Saving money is easier with these smartphone apps
4 Handy Smartphone Apps That Save Money
by Jennifer Colonia
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Continuous innovations in the technology scene are making it easier for consumers to save money on a daily basis. With over 91.4 million smartphone users in the United States alone, smartphone apps are going beyond the entertainment realm of Angry Birds, Plants v. Zombies and Words with Friends and moving into finance and helping us how to save money.
The latest wind of money-saving apps gaining popularity among iPhone and Android users are not only practical, they also help households keep within their monthly budget. An added bonus for taking advantage of these products: They're free.
While these smartphone apps won't make you a millionaire overnight, they can help you make smarter purchases and employ better practices.
1. Red Laser
This ingenious app is an oldie, but a goodie. Red Laser has been on the market since 2009 and has put the power of comparison shopping in the palms of families' hands worldwide. Instead of mindlessly grabbing at the first item on a shelf, shoppers can scan UPC, EAN and QR codes on labels and learn what the cost of that product is at online and local retailers.
Prices are gathered from major resources like Google, eBay and American Express, to name a few. Red Laser's database continues to grow with newer versions allowing consumers to find the best bargains instantly.
2. Key Ring
Those who have missed out on supermarket deals because of lost or forgotten loyalty cards now have a convenient way to carry around rewards fobs. Key Ring is an app that allows users to upload their rewards account information and show member cards at checkout, upon request.
Another great feature of Key Ring is that it stores membership cards to gyms like LA Fitness and local public libraries to lessen the bulk on your keys and eliminate clutter in your wallet.
On more than one occasion, I had either misplaced my loyalty card, was too lazy to tote it along with my keys or simply forgot the phone number associated with the loyalty account. With Key Ring, I was still able to take advantage of savings of up to $12 in one grocery visit.
Skype is a juggernaut in the app industry as the leading VoIP product across iPhone and Android markets. Domestic phone calls, video calls and text messages are free between Skype users, making long-distance phone calls and over-the-limit text message fees a trouble of the past.
Skype callers can also communicate internationally when using Wi-Fi hotspots. This feature came in handy on my trip to the Philippines recently. During a stop at the Incheon Airport in South Korea, I connected to the airport's free Wi-Fi and was able to facetime (video call) my boyfriend in the U.S. for free.
4. Group Me
Group Me makes coordinating events with friends straightforward and at zero cost. Instead of getting flooded with a mass of text messages back and forth and risking miscommunication in the process, Group Me is a real-time chat forum between invited users.
This capability eliminates brutal text message overage charges that can easily cripple budgets at the close of your billing cycle.
Whether or not you plan on regularly using these smartphone apps, they are still strong contenders among the app marketplace that give smartphone users immediate savings from the get-go.
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