Saving money is sometimes easier said than done.
Luckily, in today’s technologically advanced world, many people have devices that can help them meet savings goals.
Yup, we’re talking about smartphones!
Almost two-thirds of the American population have one, according to the Pew Research Center.
Most smartphone owners use their devices to look up directions and entertain themselves, but there are many other helpful applications. More than half of users do their banking on their smartphones, which is a great way to manage finances.
But there are plenty of other ways a smartphone can help review spending habits and meet savings goals.
You could spend hours scouring weekly ads to collect coupons and save money, but this is a tedious task that many would most likely avoid.
To avoid this, there are various smartphone apps that can virtually “clip coupons”.
LifeHacker suggested using Coupon Sherpa for iPhones or The Coupons for Android. These apps both offer plenty of coupons to use at a variety of stores. MORE Magazine explained Coupon Sherpa offers both in-store coupons as well as discounts exclusive to app users.
GOBankingRates explained that Shopular is another useful app for coupon clippers. The app can tell users what is on sale at the store they are in, and whether there is a coupon available to use.
Coupons aren’t the only way to save at stores.
Discount cards are also a great method to earn points and decrease costs at the stores you frequent most. When shoppers get a new discount card, they usually either put it on their key chain or into their wallet, but that can be cumbersome.
CardStar keeps them all organized and eliminates the need to continue adding to your key chain. It also features coupons to your favorite stores. The app is available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Buying something necessary at full price is inevitable sometimes. But when that item goes on sale the next day, it can be frustrating.
According to Daily Finance, some stores offer to retroactively apply the discounted price, if the customer requests it within a certain time frame. That’s where the app Eyeona comes in.
After you purchase something, scan the receipt into the app. It’ll let you know if one of the items you bought goes on sale. When it does, head back to the store and ask to be reimbursed.
Most banks and credit unions offer apps for users who prefer to do their banking on their phone, but there are many more tools you can use to keep your finances straight.
For example, the Mint app helps users to create budgets and track spending. When a user gives the Mint app access to his or her account information, the app will keep track of when the balance is low or when you go over budget.
Most people have several payments they need to make every month or quarter, like rent, utilities and cell phone bills.
They typically don’t all have the same due date, so it can be easy to lose track of which bills are due and when. Use the calendar in your phone to mark when payments need to be sent, and you phone will send you a reminder.
You can also use online banking to automate some of these bills, so you don’t have to think about them or worry about missing a deadline.
When you’re headed to a cash-only business, chances are you’ll stop at an ATM first.
Finding one in your network can be hard, especially if you have to go out of your way or don’t know where one is located. According to a Bankrate survey, ATM fees are continuing to rise, charging users upwards of $5 per transaction.
This can add up quickly, but it’s a fee that’s easy to overlook.
Instead of paying for these fees, use your bank’s app to find the closest ATM in your network and withdraw cash for free.
If the nearest one is a hike away, check out Allpoint, which doesn’t charge out-of-network users. Your bank will likely still charge you, but it’s cheaper than being charged double – once by your bank and once by the ATM.
The majority of Americans have a smartphone to use as they wish. These small devices are packed with entertainment and information. Amidst all the distractions and extra forms of communication, remember that best of all, they can help you increase your savings.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to manage your money better we’ll have them delivered directly to your inbox!