The Top 11 Money Saving Apps that are Actually Pretty Cool

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Last year, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel about Women and Money with FemCity here in Atlanta. We talked a lot about money hangups, but one woman asked a great question about the money saving apps she could use to make her life easier. I rambled off a list of the ones I liked and the ladies furiously started taking notes. It was then that I realized then that unless you're a blogger (and your job is writing about finance) or a big money nerd… you probably don't research these kinds of automatic savings apps even though they can definitely make your life (and your money) better.

With well over 1,000 apps being created every day it can feel overwhelming to find ones that will actually help you save money.  I

‘m always hesitant to try anything new technology wise (even though it's sort of my job), but these are the ones I have in my rotation.

Best of all, they do all the heavy lifting for you (hence the word automatic) and it's made such a big difference in my ability to save consistently and spend wisely.

The Top 11 Automatic Savings Apps

#11 – Ibotta

 

 

How it Saves Money: Saves money in three ways: cash back on products at retailers when you shop in-store (save your receipts and scan them in!), linking your loyalty card, and in-app purchases. 

  • I don't like to coupon. Really, I kinda hate it. And I firmly believe you can't coupon your way to wealth. My thoughts on “couponing” changed when I met the Ibotta app.
  • It helps me better optimize rewards programs I do use (CVS) that I previously had a hard time keeping up with. 
  • $20 welcome bonus when you make your first 10 redemptions (took me one shopping trip at Publix.)
  • Venmo or Paypal payment cash outs as soon as you get $20. 

Price: FREE

#10 -Digit

 

 

 

 

How it saves money: Digit works by directly tying into your bank and running an algorithm that decides how much money you really are able to save.

Why I like it:

  • Digit is so confident that their algorithm will work correctly that they will pay any overdraft fees caused by their withdrawing money. 
  • Great mobile app.
  • Free for the first 30 days!

Price: $2.99  per month (Why it's near the bottom of the list)

 

#9 – Google Opinion Rewards

 

 

 

How it Saves Money: The Google Rewards app automatically keeps track of places you have been and (when available) presents a pop-up saying you have a survey available to fill out.

Why I like it:

  • The surveys typically run from 1- 6 questions and will net you anywhere from 0.10 to 1.00 which you can use for purchases within the Google family of apps, like Youtube, etc.
  • Yes, Google is tracking your location, but hey, you already knew that didn't you? Now we have the ability to profit from it.

Price: FREE

 

 

#8 – Paribus  

 

 

How it Saves Money: Paribus is a relatively new service, but it works by syncing with your email account and looking at recent purchases. If the price on a purchase has dropped, then Paribus monitors online stores with price drop policies and applies for a refund so you can get money back for the difference.

 

Why I like it:

  • It's always on and always checking your account for purchase and shipping notifications.
  • Paribus is only for online purchases and it is a great way to recoup money if you do shop online quite a bit.

 

Price: FREE

 

 

#7 – Ebates

 

 

How it saves money: Cash back rebates on your purchases with participating retailers.  

Why I like it:

  • On top of using the Ebates app for cash back, installing the chrome extension means you don’t even have to think about making sure to use the Ebates link first as you shop, it will just automatically prompt you when you visit the retailer.
  • Honestly, I wasn't earning much through Ebates until I downloaded the Chrome extension, so make sure to do that. 
  • It will prompt you – automatically – to activate cash back whenever you're at a participating retailing. Read more about why we like Ebates here. 

Price: FREE + you get $10 when you sign up using my ebates link. 

 

 

#6- Acorns

 

 

How it saves money:  After linking your primary spending account to the app and it will then round up transactions to the nearest dollar.

Why I like it:

  • For example, if you buy a coffee for $2.09 Acorns will take an additional $0.91 and put it in an investment account for you.
  • This may not sound like much but if you bought that same cup of coffee 5 days a week for 1 year, then you will have invested $236.60 with just that one daily item, and have made money on that amount.

Price: $1 per month of all accounts under $5,000.

 

#5 – BillShark

 

 

 

How it saves money:  Not really an “app” on your phone, but it is a service that will negotiate with your bill companies to lower your bills.

Why I like it:

  • It's pricey since they'll take half of what they save for you, but it saves you the time of negotiating your bills yourself.
  • For example, if they save $100, you get $50 and then they get $50. Still, an extra $50 per month = $600 each year. This can be great especially when paying off debt or trying to figure out ways to find money in your budget. 

Price: They'll take 50% of whatever you save.

 

#4 – Qoins

 

 

How it saves money:  Similar to the way Qapital or Acorns syncs with your checking account, Qoins rounds up your purchases except it doesn't put it into a savings account you can withdraw – it puts the money toward your debts.

Why I like it:

Price: They take $1.99/month but take it out of your savings. For example, if they save you $70 that month, they'll send out $68.01 as the extra payment on your credit card.

 

#3 – Honey App

 

 

 

How it saves money: It's a Chrome extension, so once installed it automatically looks for a coupon for the site you are shopping on, runs the coupon through to make sure it’s actually currently working, and then provides you with the best money saving option (if multiple coupons are available.)

Why I like it:

  • Honey App not only saves money but also time because you don't have to hunt the depth of Google for a workable coupon code.
  • It's a Chrome extension, so once installed it automatically looks for a coupon for the site you are shopping on, runs the coupon through to make sure it’s actually currently working, and then provides you with the best money saving option (if multiple coupons are available.)
  • You'll also be eligible to receive “Honey Gold” by shopping with preferred retailers.
  • Once you've earned enough “honey credit” you can cash in for gift cards in $10 increments. I use mine to get Nordstrom certificates. 

 

Price: FREE

 

#2 – Qapital

 

 

How it Saves Money:  If you need to gamify your goals in order to accomplish them this may be the best money savings app. Qapital heavily relies on “If this then that” – (IFFT) technology, so you can save when you set certain behaviors.

Why I like it:

  • If you want to save money for a vacation, simply go into the Qapital app, set the amount, and then set the rules in which it will save money.
  • You can make it so you if you meet a step goal through the pedometer on your phone that you save $1, $2, or even $10.
  • You can also make it that if you go under budget on your grocery shopping that you save the difference into the account. It can also save “roundups” on your purchases from your checking account. All of this is done automatically through the app and it is MAGIC.
  • Hands down my favorite “automatic savings” app. I love Qapital, and I tell everyone.

Price: Tiered membership $3-$12 per month.

 

 

#1 – Albert

 

 

How it Saves Money: It saves money by “sneaking” little pockets of money away from your checking account (Similar to Qapital et. al), but what's nice about this one is it can house your budget, saving contributions, and other financial accounts in one place.

Why I like it:

  • This is a new-to-me app and I can't stop talking about it, playing with it, everything.
  • I've never had a financial app that was this comprehensive.
  • Over time it analyzes your spending and let's you know about important trends and if you're staying on track with your budget (which it also sets up for you based on current spending – automatically.)

 

Price: FREE! Although if you opt to do the text service, “Albert Genius”, you select an amount to pay that you feel is fair.

Related: This is How I Saved up $1,000 in Under 45 Days

 

 

*this post originally appeared in Sept 2017. It was updated in August 2018. 

 

 

 

The Top 11 Money Saving Apps that are Actually Pretty Cool
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  1. Reply

    Thanks for the article! I just rejoined pairbus.io, I shop on Amazon way too often so hopefully, this will help me save something!

    • Charmi Gupta
    • October 8, 2017
    Reply

    The Very interesting list you have shared with us.
    Keep sharing.

    • DNN
    • September 15, 2017
    Reply

    Swagbucks is a pretty good one. They’re one of many online companies that provide a unique way for everyday people who apply themselves to making money earn good money from online side hustles.

  2. Reply

    Really interesting, who is looking for new way to save more is always good know these apps, now I must to understand which one are good also in Italy:D

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