Smart phones are the latest technology boom taking over the consumer market. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing a few ads for the latest smart phone. The demand for them is huge and it doesn’t look like this trend will be ending anytime soon. Especially when people waited in line for well over 6 hours to receive their new iPhone 4. Smart phones may be expensive, but the potential savings they could allow you to harness can easily make up for the cost. This latest technology boom has brought about app marketplaces where developers can write custom software to run on smart phones. I will be sharing the apps that I use on my iPhone, though many will have versions to run on different smart phones, that I use everyday to make my income go further.
Google: Google is an incredible tool that is available on any smart phone with internet access. Before I buy anything online I always do a quick search for coupon codes if the store has a field for one in checkout. A good portion of the time I can find something that will at least save me 5%. Usually it is more in the range of 10-20% off my purchase.
Almost all of the big retailers offer competitor price match on advertised offers. While your standing in the checkout line hit up the competitor websites. You might find that product your buying is being offered at a lower price. Show them at the register for them to mark down the price. Sometimes they will only offer the price match on printed advertisements, in these cases you can threaten to go to the competitor and they might beat the price. If this doesn’t work you can simply just go to the competitor and get the product for cheaper.
A quick Google search can also save you from making a wasted trip to a store that may be closed. I know I have wasted a bunch of gas driving to a store on a holiday, on a sunday, or at a moderately late time just to find that it is closed.
If you haven’t already, check out my recent post on how to use Google Voice to send free text messages.
Mint: I’ve been using Mint for a while to track my finances and their phone app is a must for anyone looking to budget effectively. The Mint app automatically synchronizes with your online bank account to categorize purchases. You can create budgets from these categories and monitor your spending habits over time. I use it to identify areas that I need to cut back on and to check to see how purchases will fit into my budget. Having this app on your phone allows you to monitor your finances and spending on the go.
Coupon Sherpa: This app features a coupon database that is continually being updated. They allow you to bring up the coupon on your phone at checkout where the cashier can scan the barcode straight off of your phone. A quick search with this app during checkout lines can rack up in big savings real fast. Did I mention that the app is free?
Gas Buddy: For $2.99 you can search for the cheapest gas prices in your area. This allows you to recover the cost of the app in just one fill up. The prices are based on what other users in the community report. I live in a mid sized city and have yet to find an incorrect price. The only difficulties I encounter with this app are related to internet connection. Sometimes it doesn’t want to allow you to use the 3G connection for the app. A couple quick retries usually allow you to use the app just fine. They also have an On Fumes option which will show you the closest gas station.
Pandora: You don’t need to shell out a bunch of money to build up your music library. You can use Pandora, a free internet radio station, to stream music to your phone. You can create personalized radio stations based on a band or song you like. Pandora will stream you songs that match your entry based on certain criteria. The new music you can discover is really quite humbling. The only time I’ve experienced issues streaming music is driving through the backwoods of Virginia. Everywhere else the service worked perfectly on the 3G network.
Those were only the apps that I have used to save myself a some dough on more than one ocassion. The iPhone app store is constantly increasing and the Driod marketplace is increasing at an even faster rate. There are much more apps out there that you can use to save some serious money.
Photo Credit: bump
Do you have a money saving app that you would like to share?