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4 Apps Worth Downloading Just for the Bonus Perks

4 Apps Worth Downloading Just for the Bonus Perks

These days it seems like almost every website, retailer, and restaurant has their own app. Because of this overload, chances are you’ve downloaded an app only to discover that it was pretty much worthless. But don’t be so quick to throw the baby out with digital bathwater — there are a few applications that do deserve a download after all.

The latest trend in mobile seems to be the integration of rewards programs into apps. Gone are the traditional punch cards and stamps that were once used to denote loyalty, only to be replaced by a 21st century staple: the smartphone. However, not all rewards programs are created equal. That’s why, for the purposes of this list, we’ll be looking at applications that either offer perks upon downloading or give you a bonus with your first purchase.

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Without further ado, here are four (technically five) apps worth downloading for the bonuses they offer:

Dairy Queen

I know — December isn’t the ideal time to be talking about ice cream, but hear me out. While perhaps not seasonally appropriate, ice cream is still delicious and that’s doubly true for Dairy Queen’s Blizzards. So did you know that you can get a free small Blizzard just for downloading the fast food chain’s app and signing up for their rewards program? It’s true, and it’s spectacular.

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Uber/Lyft

If you live in one of the growing number of cities that Uber and/or Lyft operates in, you really can’t go wrong having one or both apps downloaded just in case you find yourself in need of a ride. However, you may want to hold off on actually registering your account until that time comes. Why? So that you can take advantage of some of the coupon codes that both companies tend to offer.

Admittedly you may have to do a quick Google search in order to make this one work, but there is almost always a promo code in effect that will get you a free or discounted ride to start off with. For example, right now the code FEELING22 (apparently someone in company’s promotional department is a T Swift fan) will make your first trip of up to $22 free. Meanwhile, Lyft typically offers new users $50 in credit, but they can only be used $10 at a time. So whether you want to wait for the right night out or perhaps save some money on cab fare during your next vacation, both ride-hailing apps are a must-have.

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Expedia

Speaking of vacations, Expedia is a pretty strong one-stop shop for flights, hotels, rental cars, and even packaged deals. Better yet, they also have a loyalty rewards program that earns you a $25 credit for every 3,500 in points you rack up. So where does the app come in? Currently the site is granting double points to bookings made using the app. They’ve also been known to sweeten that offer at times, so keep an eye out as well.

Even if you end up researching your hotel, flight, etc. on your desktop computer, it may be worth switching over to the app when it’s time to book. Hopefully doing so will mean a nice little discount on your next getaway.

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Krispy Kreme

Another tasty treat makes the list — and hopefully this one’s a little more appealing to those in colder climates. On its own, Krispy Kreme’s app actually offers some pretty cool features, including the ability to see which stores currently have their famed “Hot Now” signs on. But the real reason to download is that you’ll be instantly rewarded with a free original glazed donut coupon when you do. Of course, like many of the other apps on the list, this will require you to sign up for their rewards program, but that sugary little pillow from heaven you get in return is well worth it.

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While there are probably too many retail apps in the world that really don’t need to exist, there are a few companies are that doing it right. By serving up the perks right away or otherwise incentivizing their use, these brands make their applications worth downloading. So make some room on your phone (and, in some of these cases, some room in your stomach) and enjoy the bonuses that these apps have to offer you.

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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