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30 Best Price-Comparison Apps You Need to Download Now

30 Best Price-Comparison Apps You Need to Download Now

Gone are the days when price-comparison apps like Red Laser and Amazon’s price checker ruled the roost. Joining those favorites are new, as well as tried-and-true, price-comparison apps that will help you save a bundle.

For Shopping

1. RedLaser: Get the Best Price for Anything

red-laser

    RedLaser is still one of the best QR code readers and barcode scanners around, because not only can you scan products and find the best prices—the app also has lots of coupon options and the ability to store loyalty cards. (Find it on iTunes and Google Play.)

    2. ShopSavvy: Find Low Product Prices and Trending Sales

    shopsavvy

      ShopSavvy guarantees that their iTunes and Google Play app will help you not only find the lowest prices of the products you scan, but it will also alert you to price cuts and new sales items. Therefore, if there’s a new Sears coupon that’s just hit the Internet, ShopSavvy will find it and send it to you.

      3. Sell Textbooks for Cash: Compare the Best Prices for Your Old Books

      sell-textbooks-app

        Students know that textbooks can represent a big expense. Compare the websites that will pay you the most money for them with this app you can find on iTunes or Google Play.

        4. ScanLife: Compare Prices from Amazon, Macy’s, Best Buy and More

        scanlife

          With ScanLife—see the app here on iTunes and Google Play—users can scan barcodes to see the cost of items across a variety of their favorite stores, and also view customer reviews.

          For Travel, Hotel and Flights

          5. Trivago: Compare Hotel Prices

          trivago-google

            The app called simply “trivago” on iTunes and Google Play compares more than 700,000 hotel prices across 200-plus booking websites to bring you the best deals.

            6. TripAdvisor: Find Low-Priced Hotels, Flights, Restaurants

            tripadvisor

              The very popular TripAdvisor iTunes and Google Play free app is beloved by users because it helps them find the lowest prices in airfare, dining options and eateries.

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              7. Liligo: International Travel Comparison

              liligo

                Liligo is a well-reviewed app that allows users to search through hundreds of travel websites to find optimal deals. (iTunes and Google Play.)

                8. Booking.com: Best Hotel Deals

                booking

                  This website with the funny commercials also has an app (iTunes and Google Play) that finds and compares great deals on hotels, and not just the cheap dives.

                  9. Hotwire: Compare Car Rental Prices and More

                  hotwire

                    There’s a reason the Hotwire apps for hotel and car rentals are popular, both the iOS and Android versions. People like deals they can easily grab via their phone, letting the app do the work of searching for the best prices.

                    10. FareCompare: Find Out When to Fly

                    farecompare

                      This highly rated app alerts users when to fly by notifying them when their favorite trip route’s airfare has dropped. Find it here on iTunes.

                      11. Skyscanner: Compare Cheap Flights

                      skyscanner

                        More than 30 million people have download Skyscanner, which is a fast iTunes and Android app that lets users get the cheapest prices on flights in seconds.

                        12. Kayak: Find Cheaper Flights, Hotels and Cars

                        kayak

                          Kayak was one of the first price-comparison travel apps that provided users the best deals on hotels, cars and flights. (iTunes and Google Play.)

                          For Food

                          13. Grocery Exchange: Compare Food Prices

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                          grocery-exchange

                            The Grocery Exchange app lets food buyers share and compare the prices of the items they find in the store. Check it out on iTunes.

                            14. Apples2Oranges: Convert to Unit Prices

                            apples2oranges

                              The best thing about the Apples2Oranges iTunes app is that it helps users convert items down to their unit prices to discover what’s really a great bargain, e.g., a package of 20 cookies for $10.99 or 35 cookies for $12.99 per pack.

                              15. Consumr: Groceries, Books, Movies and More

                              consumr

                                Not only can consumers use the Consumr iTunes app to compare grocery prices, but they can also find the comparable costs of strollers, toys and everything in between.

                                16. Gas Buddy: Find Inexpensive Gasoline

                                gasbuddy

                                  More than 40 million people use Gas Buddy to discover the cheapest gas nearby. (iTunes and Google Play.)

                                  17. Gas Guru: Cheap Gas Prices

                                  gas-guru

                                    Gas Guru is another highly visual iTunes and Google Play app that allows users to find the best gas prices near them.

                                    18. Fuel Finder: Discount Gas in the U.S. and Canada

                                    fuel-finder

                                      Fuel Finder is another popular gasoline app on iTunes and Google Play that visually displays the cheapest fuel prices nearby.

                                      For Online Shopping

                                      19. BuyVia: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

                                      buyvia

                                        Available on iOS and Android, the apps from BuyVia will keep you ahead of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals game.

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                                        20. The Amazon App: For Brick-and-Mortar Store Price Checking

                                        the-amazon-app
                                           

                                          Although some storeowners gave Amazon a hard time for suggesting that their customers use The Amazon App to scan the prices of products they find within stores to see if they are cheaper online, that’s exactly what consumers love to do.

                                          21. TheFind: Local and Online Deals

                                          thefind

                                            Use the app called TheFind (iTunes and Android) to literally find local deals and compare them with what’s available online. You can also set price alerts with this app.

                                            22. ShopAdvisor: Product Tracking

                                            ShopAdvisor

                                              ShopAdvisor is like having a personal price tracker because it not only compares prices, it also tracks the changes in prices and alerts you when a product hits the cost you’d like. (iOS and Android.)

                                              23. PriceGrabber: Compare In-Store to Online Price

                                              PriceGrabber

                                                PriceGrabber allows users to compare online deals with the in-store prices—and it even gathers up Groupon deals in 160 U.S. cities. Here are the iTunes and Google Play links.

                                                24. Smoopa: Green-Lights the Best Deal

                                                smoopa

                                                  Smoopa lets buyers scan a product’s barcode and compare it to the same deals online. If the item you scan has a lower price, the app displays a green button. Find it on iTunes and Google Play.

                                                  Advanced Features

                                                  25. CamFind: Take a Photo of Object Without Typing

                                                  camfind

                                                    CamFind is a unique iTunes and Google Play app in that it allows users to scan a photo of an object to find it instead of typing in words to search.

                                                    26. Milo: For Local Shopping

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                                                    Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 8.17.57 PM

                                                      Milo is an interesting computer-based app that helps consumers find local products in stock nearby the address they enter.

                                                      27. Shelfbucks: Customized Deals Sent to You

                                                      Shelfbucks

                                                        With Shelfbucks, you will be able to receive in-store deals customized for you and sent to your phone. See their iTunes and Google Play app versions.

                                                        28. Walmart’s Savings Catcher: Scan Your Receipts for Great Deals

                                                        Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 8.26.03 PM

                                                          Walmart’s Savings Catcher is a fascinating module that allows users to enter their receipt numbers to find any lower advertised prices and get paid the difference.

                                                          29. Shopular: Find the Best Deals in Stores

                                                          shopular

                                                            Shopular is a popular app that’s updated daily that gives shoppers the best deals and coupons for stores like Starbucks, Forever 21, Best Buy and more. Get it on iTunes and Google Play.

                                                            30. PriceBlink: Browser Add-On Finds Lower Prices During Online Shopping

                                                            lastone

                                                              PriceBlink is an add-on for your browser that automatically finds the lowest prices while you shop.

                                                              So there you have it—a list of 30 price-comparison apps that should help you begin to save lots more money when shopping.

                                                              Featured photo credit: barcode printed on a label Stock Photo ID: 26360507 Copyright: trans961 via bigstockphoto.com

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                                                              Last Updated on September 2, 2020

                                                              How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                              How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                              Personal 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. 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 to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

                                                              4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

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

                                                              1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                                                              Any goal 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’s for. It could be anything, including your child’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 that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

                                                              2. Keep Goals 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 beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

                                                              It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as 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.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

                                                              Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

                                                              For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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                                                              4. Short Term Vs Long Term

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

                                                              As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a 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.

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

                                                              How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                                                              Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-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.

                                                              Ensuring Healthy Savings

                                                              Self-realization is the best form of realization, 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 spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

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

                                                              If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

                                                              2. Pay Yourself First

                                                              Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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                                                              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 manage all the expenses from the rest.

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

                                                              Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

                                                              3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

                                                              Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

                                                              Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

                                                              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. 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 counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                                                              • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
                                                              • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
                                                              • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                                                              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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                                                              5. 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.

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

                                                              6. Maintain a Journal

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

                                                              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.

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

                                                              Making Smart Investments

                                                              Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

                                                              1. Consult a Financial Advisor

                                                              Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s 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.

                                                              2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                                                              Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

                                                              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[2].

                                                              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 compared to equity instruments.

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                                                              3. 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.”

                                                              Use compound interest when setting financial goals

                                                                Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

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

                                                                4. 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 and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                                                                If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

                                                                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

                                                                Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

                                                                and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

                                                                More Tips on Financial Goals

                                                                Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

                                                                Reference

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