This is a guest post from Erin at Voucher Codes
I’m a bit of an old pro at using my smartphone to organize my life. So when one of my best friends asked me what I was doing getting my iPhone scanned at my local H&M I thought it was about time I shared my expertise.
Here are my top 10 ways to save money using a smartphone:
1. Store Apps
The next time you walk into a store and you’re about to buy something, go to the app store and find the store’s app (the store you plan to shop at). Download that and see if it has an option for receiving a discount. For example, the H&M app allows you to shake your phone to get a random discount. Many stores have this functionality, from Hotels.com to Old Navy.
2. ATM Fees
There is no excuse for this one. If you find yourself in need of cash and settle for the closest ATM, be wary of those ATM fees. Or, avoid them by using Google maps or your bank’s app to find your local branch’s nearest ATM, or the nearest free ATM.
Like the aforementioned store apps, there are websites that you can use on your smartphone that houses online coupons, printable coupons and even screen display coupons for in-store use or online purchases.
4. Track Your Spending
There are a ton of apps that help you manage your budget. My personal favourite is from Mint.com. This app helps you manage your cashflow and bills, all in one place.
5. Fousquare Freebies
This is one that I need to take advantage of more. This location-based service is gaining popularity, and stores are jumping on the bandwagon by offering specials and freebies to Fourquare users. Simply check-in to see the deals and freebies in your area.
You can easily save money using a smartphone at a gas station, we well. The golden app, and a life changer for me, is GasBuddy (available for Android and iPhone). Simply download, activate location services, and the next time you need to fill up it will tell you where the best deals on gas are in your local area (wherever you happen to be).
7. Scan the Barcode
Apps like Red Laser and Shopsavvy have some up-and-coming apps. These generally allow users to take a picture of a barcode of a product. The app then does the hard work for you and searches the best prices from retailers for that particular item, to save you cash. This is the future of price comparison.
Again, there are loads of Smartphone apps available for VOIP services. But none better, in my experience, than the Skype app. If you have available data on your data plan or you are using wifi, then you can call another Skype user for free, on any device. And if your contact doesn’t have Skype, then topping up credit is super cheap.
This doesn’t apply to most smartphone users, as text messaging usually comes free and unlimited, but if it doesn’t or you have contacts abroad, then a solid app that gives you free texts (you still have to endure ads, mind you) is called textPlus.
I usually pay for music and I never illegally download. But I found an extremely intuitive radio station app called Slacker Radio where you simply type in a song; album or artist and the app will play songs from this artist or songs from similar artists – which can actually be a good way to discover new music.
I’m always looking for new ways to save money using my smartphone. Especially when I’m on the move. It happens all too often that we say to ourselves “I’ll look for a better way next time”, well the next time is now. Saving is all about being prepared and taking a moment to say “can I do/get this cheaper?”.
Do you have any other tips for using your phone to save money?
Erin’s biggest passion in life is shopping. She found that in order to keep her habit at bay she needed to either pay less for items or to simply purchase less. She does both. And now she teaches others how to do the same with her frugal tips on Voucher Codes.