Saving for a holiday usually means being sufficiently disciplined to put money aside for several months. However, Plum aims to make it easier to save and invest on a regular basis.
Plum pitches itself as a “savings butler”, monitoring your spending and putting money aside for you automatically. You engage with it by giving it instructions through Facebook chat. Once you have enough squirrelled away for that holiday, you can simply tell it to withdraw and it will send the cash you’ve set aside back to your current account and you can be on your way.
By default, Plum will keep your money in a savings account, but it can also help you invest it via RateSetter, earning a higher rate in return for taking on some risk.
Revolut allows users of its prepaid debit cards to spend abroad based on competitive exchange rates, and generally no fees. There’s now a small charge to get a card – £5 in the UK – but it can pay for itself over the course of a holiday.
Monzo also allows you to spend abroad without fees. As a nice extra feature, if you lose your card, you can freeze (rather than cancel) it using the accompanying app. If you then find it at the bottom of your suitcase, simply log back in, unfreeze the card and you can go back to spending as usual.
Both Monzo and Revolut allow you to top up with a specific amount and then track your spending in real time, meaning that you can use it to keep within a budget over the course of your holiday.
If you’ve ever been on trip with friends, you’ll be familiar with the chore of remembering who spent what, and settling up at the end. There are now apps designed specifically to help with that, and Splitwise is a great one. It allows you and your friends to record every cost you each incur (such as meals, petrol or even holiday home rental) then at the end of the trip, it’ll work out who owes what, and you can even settle up within the app via PayPal.