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20 Smart Online Shopping Apps To Save You Big Bucks

20 Smart Online Shopping Apps To Save You Big Bucks

I love the fact that I can get basically everything I need with just a few clicks. However, my credit card statement often left me devastated with the amount of extra costs and fees adding up for nothing. That was until I discovered the 20 nifty online shopping apps allowing me to save (or even earn!) a few dollars here and there.  Allowing you to spend less when shopping more!

1. Revolut

Revoult

    A new hot app to be launched in a few weeks, Revolut, is a true savior for those who love shopping internationally. The app offers you a personal money cloud with a multi-currency card accepted anywhere. It works as a local card in each country and saves you on currency exchange. You can take advantage of interbank exchange rate and even send currencies for free through social networks with just a few clicks. Yet, the best thing is, there are no hidden banking costs involved!

    2. TheFind

    TheFind

      Create a personalized shopping hub with TheFind where you can save all of your favorite stores and brands and receive alerts once your favorite products go discounted.

      iOS (free) and Android (free)

      3. CoSign

      cosign-app-600x480

        Another hot new app on the list to watch out for in 2015! CoSign will let you share your awesome looks online, tag products you wear and get commissioned each time some of your followers click on it and make purchases. Commissions are expected to range from 5% to 30% with brands like Forever 21, Bliss, Macy’s and much more who have already confirmed their participation.

        Sign in to get notified when it will premiere in the App Store.

        4. Swagbucks TV

        screen568x568

          Works in conjunction with your Swagbucks account – a service offering special deals and perks for taking online surveys and buying products through its toolbar or website directly. Get this app installed on your phone, watch videos from different channels such as VEVO or Hulu and see how your SwagBucks meter fills up. You can earn up to 150 Swagbucks a day to exchange them for gift cards or special discounts. How awesome is that?

          iOS (free) and Android (free)   

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          5. Retail Me Not App

          retailmenot_ios

            The biggest and baddest pool of coupons and special discounts from top merchants, both online and offline. Get the Retail Me Not app for instant access to a selected list of stores you’ve been following.

            iOS (free) and Android (free)

            6. Pricegrabber

            PriceGrabber

              A handy app to help you find the best retailer’s deal. Pricegrabber pulls out the whole range of prices for a searched item to run a price comparison search among all merchants online. Alternatively, you can scan the barcode of the desired product and check how much it costs online – including a “Bottom Line Price” with taxes and shipping costs taken into account.

              iOS (free) and Android (free)

              7. Ebates

              ebates-iOS7-proposed_header_cells

                Get paid with Ebates app each time you purchase anything online from one of the participating retailers, plus receive a bunch of coupons and special deals available to members only! Launched in 1998, Ebates is still one of the most trustworthy cash back services on the Internet.

                iOS (free) and Android (free)

                8. ShopSavvy

                shopsavvy

                  ShopSavvy app comes in handy when shopping both online and offline. Get a product barcode or QR code scanned to receive a full pool of prices available in different online and local stores. The app also generates a map of the closest stores with best pricing. Plus, you can save the deals you’ve found online to purchase later.

                  iOS (free) and Android (free)

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                  9. Bestie Shopping

                  bestie-650

                    A Pinterest-styled social network for shoppers, Bestie lets you create and follow feeds from people with tastes similar to yours, like and comment on the products they share, read descriptions and reviews of those goods that matter to you and your network only. Also, Bestie offers special promo codes from selected merchants.

                    iOS (free) and Android (free)

                    10. Google Shopping

                    2 phones together

                      Google Shopping lets you search over a million products available around the web and filter them by prices, reviews or any other special characteristics. Launch search by typing, a voice command, scanning the barcode or even uploading cover art.

                      iOS (free) and Android (free)

                      11. Shop Advisor

                      Shop-Advisor-App1

                        Avoid impulse shopping by adding and organizing all the products you want at Shop Advisor. The app will send you a notification whenever the ‘price is right’.

                        iOS (free) and Android (free)

                        12. ShopKick

                        Shopkick_post

                          An excellent app for redeeming products! Get special rewards (kicks) for browsing ShopKick catalogs or doing paid surveys to later exchange those for gift cards or buy discounted goodies.

                          iOS (free) and Android (free)

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                          13. Raise Mobile

                          raise-mobile-merchant-page-2994424172c424fd538fcd62394e6d02

                            Raise Mobile app allows you to purchase highly discounted gift cards from online merchants. Arguably, the best app to use for when you need buy a last minute gift.

                            iOS (free)

                            14. Myibidder Bid Sniper for eBay

                            Ebay

                              Hate getting outbid at the last seconds of eBay auction? I know I do! Myibidder gets your chances higher for winning the auction, by placing a bid for you as the last seconds count down. There’s no need to hawk over the desired product for days!

                              iOS (1.99$) and Android (free with in app purchases)

                              15. SavedPlus

                              17xk5azl2r83sjpg

                                Spending less is great, but saving is even more awesome! With SavedPlus app you can stash money while you surf the web. Simply link all your credit card and debit information into your account, then you determine how much you want to save with every purchase you make. For example, each time you shop, put away $5 right into your savings account. The service reports that their users manage to save $600 monthly on average!

                                iOS (free) and Android (free)

                                16. Wallaby

                                Wallaby-financial.png

                                  Do you take advantage of cards offering cash backs and smart reward programs? Now with Wallaby you can double your benefits by having the app tell you which card to use for online shopping by analyzing all the nuts-and-bolts of all of your reward programs. Also, you can set up notifications for when you’re getting close to your credit limit or it’s time to pay the bills.

                                  iOS (free) and Android (free)

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                                  17. BillGuard

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                                    An excellent analytics tool, BillGuard allows you to check up your balances and recurring payments for all of your cards on the go. The app also provides your spending analytics, protects your cards from frauds and what’s even better, shows you all the “grey charges” that you may not be aware of!

                                    iOS (free) and Android (free)

                                    18. Redeemia

                                    redeema

                                      Redeemia saves you a huge load of time by aggregating the best money saving deals and discounts from Groupon, Living Social and other coupon sites according to your location and preferences.

                                      iOS (free) and Android (free)

                                      19. Trivago

                                      trivago-app

                                        An excellent app for frequent travelers, Trivago does all the boring work of price comparison for hotel room prices across numerous hotel booking websites, letting you know where you will get the best deal!

                                        iOS (free) and Android (free)

                                        20. Poachit

                                        poachit-brandappo-blog

                                          Poachit promises to enhance your shopping experience by providing you with the product you want for the price you love! Sign in to the app and flag all of the items you would like to purchase. Once the item goes on sale or a coupon becomes available, you will receive instant texts to grab it while it’s hot.

                                          iOS (free) and Android (free)

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                                          Elena Prokopets

                                          Freelance Writer

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                                          Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                          How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                          How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                          Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                                          In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                                          5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                                          Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                                          1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                                          Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                                          It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                                          Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                                          2. Keep Them Realistic

                                          It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                                          It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                                          3. Account for Inflation

                                          Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                                          Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                                          For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                                          4. Short Term vs Long Term

                                          Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                                          As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                                          More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                                          5. To Each to His Own

                                          The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                                          It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                                          By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                                          11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                                          Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                                          • Ensuring healthy savings
                                          • Making smart investments

                                          You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                                          Ensuring Healthy Savings

                                          Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                                          This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                                          1. Track Expenses

                                          The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                                          Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                                          2. Pay Yourself First

                                          Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                                          Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                                          The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                                          Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                                          3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                                          Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                                          Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                                          At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                                          Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                                          You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                                          4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                                          Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                                          If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                                          Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                                          All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                                          5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                                          In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                                          Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                                          Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                                          If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                                          If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                                          So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                                          6. Talk About It

                                          Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                                          Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                                          7. Maintain a Journal

                                          For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                                          So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                                          Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                                          When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                                          At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                                          Making Smart Investments

                                          Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                                          8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                                          Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                                          Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                                          9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                                          Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                                          Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                                          Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                                          It is here where that classification will help.

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                                          So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                                          10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                                          Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                                          Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                                          So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                                          Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                                          11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                                          All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                                          If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                                          If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                                          Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                                          As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

                                          More About Personal Finance Management

                                          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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