Apps That Save Money: Automate Your Financial Health

Apps That Save Money: Automate Your Financial Health

Whether you’re an Android user or an iOS enthusiast, your phone can (and should) be used to help with money management. Not only can you utilize your device to get notifications about your bank account...

Whether you’re an Android user or an iOS enthusiast, your phone can (and should) be used to help with money management. Not only can you utilize your device to get notifications about your bank account balance and pay off credit card debt, but you can also take advantage of free apps that keep you on track to hit your financial goals.

From apps that save money to ones that monitor your spending habits, there are plenty of mobile-friendly ways to make your personal finances a priority. Below, we’ll break down the best money-saving apps, provide a roundup of others you should consider downloading, and give you some guidance on how to turn your phone into a tool that can set you up for success.

What Kinds of Apps Can Save Me Money?

Both Google Play and the Apple App Store are home to a plethora of paths to help build up your financial health.

Let’s start with the basics. First, most member FDIC banks have a mobile app you that gives you a real-time glimpse at the amount of money in your checking account. This is especially useful if you use your debit card to make everyday purchases. After all, nobody wants to pay overdraft fees!

However, the world of finance apps expands well beyond mobile banking. Thanks to the power of technology, it’s now possible to get and use coupons, create and stick to a budget and track and cancel subscriptions right on your phone. Plus, some apps even let you score special deals at your favorite retailers.

Ready to find out how to improve your financial health from a screen? Next, we’ll explore different apps to help save money—starting with a category that we can all appreciate.

Using Coupon Apps

There’s nothing wrong with going the traditional route of clipping out coupons from newspapers, magazines, and flyers. When it comes to convenience, though, nothing beats being able to pull one up with a simple swipe.

What are some of the best coupon apps available? Here are a few of our favorites:

Dosh

Dosh is a coupon app that allows you to score automatic savings on everyday purchases and travel purchases without having to scan your receipts. Available for iOS and Android devices, you can transfer amounts of $25 or more to your bank account or PayPal account.

This can be a great way to bolster your rainy day or emergency fund. Or, use that cash back reward to do something special with your family.

Ibotta

Grocery shopping will never be the same once you’ve used Ibotta. This coupon app helps you save money at participating retailers, including Walmart and Target.

Another reason to add Ibotta to your home screen? You get a welcome bonus just for downloading the app.

Honey

Love online shopping? You’ll enjoy your next Amazon experience much more with Honey—no app is quite as sweet.

This shining star is a mobile app/browser extension that looks for and applies the best coupon codes to your cart so you can score automatic savings at checkout time.

In addition, the Honey Gold rewards program gives you a chance to redeem earnings in the form of gift cards or shopping vouchers.

Rakuten

This shopping app partners with big-name retailers to offer you cash back as a percentage. If you shop through the platform, it will automatically crawl the retailer website for the best coupons and promotions available and apply them to your cart before check-out. 

This means you can simultaneously earn cash-back rewards and take advantage of the best coupon savings available.

Budgeting Made Easy With Budgeting Apps

One of the best ways to boost your credit score and overall financial health? Learn how to budget.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with doing things the old way. But tracking your monthly, weekly, or even daily expenses and income in a notebook or other handwritten format leaves room for human error.

Luckily, there are several budgeting apps that can streamline the process and make it easier to stick to schedule, including:

Mint

Made by the creators of Quicken Loans and TurboTax, Mint is one of the most popular budget apps on the market. With zero monthly fees, a built-in credit score check feature, and the ability to link existing investment accounts, it’s easy to see why.

What makes it so useful for budgeting? By syncing their bank accounts, users can get a clear picture of their spending habits. Mint automatically groups your transactions for you so you can assess and make necessary changes.

Mvelopes

Putting a modern-day spin on the idea of budgeting, Mvelopes has you divvy up your expected costs into envelopes that you can only open when you are using the money inside them to pay for specific bills. 

Another benefit of using this app is the ability to chat on the phone with a financial coach who can provide insight into your personal finances and budget goals. Keep in mind that after a free trial, Mvelopes carries a monthly fee that ranges between $6 to about $80.

YNAB

You Need a Budget (YNAB) claims to help new budgeters save $600 in their first two months and more than $6,000 in their first year through its signature four-step method. You can try the app for free for 34 days, which gives you time to test its many features.

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Use a Subscription Tracking App to Identify What to Cancel

Between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, you can easily spend a decent portion of your income on streaming services. Throw in subscriptions for music and food-delivery apps and the total cost can quickly pile up.

Rather than wasting money every month that could be better invested elsewhere, determine which subscriptions to cancel with one of the following apps that save money:

Truebill

Available in both free and premium versions, Truebill stands out not only for its subscription management services but also for its bill negotiation feature.

Hiatus

Subscription monitoring and budgeting tools come at no cost with the Hiatus app. For a monthly fee of $10, premium subscribers get access to an agent who will negotiate certain bills on their behalf and cancel subscriptions.

PocketGuard

A budgeting app that also includes subscription management features, PocketGuard offers recommendations on how to reduce subscription costs and other bills for its free users. PocketGuard Plus provides additional financial tools, including debt payoff tracking.

Automate Your Savings Goals

Many banking apps let you set an automatic savings goal where money goes into your savings account on a set schedule. Even if you choose a small amount like $5, committing to the practice of saving is a sound decision that can lead to long-term rewards.

Here are a few apps to help save money that do nearly all of the work for you:

Acorns

The aptly named Acorns is a hybrid savings-investing app. It rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and puts that spare change into an investment account. Each Acorns investment portfolio includes exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and there are some sustainability-focused ones that feature companies that meet environmental, governance, and social requirements.

Chime

A free banking app that allows you to get paid up to two days early, Chime also has an automatic savings feature that can assist with reaching your money goals. It also earns rave reviews because it can be used to help improve your FICO credit score and avoid overdraft fees on amounts up to $200.

Qapital

Need help hitting a specific savings target? Qapital may be the mobile app for you. It rounds up change to the nearest dollar and moves it into a savings goal account held at a partner bank that’s FDIC-insured.

Digit

A simple way to grow your rainy day fund, Digit calculates what you can save and sets it aside. Users also earn a savings bonus every three months.

The Bottom Line

Cut down on excessive smartphone screen time by taking advantage of apps that will support your financial health.

Whether you need help budgeting, want to manage subscriptions better or have grown weary of clipping out coupons, consider utilizing the array of mobile apps that save money and alleviate some of the stress of managing your personal finances.

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