Saving is a skill a third of America lacks, with one out of three Americans living without a penny in a retirement account. This isn’t surprising in a culture where money is spent on credit and university education is paid for with borrowed dollars. Given the pressures to live a luxurious lifestyle beyond your means, it can be a challenge to get ahead financially.
Fortunately not all systems in modern western culture result in the reddening of your credit. Specifically, money saving apps.
Mint is a well known app that even our parents’ parents use. The established credibility and no brainer UI make this app a simple solution for getting all things finance on track. The app takes a look at your overall financial blueprint, including your debts, income, investments and savings. It can be a little terrifying putting all of this confidential information in one place, but perhaps more frightening is that first time you see your overall net worth. However once you get past those hurdles, Mint is an excellent solution for seeing your overall spending and saving. From there, you can set goals such as overall savings for the year or saving in specific areas of your life. One such department could include your affinity for chinese takeout…how it’s possible to spend so much per year on chinese takeout can be pretty impressive when you see your aggregate spending. But with Mint you can get those spending habits at least a little bit more in control, without entirely abandoning chow mein.
Gas prices have lately been a bit kinder to us than other times in the recent decade, but petroleum is still a place we’d rather save as many pennies as possible. Gas Buddy is the convenient app to help you locate the best gas prices in your area, and guide you to the gas stations you trust. This is especially great for the travelling salesperson unfamiliar with new towns as you travel throughout your region or state. Then, while saving money is a fun game in and of itself, Gas Buddy includes gamification features such as points for saved gas and clever car icons when you report new gas prices. Take or leave the gamification of it, the best part of this app is keeping a few more cents in your pocket that can better be spent on Italian footwear. We mean savings, savings account is where those extra pennies will go…
There are certainly plenty of bills that you can set to pay all by themselves with auto-payment features. Yet it’s important to keep an eye on when those payments are coming out and maintaining focus on how much you really are spending on your phone bill each month. BillTracker is the simple app that allows you to do just that. This is also helpful for those payments that can’t be set to auto-pay, making absolutely sure you don’t waste a single stupid dollar on an unnecessary late payment.
Coupon clipping is still a pain and we’re not going to sit here and say it’s a fun and cool way to spend a Friday night. But that’s why us app developers are looking out for you, and come up with apps like RetailMeNot. This is a fantastic little app for the person who loathes the concept of bargain hunting but still enjoys keeping more of his/her hard earned dollars in their fat wallet. The way we use this app is whenever we’re about to hit “Checkout” on any of your online shopping carts, we always check RetailMeNot to see if there’s a new valid coupon for your particular purchase. We can’t explain how many times we’d laugh at the idea of our bizarre purchases like a 6 pack of Mike Tyson shaped whoopie cushions having a coupon available…only to realize RetailMeNot absolutely has one and it’s 50% off. Do yourself a favor and just download it and start saving.
Digit is sort of like that 4-eyed accountant that takes a look at your spending habits and tells you how much you’re capable of saving over a given period of time. That’s because it is, as the smart app that can help you strictly with reducing your spending habits to help you beef up your savings account. Once you link Digit with your bank account, it studies your income and spending habits and crunches these numbers into an algorithm to help you start the savings process without really thinking about it. Then every two to three days, the tool transfers small amounts of cash, typically between $1 – $150 dollars, from your checking account and funnels it to an FDIC-insured savings account. You are notified of these transfers via text message, kind of like the happy “clink clink” sound you heard as a child when you dropped quarters into your piggy bank.
Are there other money saving apps you use and love to stay on track? Let us know your favorites in the comments below.