Moneyfarm wins this hands down! They’ll handle everything for you and grow your money over time (and are very good at it). You don’t have to do a thing! Plus, it’s cheaper and you can get free advice from real consultants. The app is also great and super easy to use. Moneyfarm is our winner.
Looking to start saving, or after a new place to invest your cash? Moneybox and Moneyfarm are both great options, but they are quite a bit different.
Moneybox is what is known as a budgeting app, it helps you save more money each month by connecting to your bank account and rounding up your spare change when you spend money. And then automatically saves and invests this for you on their app – however, you need to decide which investments you want to make.
Moneyfarm is a digital wealth manager, it’s a bit more sophisticated, and they aim to grow your savings over the long term with their experts managing everything for you. You can even have a good old chinwag with them about the right investment strategy for you (for free too).
If you’re struggling to save money, Moneybox is great, and you can start with as little as £1. If you’re already putting away a little bit of cash each month, or already have some savings, that’s where Moneyfarm comes in – they’re the bit more ‘grown up’ option – and you’ll need £500 to get started.
There’s actually better options out there to help you save than Moneybox, for instance Chip¹, who works out how much you could save each month, rather than just rounding up your spare change. Here’s all the best budgeting apps.
And if you are looking to build up your investments, Moneyfarm is our recommended provider. Here’s the Moneyfarm website¹ to get started.
Still want more info? Let's get into the details!
Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: ease of use
Both Moneybox and Moneyfarm are mobile apps that you can download onto your phone, however you can also use Moneyfarm on their website, which is always a good option to have.
The apps themselves are available on both Apple and Android, and are very highly rated.
Moneybox is rated 4.8 out of 5 on Apple and 4.3 on the Google Play Store.
Moneyfarm is rated 4.7 stars out of 5 on Apple, and 4.4 on the Google Play Store.
That’s pretty much exactly the same rating for both – and awesome ratings at that!
However, when actually using the platforms themselves – Moneyfarm is far easier, their experts simply handle everything for you. All you need to do is add some money after you choose which investment account option you’d like (e.g. an ISA) – more on those later.
With Moneybox, you have to make all the decisions. So you need to decide which investments you want to make, from a range of investment funds (groups of investments combined into one). If you’re not sure what you’re doing, it can be pretty complicated.
Plus, you need to monitor the performance of your investments with Moneybox (how much they are growing, or not), and change investments to suit your investment strategy (yep, you’ll need an investment strategy too). With Moneyfarm, this is all handled by their experts.
Overall, Moneyfarm is far easier to use. Their experts do it all for you. They’re the winner in this round for sure. Plus, you can speak to a real advisor to help you get started and answer any questions you might have too. That’s why we recommend Moneyfarm¹ to most people. It’s great.
Moneyfarm is a clear winner. Rated 5 star and highly recommended too.
However, with Moneybox, they’ve got a Lifetime ISA too (which is to save for your first home).
It’s pretty handy for saving for your first home (because you get a 25% bonus) and there’s not too many Lifetime ISAs around, so we’re giving this round to Moneybox. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best Lifetime ISA out there. Here’s the best Lifetime ISAs to view the best options.
Oh, and if you’re just looking to save for retirement in a pension (a great idea), there’s a few more options too – here’s the best personal pensions. Our top recommendation is PensionBee¹ (alongside Moneyfarm), they make pensions super easy. Learn more with our PensionBee review.
Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: investment portfolio options
After you’ve decided which investment account you’re going to use to invest your money (e.g. a Stocks and Shares ISA), next you need to choose how you want to invest your cash.
With Moneyfarm, you have 3 options:
Fully managed - experts manage the investments
Socially Responsible - ethical investment option
Fixed Allocation - investments don't often change (lower cost)
And within each of those options, you’ve got a range of risk options, from low risk to high risk (don’t let the word risk put you off). If it’s higher risk, it means your money could grow more over the long-term. However, you’ll have more volatility (ups and down) in the short-term. And with lower risk, the aim is slow and steady growth, but ultimately lower growth.
With Moneybox, there’s lots of decisions to make. You’ll choose from a range of investment funds to suit your investing style, for instance if you’re looking to grow with higher risk or lower risk. The funds range from global investments to just the UK companies, or things like just investments in tech companies or healthcare companies.
You can also buy individual stocks and shares (only US companies), so companies like Apple and Amazon. (A share is a tiny portion of the company, so you become an owner of that company).
The range isn’t very large for funds or stocks, and if you are looking to invest yourself, there’s better options out there (and cheaper). Here’s our best investment platforms to learn more.
Although having more options sounds good, if you're not a professional you're more likely to make mistakes and lose money. Best leave it to the experts! Therefore we're giving this to Moneyfarm – their experts will manage all the investments, so you don’t need to do a thing. You can’t really beat that.
Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: socially responsible investing
Both Moneybox and Moneyfarm have socially responsible investing options. Which is great.
With Moneyfarm, you simply select the socially responsible option. And when it comes to the investments themselves, they’re pretty good. They follow strict criteria set by the UN Global Compact strategy – which covers environment, social and governance issues (called ESG).
With Moneybox, you’ll need to find an investment fund that’s socially responsible – and these come in a varying degree of how ‘responsible’ they are. There’s 10 options available, and none really come close to how good the Moneyfarm option is in terms of its impact on the world. Moneybox options are also expensive.
Costs are important, but don’t make decisions based on costs alone. If the investment performance is better with a higher cost option, ultimately you could make more money.
When it comes to the fees, both Moneyfarm and Moneybox charge an annual management fee, which is a percentage of your savings. Then you’ll pay a fee for the investments themselves, which are called fund fees, and then a smaller fee to actually buy the fund, called a spread fee.
If this is getting too technical for you, Moneyfarm is cheaper overall, with much easier to understand fees.
Moneyfarm management fee
With Moneyfarm, this starts at 0.75% and reduces as your savings grow – and once you drop down to a lower fee, that fee applies to all of your savings, not just the extra bit (i.e. if you have £20,000 saved the total fee is 0.65%).
This fee is very good, and very competitive for a wealth manager that has experts managing things for you.
Up to £10,000
£10,000 to £20,000
£20,000 to £50,000
£50,000 to £100,000
£100,000 to £250,000
£250,000 to £500,000
Moneybox management fee
With Moneybox, you’ll first pay £1 per month as a subscription fee. This is deceivingly expensive if you have a low amount saved. For instance, if you have £500 saved, it’s a massive 2.4%!
Then you’ll pay an annual management fee too, which is 0.45% of your investments per year.
If you have a personal pension, and have more than £100,000 saved, this annual fee reduces to 0.15% on everything above that.
You’ve then got the cost of the investments themselves, and with Moneyfarm, there’s just one figure, as they handle the investments for you, and this is 0.30% in total (including spread fees we mentioned earlier).
So in total, with Moneyfarm, the most you’ll pay is 1.04%, and gradually reduces as your investments grow.
With Moneybox, the investment fees change depending on which funds you choose. And this ranges from 0.12% to 0.77%. You’d likely not have all your money in the cheapest one, or probably any, so let’s take the average, which is 0.45%.
That means you’d be paying around 0.90% when added to the annual management fee, although this can change depending on your investment decisions. And if you buy stocks, you’ll also pay a 0.45% foreign exchange fee, everytime you buy.
And then we need to add the subscription fee on top. Even if you have £5,000 saved, this is still pretty high, it would be 0.24%. And that gives a rough total for all the fees combined of 1.14% per year (not including the fee for stocks). Pretty complicated isn’t it?
Overall, Moneyfarm is far simpler, and it is actually cheaper, unless you only buy the very cheapest investment funds on Moneybox. Plus, with Moneyfarm, you’ve got the experts handling all the investments for you. We think it’s great value, and is our winner here.
By the way, if you’re only interested in low cost investing that you do yourself, check out InvestEngine¹ – they’re fee free! Here’s our InvestEngine review to learn more.
Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: customer reviews
To get a good indication of the customer service and overall customer satisfaction, it’s a great idea to look at the customer reviews. To do this, we’ll use Trustpilot, the popular reviews website.
Moneyfarm has an excellent rating of 4.4 out of 5 from over 750 reviews. That’s awesome. Lots of the reviews mention how easy it is to use, the great customer service and investment track record, plus the conversations with the advisors.
Moneybox has a rating of is also excellent, with 4.5 out of 5, from over 1,000 reviews. That’s also awesome! Lots of the reviews are about the Lifetime ISA and saving for your first home, rather than investing and the platform in general, but overall the app is easy to use.
That’s too close to call, both have great reviews – this one is a draw.
Winner: it’s a draw!
Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: the winner
When it comes to investing, it’s very tough to beat Moneyfarm. For instance, Nutmeg, another popular investment app, comes nowhere close in comparison to Moneyfarm (here’s Nutmeg vs Moneyfarm). And neither does Moneybox unfortunately – Moneyfarm is the clear winner here!
Moneyfarm and their experts handle everything for you, you can’t really beat expert investors, they are great at what they do. Plus, they’ve got advisors to help you get started and make the right decisions (and there whenever you need them).
It’s also low cost, and generally cheaper than Moneybox. And although Moneybox has more investment options, you need to know what you’re doing when it comes to investing to really make the most of it. And if you do know what you’re doing, there’s much better and cheaper options out there (check out our best investment platforms).
Moneyfarm also has much better options for investing in responsible companies (e.g. no oil companies), meaning your money will have a much better impact on the planet and the people in it. This is something close to our heart here at Nuts About Money.
The great thing about Moneybox is the Lifetime ISA, to save for your first home (because you get a 25% bonus). And we do recommend this! There’s also more options with our best Lifetime ISAs.
Overall, Moneyfarm is the winner, we rate them 5 stars, and highly recommend them, we even recommend them to our friends and family. If you want to learn more, here’s our Moneyfarm review and the Moneyfarm website¹ to get started.
Moneyfarm is a clear winner. Rated 5 star and highly recommended too.
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