Saving money can be difficult, especially in tough economic times, when making it to the end of the month without debt feels like an accomplishment. Thankfully, plenty of apps are designed to help you save your hard-earned cash (or even earn a little extra).
Keep reading if you want to learn how to save money with technology. From automatic savings accounts to sophisticated budgeting tools, check out these ten great apps to help you put more money back into your pocket.
What Kind of App Do I Need To Save Money?
The best money app depends on your financial goals, income, and spending habits. There are three basic options to explore.
- If you’re looking to save money (in a traditional sense), consider an app that helps you budget and track spending while gradually putting small amounts into a separate account.
- If you want to save money on daily purchases without having to clip coupons, there are a few time-saving apps on the market that you’ll love.
- Finally, if you want to be more cash-positive without taking on a second full-time job, some apps will allow you to make a little extra money in your spare time.
Traditional Savings Apps
If you scratch your head every month, wondering where all your money went, an app that automates savings and gives insight into your spending habits can help you get on track.
1. Automated Savings Apps: Digit
If you want to save money but don’t have the self-control to do it yourself (due to spending habits), this app may be right for you. Digit uses an algorithm that predicts how much you can safely save each month. Then, it helps by taking small amounts of your paycheck and transferring them directly into an automated savings account.
2. Basic Budgeting Apps: Mint
Mint is perhaps the most well-known personal finance app on the market. It’s incredibly intuitive and can help with budgeting, tracking spending, setting goals, and more. Mint is an excellent option if you need help getting your finances back in order.
Another well-known auto-saving app that gives great insight into spending habits is Chime.
3. Gamified Savings Apps: Long Game
Long Game is your app if you want to have more fun while saving money. It’s designed as a game with mini-games (missions) that help you boost your savings balance. Many partnered banks also offer rewards and cashback when you reach savings goals.
4. Banking Apps
These days, many banks have their own savings app. Depending on the bank, these apps may help you transfer money between accounts, view transactions, and more.
For a banking alternative, try the Chime App. This alternative banking solution offers a convenient way to save money with lucrative rates and budgeting and spending tools.
Savings Apps for Daily Purchases You’re Already Making
When you have a long shopping list, nothing feels better than tapping into savings for those purchases you plan to make. Below are consumer favorites.
1. Cash Back Apps for Online Purchases: Rakuten
Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten is an excellent option for online shoppers. Using the Rakuten app or browser extension, you can shop many of your favorite websites and receive cashback on purchases. Best of all, it doesn’t require additional effort; use the app’s link to access those discounts without ever having to clip coupons or search for promo codes.
2. Gas Apps: Gas Buddy
Gas prices can increase quickly and eat into your monthly funds, but you don’t have to pay full price. To get the lowest gas prices in your area, Gas Buddy is a great app to help you save money on fuel. It crowdsources info from local gas stations so you can easily find the cheapest spot in town. Plus, if you pay with a Gas Buddy card, you can save additional cents per gallon.
3. Cash Back Apps for Groceries and Other Essentials: Ibotta
Ibotta is a fun, user-friendly savings app that offers cashback on groceries and other daily-use items. With Ibotta, you’ll always get the best deals on food at your favorite grocery store and essentials like shampoo and toilet paper. Plus, plenty of bonuses and rewards help you save even more money.
With the app, you can quickly browse to see what items are available for extra savings, either online or in-store. All you must do is upload your receipt to get cash back.
For an app that saves money on gas and groceries, the Upside App is another great option.
What if You Need More Cash First? Try These Apps
If you can’t save because you need to make more money or your monthly costs are too high, you might find creative ways to start accruing a little extra cash.
1. Investment Apps: Acorns
Acorns is more than just a savings app; it’s an investing platform that helps you make money. It’s easy to use and offers low fees compared to other investment platforms, so you can start investing small amounts of money. You can also set up recurring investments, automatic withdrawals, and more.
This is an excellent option for anyone with a little extra cash they can afford to take a risk on. If it turns out in your favor, you can grow your long-term savings significantly faster than letting them sit in the bank.
Other micro-investing apps include Stash, Robinhood, and Fundrise (crowdsourcing real estate investments).
2. Surveys Apps: Inbox Dollars
If you’ve got some free time and want to make a few extra bucks, survey apps like Inbox Dollars can help. With these apps, you get paid for answering surveys or watching videos – even if just a few minutes per day.
Surveys are quick and straightforward, so it’s a relatively easy way to earn small amounts of cash if you have the patience. However, it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme.
Other reputable survey apps include Survey Junkie and Swagbucks.
3. Freelance Work Apps: Textbroker
If you like to write and can do so efficiently, Textbroker offers freelance work opportunities for articles, blog posts, product descriptions, social media updates, and more. Getting a profile set up and assessed for your suggested pay rate (cost her word) will only take minutes.
You can do as much or as little work as you’d like. Some people have even turned using this platform into their full-time income.
Other freelance apps to explore that offer more than just writing include Upwork and Fiverr.
Other Tips for Saving Money
Apps are a great tool for tapping into extra money savings, but the right know-how is essential. For a few additional helpful tips to help you save, try these:
- Set up a savings account with an automatic monthly transfer of 5-10% of your paycheck.
- Automate bill payments so you never forget or miss a due date – and watch out for late fees!
- Look for creative ways to cut back on monthly expenses.
- Ensure you’re taking advantage of all the discounts available for a necessary purchase, such as student discounts for college students and senior citizen discounts for seniors.
- Always comparison shop for the best deals when buying groceries or other items – it can make a big difference in your budget!
- Be mindful of subscriptions and other monthly fees. If you’re no longer using something, cancel it to avoid wasting money in the long term.
- Start a side hustle or two that can add extra monthly income.
- To save on groceries, try meal planning and shopping for sales.
- Let go of keeping up with the Joneses and set realistic goals for spending and savings- evaluate whether you need designer brands, shiny cars, or any other materialistic items.
- Try a no-spend challenge for a month or two to save more money quickly.
- Invest the money you’ve saved into something that can grow in value long-term, like an investment account or real estate project.
- Track your spending habits to build awareness and determine where to cut back.
- Reassess your needs, wants, and lifestyle – try downsizing a few items to save money in the long run. You may have excess items you can also sell to add to your emergency fund.
- Try the 30-day rule. Before making any impulse purchase, wait 30 days to ensure you need it.
Money Saving FAQs
How Much Should I Be Saving?
How much you should be saving depends on your financial situation. Generally, experts suggest you save at least 10-20% of your monthly income. However, evaluating your needs and setting realistic goals is essential; if starting with a smaller percentage is more reasonable, don’t feel bad about not following the recommended rate. Something is better than nothing.
How Much Money Should I Keep in an Emergency Fund?
Most experts recommend having at least six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund. This can help you cover unexpected costs, like a car repair or medical bill, without going into debt. Plus, it keeps you covered if a job is suddenly lost.
What Is The Best Way To Save Money?
The best way to save money is by setting up automatic transfers from your paycheck into a savings account. This way, you’re not relying on your willpower to transfer money into the account – it’s automated so you won’t forget or procrastinate.
Additionally, try setting up a budget and tracking expenses. Keeping an eye on where your money is going can help you get a better handle on how much you can afford to save each month.
What’s The Quickest Way To Save $1000?
The quickest way to save $1000 is by finding creative ways to cut back on spending and work more. Try setting up a part-time job to help you bring in extra income, or look for freelance opportunities to pay you for your skillset.
You can also look at your current expenses and see if there’s any way to reduce costs. This could include canceling subscriptions or cutting back on luxuries like eating out or entertainment. You might also save money by paying down debt (to save on interest) or selling unnecessary items around your home.
Saving Money Made Easy
Saving money is essential for long-term financial success and stability. Using the right apps can help you save money quickly, but it’s important to remember it takes the right tools and willpower to stay disciplined with your budget and savings goals.