Fire up your smartphone and tell me what's on your Home screen?
The standard apps, maybe some games, probably a stock market app or perhaps Personal Capital to help manage your money? 🙂
How many of those apps cost you money? I bet a lot are free with some in-game sales. If the apps free, they can still sell you stuff inside. All good.
Today I'm going to share a few apps that will save you money when you shop, save you money when you travel, and save you money when you are just going about life.
Swagbucks is one of my favorite paid survey apps and they'll give you $5 just to sign up — earn more by answering surveys, watching videos, playing games, and many of the other things you're already doing online… for free.
You earn SB (Swagbucks) for all those activities and can convert them to gift cards to many retailers, including Amazon. (read our Swagbucks review)
Retailmenot is a crowdsourced coupon site that has spawned about a million clones, all of which are just crappier versions of Retailmenot. They boast over half a million coupons for tens of thousands of stores and now you can get them on your phone through their native app.
The best part about being one of the largest crowdsourced coupon sites is that you have verified coupons and none of the BS those smaller sites play with fake coupons.
I've been a fan of Slickdeals for years and it's one of the first websites I open every single day. I've saved a ton of money on everything from landscaping gloves to monitors (the two Dell monitors I'm using now were found on Slickdeals) to TVs.
They've added a ton of features to their deals listing but the most valuable one is the forums. Each deal is linked to a forum discussion and you can see real time updates about the deal itself. Sometimes people run into problems and share workarounds. Sometimes they share the deal is dead — it's a great site and completely free. They've easily saved me thousands of dollars.
Credit Sesame is a service that gives you a free credit score and free credit monitoring based on your TransUnion credit report. They also have a free smartphone app so you can always keep on top of this critical area of your finances.
GasBuddy or Waze
I use Waze for navigation, it's owned by Google, offers great directions, and up to date information on road conditions. It's reported by other drivers and you get a chance to offer feedback. There's also a part of the app for local gas prices, which I find are updated on a daily basis. Their user base is huge but the gas search is limited to the local area.
I can't bring up cheap gas without mentioning the grandfather gas app – GasBuddy. If you have a favorite app for navigation and just need a great service for gas, you can't do worse than GasBuddy.
Normally, last minute hotel reservations are absurdly expensive. That's surprising because hotel rooms are perishable and an empty room is one you can't sell tomorrow – so you'd think they'd be willing to give you the room for any amount over their own cost to clean it tomorrow. The only reason that doesn't happen is because they know you need a place to stay… and so the dance begins.
Hotel Tonight is an app that helps you find same day bookings until 2 AM. If you make a last minute stop somewhere or fancy yourself a gambler, give them a look.
JetSetter is another great app that does a similar thing – though you can get good deals on mystery hotels in advance. Sometimes I just look at these and daydream about staying at some of these fancy hotels. 🙂
Parking in most major cities sucks and it feels like if you drive around you'll see prices that vary widely. Best Parking is an app that will find the cheapest and most convenient parking options in 105 cities and 115 airports – it takes all the guesswork out of parking.
It includes dedicated parking lots AND hotels, which is something other places don't always offer.
What's your favorite money saving app?
About the comments on this site:
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Matt Warnert says
I’m a fan of the Raise app. Makes buying discounted gift cards super easy. I buy the gift cards a few minutes before I check out and they get sent right to my phone. Some stores have ridiculous discounts on their gift cards.
Lazy Man and Money says
I visit Slickdeals a few times a day myself. I have had the app for awhile, but the notifications are too aggressive for me.
I’ll have to look into Best Parking. I don’t drive a lot, but it sounds really helpful for those few times I do.
Jim Wang says
Best Parking is one of those “oh no where do I park” use cases. 🙂
Jonathan Dyer says
I love RetailMeNot but have you experienced any issues with brick and mortar department stores pushing their own apps instead? I was at JCPenney once and, instead of just entering the code from RMN, they asked another cashier for the Penney’s code and told me to download their app for next time. Seemed very strange.
Jim Wang says
I think they’re always looking to boost their own numbers but as long as you get the discount, it’s all good right?
April Smith says
Check out the comments on the survey sites on Google play. It all sounds like a good idea and like you could make money, but according to every commenter there are huge problems and they don’t get the money from the service that they earned or you spend 20 minutes on a survey only to get to the last question it says sorry you’re just qualified for the survey and then you don’t get any points at all. It all sounds like a waste of time.