That smartphone in your pocket or your hands is a powerful piece of technology. If you’re not using your phone and mobile apps to work smarter with your money, you’re missing out on some big savings.
The right mobile apps provide you with new tools to manage your money. You can use mobile apps to earn extra money, sell unused items, make it easier to save and invest, and spend less and get rewarded when shopping.
Fortunately, we’ve got a pulse on the best mobile apps for your money. Whether you’re looking to cut costs, shop smarter, save more or even begin investing, theses money-saving mobile apps can get you started.
Find ways to save on your bills with Trim
First up is Trim, an app that automates savings — claiming it saves its users $1 million a month. Here’s how it works: Trim connects to your bank accounts with read-only access and analyzes transactions to find potential savings.
It will bring up subscriptions and recurring costs for review. Trim even claims that it can cancel unwanted subscriptions for you, or negotiate your cable or internet bills on your behalf. Lastly, Trim offers to connect you with better deals on bills like car insurance or even the interest on your debt.
Save extra at the grocery store with Fetch Rewards
Whether you’re a classic coupon clipper or can’t be bothered, Fetch Rewards provides extra savings at the grocery store. It’s as easy as taking pictures of your grocery store receipts and uploading them to the app. Fetch Rewards scans your receipt for purchases from the brands it partners with.
For items you buy from Fetch Rewards partners like Kraft, Huggies, or Kleenex (here’s a full list of its partners), you’ll receive reward points. You can then redeem these points for gift cards from major retailers or restaurants, or even for a Visa or Mastercard gift card.
Start investing with no trading fees with Stash
Stash is an investment app where users can buy and sell stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with no trading fees. Stash offers fractional shares, so you can invest in the stocks you want with as little as $5.
Stash also has a checking account that’s FDIC-insured, has no fees, and offers some neat features. Account holders can get paid up to two days early, round up purchases and invest the change, and earn stock rewards when they spend with the Stash debit card.
Earn gift cards or cash with Survey Junkie
Next is Survey Junkie, an app that allows you to earn some extra cash through just sharing your opinion.
You can download the app, create a Survey Junkie account, and complete a profile questionnaire to get started. Even these start-up steps will earn you reward points, and you can earn additional points for completing surveys.
Once you reach a minimum of 1,000 points, you can redeem them for retailer gift cards, credits to your PayPal account, or a cash transfer to your bank account.
Bank smarter with Empower
Empower is something of a banking and budgeting powerhouse rolled into one. The Empower High-Interest Checking Account removed the usual banking restrictions - no account minimums, no overdraft fees and unlimited withdrawals. Empower deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
The Empower app offers even more help to improve your everyday finances, with built-in budgeting tools so you can easily track and manage spending, and Empower human coaches for personalized guidance on any financial question. You can download the Empower app to open a checking account and get started.
Invest responsibly with Wealthsimple
Investing app Wealthsimple helps members put “investing on autopilot.” With the app, users can build an investment portfolio of ETFs that’s in line with their goals and risk tolerance. It even offers values-based investing suggestions, such as halal and socially responsible options.
The “autopilot” part comes in with the option to set up automatic contributions to keep goals on target or to round up purchase amounts and invest the change. Wealthsimple also offers dividend reinvesting, automatic portfolio rebalancing, and several types of investment accounts.
Take surveys for cash with Inboxdollars
Inboxdollars is similar to Survey Junkies, in that it pays users for taking online surveys. But it has some key differences. Inboxdollars offers rewards in cash only, not points, and claims it pays $.10 to $5 per completed survey.
On top of online surveys, Inboxdollar members have other options to earn extra cash. They can watch online videos, play games, clip coupons, shop online or even open and read emails. Members get a $5 bonus just for signing up, and you can earn more through the Inboxdollar app or site.
Seamlessly save more money with Digit
If you want to save more money without cutting back, Digit is for you. This app connects with your checking account to analyze your purchases and recurring expenses. It uses this analysis to find “free money” that it can transfer to savings without you ever missing it — or risking an overdraft (Digit reimburses the fee if it oversaves).
Turn your shopping into gift cards with Shopkick
Shopkick rewards you for both online and in-store shopping. Download the app to earn shopping rewards or “kicks” for actions as simple as walking into a store. Other ways to earn kicks include uploading receipts, scanning product barcodes, or clicking through to Shopkick partners to make online purchases.
You can then redeem kicks for gift cards at popular retailers like Amazon, Target, or Lowes. A typical user earns enough kicks to redeem them for a gift card within a week, Shopkick claims.
Earn gift cards for your purchases with Drop
The Drop app streamlines shopping rewards. Users can download the app and link a debit or credit card to start automatically earning rewards when they purchase products from certain brands.
You can earn additional Drop rewards points by shopping through the app, referring friends, of booking vacations through a Drop partner. Then, redeem rewards for gift cards to various retailers, with 1,000 points equal earning $1.
Get cash back for your shopping with Ibotta
Ibotta is a popular shopping app that connects you with cash back offers on purchases. Install the Ibotta app and browse for offers on categories like groceries, convenience stores, or restaurants, and save those that appeal to you. After shopping, upload your receipt to Ibotta to finish redeeming offers and get rewards loaded to your account.
Shoppers can earn rewards by connecting Ibotta with their existing loyalty accounts, such as grocery store memberships. Or you can shop and even pay through the Ibotta app to earn even more cash back. You can redeem Ibotta rewards through PayPal, Venmo, or with gift cards.
Get money back when the price goes down with Waldo
You like it, you want it, you got it — but then it goes on sale just a week after you paid full price. That’s exactly the situation that the Waldo app was made for.
Here’s how it works: you can create an account with your Gmail login, giving Waldo access to your inbox. From there, Waldo earmarks shopping receipts emailed to you for items and their prices and monitors for any drops in the cost.
If it sees the price go down, it will send a refund request on your behalf to get back the difference between the lower cost and what you paid.
Stop wasting money on bank fees with Current
Current is an internet-based bank and a mobile app with a few checking options, which each have no monthly fees, balance requirements, or overdraft fees.
It offers a unique teen checking account that comes with their own debit card and allows parents to easily transfer money. Savings features allow teens to set a savings goal and track their progress, as well as automate savings transfers or use a “round up” feature to save their change.
A basic checking account comes with similar features, as well as built-in budgeting tools. The Premium Checking costs $5 per month but has additional benefits such as getting paychecks two days early, instant credit for gas station holds on their account, and the option to set additional savings goals.
The bottom line
With all these mobile app options, there’s sure to be a tool you can use to get more out of your money. They may not make you rich or revolutionize your money management, but these mobile apps can help streamline your finances and create some breathing room in your budget. And when it comes to saving money, every cent counts.