There’s no doubt about it: apps can save you money. Some do it just by allowing you to get online quickly and on the go; apps save money the way the internet saves money, by allowing you to quickly compare prices and get the best deal or nab online discounts on the high street.
But there’s more to it than that. Managing, or just keeping an eye on, your bank accounts on the go – as some of these apps can help you to do – can make keeping an eye on your money more part of your day-to-day routine and less of yet another task that you have to set aside time for.
With these apps, checking out your general financial situation is getting easier and easier; with the invention of the smartphone, people can stop fussing over giant manila folders containing masses of financial data. Finally, we can now choose instead to log on, sync up, and stay connected. So, without further ado, here are our top eight best apps for watching your personal finances right now.
The big-daddy of daily deals sites was, of course, the first to go mobile with apps for Android and iPhone. The app solves three big problems with Groupon in one fell swoop.
It means that deals lovers won’t necessarily have to pre-book way in advance, those that travel a lot can search out bargains nearby rather than relying on email alerts for the local area and there’s no need to print vouchers since they can be shown to the retailer, and scanned, on screen. In other words it’s a money-saving essential for use with the web’s favorite new obsession.
RedLaser is like magic. You scan an item’s barcode and the phone searches for the product online, allowing you to check whether you’re getting a good deal in seconds.
Mint.com is the last word in managing your bank accounts online. Ever wonder why your bank or credit card provider’s online banking site doesn’t make it really clear where your money’s going with pie charts, graphs and simple ways to set personal finance targets? So did they.
It’s currently only available in the US but look out for copycats from Lovemoney in the UK and other sites elsewhere in the world coming soon.
Apps work best when they do one thing really well and that’s definitely the case with this simple app which finds free numbers for costly customer service lines.
In the first two weeks the app was released in the UK it got 91,722 downloads and, the developers say, saved consumers a quarter of a million pounds.
Broadband writers love Onavo. The app solves the problem of expensive mobile data in a way we never thought of before, compressing the way your smartphone browses to make it more efficient.
There’s a monthly fee so it’ll really only suit very heavy smartphone users or those going online abroad but, since those people could pay out thousands for data, they’re the ones that need it most.
Anyone who’s ever had to sort through a bundle of battered receipts will love this clever app for getting your expenses done as you go along. You can store lists of transactions and even store photos of receipts for proof.
TopTable is a restaurant reservation site that rewards you for using it with money off thousands of meals. Note that Mastercard and American Express have strong links to this and a couple of similar sites so if looking to save even more cash, and particularly if you’re collecting credit card rewards, check whether using a particular card could help.
8. First Direct app (for example)
Aggregators like Mint.com can help you get on overview of your finances but for really getting in there and changing things online banking is still king.
Unfortunately, the banks are being even slower to develop their mobile sites than they’ve been on their general banking sites.
There are a few exceptions, though, like First Direct in the UK.
The online bank’s iPhone app allows users to view their account balances and the last 20 transactions and make transfers between First Direct account or to another person or company. Don’t forget to check out these Top 5 Must Have Money Saving iPhone Apps!
Guest Author: This is a guest article by Julia Cook who is a staff writer for consumer site Choose.net, which helps users with tech problems like finding the best broadband deals and also covers personal finance topics such as best credit card for poor credit.