various pros and cons of using Yolt.
Yolt users have praised the intuitiveness of the Yolt app. When you first sign up, Yolt guides you through all the key steps and makes sure your budget is easily set up. The design is clean and simple, which makes it easy to follow.
Yolt takes spending tracking to the next level: they add a renewal date next to each subscription, and you’ll have a dedicated tracker that helps you manage your bills and subscriptions and even savings. You’ll even get regular budget notifications to make sure you stay on top of your budget.
Bank account and card
If you want a truly, all in one money app, Yolt does it for you with their Yolt card and account. With Yolt, you could spend money, pay bills, split payments and do most of the things you can with a bank account. This allows you to easily manage your money in one place, while still tracking everything from the app — all for free.
⚠️ Note: Yolt is closing down in December, so currently you won’t be able to create a new account.
Problems with people being locked out
Yolt turned into a bank account, which is great if that’s what you were looking for, but not handy if you just wanted a budgeting app. Since it’s a bank account, users have to complete identity verification and go through several authentication steps.
Holding people’s money can result in people being locked out of their accounts. If you rely on Yolt for your money, being locked out and no access to your money is no joke.
No web app and lack of certain functionalities
If managing a budget from a desktop is very important to you, then Yolt isn’t ideal since it’s only available on mobile. You either have to export your financial transactions or just stick to using the app.
Also, some users complained about the fact that you can only enter a payday that works month by month — which means if you earn your money on a different cycle it can get difficult to manage your budget.
Great for: budgeters who want an intricate budget within their bank account. With the Yolt app, you send money and pay bills, removing the need to constantly switch bank accounts or cards.
Emma is a budgeting app that has been described as the “fitness tracker for money”. They make it easy to sync your budget with your payday and easily track your spending and saving, as well as provide personalised insights into your spending. What are the various pros and cons of using Emma?
Personalised insights and functionalities
Emma has a softer design, and the visuals are clean and detailed. Not only does the app offer a high amount of visuals, but they also offer users recommendations on where they could improve their spending.
Emma makes it easy to categorise your spending over time by category or by budget, and you can quickly and easily see where you’re overspending on subscriptions.
If cashback is your thing, you’ll get a lot of it with Emma! Emma works with your Paypal account and offers over 60 cashback deals including Nike, B&Q, Groupon and more. You also get £15 for every 3 friends you refer.
Export to excel
If you join the pro version of Emma, you’ll be able to export your transactions to Excel, making it easy to combine with any other spreadsheets you might have. Since Emma aggregates from multiple sources, this can be quite a good time saver and make it easy to manage your spending.
Emma has several plans, with the most expensive one coming in at £83.99 per year. Considering the fact that you’re trying to save money and manage your money effectively, this can be quite a high price tag — especially since a lot of the features that come on their paid plan — such as customer categories and split transactions — are free with other budgeting apps.
A lot of notifications
Emma generates revenue via third party referrals, which means they will keep encouraging you to switch providers and use their offers. Some users have mentioned that the notifications can get annoying (although you can get rid of them on the paid plan).
Not all banks are supported
It’s worth checking out whether Emma supports your bank before using a paid plan or adding other bank accounts. Accounts like Virgin Money are not supported, which can be a dealbreaker if you want all your money in one place!
Great for: budgeters who want personalised insights into their spending, and are fans of cashback and getting deals.
👉 We hope it’ll be easier for you to make a choice between Money Dashboard, Emma and Yolt. If you’re leaving Yolt, hopefully you have a better idea of how both Money Dashboard and Emma work. At Money Dashboard, our goal is simple: to help you manage your money more efficiently by allowing you to see all your finances in one place.
If you’re keen to try out Money Dashboard, you can download our app or try the web app for free by signing up now!