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10 Android Apps to Help Save You Time & Money

10 Android Apps to Help Save You Time & Money
    A screenshot of the CardStar app.

    Unless you’ve got an unlimited amount of cash and a limitless line of credit, saving money is probably something that you could benefit from.  There are countless ways to save money, from coupon clipping to budgeting and shopping at discount stores, but did you know that your Android smartphone could help?  I’ve waded through the thousands of apps available in the Android Marketplace, and these are some of the best apps out there to help with your money saving goals.

    1. Mint.com Personal Finance

    COST: Free

    This app is brought to you by the same people behind Quicken personal finance software, so you know it has to be good.  This is app is an excellent way to begin managing your money and allows you to see all of your accounts in one place, set budgets, see where you are spending, and find personalized savings.   It’s an excellent tool to help you get your finances in order, and you can access it from your phone as well as Mint.com

    2. CardStar

    COST: Free

    CardStar is an awesome app that will help you lighten the load in your wallet, in a good way.  All those rewards cards  and membership from places like CVS, Best Buy, and Blockbuster, amongst many others, can be consolidated digitally.  Use the CardStar app to enter information for numerous national and regional merchants, libraries, or you can even add your own custom cards.  Once you’ve entered your cards, you can easily access them as needed with just one touch from the CardStar home screen.  Merchants can then scan the “card” directly from your phone’s screen. How cool is that?!

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    3. Discount Calculator

    COST: Free

    Discount Calculator is a pretty simple app that does all that the name implies – it helps you calculate how much money you will save and what the item’s final price will be with the discount applied.  It’s helpful in those situations where something is X percent off but the store doesn’t have a sign telling you what the new price will be.  It can even include tax in the price.

    4. Google Shopper

    COST: Free

    Google Shopper is another handy tool to use when you’re out shopping.  The app can recognize products by photo, barcode scanning, and voice and text search.  Once the app has identified the product, you can find local and online prices, reviews, specs. and more.  While you’re not likely to use it to check the price of your apple juice at the grocery store, it can be handy for larger purchases or for items you may not be at all familiar with.  You’ll know whether you’re getting a good deal or if you can get that item cheaper elsewhere, and can star your favorites and share them with friends.  It’s worth noting that at this time Google Shopper is valid only for US and UK prices.

    5. ShopSavvy 4 Barcode Scanner

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    Cost: FREE

    This is similar to Google Shopper, but it was around first and thus deserves a mention.  The ShopSavvy 4 app is the upgraded version of the old GoCart app.  It allows you to use your phone as a barcode scanner, and then ShopSavvy will provide you with a list of online and local prices for that product. If you don’t need all the frills of Google Shopper, this is a nice simple barcode program that will help you save money.

      A screenshot of the Craigslist Notification app.

      6. Craigslist Notification

      COST: Free (ad-supported) / $9.99 for ad-free version

      Craigslist itself is a great place to score deals on everything from cars to baby clothes.  It’s the modern-day equivalent of classified ads, and as we all know the good deals get snapped up pretty quickly so you really have to be vigiliant about checking the site if there’s something specific that you’re looking for.  Craigslist Notification is a god-send. It notifies you when new stuff is posted in certain categories, so you can monitor the site on the go.

      7. Receipt Scanner

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      COST: $3.99

      Keeping track of receipts can be a real pain.  They’re small and easily lost or misplaced.  The Receipt Scanner app uses your phone’s camera to capture images of receipts, business cards and other documents, allowing you to store and secure important information.  Once scanned, the documents are stored in folders for organization and easy retrieval.  This can come in handy at tax time, helping you to save money by keeping record of your receipts that might have otherwise gotten lost.

      8.  GasBuddy

      COST: Free

      Don’t make the mistake of paying more for gas when you can get it cheaper just around the corner. GasBuddy helps you find the best prices on gas for your area on the go.  You can also add to the database of gas prices by reporting current gas prices from your phone, which will earn you points and a chance at winning one of their weekly $250 gas gift card giveaways.

      9. Our Groceries

      COST: Free (ad-supported) / $4.99 ad-free version

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      Make a grocery list that you won’t lose your pocket or  drop on the ground with Our Groceries. Family members can install the  app on their compatible phones as well.  You can share the list and everyone can make updates or changes to it as things are purchased or become needed.  Every change is visible within seconds, and is synced to everyone’s phone’s or browser. You’ll never run into the situation of buying something someone in your family has already picked up.

      10. Google Finance

      COST: Free

      Get streaming, real-time stock quotes on your phone and sync with your Google Finance portfolio.  You can quickly access charts on the go as well as view the latest market and company news.  So even if you’re not at home, you’ll know what’s going on with the market and can then decide whether you need to put in a buy or sell order with your broker, or hold tight and wait for further news.    A must-have app if you’re into stocks and the economy.

      *Some of these apps are also available on other mobile phone platforms, including iPhone, Blackberry and Windows phones.

      Each one of these Android apps is available to download from your mobile Android Market, or using a web browser at market.android.com.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on these apps, as well as any other apps you’ve come across that have helped save you either time, money or both.

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

      Joe’s Goals

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        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

        Daytum

          Daytum

          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

          Excel or Numbers

            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

            Evernote

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              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

              Access or Bento

                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                Conclusion

                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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