6 Ways To Save Money Using Your Phone

Remember when we only used phones to call people? What was that about?? We are well into the age of smart phones, and how sweet a time it is. I jumped on the bandwagon with my Android phone (HTC Incredible, my baby) and never looked back.  Like a Pavlovian dog, I practically salivate at the bzzz of my phone announcing a new email or text or tweet or whatever-I-need-to-check-Facebook-RIGHT-NOW.

But what do smart phones have to do with a "wicked cheap" blog? Sure, the phone and data charges are a luxury I could do without. BUT, there are ways that these magic little devices can actually SAVE you money.

With the right apps, you'll be thanking Steve Jobs or ... whoever... invented Android for all the money you're saving. The following apps are my suggestions to get you started. These are all available for free for both iPhone and Android (I have no idea about Blackberry, sorry!)

1. The first step of saving money is knowing how much you have and budgeting.  Personal finance apps like Mint and Pageonce help you do that.  Keep close tabs on what's going into and out of your various accounts (checking, savings, credit card, loans, etc) with these secure apps. Settings include notifications about low balances, due dates, and incurred fees.

2. Location-based apps like SCVNGR, Foursquare and Where often offer deals and discounts when you "check in".  Even popular review site Yelp has a mobile app with coupons for many local businesses. These types of apps have the added bonus of being interactive.  You'll easily find reviews, tips and tricks written by other users for various businesses.  SCVNGR brings the fun level up a notch by offering "challenges" to be completed for real-world rewards (like discounts!)

3. Out shopping and forgot your coupons at home? Not a problem with apps like The Coupons App and Coupon Sherpa.  These apps allow you to browse and save coupons, or find them based on local availability using GPS.  With The Coupons App you can scan a barcode using your phone's camera to see if the item is available for cheaper somewhere else.

4. If you're like me, you want to get into and out of the grocery store as quickly as possible (when I'm filthy rich, I will first hire a personal masseuse, then a personal grocery shopper).  But there are a few apps that can make grocery shopping a little quicker, easier, and cheaper. Grocery Pal and Grocery IQ both help you set up your grocery list (even organize by aisle!) so you're only getting what you went in for.  Both have integrated mobile coupons and Grocery Pal even lists the weekly specials for most chains.

5. I don't drive, but if I did I would definitely use apps like GasBuddy or CheapGas (Android or iPhone) to find out which station has the cheapest fuel. Gas prices being what they are, these may end up being the most depressing apps you have.

6. You know already that customer loyalty programs (such as the CVS Care Card) can save you money with special coupons and discounts, but sometimes searching through your wallet for the correct card is just a pain.  KeyRing will now make your life a little easier. You enter your information for each card, and it's all right there when you need it at check out. Just have the cashier swipe the bar code that you bring up in the app and you're all set.

 

Remember when we only used phones to <em>call</em> people? What was that about?? We are well into the age of smart phones, and how sweet a time it is. I jumped on the bandwagon with my Android phone (HTC Incredible, my baby) and never looked back.  Like a Pavlovian dog, I practically salivate at the bzzz of my phone announcing a new email or text or tweet or whatever-I-need-to-check-Facebook-RIGHT-NOW.But what do smart phones have to do with a "wicked cheap" blog? Sure, the phone and data charges are a luxury I could do without. BUT, there are ways that these magic little devices can actually SAVE you money.

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