With holiday bills and expenses lingering into the new year, many of us are looking for some small, simple solutions to save a few dollars here and there. We look to our smartphones to check email, browse the web, play games, find restaurants, navigate, plan and organize, and even bank. Sometimes it seems like everything I do starts with a click of the smartphone. We’ve discussed using a smartphone to track expenses, but let’s also take a look at how your smartphone can start paying for itself by saving you money.
First off, a smartphone can eliminate the need for many pricey electronics such as an iPod or mp3 player, GPS, digital camera, video camera, and even a home phone. There all also sorts of free apps that will help save you money during your day-to-day life.
Let’s say it’s a typical Saturday filled with a long to-do list. First things first, you need to fill your gas tank so you can run all of your errands. Try using an app such as GasBuddy that will help you find the cheapest gas in your area by just simply typing in your zip code. Next, instead of paying a fee to get cash from the ATM at the gas station, use your bank’s ATM locator so you can find a fee-free ATM.
Next up, a trip to the mall. Be sure to use apps such as RetailMeNot and CouponSherpa to find deals and coupons you can use right at check out at tens of thousands of retailers. Once, you’ve made your purchase be sure to take a picture of your receipt and store it in the Eyeona app. This app will let you know if the item you purchased goes on sale so you can take it back to the store for a price adjustment.
Next stop, a trip to the drug store. Try using a barcode scanning app, such as RedLaser, ShopSavvy, or Google Shopper to quickly and conveniently comparison shop. Simply scan the barcode of the product you are shopping for with your smartphone’s camera and it will search for a better price online and at local retailers.
Last stop, the dreaded trip to the grocery store. But if you’ve been using a grocery app such as Grocery IQ, it won’t be so bad because your list along with all store discount cards, deals, and coupons will already be organized. When you run out of something, simply scan the barcode and Grocery IQ will add it your shopping list. It will also track all of your eligible deals and coupons, so you no longer have to worry about clipping coupons or forgetting something. This app even organizes your shopping list by aisle so you are not running around.
Finally, at the end of the day after all of your errands and purchases are completed, use the Mint.com app to track how much you spent and if you adhered to your budget. The Mint app allows you to integrate all of your accounts (checking, savings, credit cards, loans, etc.) to manage your finances and create a budget. You can also check your balances and spending as you shop since Mint is updated in real time.
See how much money and time you can save using free apps!
What apps do you use to save money?