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9 Mobile Coupon Apps You Should Have To Save Money While Shopping

9 Mobile Coupon Apps You Should Have To Save Money While Shopping

Clipping coupons is such a chore, but it doesn’t have to be anymore. Much like everything else in life there is an app for that. Now you can view, save, and use coupons all from your mobile device. Leave the hassle out of using coupons and utilize the following apps (and maybe a few extra hacks) to save yourself some cash:

Cartwheel by Target (Free)

Target’s newest app is great for frequent shoppers. You can view all of the latest deals and sales in the app, save up to ten coupons onto your account, and use all of your coupons at once at the register with a simple scan of a bar code provided in the app.

Cartwheel App by Target

    Walgreens App (Free)

    The Walgreens app offers in-app coupons, a bar code you can scan at the register, as well as many more features. It’s easier now than ever to keep up with the weekly deals. This app requires the user to have a Walgreens card to function. This app even allows the user to refill their prescriptions, so you can save time and money all at once.

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    Walgreens mobile app

      CVS App (Free)

      Much like the Walgreens app, the CVS app allows users to view and use coupons. The CVS app differs from Walgreens, however, because it allows you to actually order products directly from your phone much like an online store. This app requires the users to have a CVS card to use, but if you’re a frequent customer of CVS this is definitely a great investment.

      CVS App

        SnipSnap (Free)

        Do you struggle with keeping up with all of your paper coupons? If so, SnipSnap is the app for you. With this app you can take pictures of your coupons, which scans it into the program for you to organize and use. There is also an option to search and find useful coupons directly on the app. SnipSnap is the way to go if you’re looking for a better way to organize and use your coupons before they expire.

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        SnipSnap app

          Yowza (Free)

          Why limit the savings to just grocery stores? With Yowza you can save on a wide variety of items, including food, clothes, entertainment, car repair, and more. Yowza is location based, as well, so the app can send you notifications when a nearby store releases a new deal.

          Yowza mobile app

            Dealnews (Free)

            Do you work better with lists? Dealnews brings you the top 300 best deals in your area which is great if you’re unsure of what kind of savings you’re looking for. You can save on a wide range of products without being overwhelmed with too many deals. Dealnews updates every day so you’ll have a fresh list of the top 300 deals daily.

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            Dealnews app

              SavingStar (Free)

              SavingStar is great if you are the type of person to use a lot of in-store savings cards. With this app you can send your coupons directly to your savings cards. SavingStar is a coupon app specifically for groceries that allows you to clip and use coupons straight from the app.

              SavingStar app

                RetailMeNot (Free)

                Do you like to shop from specific restaurants and stores? Retail Me Not has got your back! You can browse deals from all of your favorite individual shops and bookmark any deals you would like to use in the future. This app is great for people who shop in a wide variety of stores and knows which ones they like best.

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                RetailMeNot App

                  Groupon (Free)

                  And, of course, there is always Groupon! This app is focused on what deals are in your local area including items and services up between 20 and 70 percent off. You can instantly use any of the coupons in the app and participate in Groupon Giveaways.With Groupon you’ll never have to print another coupon again.

                  Groupon app

                    Featured photo credit: Matt McGee via flickr.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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