Want to save money? As it turns out, there's an app for that. Actually, there are several. Whether you want to cut the cost of your grocery bill, save money when you shop online or get in the habit of setting money aside, you can find an app designed to help you reduce costs or save for a rainy day. Check out these apps and watch your savings grow. (Please note that some apps might charge fees for their use or feature in-app purchases. CVCU has no liability for any charges associated with downloading and/or using the following.)
If you've ever gone shopping, either in a brick and mortar store or online, and couldn't escape the feeling that you were missing a coupon or discount code, the RetailMeNot app is for you. Before you order something, check the app to see if there's a coupon you can use or a discount code you can enter online. You can save any coupons you find for later, if you aren't planning on purchasing right away. As a bonus, the app will send you an alert if you happen to wander into a store that has an active coupon, so that you don't miss out on a chance to save.
Ibotta does one better than RetailMeNot. It doesn't give you coupons, but actual cash back on the things you buy. The app has offers for a variety of stores and products, including groceries, clothing and pharmacy items. Products can be branded items or unbranded items. For example, you have the chance to get cash back on any brand of produce or any brand of milk quite regularly. To qualify for the rebates, you have to "unlock" the item, which often involves watching a short video ad or answering a poll question. Once the item is unlocked and you purchase it, you take a picture of your receipt and send it through the app. Ibotta either rejects your receipt or approves it and the cash back goes into your account. Once you get at least $25, you can cash out through Paypal or Venmo or ask for a gift card.
Light Bulb Finder
In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency named the Light Bulb Finder app the best overall app in its Apps for the Environment Contest, as Consumer Reports noted. It might not sound like a very exciting app, but the Light Bulb Finder can help you save money and use less energy by picking the perfect bulbs for every lamp in your house. Along with recommending more energy efficient light bulbs, the app gives you a good idea of how much money you'll save by switching.
The Acorns app offers a modern solution for saving spare change. Instead of putting those coins in a jar at the end of the day, you link the app to your bank account, so that it is able to automatically round purchases you make up to the nearest dollar (so $3.14 becomes $4.00, for example). The rounded up amount gets invested into a diversified portfolio, once it reaches $5. During the first eight months of the app's existence, CNN Money reported that it helped its 650,000 users save $25 million.
Although Acorns the app is free, the investing component of it is not. The company charges $1 per month for accounts with less than $5,000. Accounts with more than $5,000 get charged .25 percent each year. It doesn't charge a commission per trade, though.
With the GasBuddy app, you no longer have to drive five miles out of your way to find the cheapest price on gas. The app shows you what the price of gas is at any stations near you. It gets its data from users, so it encourages you to report or verify gas prices when you do fill up. To sweeten the pot, anyone who reports gas prices gets entered into a drawing for $100 worth of free gas that day. Whether you spend most of your time in the car or only drive occasionally, the app can help you regularly get the best deal on fuel.
Don't forget that you can bank on the go with mobile apps. Apps for iOS and Android are just part of the e-services Coosa Valley Credit Union offers to help you stay connected to your account.