7 Legit, Reliable Apps for Saving, Earning, or Budgeting Your Money
This post contains affiliate links for products I love + adore. Read my disclaimer for more details.
As an adult, if you’re not already paying big attention to your finances, it’s time to start. Often times (thanks to credit cards), we swipe and swipe at our convenience and only check what we spent after the fact, when the money is already gone.
The problem with that is we do what I call mindless shopping, and with that, you have no financial control. That’s why I include apps like GoodBudget and Clarity Money to the list of apps I love to use.
Here are 7 money-friendly apps you should consider using today:
The GoodBudget app is the digital version of envelope budgeting. You categorize your costs into different envelopes like groceries, gas, entertainment, etc. and you set the amount you plan to spend within that category for the month, or week, or however you’d like.
Example envelopes for the month:
Grocery - $300
Gas - $120
Entertainment - $75
Eating Out - $50
Misc. Wants (clothing, accessories, toys for kids) - $50
Once the money is gone from your envelope, you can’t spend any more within that category. This ensures you get the full benefit of the app and teach yourself how to stick to a budget and not overspend.
I like this app because you can sync it across multiple devices, and it works perfectly for married couples. I can scan in my receipt of my grocery bill and deduct that amount from the envelope, and my husband will see the changes on his phone. This way, even if we’re apart, we’re always able to see where we are within our budget.
Cost: The app is entirely free to use although they do offer a paid version.
2. Clarity Money
Clarity Money is like the keeper of all your financial secrets. It lays out everything for you so you can get a clear, visual picture of your spending habits, income, bills, credit score, everything. Clarity Money is so smart, it connects to your banks and financial institutions and monitors the activity going on. It even can help you cancel recurring charges like Netflix or subscriptions, gym memberships… that sort of thing.
OK Netflix was a bad example…like anyone is going to cancel that…
But Clarity Money is honestly a really valuable app. You can even set up an FDIC insured savings account and set an automatic amount to deposit there. For example, I have $5 taken out every Monday from my primary bank account and it gets transferred to my Clarity Money savings. It’s a small amount but will help build a little rainy day fund for whenever I need it. It’s also small enough so I barely notice it’s been withdrawn.
Cost: This app is also free to use.
It hurts me a little when I talk about Ebates and the person has no clue what that it is. Or even worse... knows but doesn’t use it.
When you shop online with Ebates, you earn a cash back percentage and get real money back. It’s not item-specific...you don’t have to fill out any surveys or scan anything. You simply login into Ebates, search the store you want to browse (there are over 2,000 to choose from), click “shop now,” and that’s it. You’ll be redirected to the store’s homepage where you will shop no differently than before. When you make a purchase, you’ll earn a percentage back. Stores typically run between 1-15% cash back promotions though I’ve seen them as high as 30.
For example, if I spend $100 at Kohls and they run a 6% cash back promotion, I’ll get $6.00 back.
Ebates pays its members quarterly by check or PayPal, your choice. There are no forms or fees.
RetailMeNot is my favorite last-minute shopping tool. If I’m in line at a store or finalizing my cart online, I search my RetailMeNot app for any available coupons or discounts. It works by scanning over 5,000 retailers for savings opportunities and offering them to you whenever you make a search. I’d say 75% of the time, there’s at least something.
I’m a lover of saving and getting a great deal, but I’m not by any means a couponer in that I don’t buy something simply because it’s got a good sales price. Instead, I buy the things I need and search for a way I can get it cheaper.
I’ve scored discounts up to 30% off, $10 off, free shipping, and more.
The best thing about BeFrugal? It works just like Ebates except has over 5,000 stores and usually a higher cash back percentage. You choose how you get paid: either by check, PayPal or Amazon gift card, and you receive payment usually within 10 days of requesting it. It’s such an easy way to be paid, that’s why I love it. It comes in the most handy when you combine your cash back earnings with apps like Retail Me Not for added discounts and savings.
For a long time I thought Groupon was a site I couldn’t trust. The deals just seemed too good. But when friends recommended it to me and I saw that everything was legitimate, I started to use it almost like a search engine. I’d look up date night ideas, best restaurants near me, ways to relax, etc.
Then I realized they sold actual brands and products at ridiculously low prices. (I bought king size comforter set that included the comforter, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, 2 sham pillowcases, 2 standard pillowcases, and 2 decorative pillows for only $59!) That is such a steal! I’ve since used Groupon as my main online retailer, and I save so much money because of it.
7. Walmart App - Savings Catcher
This one will only benefit you if you shop at Walmart often. I personally am there at least 1-2 times a week, so this app feature does wonders for me. Every time you shop, just scan your receipt into Savings Catcher, and within a few days, Walmart will scan everything you purchased and compare it to competitor prices. If any one of them beats Walmart’s price, you make back the difference.
For example, if Gatorade sells for $2.19 at Walmart but $2 at Family Dollar, then you’ll earn back your 19 cents. You can then let your savings add up and redeem it for a Walmart gift card whenever you want.
My lifetime savings is over $400 and I’ve only used the app for two years. For me, that was 2 free grocery shopping trips for doing absolutely nothing. Win!
So why do I recommend them all together?
Apps like these make it easier to stay within your budget and encourages conscious spending. Before these apps, I would have gone to Kohls and purchased a 5-pc bedding set for easily 3-4 times the price I did at Groupon, not even realizing how much money I could have saved if I just shopped around. Add in RetailMeNot and GoodBudget, and I save even more and stick to the cash in my envelopes without going over!
These apps help you stay in control.
When you use all them in connection with each other, you save big. Plain and simple.
I couldn’t go without any of them. Are there any money-related apps you love?
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