This post is in collaboration with the Chip App and contains affiliate links (but I’ve been using it and making my family and friends sign up for years!)
Happy 2020! Have you come here with a money-based New Year’s resolution? Brilliant. Because if there’s one thing you do – and luckily for you, it’s ridiculously easy and free – download the Chip App because I promise you, it’s a game-changer.
WANT A FREE TENNER? Download the Chip App using THIS LINK and use the code LOTTY10 (it’s in the ‘profile’ section). After you’ve made two auto-saves (I’ll explain all this below) you’ll get a free £10 added to your account within 30 days.
I was trying but failing
Have you ever felt like you’ve been putting money away for months, but not actually getting anywhere? Well, that was me for years.
I’d be constantly saying things like ‘can’t go to the pub’ or ‘can’t go on holiday this year’, because I wanted to put a chunk of my wage away for fun things, but I wasn’t really.
Let me go through the cycle with you:
- January – Right, let’s start putting a chunk of my wage aside every month. I’m a changed woman. Last year’s *me* was absolute trash. This is going to be the year! (I’m also going to go to the gym and drink less gin)
- February – Booking a holiday for the summer, so that’s all my money used up
- March – Can put a little bit of money away (but need to buy some flights and don’t really want to go with Ryanair because I want a holiday, not to live my nightmares out in real life)
- April – Ignore the fact I wanted to put money away
- May – Manage to put away £50. Good for you Lotty, this is the adulting I expect from myself
- June – Take out that £50
- July – It’s my boyfriend’s, sister’s and mum’s birthday, so obviously not going to put money away
- August – Holiday (obs need every penny for cocktails and Magnums)
- September – Stash cash!
- October – Stash cash!
- November – Black Friday and need to get everyone Christmas presents
- December – You’ve got to be having a laugh!
It’s not that I wasn’t trying – the intention was there, but the end goal always seemed to be out of reach.
How I turned the game around and stashed away over £2,699
A couple of years back, I decided I wanted to break this cycle. I was putting in effort and failing. I started paying into my pension properly but also wanted to build up a rainy day fund.
I know better than most how quickly you can go from having a job, to literally not having a place to live. Experts say that you need three months worth of wages put away, which you don’t ever touch, just incase you something bad happens. So if you lose your job for example, you’ve given yourself three month’s wiggle room to get back on track.
But how do you build up three months’s wages? That’s not a small amount for anyone. Well here’s my secret – with the Chip App.
Again, I PROMISE you, this is not a faff and the whole point is that you won’t notice the money leaving your account.
My experience with Chip
I’m not sure why I signed up to Chip a couple of years ago (I’m assuming someone recommended it because i’m very fussy about money apps), but I’m so glad I did.
The free app sits on my phone and now and then, when I remember, I check to see how much I’ve put aside.
It’s never annoyed me by signing me out so I have to input a load of details at the time (unlike other money apps which drive me mad!)
Its whole schtick is that depending on how much money you have in your account, it takes out a small amount of money now and then. The plan is that it’s small enough you don’t notice, but consistent so it builds up – and it builds up fast.
In December for example, it took out money on the 1st, 5th, 9th and 13th. So yeah, every four days.
What it would take out for me is different from what it would take out for you, as it judges it based on the bank balance.
By the beginning of December, the Chip App had collected a whopping £2,699.12 over about two years, which I promise I’d never missed leaving my account.
Since then, I’ve nearly accumulated another £70, which I can withdraw for free at any time.
Put it this way – there is not a member of my family or a close friend I’ve not already made sign up to Chip – it’s absolutely brilliant.
I wish I had more of a story for you, but literally downloaded it and did nothing! This blog post could have probably just been ‘trust me, download this’ – but I can’t resist a little ramble.
How does Chip work?
Let’s talk about how this actually works. You download it, it’s free and available on Android and iOS.
You attach your bank account to it. You can either take a picture of your card or put the details in yourself. You’ll need to have online banking to use the Chip App.
The app, using some sort of wizardry I will never understand, takes a look at your spending and how much money you have, and cleverly decides how much money to remove and put away into your Chip account.
This amount could be a couple of quid, or a whole chunk if you’re that baller you wouldn’t notice it! Totally depends on what you’re able to afford.
You’ll get a notification telling you how much Chip plans on taking out of your account, and you have until 4pm to tell them no via the app if you want to, or do nothing (like me!) and the money will be stashed away. Again, the theory is that you won’t notice this money missing.
But don’t worry – you can take this money out super easily, or pause whenever you like.
You can adjust the withdrawal rate too. There are five levels, so if you want to up the ante you can, or cool off a bit if you start to feel money is a bit tight.
In fact, if you want to put a chunk of money away alongside the auto-saving, you can do that too.
When you open the app, you see a stream with how much you put away recently, and how much money you’ve got in the Chip App.
You can interact with the app, but generally, you’re talking to a robot rather than a person. The conversation is bright and friendly, with lots of GIFs.
Actually, my big criticism of Chip is that I seem to get the same GIF pop up every time in it and I hate that bloke’s face. You know the clapping man with his mouth wide open? Him. Chip – can we do something about that?!
However, if you do want to chat to a real person, the customer support is built into the app and you can live chat away (from 8 am to 5 pm).
Setting a goal on the Chip App
You’ll be asked if you want to set up some goals. You can have up to three (Chip recommends you pick a short, medium and long term goal – which makes sense), but I personally just have the one.
You can then allocate a percentage of what you put away to each goal. So, for example, if your goal one was a rainy day fund, goal two a holiday, and goal three deposit on a house, you could allocate 50% to the first goal, and 25% to each of the other two.
It’s totally up to you how you do it. But I personally like watching the bar move across as I get closer to my goal. Simple pleasures, eh?
Who can sign up to Chip?
Well pretty much anyone. It works with most banks including Monzo, Starling, N26 and Revolt. It’s also worth noting that you can only use a debit card with the Chip App, so not a credit card.
Here’s the full list:
- Co-operative Bank
- First Direct
- Metro Bank
Can you use the Chip App if you’re in your overdraft?
If you’re in an overdraft which is charging you money, I don’t recommend you putting money away for something else. The odds are it would be cheaper to put all your efforts into getting out of your overdraft. Paying off your credit ASAP.
That said, you can use the Chip App if you’re in your overdraft, so you could potentially use it as a tool to get enough money to do that.
If you’re in a planned overdraft that is free – then there’s no reason not to start using the Chip App.
How hard is it to withdraw your money out of the Chip App?
Chip says that if you ask for your money before 2pm on a weekday, you’ll have your money back into your bank account on the same day.
If you ask after 2pm or on a weekend, you’ll get it back into your bank account the next working day. Good, right?
I tested this out for you. I requested to withdraw my £2,699 on the 6th December (was just a click of a button) and it hit my account on the same day.
Is my money safe with the Chip App?
So how legit is all this? It’s all well and good finding an easy way to put money aside, but if it’s not safe, it’s not worth the risk. But don’t you worry – I wouldn’t be writing about something risky here!
Chip doesn’t have FSCS protection. Your chip account is hosted at Barclays Bank in an E-wallet. The Chip App never actually touches your money. So unless Barclays goes under, your money is safe.
A quick thing about data, the Chip app is legally obliged to act in full compliance with the Data Protection Act. It does not store your data.
Are there any fees with the Chip App?
There are no fees at all with a standard Chip account. It doesn’t cost you to take your money out either (other apps can be cheeky and charge).
Does the Chip App do a credit check?
The Chip App will ask you for your name, address and date of birth to check you are who you say you are with a referencing company, but this isn’t a credit check.
Get a FREE £10 when you sign up to the Chip App
So there we have it, everything you could possibly want to know about the Chip App. It sounds good, right? Convinced? Well, if not quite – this will do it.
Sign up to the free Chip App using THIS LINK and use the code LOTTY10 (it’s in the profile section). After the first two auto-saves, you’ll bag yourself a free £10 welcome bonus (your account will be credited within 30 days).