Ways Your Phone Can Save You Money

From data charges and text messages to music downloads and online shopping, it’s easy to see your phone as a giant drain on your finances — especially with the high cost of new smartphones! But if you have some helpful apps, your phone could actually help you save instead of spend. We’ve put together our favourite free and low-cost money-saving apps to help you start saving in all aspects of life. Read on to see what looks good to you and start saving!

General Finance

Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard is one of the most popular popular personal finance apps in the UK. It’s like having a personal finance manager in your pocket 24/7. Enter your credit, debit and bank accounts into the dashboard, and the app automatically starts tracking and categorising each purchase you make, from groceries to mortgage payments. It provides monthly breakdowns of your spending categories, checking and savings accounts, showing you potential areas to cut back on spending and start saving.

Cost: free

Goodbudget

Goodbudget takes the simple envelope budgeting system and moves it into the digital age. Each month you make envelopes for all of your separate budget categories like groceries, transportation, eating out, etc. You then set aside money in in each of the envelopes based on the amount you budgeted for. This is spending based on what you’ve budgeted instead of spending based on your account balance. This is a great app for anyone looking for a clean and easy budgeting system!

Cost: free for 10 envelopes

£5 for unlimited envelopes

Level Money

Level Money is a spending tracker and budget app that provides monthly, weekly and daily spending and budget breakdowns. You’ll need to enter your bank account(s) and any credit or debit accounts into the app, which will then track your spending — helping you to see where your money is going. Its daily budget function is particularly helpful, showing how much you’ve spent so far and how much you have left before you go over your budget!

Cost: free

Daily Budget Original

The name says it all! Daily Budget is an excellent app for breaking down daily spending habits — it asks for your income and recurring expenses while allowing you to set the frequency of any transactions. Enter the percentage that you would like to save, and the app calculates how much money you should be spending on a daily basis. This is a nice option, as some other financing apps require more information and time for setup.

Cost: free

In-app upgrade prices vary  

Spending Tracker

The Spending Tracker app is another option for those looking to see just how much they are spending, whether weekly, monthly or yearly. It’s a simple task to log expenses and income, especially with the handy icons used to group expenses into easy-to-see categories. Plus, with a pro upgrade you can have monthly transactions like rent or groceries be automatically recorded, saving you the hassle of entering them in every month.

Cost: free

In-app upgrade prices vary

Leisure and Study

Goldstar

Goldstar is a discount app for any and all kinds of entertainment. From plays and movies to concerts and sporting events, checking Goldstar for a discount could help you save and enjoy your outings at a lower cost! The app features events by city, which is great if you’re traveling and want to have a night out on the town during your holiday. Handy reviews of events by other users are an added plus.

Cost: free

BIGWORDS

University students — and parents of any university students — know that university textbooks can be quite costly. It can also be difficult to search for the cheapest price on used copies when shipping costs vary from site to site. The BIGWORDS app takes care of that problem by compiling a comparison list of all options, including shipping costs. That way, the price you see is the price you will pay, saving you both time and money!

Cost: free

Kindle

The Kindle app is usually used for purchasing eBooks, but there are some great money saving uses on it as well! Many libraries now offer eBooks, and with the Kindle app you can rent and read right on your mobile device or eReader. There are also thousands of free books you can access through Kindle, including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice and Treasure Island. So start saving and reading for free today!

Cost: free

Fitness Buddy

For only a couple of quid, you could have your very own personal training regimen right on your phone. Fitness Buddy is an exercise app designed to give you workout suggestions, whether for home or the gym. Every exercise has step-by-step photos and videos to help you correctly execute the moves. You can track your sets and even keep track of your bodyweight and body measurements as well. If you go premium, Fitness Buddy will create a customised workout based on your experience and goals. It’s a much cheaper option than a personal trainer!

Cost: £2.29

Premium: £22.99

Travel

Hopper

There are plenty of apps that offer flight discounts, but Hopper goes one step further: Using data and analysis from billions of flight prices, the app tells you when you should be flying in order to save money on airfare. Notifications alert you when flight prices drop drastically, and color-coded calendars show which days are dos and don’ts for air travel. Overall, Hopper claims its travel-planning app can help you save up to 40% on your next flight.

Cost: free

AA Parking

There’s no reason you shouldn’t save a couple of quid when parking! The AA Parking App provides comprehensive coverage for all of the UK and Ireland with an easy-to-use interface. You can search your current address, see real-time parking spaces and find the closest and cheapest spots. It’s a must-have for parking in larger cities.

Cost: £1.99

Fuelio

Do you know how much you spend on petrol and general auto costs per month? Most of us don’t, choosing just to fill up whenever we need as we go about our business. You can stop the mindless spending with Fuelio, an app that helps you track fuel consumption, fuel price, mileage and more. For anyone who drives regularly, this is a good way to track transportation costs and see where you can cut spending.

Cost: free

Hotel Tonight

Booking a great hotel room often takes advance planning. But what happens if your flight’s delayed or an emergency pops up, and you’re looking at an extra night with nowhere to stay? Hotel Tonight provides last-minute booking on deeply discounted hotel rooms. It’s a great help when you’re in a pinch, or if you’re a traveller who likes to go the unplanned route.

Cost: free

Roomer

Roomer is another hotel app that is a little different from other discount booking apps. Roomer allows travellers to upload hotel rooms that, due to whatever reasons, they suddenly cannot use and would otherwise lose money on. The traveller submits their unused reservation, and you get to choose from some deep discounts! It also works great the other way around if you happen to get stuck in the same situation.

Cost: free

Travel Math

Whether you holiday occasionally or frequently, you’d be wise to use Travel Math, an app that calculates travel costs. For example, you can find the average prices of flying or driving to your destination and even the average cost for local hotels. This is a great way to compare costs when planning your holiday — making sure you that you’re not paying more than you should be.

Cost: free

Food

mySupermarket

mySupermarket is a one-stop app for saving on groceries! You can chose the supermarket you most frequent and instantly start getting top offers on all kinds of foods. Comparison-shopping with the “swap and save” feature allows you to see cheaper alternatives with better unit prices. mySupermarket also allows you to import your shopping list and offers a money-saving cash back feature.

Cost: free

Apples2Oranges

Apples2Oranges is a converter app that will not only help you with converting measurements, but also with comparing package-pricing differences. No more standing in the aisle hemming and hawing over whether it’s cheaper to buy the smaller or larger size. Input the different product sizes and price, and Apples2Oranges will show the cost difference, helping you to save!

Cost: free

In-app upgrade prices vary

Olio

Olio is a new kind of discount food app that aims at limiting food waste. But it also provides deep discounts and even free food! Households and businesses in your community (and you) snap pictures of food that isn’t going to be used and post pick-up details. You can browse available items, much of which sell for a bargain, and request a time to pick up what you’d like! From bagged popcorn to fresh produce, you’ll never know what you’ll find. Plus you get to meet your neighbours and do the environment a favour, all while saving!

Cost: free

General Shopping

Key Ring

Chances are the majority of stores you shop at have some kind of loyalty program. But that means a bulging wallet full of bulky membership cards that are easily forgotten or just too much of a hassle to pull out. There are no more excuses with Key Ring, an app that organises all of your member, benefit and discount cards right on your phone. Plus, each card you load allows you to see the current deals and sales going on at that particular shop.

Cost: free

Vouchercodes.co.uk

If you’re looking for general savings, you can’t go wrong with VoucherCodes! This handy little app partners with over 2,500 UK retailers and restaurants, providing discounts for all sorts of products and services. As a bonus, they also offer printable vouchers for deals that cannot be had online, like for high-end restaurants and shops. Some notable brand discounts include British Airways, Sainsbury’s and TOPMAN.

Cost: free

House and Home

BrightNest

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, BrightNest has tons of DIY cleaning, crafting and organising tips to spruce up your space. Most of their content involves money-saving tips like rejuvenating carpets or lowering your cable bill. Project ideas like those will go a long way in helping you to save money, since you’ll be handling the work yourself. With a steady stream of new projects and home ideas, the saving possibilities are endless.

Cost: free

Homestyler Interior Design

Looking to redecorate? Give the Homestyler Interior Design app a try. This powerful app lets you take a picture of the room in question and turns it into a 3D model. You can then “place” different furniture, light fixtures, rugs, paintings, mirrors and more in the room to see how it would look in real life — you can also see how different colours would look. There is a design section filled with pictures and design suggestions to help you create your space. Styling your own re-design will save you a tidy sum!

Cost: free

Garden Plan Pro

Pass on spending hundreds of pounds for a professionally designed garden. Instead, create your own with the help of the Garden Plan Pro app! This app combines every aspect of planning, growing and maintaining a garden you could ever need. It even adapts to your location, giving you suggestions for the best planting and harvesting dates. Plus, this app focuses on growing fruit, vegetables and herbs, which means you could potentially save even more money by growing your own produce!

Cost: £5.59

We hope that some of these apps have caught your eye and that you’ll soon be well on your way to saving!

 

References:

McInnis, Mallory. Buzzfeed. (19 March, 2015). Apps to help you save money. Retrieved 20 March, 2016 from http://www.buzzfeed.com/mallorymcinnis/apps-to-help-you-save-money#.rdG4zbjQVm

StepChange MoneyAware. (18 March, 2016). Don’t leave home without these 5 money-saving apps. Retrieved 20 March, 2016 from http://moneyaware.co.uk/2015/03/dont-leave-home-without-these-5-money-saving-apps/

About 

Ashlyn Keefe is a copywriter at Enova International, Inc. with a Masters of Arts in Communication. She spends most of her time horseback riding, watching movies and drinking far too much coffee. Find out more about her on LinkedIn.

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