Our budget has its own folder on my phone. Yes, I’m one of those people who keep all their apps in little folders, so this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. But in case you’re new here I figure it’s important to be upfront about my OCD tendencies.
Even if the whole folder thing is too much organization for you I’m sharing the 5 money saving apps we use each week in hopes that in the very least I can inspire you to clean up some financial clutter.
We bank with Chase so for us, this one was a no-brainer. I use this almost daily to deposit paychecks, pay bills, check in on our spending, and move money between accounts. If you’re like me and always heading somewhere I highly recommend checking out the mobile app associated with your bank (or looking into a bank that has a mobile app). Seriously having all my accounts at my fingertips has been a game changer in letting me move money into the proper account (hello downpayment) as soon as it’s deposited.
If you’re like me (or anyone who has ever been to Target) you know what a blow this store can be to the budget. This has led to me planning our trips there and limiting them to a 1x a month deal and even still needing to use all my willpower to come out ahead. Enter Cartwheel, Target’s app which lets me browse all available deals before I head to the store. We mostly go to Target for paper goods, personal care products, gluten free items, and so I can hit up the dollar spot for therapy supplies. With the exception of the dollar spot Cartwheel lets me browse all those categories, check out what brand is on sale at the time, and save the items I need into a list. Then when it’s time to checkout you scan the barcode at the register and BOOM the coupons from your list are automatically applied. Combined with the 5% off I get for using my RedCard and this app saves us an average of $20 per trip.
This is a new app I’m trying out this month, created by our guy Dave. It’s a free budget tracker designed to help with zero balance budgeting. I like that you have to enter your transactions, which helps me keep track of where our money is moving and that you can easily split transactions across categories (i.e. $100 at Target can be separated into $30 for medicine and $70 for food) so you have a clear picture of your exact expenses. I also love that you can access your account online, which will be great for our Budget Breakdown. It won’t replace my beloved spreadsheets for looking at our financial big picture, but for keeping track of our daily budgeting it’s the best app I’ve tried yet.
In case you missed it I’m just a teensy bit obsessed with our food budget, I blame the former food network addict in me. Lucky for me Meijer (our grocery store of choice) lets me maintain that control without being a total time suck. M-Perks is a reward system linked to your phone number. Just like with Cartwheel I can view the sales/coupons and use them to make my list right in the app. M-Perks also comes with the added bonus of giving me cash off my purchase if I buy enough in my specified categories. An app that fits my list making tendencies and rewards my love of cheese, you know I’m in!
Now, this may seem like a cop-out, especially since I use the basic calculator pre-loaded on my iPhone, but hear me out on this one. For a self-professed math nerd, I happen to be incredibly bad at mental math. But give me a calculator and I can tell you almost instantly if a “deal” is actually a deal or if I can afford the second bottle of wine I’m eyeing. My calculator calculations may only save us a few dollars per grocery trip but when you’re chasing goals every dollar counts.
Surprise, surprise there was nothing fancy in my app folder, you all know fancy isn’t really my style (unless we’re talking lists of course!). But I really do swear by each of those apps in terms of keeping our money moving in the right direction.
What money apps do you swear by?