You may think that purchasing a new mobile phone worth several hundred dollars in order to become more frugal with your money is tough to justify, but often frugality is tough to implement because you need to be vigilant in every aspect of your life.
With a host of frugal tools at your fingertips on your iPhone, you can help frugality permeate every one of your habits and actions, and be on your way to saving money and being more financially responsible:
1 – Coupon apps
If you are diligent with your coupon cutting you can make affordable bulk purchases and save off your everyday items to cut your shopping bills. However, to make use of your coupons you have to remember to take them with you wherever you go, and you have to remember to present them when you pay.
With these three apps, you will never miss out on a coupon bargain again:
- Coupon Sherpa. This app is linked with a wide range of stores and allows you to access coupons from Bath & body Works or Books A Million for example, on your iPhone.
- Cellfire. Cellfire allows you to add your shopper cards and then load coupons, which can then be automatically deducted when you use the card at the register. When new coupons are available they can be loaded onto your card, and ready for for use in ten minutes.
- Coupons.com. The Coupons.com app allows you to access the same coupons you would find on the full Coupons.com website and you can then print them wirelessly from your iPhone. You can also load electronic coupons to your shopper cards.
2 – Shop online
Most people have discovered the benefits of shopping online for the convenience, the time saving and the ease of comparing prices and offers to find the best deal. Now there are a range of apps you can use on your frugal iPhone to make online shopping even more affordable:
- Compare Me. The Compare Me app allows you to compare different products using your iPhone to determine which size or packaging is the best value. Compare Me also gives you an outline of the savings you can make in percentages, across the different stores.
- Better Buy. This app helps you compare unit pricing and allows you to enter weights and volumes with the price and the quantity to see which item is the better buy – whether it is really better value to buy bulk, or if the small packets on special are the way to go.
- Frugal. The Frugal app will help you shop more frugally by helping you convert product quantities in either imperial or metric, to find out which product has the best price.
3 – Discounts and rewards
A lot of stores and businesses will offer you discounts and rewards if you sign up as a member – they get your mailing details and you get another card for your wallet.
While collecting membership cards and discounts can be a great way to shop smarter and be more frugal, you have to remember to take the cards with you in your already overfilled wallet, and you have to remember to present the, however, with the CardBank app you can store all of your membership cards and customised cards such as your gym membership and you no longer have to miss out on shopping benefits.
If you want to reap even more rewards you can download the WeReward app which pays you when you visit certain locations, or complete certain tasks.
For example, you visit a participating business, follow the instructions on the app and earn points. Each point is worth a penny and you can cash in your points using PayPal.
4 – Save on fuel
Fuel is right up there with your groceries as one of the biggest expenses your family has, so you are probably aiming to drive less, and drive more fuel efficiently to be more frugal.
You can also be frugal when you fill up by shopping around for the best fuel prices, but if you actually have to drive around to all the service stations to find the best price, you will have made your savings moot.
Instead, use the GasBuddy app which locates the cheapest fuel in your vicinity anywhere in the US or Canada. When you search you can compare distance by price and see all grade prices displayed so you never miss a bargain.
5 – Budgeting
It is also very important when trying to live frugally, to know exactly where all of your money is at any time, and how much you have available to spend in the week.
Therefore, a detailed working budget is a frugal family’s most important tool, and with the Budget app you can have all of that information and more at your fingertips.
The Budget app can be a good investment for just $1.99 as there are a wide range of features you won’t usually find with other personal finance apps. The Budget app features:
- Easy to enter transactions. The most effective budgets are the ones which are kept updated regularly, but it can be time consuming to stop and enter a transaction each time you spend money. With the Budget app you can choose from a list of predefined items, which you can add to your budget by tapping the column next to it. You can also set a specific item in your budget by tapping the budget icon, or you can enter recurring transactions for each month. Plus, since you’re probably not the only one spending money from the budget, you can also share transactions between iPhones so everyone stays updated.
- Export the data. You can also export all of your budget information in a CSV file so you can view and compare it later in Excel.
- Graphs. You can also see an expenses vs budget graph if you prefer a visual representation of your progress and position for the month.
- Over budget. The Budget app will highlight any expenses which push you over budget to help keep your spending in check.
This is a guest post by Alban, a personal finance writer at Home Loan Finder, a home loan comparisonwebsite.