Editor’s note: Several months back a friend of mine called me an ‘apps virgin’. Nothing wrong with this, you may think, but I do pride myself on being technology savvy so it smarted. Since then I have made it my mission to check out different apps, particularly the ones that can either save me money or help me manage it more efficiently. From ‘apps virgin’ I have become something of a ninja: Skype and Viber keep me in touch with my family when travelling and save me a fortune; and Azimo can literally be a life saver. This is why I decided to publish this article by Ben Walker: hope you’ll find it useful.
You can pretty much organise your entire life through your mobile, so when you lose your smart phone it feels like the world is over. You have your diary on it, your anniversary reminder and even your favourite photos.
Today’s phones are definitely a luxury item but what most fail to realise is they are a very effective tool to save money if used productively. There are a range of apps and useful downloads that will help you keep the pennies in your pocket.
- Vouchers – More and more people are using voucher apps and websites to grab deals, offers and discounts as they look to save cash in the current frugal economic climate. You can plan your whole day out around voucher use. If you are going to the zoo or another leisure attraction you can use your mobile to access a voucher site and redeem leisure deals through the app. Then you can check out local restaurants in the area with discount voucher deals to plan where to grab a bite to eat. The majority of discount voucher apps will have varying categories of offers from a wide range of merchants.
- Azimo – This international money transfer service allows you to send money abroad at anytime in under a minute. It comes complete with a free mobile app, which is extremely efficient and easy to use. The app is pin protected and features tight security measures to protect your personal banking details. To make life even easier the sender can choose how the recipient receives the funds, by either cash collection, a direct transfer into their bank account or to their mobile phone. So if your daughter has lost her wallet during her gap year in Peru it is a simple solution to transfer some survival funds through to her.
- Price Comparison – Everyone loves a deal so if you are out shopping it is worth downloading some price comparison apps like Amazon Price Check and Google Shopper to make sure you get the lowest price in town. Amazon Price Check compares the prices of products in store with themselves and you would be surprised how many times Amazon has the same item at a lower price. You can scan the bar code or type in the product name to quickly compare prices.
- Call saving gadgets – Another great way to save some cash, especially when contacting friends and family abroad is through apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Viber. Through these apps, you can talk face to face in real time, send picture messages and hold online live messaging. My best friend has just moved to Australia and I regularly speak to him through video messaging on Skype (admittedly its better on a tablet than a mobile, but it is still great). If I was to call him for an hour direct from my mobile it would cost me something in the region of £60 without International Traveller Service. If you are sick of paying for phone bills for 0800 numbers? Saynoto0870 is your solution. This site and a host of other similar apps gives you free calls to 0800 numbers and puts you straight through to busy call centre numbers.
- Last Minute Travel – We all know that holidays can be expensive but you can use your mobile to search out bargain hotels, late deals and cheap flights. Apps like Kayak and Skyscanner scope out thousands of flights with the best airfare options and you can even book flights via your mobile. When it comes to hotels there is a whole range of apps with reviews, prices and availability if you fancy that late getaway.
Next time you use your smart phone try out some of these tips to save money and see much you can reduce your spending.