SavingsAngel: Eight types of apps to help save money

These days, our whole lives are on our phones. From calendars to social media to music, smartphones have a lot of uses, and saving money can be one of them. While you may know that apps can save you money, you may not know that there are multiple types of money-saving apps. With so many different apps, you can find ways to save in every aspect of your life. Here are eight types of apps to help you save money:

1.) Investment apps. If you want to start saving or investing, download an app to do it for you. Some apps, like Acorn, automatically deduct money from your account and invest it for you. If you’re looking for something a little less risky, apps like Digit automatically take money out of your account and deposit it into a low-yield savings account. Which method you choose all depends on what your financial goals are. Anyone with a 401k or other retirement plan needs to check out the health of their investments through Blooom which can give you a free analysis of your plan within five minutes.

Getting your portfolio right can have a significant impact on long-term growth that could make thousands of dollars difference at retirement time. You keep your plan right where it is and the analysis will tell you if you have the right balance between stocks and bonds and much more.

2.) Bill negotiators. If you have a nagging feeling that you’re paying too much for your internet or another utility, but you’re not confident in your negotiating skills, bill negotiator apps can help. Upload your bills into an app like Billshark, and let them negotiate better rates for you.

3.) Budgeting. Budgeting apps help you save money by keeping track of your expenses and helping you avoid overspending. Some budgeting apps allow you to connect your bank account so that they can track your expenses effortlessly. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can find an app that allows you to input your expenses and income manually. It takes a little more work, but it can be more secure.

4.) Earning points. You can find a variety of apps that give you points for performing different tasks. Some apps give you points for scanning items in a store, or even just for walking in specific stores with your phone. Apps like Swagbucks give you points for watching videos, playing games, and taking surveys. These points can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards, and some apps even allow you to redeem your points for cash.

5.) Coupons. Coupon apps come in a couple varieties. Some offer general manufacturer coupons that you can use at any store. Other apps are store specific, like the Target app that offers Target-exclusive coupons. The best part about coupon apps is that you don’t have to go through all the trouble of clipping paper coupons and organizing them. They’re all right there on your phone! Swagbucks, in particular, is fairly unique in this world. It allows you additional savings beyond any manufacturer or store coupons you use. Talk about triple dipping your savings!

6.) Rebates. Certain apps offer rebates on specific types of items. Apps like Ibotta offer rebates on groceries and other household items. Just log in to the app to check out what kind of rebates are available, then when you’ve purchased a qualifying item, upload your receipt to receive money back. Usually, the rebates come to you in the form of a Paypal payment. Some apps do have a required minimum balance before they will transfer the cash to your account, but these minimums are usually not hard to meet if you use the app frequently.

7.) Career-specific money-saving apps. You can download an app that is made specifically for your career or lifestyle to show nearby places that offer discounts or deals based on your status. For instance, Military Cost Cutters is an app that lists establishments that offer military discounts. Campus Special shows deals and savings for college students. If you have a special circumstance like this, there may be an app to help you save money.

8.) Price tracker apps. Some apps help you out by showing you the best deals in your area, wherever you happen to be. GasBuddy shows the prices of gasoline at all the nearest gas stations. This is especially useful when you’re traveling. Best Parking shows you a map of inexpensive places to park near your current location. This can be a great money-saving tool if you’re in an unfamiliar city.

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