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25 Apps That Will Save You Lots of Money

25 Apps That Will Save You Lots of Money

Apps don’t just have to be time wasting or money draining. Check out these 25 money saving apps that will not only help you save you money, but also better manage your finances.

For General Finances:

1. Mint

The “Beyoncé” of personal finance apps; this little powerhouse allows you to keep track of all your financial activity from all your accounts: checking, savings, retirement—you name it! Every transaction is automatically recorded and categorized. Mint makes note of your spending patterns and creates a budget. Additionally, on the iPad, it generates graphs to give you visual representations of your net worth and cash flow. For those worried about security, the app is password protected and there is a way to deactivate access from your phone through the Mint website. It is a fantastic way to keep tabs on your overall financial health and be able to spot potential problems. (Plus, it’s free!)

Available for: iOS and Android

Mint iphone

    2. BillTracker

    Never miss a bill payment again with this great app from SnapTap. Passcode-protected BillTracker allows you to keep all due dates and amount totals in one place and even gives you notifications for impending payments. Due dates are highlighted on the calendar for quick views.

    Available for: iOS

    BillTracker

      3. You Need a Budget (YNAB)

      The name says it all: YNAB is an incredibly detailed but easy-to-use budget interface. The software operates by four simple rules: 1) Give every dollar a job, 2) Save for a rainy day, 3) Roll with the punches, and 4) Live on last month’s income. YNAB’s goal is to change the way you manage money and to create stress-free finances. The app is supplemental to the $60 software you purchase for your Windows or Mac and is meant to allow users to check their transactions and budgetary restrictions on-the-go. If you are looking to turn your finances around or gain a better understanding of your financial situation, purchasing the software is well worth the investment.

      Available for: iOS and Android

      You Need a Budget

        For Shopping:

        4. Shopkick

        Over six million people are already using Shopkick to browse products, find inspiration, and discover great deals at stores like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, and more. Users are able to earn points by making purchases, inviting friends to join, and even by just walking into the stores. Then, the points can be transformed into gift cards at partnering stores. The icing on the cake is the slick new design—a shopper’s dream!

        Available for: iOS and Android

        Shopkick

          5. Ibotta

          Ibotta allows shoppers to earn real money for shopping. Start by perusing the different offers in the product gallery and choose the ones you’re interested in. Every time you compete a “task” (like sharing on Facebook, taking a poll, or watching a video), pending cash is added to your account that can be accessed once you actually purchase the product from one of the 50 retailers partnered with Ibotta. Once the purchase is verified, cash is put into your PayPal account or turned into gift cards.

          Available for: iOS and Android

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          Ibotta

            6. RetailMeNot

            “Thousands of coupons in your pocket.” Browse coupons and deals from J Crew, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, Target, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond, Forever 21, Bloomingdale’s, and hundreds more! Save the coupons you want to use for easy access and get notifications for coupon expiration dates. You can also search for deals at the nearest stores. Don’t worry about printing the coupons; all you have to do is show your phone at the register. Talk about convenience!

            Available for: iOS and Android

            RetailMeNot

              7. SnipSnap

              Like RetailMeNot, SnipSnap is a mobile coupon haven. However, this one also lets you take pictures of printed coupons from many retailers and turns them into digital, mobile-ready ones. You can also browse the online directory and see the coupons that friends have “snipped.”

              Available for: iOS

              SnipSnap

                For Groceries:

                8. Grocery iQ

                Stay on task and avoid impulse purchases with this incredibly detailed grocery shopping list platform. Not only can you build grocery lists by searching through the millions of products in the app’s database, but you can use voice recognition or barcode scanning. Grocery iQ also has a store locator feature and offers coupons. This app is a must-have for busy families or for anyone trying to keep their grocery budget under control.

                Available for: iOS and Android

                Grocery iQ

                  9. SavingStar

                  SavingStar is a digital coupon app for thousands of grocery stores and drugstores that is linked to your individual store loyalty cards. (Yes, you have to have loyalty cards to get rewards.) You choose the digital coupons you want to use and the reward is applied to your loyalty card and when you reach $5 in savings, you earn cash! You can even opt for your cash savings to go towards donations for the charity American Forests.

                  Available for: iOS and Android

                  SavingStar

                    For Local Deals:

                    10. Groupon

                    Redeem Groupon deals (as much as 50-90% off!) on everything from restaurants to retailers to hotels. You can search by location to find deals closest to you. Groupon consistently offers great, diverse deals and they even have options tailored for the holiday season. It’s also a great way to step out of your comfort zone and try out new places.

                    Available for: iOS, Android, and Windows

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                    Groupon

                      11. LivingSocial

                      Similar to Groupon, you can use this app to gain hand-held access to all of LivingSocial’s deals. Search for amazing discounts in your own city and get alerts on fun local events. Save on hotels, restaurants, and other places. Also, the discounts are great for gifts. An added bonus: if you share a discount you received on your social media accounts and three of your friends purchase the same deal, you’ll get yours free of charge!

                      Available for: iOS, Android, and Windows

                      LivingSocial

                        12. Amazon Local

                        “Save up to 75% in your city.” Use this app to find Amazon-level deals on the go. What’s great about Amazon Local is that you can search for deals and buy them instantly right from your phone. You are also able to set specific preferences or favorites so that the application knows what offerings you are most interested in purchasing. Like the other discount apps mentioned, there is no need to print out coupons or vouchers.

                        Available for: iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire

                        Amazon Local

                          13. Scoutmob

                          An exceptionally well-designed and clever app (love the “Stache Cam” feature), this is an excellent option for those living in a big city; it is only available in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. In addition to finding great discounts at different eateries and shops, you can also search through articles and other local happenings.

                          Available for: iOS and Android

                          ScoutMob

                            For Those in Financial Trouble:

                            14. DebtTracker Pro

                            For those working their way out of debt, DebtTracker Pro can serve as a payoff plan and can help you keep track of your road to financial recovery. Users are able to choose their strategy for overcoming debt and the app not only recommends payment strategies but sends reminders when payments are due. There is a visual reminder of how close you are to your goal (sorted by account) to serve as further incentive. Getting out of debt is a long and difficult process, but this app will help keep you organized.

                            Available for: iOS

                            DebtTracker Pro

                              For TV Addicts:

                              15. Viggle

                              An app that awards you for watching TV?! Viggle lets users “check in” to whatever show they’re watching and earn points to be redeemed for rewards from Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and other great brands. You can earn additional points by testing your television IQ and playing games. The app also allows you to interact with friends. (Note: sometimes the “audio sampling” feature can be buggy.)

                              Available for: iOS and Android

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                              Viggle

                                For Military Families:

                                16. Military Cost Cutters

                                This app is a must-have for military personnel and their families. This free application allows veterans to find military-friendly businesses in their area that offer discounts for their service. You are able to search by city, state, and zip code for best results. Additionally, you can leave comments on your experience.

                                Available for: iOS and Android

                                Military

                                  For Travel:

                                  17. GasBuddy

                                  Gas prices can be a major headache, but with GasBuddy, you can find the cheapest gas prices closest to you! Additionally, for every gas price you report, you earn points towards winning the weekly $250 prize for gas. With over 32 million visitors, the app remains extraordinarily up-to-date on your best gas deals.

                                  Available for: iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows

                                  GasBuddy

                                    18. Hotel Tonight

                                    This international app allows you to find incredibly low prices on last-minute hotel bookings. Amazingly, you can arrange same-day bookings until 2 a.m. and for multiple nights. This service is a lifesaver for everything from unexpected layovers to spontaneous vacations. Hotel Tonight is constantly adding new locations and has stellar 24/7 customer support to keep their customers happy.

                                    Available for: iOS and Android

                                    Hotel Tonight

                                      19. Compare Bookings

                                      Not only does Compare Bookings let you search for hotel options wherever you are, but you can compare deals from all the best travel sites (like Priceline, Travelocity, and Expedia) to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. It’s not just for hotels: you can also find promotions for cruises, car rentals, and other travel expenses.

                                      Available for: iOS and Android

                                      Compare Bookings

                                        20. BestParking

                                        Trying to find affordable parking (especially when traveling in an unfamiliar city) can be stressful and a put a strain on your wallet. BestParking will help you avoid parking garage rip-offs by directing you towards the closest and cheapest parking options. In living up to their promise for accuracy, any report of inaccurate pricing is backed up with a $5 Starbucks giftcard.

                                        Available for: iOS, Android, and Blackberry

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                                        BestParking

                                          For Professionals:

                                          21. Expensify

                                          Expensify is designed with easy expense reporting in mind, which makes it ideal for salespeople or traveling business people. Photograph receipts, keep track of miles traveled, and record other travel expenses all on one platform to make your life a little easier. The great part about the receipt photography is that the app is able to read the values on the receipt so no manual entry is necessary. If you’re no good at keeping track of your receipts, you can also import credit transactions digitally.

                                          Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry

                                          Expensify

                                            For (Hungry) College Students:

                                            22. Campus Special

                                            Campus Specials brings you the best deals on restaurants and eateries around your college or university. Not only that, you can order right from your phone for pick-up or delivery. The more often you use the app, the more rewards you can earn to be redeemed at your favorite local food joints. Say bye-bye to the typical Ramen-based college diet!

                                            Available for: iOS and Android

                                            Campus Special

                                              For Gamers:

                                              23. GameFly

                                              Most gamers have heard of (and used) Gamefly, and the app just further solidifies the brand as a fantastic, money-saving resource. Browse for, rent, pre-order, or purchase your favorite games at killer prices, as well stay in the loop on the latest in video games news. Earn GameFly rewards and use coupons to save you even more money. The “Game of the Day” app is particularly nice feature that highlights a free or discounted game every single day.

                                              Available for: iOS and Android

                                              Gamefly

                                                For Smartphone Users:

                                                24. Onavo Extend

                                                Are you hit with data overage charges month after month? Onavo Extend allows you to not only keep track of your data expenditure through monthly reports but actually compresses your data and extends your plan! According to the website, you can save up to 80% on your data usage. Not bad for a free app!

                                                Available for: iOS and Android

                                                Onavo

                                                  25. Appsfire

                                                  Appsfire offers free and highly discounted apps every single day. By filling in a little bit of information, the app can make you a list of recommended downloads to suit your interests. Additionally, you can set up a wish list with notifications for deals or discounts on the apps you want to purchase. You can also avoid unimpressive apps by scrolling through ratings and get a heads up on “the next big thing” by browsing through trending applications.

                                                  Available for: iOS and Android

                                                  AppsFire

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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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