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8 Great Apps that Will Help You Save Time and Money

8 Great Apps that Will Help You Save Time and Money

There are plenty of great opportunities for self-improvement and indulging in small pleasures in this world, but lack of time and/or money often get in the way and keep us from moving straight forward and jumping on these opportunities. It can be tough to reduce spending and save some money if you don’t have a clue where your money is going and how much of it slips through the cracks. At the same time you can’t really efficiently manage your time if you are not productive and don’t have a defined schedule, which in turn limits your ability to spend more time learning new skills or getting enough rest.

Well, the good news is that the smartphone you have is good for more than just chatting with friends, browsing social media and playing games when you are bored – which you shouldn’t be doing in the first place if you are concerned with productivity and time management. Here is a list of some excellent apps that will help you save time and money during the course of your daily life.

1. HomeBudget with Sync

HomeBudget

    Effective budgeting should be your top priority, and the HomeBudget with Sync app has everything you will need to keep track of your spending and find that perfect balance between income and expenses. The app features a user-friendly design that is both very visually appealing and easy to navigate. Apart from standard functions like the ability to store a photo of a receipt and view handy charts, you can also access all the budget information in the cloud from different devices, allowing multiple people to effectively keep track of a collective budget.

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    2. Splitwise

    Splitwise

      One of the worst things for a well-thought out budget is when you live with or frequently go out to eat and drink with a bunch of different people who don’t share the same budget. It can be very easy for one person to end up constantly having to pay more and lose out on transactions like paying the bills or buying rounds. With the Splitwise app you can effectively split up bills and keep track of who has paid for what, without getting into arguments or playing the guessing game.

      3. TripLog

      TripLog

        Budgeting home expenses is all well and good, but what about when you hit the road? TripLog is an automatic mileage-tracking app that enables you to track your mileage, expenses and show your routes on a map. When your mobile device is plugged in the all automatically starts tracking once you go over 5mph. It is a great tool for those who drive a company car and need to write reports, and a good way to see which routes are more effective and give you a look into how much you spend during your daily commute, so you can work out how to save a lot of time and money.

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        4. Viber

        Viber

          Why spend more money every month and lock yourself into prolonged cell phone contract, when you can talk all you want and send as many messages as you want for free with Viber? Even better, Viber is now available for desktops as well. You will be surprised at just how much you can save on your phone bills once you switch over, especially if you are a very social little birdie and use your phone quite a bit during the day.

          5. CubeAnywhere

          CubeAnywhere

            Aimed at the more business oriented crowd – be they freelancers, team managers or entrepreneurs – CubeAnywhere gives you the ability to easily keep track of different projects and costs involved with useful charts. You can access the information from anywhere in the world and from any device, as the information is stored in the cloud and the app is integrated with Google’s services, like Google Docs.

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            6. EverNote

            Evernote

              It’s incredibly easy to forget things or lose track of your obligations, so a good schedule planner should be everyone’s top app. However, EverNote provides a lot more functionality, allowing you to quickly jot down information, take notes when inspiration strikes, and even manage expenses. Not only will you stick to your schedule, but you will be able to write down ideas when you feel most creative and productive, no matter where you are. It will probably be the one app on your phone that you end up using the most.

              7. Any.do

              Anydo

                If you are looking for a more minimalist streamlined approach for organizing your tasks, for instance checking off items on the list with a quick finger swipe, then Any.do is the right choice for you. All your to-do lists, projects and tasks can be shared with your co-workers, roommates or family members, as well as accessed from any device, so you can all stay on top of things wherever you are. You can even turn missed calls into reminders and put a widget on your home screen to always stay informed on the tasks that are coming up.

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                8. Contacts+

                Contacts plus

                  A lot of the time you end up mixing up numbers, forgetting who the person you need to call is or just have a very messy contacts list in general, which means it takes time to find and contact the right people. Contacts + allows you to set up a beautifully designed contacts list that can be prioritized by frequency of calls. It is synced with Facebook, Tweeter and the Whatsapp free messaging app, so you can add a current profile picture to every entry and quickly contact them via call, SMS or message them through social media. You can also get birthday reminders.

                  So, all you busy people out there who are leading a hectic lifestyle and are always strapped for cash or running late, get some of these useful apps and start getting your life in order. With enough time and effort you will be able to become a busy little ant that always stays on top of all tasks, which will lead to you having more free time and wasting less money.

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                  Published on October 8, 2018

                  13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

                  13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

                  Are you having trouble sticking to a family budget? You aren’t alone.

                  Budgeting is difficult. Creating one is hard enough, but actually sticking to it is a whole other issue. Things come up. Desires and cravings happen. And the next thing you know, budgets break.

                  So how can you stick to a family budget? Here are 13 tips to make it easier.

                  1. Choose a major category each month to attack

                  As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With that in mind, one approach to help you get into the habit of sticking to a budget is simply starting slow.

                  Spend too much on Starbucks runs, eat out too often, and have an out-of-this-world grocery bill? Choose one bad habit and attack.

                  By choosing one behavior to focus on, you’ll prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. You’ll also experience small victories, which help you gain positive momentum. This momentum can then carry over into your overall budget.

                  2. Only make major purchases in the morning

                  If you’re making large purchases in the evening, there’s a good chance you’re doing so after a long day and you’re probably tired.

                  Why does this matter? Because our judgement tends to be off when tired – our willpower is compromised.

                  Instead, only make major purchasing decisions in the morning when you’re energized and refreshed. Your brain will be firing on all cylinders and your resolve will be high. You’re less likely to give in and settle at this point.

                  3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

                  Have trouble with impulse buys at the grocery store? If so, there’s a good chance you’re going grocery shopping while hungry.

                  The problem here is that when you’re hungry, everything looks good. So you’re more likely to make split decisions on things that aren’t on your grocery list.

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                  Instead, make sure you eat prior to your grocery store trip. Then take your list, along with your full stomach, and go shopping. Notice how food doesn’t look quite so good when you’re not fighting cravings.

                  4. Read one-star reviews for products

                  Is there a product you just have to have (but maybe not really)? Check out the one-star reviews.

                  By reading all the horrible reviews, you may be able to basically trick yourself into deciding that the product isn’t worth your time and money.

                  Next thing you know, you didn’t make the purchase, you saved the money, and you feel good about the decision.

                  5. Never buy anything you put in an online shopping cart until the next day

                  If you are making a purchase online, it’s typically a two-step process. First, you click “Add to Cart” and then you go in to review your cart and pay.

                  The problem is that there not typically much reviewing during step two. It’s generally click pay and there you go. However, this is the perfect point to stop for reflection.

                  Once you add to your cart, your best bet is to step away until the next day. Let the item sit there and grow cold, so to speak.

                  This gives you a night to “sleep on it” and decide if you really want and need to spend that money. If you wake up the next day and still find the purchase viable, then perhaps it’s time to go for it.

                  6. Don’t save your credit card info on any site you shop on

                  One of the other pitfalls of shopping online is that fact that most sites ask you to save your credit card information.

                  While the sites will frame it as a method of convenience, the truth is they know you’ll spend more money in the long run if your credit card information is saved.

                  The “convenience” takes away one last decision-making point in the purchasing process. True, it’s a pain to get out your credit card and enter the information every time. But guess what? That’s the point. If that inconvenience helps you stay on budget, then it’s worth it. Which leads into the next tip.

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                  7. Tape an “impulse buy” reminder to your credit card

                  Credit cards make spending much easier than cash. When you spend cash, you can literally see your wallet emptying. A credit card comes out, then goes back in. No harm, no foul.

                  That’s why it’s a good idea to tape a reminder to your credit card. Customize a message that is something along the lines of “do you really need this?” or “does it fit the budget?”

                  That way when you pull out the card, you get one last reminder to help you question your decision and stick to your budget.

                  8. Only use gift cards to shop on Amazon

                  Amazon is probably the easiest place online to blow money. It’s just so easy to click and buy. However, one way you can slow the process down is buy only using gift cards. Here’s how it works.

                  If you plan on making a purchase on Amazon, go to the grocery store and purchase a pre-loaded Amazon gift card of the proper amount. There’s no convenience fee, so you literally pay for the money you’ll spend.

                  Now take that gift card home and load it to your Amazon account. There’s your money to spend.

                  Why does this help? It makes you have to purposely go to the score and purchase the card in order to purchase the item. That’s a pretty deliberate thing that takes some time, commitment, and thought.

                  This process will effectively kill the impulse buy.

                  9. Budget using cash and envelopes

                  As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot harder to spend cash than swipe a credit card. You can take this even farther by using only cash, and separating that cash by budget category.

                  Create an envelope for each category and stick the cash in there at the beginning of each month. When the envelope is empty, no more spending on that category, unless you borrow from another (be careful of that approach).

                  This can be pretty helpful for people that have a hard time following transactions in their checking account, or keeping a budgeting spreadsheet.

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                  The envelopes simplify the tracking process, leaving no room for error. Nothing hides from you because it’s tangible in the envelopes in front of you.

                  10. Join a like-minded group

                  Making the decision to stick to something like budgeting is difficult. It takes long-term commitment.

                  You’re going to feel weak sometimes. And sometimes you may fail. That said, support from others can help strengthen resolve.

                  Support can come from a spouse or a friend, but they won’t always have the exact same goal in mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to join a support group that’s likeminded.

                  No need to pay here, as there are tons of free communities that fit the bill online.

                  For example, reddit has multiple subreddits that deal with budgeting and frugal living. You can follow, subscribe, and get active in those communities.

                  This will open your eyes to new tips and strategies, keep your goal fresh on your mind, and help you realize there are others dealing with the same struggles and being successful.

                  11. Reward Yourself

                  When you set a budget, it’s usually with a large goal in mind. Maybe you want to be debt free, or perhaps you want to see $10,000 in your savings account.

                  Whatever the case, the end goal is great, but the end is often far away, making it hard to see the end of the tunnel.

                  With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set mini-goals along the way. This helps you still look at the big picture but have something that’s attainable in the short-term to help with momentum.

                  But don’t stop there – set rewards for yourself when you reach that small goal. Maybe it’s an extra meal out. Or a new pair of shoes.

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                  Whatever the case, this gives you something in the near future to look forward to, which can help with the fatigue that can result in pursuing long-term goals.

                  12. Take the Buddhist approach

                  You don’t have to be a Buddhist to recognize some of the wisdom in the teachings. One of the tenets of the philosophy involves accepting that we can’t have everything we want. And that’s okay.

                  Sometimes you won’t feel good. Sometimes you’ll have cravings. You can’t deny them. But you can recognize them, accept them, and let them pass by. Then you move on.

                  Apply this to the times you want to do things that will break your budget. You’re going to have the desire to eat out when you shouldn’t. You might want to stay out and spend too much at happy hour with your work friends.

                  The feelings will come. Recognize them, accept them, but let them go.

                  13. Set up automatic drafts to savings

                  If you wait until you’ve spent all your budgeted money to deposit money into savings, guess what? You probably aren’t going to put any money into savings.

                  It’s too easy to see that as extra money and end up using it to treat yourself.

                  Instead, set up automatic savings withdrawals. That way, the money is marked and gone before you can even think about it. It becomes a non-issue. It’s no longer “extra.” It’s just savings.

                  Conclusion

                  Sticking to a budget can be difficult. No one is denying that.

                  However, if you can do a few things to set yourself up for success, and put some practices in place to curb impulse buys, then you can (and will!) be successful sticking to your family budget.

                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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