Plum VS Cleo: How to Set More Money Aside Every Month

I often get asked the question “How can I save more money every month?” or “What are your top tips for saving?”

Obviously, there are several answers to these questions, but recently I tested 2 FREE* money apps (*pro subscriptions available) which I think are
great to share with you as ways to help you set more money aside every month.

Free* Money Apps To Help You Set More Money Aside

Often saving money starts with great financial habits. This isn’t always easy. These FREE* apps make it super easy.

Plum: A money management app

Is Plum safe?

From a technical perspective, Plum says they use sophisticaed technology such as symmetric cryptography (AES – It must be sophisticated with a name like that!) to store sensitive data, encrypt communications and never store your bank login details.

How exactly does Plum work?

Put simply, you provide Plum with read-only access to your bank account statements and set up a direct debit (which is covered by the Direct Debit guarantee).

Plum considers your regular spending and makes suggestions as to how you could save some money. It does this by analysing your financial activity to help you automatically set more money aside, whilst also analysing your bills to help you switch to, for example, cheaper utility providers. If you allow it to, Plum will automatically put money it deems as ‘spare’ into a pocket for you.

You can speed up and slow down the rate of setting money aside depending on your ‘mood’. Beast Mode (heavy stashing), Ambitious (moderate to high amounts), Eager (moderate stashing), Normal (moderate amounts), Chilled (low amounts), and Shy (very low amounts).

When I set my Plum mood up I started off as a ‘beast’ (not sure why they call it beast!) but soon changed to ‘chilled’ over Christmas! I then ramped it back up to beast again.

Their algorithm uses a number of safeguards specifically designed to prevent you from going to overdraft if you switch ‘Overdraft Deposits’ off in the app, and you can also pause the automatic deposit function at any time, and for any duration of time.

Pros and Cons of Using Plum

  • No interest; until recently Plum didn’t offer an interest rate on the money you set aside. Plum is currently rolling out interest bearing pockets, but they are only available behind their paid subscription ‘Plum Pro/Plus’ at the moment. So while you may build up a healthy pot, it’s worth considering if you could get more from your money by putting it into an account which offers interest. I wouldn’t consider it the best place for returns, but that’s not the main purpose of Plum.
  • You can withdraw your money at any time, 24/7, simply by clicking the ‘withdraw’ button in your Plum App.. Your money will be deposited into your linked bank account within 24 hours, free of charge.


There are some key differences between Plum and Cleo. Firstly, Cleo won’t move your money for you.

Cleo helps you to have a better insight into your spending and financial habits; it uses AI (artificial intelligence) to scan your behaviours, learn how you shop, and communicate with you based on it’s observations.

You can ask Cleo questions such as “Can I afford a coffee?” or “What’s my balance?” and it will use the information and data it has gathered to answer you.

Pros and cons of using Cleo

  • Categorises your spending; by clearly separating your purchases and expenses into categories. Cleo allows you to see at a glance the habits and spending that may be in need of some attention. You can see exactly where you are spending your money, and where you could make adjustments.
  • Great for better engagement with your money; unlike Plum which can take the thinking out of putting money aside for you, Cleo gives you the insights you may need to engage more positively with your own finances.
  • Offers you big picture info to make decisions; through the insights Cleo offers, you can feel encouraged and empowered to make positive decisions about your own money, and feel more confidently to do so.
  • Help you see where your money is going; by offering clear and categorised insights, it’s easy to see at a glance where your money is going, without complicated and time-consuming spreadsheets, calculations, and bank statement analysis.
  • Move from being reactive to being proactive; all of the above can really help you switch from a financially reactive mindset to a proactive one.
  • Not best interest rates but encourages good habits; while Cleo doesn’t offer the best interest rates, it can do a fantastic job of ridding you of bad financial habits and promoting positive habits.

So all in all, another clever funky little free money app right? If nothing else, if you find it hard to save because you never have any money left at the end of the month, both of these free* money app encourage you to start creating healthy savings habits. It’s also nice to get a little morning message from Plum with my current bank balance forcing me to be proactive, not reactive with money.

Start managing your money with Plum now

For transparency, I have not been paid to write this blog but I do get a
cheeky little bonus into my account if you choose to open an account
with this software using my link.

*Both apps are free to download and subscribe to. There is a Pro / Plus subscription available to unlock more features.

Posted in ,


  1. Sonia Perle on March 24, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    This was helpful ! Thnks Sonia Perle

  2. Andries on April 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Many thanks, very helpful

  3. Ralf on November 3, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve used Cleo and it does set money aside, which is handy.

    • Aleena Brown on November 18, 2020 at 9:52 am

      So glad you’ve found it useful Ralf!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.