The phone that you carry in your pocket contains more processing power than all of the computers that NASA used to land Apollo 11 on the moon. In fact, it probably has a faster processor and more RAM than most of the desktop and laptop computers you’ve ever owned.
The convenience and power that smartphones offer us is what makes them so useful.
It’s hard to imagine a world without them, even though most of us have only owned these pocket-sized computers for around a decade. We rely on them to provide us with directions, to help us stay in touch with loved ones, to book restaurant tables, to manage our finances, and to keep us up-to-date with current events.
But did you ever consider that you could use your smartphone to save money? There are dozens of different options available to you but here are some of the easiest and most effective.
Search for Coupons
Coupons and vouchers can help you to get money off the items you purchase, both in-store and online. The old-fashioned way of finding them was to get local newspapers and magazines and simply cut them out; that’s where the phrase “clipping coupons” comes from.
Today, though, dedicated coupon apps like Ibotta, Honey, and Dosh, have made it easy for you to search for discounts at thousands of retailers. You can find even more by simply searching for the name of the brand you want to buy from and adding “coupon” to the end of your search.
Traditionally, coupons have been used to promote grocery items, particularly when manufacturers release a new product or update a recipe. Today, you can find coupon codes for just about everything you could ever imagine.
If you’re a sports fan that also likes to have a flutter, then searching for free bets and other bonus codes will help you get more value from the wagers you place. There is nearly always a long list of bookmakers offering these to new customers as competition in the sector is fierce. Similarly, there’s seldom a time when most of the biggest takeaway pizza companies, like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s, don’t have coupons available.
Coupons are great, but getting things for free is even better. Finding freebies has never been easier thanks to smartphone apps.
In the UK, consumers can download Shopmium, CheckoutSmart, GreenJinn, and ClickSnap to quickly and easily find things they can pick up for free from supermarkets and convenience stores. HotUKDeals also collates user-reported lists of freebies that you can find in various shops or online and can even send you push notifications to alert you.
In the US, one of the best options is Swagbucks, which regularly lists products you can buy and get a rebate on when you photograph your receipt.
You can also head to your phone’s app store to find the latest free downloads. Many popular paid-for apps are made available for free for a limited time, so checking regularly is a great way to get access to quality software without spending a penny.
Keep an Eye on Your Bills
We all hate bills. No one likes paying them, but they are an unfortunate fact of life. Most people set their utilities and other expenses to be taken automatically from their bank so they don’t have to worry about them or even look at them.
Unfortunately, companies know this and will slowly increase their prices over time in the hopes that you don’t notice or care.
A new set of mobile apps can now track your monthly outgoings, alert you to increases, and even automatically switch you to a cheaper tariff. For example, Snoop connects to your bank accounts and other financial products and continually monitors what’s going on.
It can also find you cheaper insurance deals when your existing policy is up for renewal and help you get onto the property ladder (or cut how much you pay each month) by finding the best mortgage deals.
Snoop can even give you reports showing you how much you spend on different categories like groceries, clothes, and nights out so you can build up a better picture of how you spend your cash. While they might not help you to land on the moon, these tools are still incredibly powerful at helping you keep more of your monthly wage down here on Earth.