Moneybox has increased in popularity over the past few years, with millions of users scattered across the United Kingdom. It’s a wise idea to start using an investment and savings app if you’re looking at things long term, as it can allow you to plan to buy your first house, save up for a special occasion or make sure that you’ve got a secure pension when you’re ready to retire.
Moneybox App Review
MoneyBox is one of the most used financial apps in the UK, and it’s definitely one of the best savings and investments apps you can currently use. It’s the perfect choice if you have limited knowledge when it comes to your finances, and you want to take your first steps in saving your hard earned cash.
To be fair to Moneybox though, they’ve gone beyond just being a basic savings app. You can fully manage your pension within the platform too, and nowadays you can even remortgage your property by taking advantage of their advisors too. The app itself is simple enough, which makes it very easy to navigate.
- You need very little experience and even understanding of stocks and savings to get started with a Moneybox account.
- It enables you to invest in a variety of tracker funds that can be customised to suit you.
- Moneybox are FCA regulated, which means that your investment is secure.
- The £1 monthly fee is fine if you’re depositing £100 a month, but adds up if you’re making smaller £10-20 deposits.
- After a while, you may want to branch out into different areas and asset classes, and Moneybox is limited in this regard.
So yep – Moneybox is great, but some more advanced users will likely want more detail about their investments, with perhaps some analytics or tracking to see exactly how they’re doing (and what they’re investing in too!). But what it does do well is simplicity, which is best exemplified by its ISA accounts.
Portfolio: ISAs and pensions
Moneybox is well known for being an investment platform, with their selection of ISAs being the best form of savings account for the average user – however, there are a few other things you can use the platform for too.
Their choice of ISAs are pretty attractive, and you have the ability to set how risk-adverse you are with them; you get the choice between being Cautious, Balanced, or Adventurous depending on your preference. With Moneybox you have a few different investment accounts to choose from, so here’s the most popular ones.
A Lifetime ISA, or a LISA, is going to be a must if you’re planning to buy your first home in the near or distant future. Moneybox offers an easy to access LISA that enables you to get a bonus, which can be used towards your first home or saved until retirement. For every £4000 you put into your LISA each year, the government will give you a maximum £1000 bonus that can be used towards your first mortgage for free or put towards retirement.
This can be used on homes up to a value of £450,000, and you can save up over a number of years too. This means that if you open your LISA now and start saving, in 5 years you could have an extra £5000 bonus towards your mortgage – if you have a partner, you can combine LISAs together too. You can open up a LISA if you’re under the age of 40.
Honestly, it’s a no brainer to get yourself a LISA set up if you’re 1) not yet on the property ladder, 2) are planning to be someday and 3) will likely need to get a mortgage when you do finally pull the trigger. Just bear in mind that you could end up losing cash if you want to take your money out early without using it for a mortgage (or before you’re 60).
Stocks and Shares ISA
With stocks and shares being some of the most attractive investments available, it only makes sense that Moneybox give you the chance to start your own stocks and shares ISA. This is much simpler than investing into stocks individually, as the stocks and shares ISA will allow you to invest into a tracker fund, which can be a portfolio of hundreds of different stocks.
A typical form of this is an index fund, which will track the movements of an entire index. For example, you may get an index fund that invests in the FTSE 100, which is simply to top 100 companies in the UK (the ones that have the highest market cap). In more recent years, we’ve seen movements towards more specialised and customised trackers; something that Moneybox offers is the ability to invest in green stocks, which are those that are “socially responsible” and ethical.
For those looking to get started with investing online, a stocks and shares ISA can be the best way to do it; especially if you want it to be passive without having the need to check your portfolio on a regular basis. It takes away the difficult of managing everything yourself and leaves it in the hands of experts (Moneybox partners).
General savings accounts
If you have more than your ISA allowance to save over the course of a year, then you may want to look at one of their general savings accounts as well. The interest on savings accounts currently isn’t great, but this is the same across the entire market. However, you can get a slightly better rate than at your bank if you’re happy to lock your funds down for a certain period of time (typically this starts at 95 days).
If you don’t want to lock your cash down at all, then you could consider putting it into a Simple Saver account instead. The interest may seem minimal, but across the course of a year, it’ll definitely add up.
If you’re a freelancer like me that’s worked for various different companies over the years, then you’ve likely had more than one pension in this time.
The good thing about Moneybox is that it offers you an easy way to combine all these different pensions into one, and it’ll also help you to track down any old pensions that you may have started in the past with a previous employer. This can prove advantageous, as combining all of them into one pension will make it really easy to manage.
You can then add to your pension at your own will; whether you want to do this on a weekly or monthly basis, or a one-off basis, is entirely up to you. You can also apply for government tax relief using their pension scheme, as well as certain government bonuses too.
More than just the ability to set up a savings account, Moneybox has invested quite a lot in educating their users about their finances. So, although you don’t need to know anything about investing to start an account, with their Moneybox Academy you can learn exactly what their specialists are doing with your money, as well as being more informed about what type of account or pension is right for you.
The lessons in the Academy range from stuff directly related to Moneybox, like how they manage their socially responsible funds, all the way to the basics like how inflation works, or how much stamp duty you’ll have to pay when purchasing a property. They’re constantly adding to the lessons here too, so there will be more to come on this front.
If you’re part of the younger generation, then house prices have gone through the roof over the past decade. At the same time, the government is trying to make it easier for people to afford mortgages, with more 10% and 5% deposit options available. Although you’ll pay a higher interest rate for these mortgages, they can still be a better option than paying rent for many folks.
Moneybox has all of the features you’ll need to get yourself in the right position to apply for your first mortgage. This goes beyond the LISA that gives you the government bonus – it has a mortgage and deposit calculator built into the app, which can help you estimate how much you can afford to pay each month based on your salary.
And actually, Moneybox has eventually added in the ability for you to actually apply for a mortgage, speaker to an advisor and get yourself an agreement in principle too. So, whilst it’s known for primarily being a saving app that allows you to stack up money to put towards something like a mortgage, now it can actually help you find the right mortgage too.
Common questions about Moneybox
Is Moneybox safe?
Due to Moneybox’s popular round up feature (where you can round up any of your expensive to the closest pound), the security of the app is often questioned. The truth is that Moneybox is as safe as any other investment platform that’s regulated by the FCA – meaning that they’re very secure and your funds will be protected up to a limit of £85,000 (if worse came to worse and Moneybox went broke!).
What is the Moneybox round up feature?
One thing that separates Moneybox from other investment platforms is the round up feature that it offers. You can connect your Moneybox account to your bank, and when you make your daily purchases, you can choose to round this up and add it into your savings account. For example, if you purchase a coffee for £3.50, you can quickly round this up to £4 and add the additional 50 pence to your savings.
How much are Moneybox fees?
As a standard fee, Moneybox charge their users £1 a month for their account; however, this does cover all ISAs and accounts you open with them, so you can open several different accounts within this price. That means you could have a LISA, stocks and shares ISA and a pension with Moneybox and only pay the £1 a month fee. They also charge a 0.45% value fee on your investments too.
How long does it take to withdraw from Moneybox?
You do need to check the terms of each individual savings account, as some of them have stipulations that can restrict you from withdrawing from your account. If there are no restrictions in place, then typically it will take around a week for your withdrawal to process and reach your bank account.
Overall, Moneybox is a great choice if you want to start investing online without having to have a ton of knowledge on stocks and savings accounts. They’re really here to simplify this process for the average investor, and they end up doing a good job of that overall, as you can set up your first within minutes of opening an account.