I try to justify my monthly AT&T phone bill and iPhone ownership by using my iPhone to offset costs in other areas of my life. There are a lot of apps for the iPhone, and with some searching you can find the ones that will help you to reduce monthly spending and save money to fund your 401 K or your savings account. If you have an iPhone and are slightly embarrassed by your ongoing relationship with an unnecessary money sucking gadget (as I am) take control and make your iPhone pay for itself every month.
The iPhone has allowed me to become my own pricing analyst. There are applications for daily budgeting, internet banking and even VoIP calling services like Skype. Here are 10 of my favorite iPhone apps that will save you money and help to offset the monthly cost of the iPhone:
1. Red Laser: Okay, this one is a paid app, but worth it. Red Laser is a barcode recognition application that lets you scan items in the store to comparison shop online or get instant online reviews about products. You don’t need to the Red Laser app for everything you buy, but it can save you money on big ticket items!
2. StockWatch: This app has a lite version that is free. If you like it (and you will) you can upgrade to the paid version. By Toughturtle, StockWatch will help you day traders out there keep in touch with real-time stock info.
3. Craigsphone: This is a free app from Craigslist, and I think the app is better than the full online version because it cuts down on a lot of unnecessary ads.
4. Textfree Lite: This free app has reduced my monthly texting cost to almost nothing. You do have to have another iPhone user to use this app, but my husband and I both send about 20 messages a day to each other with this and it is the saving grace of our family plan!
5. Mint.com: Free personal finance software to help with budgeting everything from daily expenditure to retirement plans from the Mint.com website.
6. Gasbuddy: Gasbuddy shows you where the cheapest gas in town is. If you save $4 a week on gas, you can make your iPhone pay for itself in a year with this little gem. It costs $2.99, but this is a paid app I don’t mind, since it pays for itself in a less than a week.
7. Yowza!! Mobile Coupons: Free app that is super easy to use. You don’t need to print or to clip coupons since the coupon bar code can be scanned directly from the iPhone at the store.
8. Google Maps: Forget GPS. Stop paying for directions and look at a map. It comes as a standard app with the iPhone and it knows where you are.
9. Skype: The Skype app is free, and lets you use your Skype account from anywhere. You will need internet access to make calls, but the messaging feature works with a regular phone plan. I don’t have a home phone anymore. Between Skype and my iPhone I have no need to pay for additional monthly phone service.
10. Loan Calculator – What If? This is an absolutely brilliant app and my #1 recommendation. It costs $1.99 but saves you from making stupid decisions. This app can save your credit score and help you put money into savings by telling you what you can, and more importantly, what you can’t afford. If you use the Loan Calculator to help you make important lending decisions you will have a better credit score and more savings in your emergency fund for the future.
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