You’ve probably accepted the fact that you can’t live without your smartphone, even if it is an extra expense on top of your other bills. Of course, if you use your phone wisely, it could turn out to be a great investment. Check out these five ways your smart phone can actually help you save money.
1. Helping you pay your bills on time.
If you’re not the most organized person when it comes to getting payments in before the due date, then your phone can help. Most creditors give you the option of getting text and/or email alerts to remind you when a bill is due, but there are lots of great apps for managing all aspects of your budget and bill paying, including Check. Or, you can set up your own reminders in your calendar app.
Saving on those late fees (not to mention preventing your credit score from tanking) is a great way to get more bang for your smartphone buck.
2. Preventing you from getting lost.
If you’re thinking of buying a new GPS or paying for your car’s navigation system, stop right there. Your smartphone can get you where you need to go, free of charge. You can use Google Maps, Apple Maps or a host of other free navigation apps such as Waze, which includes real-time traffic information. While you’re already saving money on gas from not getting lost and going miles out of your way, you can keep watch for the best deals on gas with the GasBuddy app, too.
3. Taking a break from the gym.
If you’re paying for a gym membership that you’re not using, why not cut out that monthly fee and use your smart phone to work out? You can use it as a pedometer with Map My Walk, get inspired to become a runner with a “Couch to 5K” program, track your fitness goals with MyFitnessPal or customize workouts with apps like Gym PocketGuide. Many of these apps have a social networking aspect, too, so you get motivation from friends and new connections.
4. Never paying more than you should.
How many times have you been out shopping and see what you think is a good deal, but then end up kicking yourself when you find out it was cheaper somewhere else? Sure, you can return it, but who wants that hassle? With comparison shopping apps, you can check the prices of items online or in other stores simply by scanning in the bar code, snapping a photo, or typing in the item’s name. Some good ones to try include PriceGrabber and ShopSavvy.
5. Keeping in touch without paying extra.
If you’re on a cell phone plan with limited data and don’t want to go over your allotment, you can start using text and chat apps to avoid overage fees. The same goes for when you’re traveling abroad, or want to speak to someone in a different country. Viber, Skype and WhatsApp are good free services, and you may never pay extra for a regular phone call again.
From all the late fees you’ll save, skipping paying for gym membership or pricey navigation packages, always getting the best price and not getting hit with data fees, your smartphone really is pretty smart when it comes to saving money.
What are your favorite ways to use your phone to save money?