How to Save Money Using Your Smartphone (Guest Post)

Almost everybody has a smartphone now, and therefore almost everybody has access to an almost infinite number of downloadable applications. While some of these applications are simply funny at best, others can actually be very helpful. If you have a smartphone and you’re looking for some assistance with tracking your spending, balancing your budget, or saving money towards a big purchase like a car or house, check out these cool apps below.

Your Bank’s App
The easiest way to keep track of your spending is with your own bank’s app. I bank with Chase and their app lets me see my current balance, pending balance, and recent transactions for all my accounts. Additionally, it allows me to transfer money between accounts at the touch of a button. Some banks’ apps enable users to send money directly to the accounts of friends and family members as well. With Chase Mobile, my balances update almost immediately so I know how much I’ve spent that day and I can make sure that I’m not in danger of overdrawing. Though most financial institutions’ apps have similar features, my favorite thing about Chase Mobile is that it allows me to deposit a check remotely by simply taking a picture of it with my phone’s camera.

Mint
The award-winning free app is a step up from your bank’s application. Before you get started however, you must visit the Mint.com website and enter in information about all your accounts. Then, the app lets you monitor all your accounts simultaneously and set up a budgeting plan. It conveniently tracks your spending by category (gas, food, clothing, mortgage, etc.) and will alert you when you are in danger of busting your budget. Because you can set a budget for each category and view how much you’ve spent toward that budget at the same time, you can easily point out areas in which you need to cut back on spending.

Other good financial apps worth mentioning are Moneybook and Expenditure. Expenditure is currently only available for the iPhone and charges a $1.99 downloading fee, but it is a very easy way to keep track of not only your debits and credits, but your cash flow as well. Users have to enter income and expenditures on their own though, so Expenditure is not much more than an electronic checkbook. On the other hand, Moneybook is also a useful tool and will download information directly from your bank so you don’t have to enter any information about your spending yourself. It’s slightly easier to use than Mint, is also free and Android compatible, and incorporates a lot of Mint’s features like bill alerts.

The Coupon App
Though there are many coupon apps out there, The Coupon App is routinely considered a favorite among smartphone owners. It takes advantage of your phone’s GPS and locates discounts and coupons for restaurants and shops near you, and it also will tell you where to find the cheapest gas nearby as well. It updates very quickly and allows users to put coupons on a calendar for future use. This app is also free, but is currently only available for Android users.
If you’re into couponing, don’t forget to check out other apps like Groupon and Living Social, both of which are updated daily and offer deals on dining out, vacation getaways, and certain promoted products. While it may seem like saving a little money here and there is barely putting a dent in your savings goals, keep at it because every little bit that you save will add up. Before you know it—you’ll be parking the car of your dreams in the house of your dreams’ driveway.

This guest post was contributed by Brittany Larson of Lexus of Edison. You can connect with her via Twitter @brittlarson10

Author: Lulu

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3 Comments

  1. My best way to save: Don’t have smart phone. Probably saves me at least $1200 a year And it doesn’t require any apps to do it.

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  2. Good point. However, I heard you can now buy a smartphone without a contract and pay for service on a monthly basis, which I think costs under $50 a month. The only downside is that you’ll still be on the hook for the price of the smartphone right off the bat.

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  3. Using the bank app might be a good suggestion, but I’m still not confident enough to put critical financial info on my phone. It’s not that I don’t trust the phone, I just don’t trust myself enough to not lose it 🙂

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