Five Mobile Apps that Will Save You Money

by David Sung

Your cell phone is like your wallet, you don’t leave home without it. So, why not use your cell to help you save more of the money in your wallet? Saving is easier than making more money – it’s just about developing and maintaining habits to keep more of it in your pocket. One of the greatest resources to do that is your phone. We’ve compiled a list of 5 free mobile apps that will help you manage your money, spend wisely and save up for the big purchase you really want.

Personal finance starts with a plan and commitment to that plan. Mint is the ultimate system for budgeting, tracking spending habits, and most importantly, saving. When you’re trying to keep up with a mortgage, car payment, and mounting bills, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  Mint is a platform that brings your financial activity together so you can have a visual picture of where your money is going and when.

If your goal for 2012 is to spend more time cooking than eating out, Food on the Table is an app to help you do that. We often talk about rising fuel costs, but food prices are increasing, too. The Food on the Table app selects stores in your area based on in-store sales. You can cut down the time you spend searching for the best deals, avoid overpaying and reduce grocery costs. When you access the app you can see sale items, decide what you would like to cook, and then build a complete meal. There is even a recipe feature that will suggest ideas based on the sale items. Select the items you want and the app will categorize it by department so you can spend less time at the store and more of it eating.

With so many people shopping online, it makes sense that Google developed a mobile app for this purpose. The Google Shopper allows you to explore area deals for restaurants, retail stores and entertainment. If you’re trying to maintain a budget, you can use this app to shop smart – spending what you can for something you want. You can also compare prices from in-store to online retailers and check out reviews from other customers. Think of Google Shopper as your own personal spending assistant and we all need one of those. This app is available for Android phones and iPhones.

Gas Buddy

There are few people who don’t want a good deal – especially for a frequent expense that just isn’t fun. Gas Buddy is your guide to finding gas stations in your area with the best gas price. Results are available throughout the U.S. and in Canada. You can filter results by price, distance, and even station. Gas Buddy also allows you to save your searches, which is a bonus for frequent travelers. Below each price is a time stamp letting you know how current the price is. This app is available on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry phones. So check it out before the summer gas prices get here.

This is a must-have app for techies who don’t want to pay the steep prices of hot, new items. With the Decide app for iPhone and Android, you can track the price of an item and determine the best time to buy it. For instance, you’ve had your eye on a new tablet at Best Buy – scan the barcode into the app and you’ll automatically see price listings from other stores and a trend map. Based on the data gathered, it will suggest that you wait for prices to drop or purchase before they rise. Predictions come with a confidence rating and the app can notify you whenever a price drops. Never miss out on a good deal again with Decide.

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