As we all know, saving money is tough. We live in a consumer-driven society, where advertisements and businesses are constantly trying to manipulate us––both consciously and subconsciously––into buying their products. There are always countless enticements and temptations surrounding us any time we step out of the house, turn on the TV, or fire up our computers. So the most effective savers are those who manage to remain aware of their spending habits and carefully avoid the societal pressure to buy! buy! buy! at ever opportunity. Fortunately, because not all of us are able to automatically be so conscientious, our smartphones now offer many effective resources for curbing that all-too-human tendency to overspend. These are the top 5 apps to help you save money in 2013:
This simple Android app helps users quickly and efficiently balance accounts and avoid overdrafts. Basically an electronic checkbook, it creates detailed graphs, charts, and allows for easy budgeting. By showing you areas of unnecessary expenditure and breaking down your spending habits, it is an invaluable tool for anyone trying to get a grip on their finances.
Available for iOS and Android, Onavo is a powerful tool for keeping track of cellular data and avoiding costly overages. Not only does it compress data to help you get the most bang for your buck, it also gives real time updates of which apps are hogging the most data and shows you ways to streamline your usage.
For the eco-conscious, or those hoping to become more environmentally responsible, Leafully is an app for tracking your household energy usage. It creates visual breakdowns of your usage habits, showing you the environmental impacts of your energy consumption: a hard-hitting demonstration that helps users remember to conserve, and thereby save money.
Somewhat similar to Leafully, VELObill is a money saving app with an emphasis on ecologically responsible living. Users receive detailed energy consumption data, charts, and diagrams. The app explains how to reduce usage, shows when and how you waste money on your utilities, and helps you maintain a more environmentally conscientious household.
Mint is a money-tracking app that automatically monitors accounts and provides detailed summaries and charts of spending habits. Users can create simple and easy budgets, review their expenses, and see exactly how and when they spend their money. It also puts all your accounts in one place––from stock investments to checking accounts––and keeps your finances organized, visible, and efficient.
Of course, an app is only valuable if you remember to use it. And how many times have we all downloaded a great app, only to forget about it a week later. The bottom line is that saving money means staying accountable. So get in the habit of charting your expenses, and you’ll be amazed at the money you save!
About the author: Kirsten works for top money saving site vouchercloud.com. She loves anything to do with money saving and is always on the hunt for new methods to make money go further.