Three Apps to Help You Save Money
Want to save money? As it turns out, there’s an app for that. Actually, there are several. Whether you want to cut the cost of your grocery bill, save money when you shop online or get in the habit of setting money aside, you can find an app designed to help you reduce costs or save for a rainy day. Check out these apps and watch your savings grow. (Please note that some apps might charge fees for their use or feature in-app purchases.)
If you’ve ever gone shopping, either in a brick and mortar store or online, and couldn’t escape the feeling that you were missing a coupon or discount code, the RetailMeNot app is for you. Before you order something, check the app to see if there’s a coupon you can use or a discount code you can enter online. You can save any coupons you find for later, if you aren’t planning on purchasing right away. As a bonus, the app will send you an alert if you happen to wander into a store that has an active coupon, so that you don’t miss out on a chance to save.
Ibotta does one better than RetailMeNot. It doesn’t give you coupons, but actual cash back on the things you buy. The app has offers for a variety of stores and products, including groceries, clothing and pharmacy items. Products can be branded items or unbranded items. For example, you have the chance to get cash back on any brand of produce or any brand of milk quite regularly. To qualify for the rebates, you have to “unlock” the item, which often involves watching a short video ad or answering a poll question. Once the item is unlocked and you purchase it, you take a picture of your receipt and send it through the app. Ibotta either rejects your receipt or approves it and the cash back goes into your account. Once you get at least $25, you can cash out through Paypal or Venmo or ask for a gift card.
The Acorns app offers a modern solution for saving spare change. Instead of putting those coins in a jar at the end of the day, you link the app to your bank account, so that it is able to automatically round purchases you make up to the nearest dollar (so $3.14 becomes $4.00, for example). The rounded up amount gets invested into a diversified portfolio, once it reaches $5. During the first eight months of the app’s existence, CNN Money reported that it helped its 650,000 users save $25 million.
Although Acorns the app is free, the investing component of it is not. The company charges $1 per month for accounts with less than $5,000. Accounts with more than $5,000 get charged .25 percent each year. It doesn’t charge a commission per trade, though.