How smartphones apps can save you money

Thanks to the advent of smartphones, managing your life on the move has never been easier. Apps are available for almost everything these days, from food to fitness and music to money management tools. If you’re looking to manage your budget, save money on your shopping, determine your disposable income or reduce the costs of your necessities, help is just a download away.

Stay on top of your salary

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The first and possibly most vital aspect of successful money management is determining exactly how much money you have to manage. We may have a grasp of our basic salary details, but our disposable income after deductions such as tax, National Insurance and pension contributions may not be as clear. To help you get to grips with these significant sums, the UK Salary Calculator app is a must. This free app lets you calculate your true disposable income or the gross salary you would need to live a certain lifestyle offers a breakdown of your salary deductions and shows how much you earn per hour, week, month or year. It’s particularly useful if you’re offered a salary increase as you can easily calculate its true extra value.

Budget better

It can be easy to lose sight of your bills and bank accounts if your finances get complicated. Apps such as Account Tracker, SpendingLog and Pocketmoney can be really helpful, alerting you of upcoming bills and potentially problematic issues with the income and outgoings being processed through your bank account. These apps also let you document your earnings, expenses and saving, and can produce excellent analysis if you want to look at your finances in depth. You will have to pay a small fee for these apps, but they could help you save money and time in the long run.

Save money on your shopping

If you’re not sure whether buying big is better value, or if the price you paid is the cheapest around, there’s a host of apps that can help. mySupermarket shows you which product or product volume is cheaper to buy. It’s especially useful for fruit and veg, as you can calculate the total cost per units or volume to compare different products and their value for money. Grocery IQ, Shopsavvy and Redlaser use Google Product Search feeds to help consumers, allowing you to scan barcodes then search for lower prices in your area.

If you discover that buying in bulk for something can be cost effective, but the higher expense means you struggle to afford it upfront, you could choose to use a line of credit to pay. This may include a short-term loan, overdraft or credit card. One option is to use a short-term loan company such as offer loans up to £400 for up to 30 days and, if accepted, can send the money to your bank account within 5 minutes. Once you’ve applied online you’ll receive an almost instant onscreen decision.

If you’re looking for the best discounts, apps such as Discount Calculator show you how much you could save as a percentage, while Local Sale Finder and MyVoucherCodes find great voucher discounts that can be used in shops or restaurants in your area, without the need to have a physical copy or communicate the deal with a retailer in advance. There are also a number of price comparison apps, such as Pricerunner, Kelkoo and idealo, which calculate the cheapest retailers for a product you want.

Reduce your bills

When it comes to utility bills, it’s important to only pay for what you use. Apps from British Gas and Npower let you submit your meter readings and make sure your utility bill estimate is accurate to what you actually consume. Meter Readings can help compare your energy consumption with that of other users, and will alert you if another user is paying less to a different provider.