Between rent checks, bar tabs, and grocery bills, our millennial paycheck can only stretch so far. And though we may try, staying on a budget can be painful.
But, with it being tax season (yes, the time of the year when the government is likely going to cut you a decently sized check), perhaps now is the best time to buckle down on your savings plan.
These apps are best for all around savings, and are specifically targeted at our most routine expenditures: transportation, grocery shopping, bar, and overall finance planning. This will help you save money, the easy way.
Gas Buddy (iPhone and Android)
This app will help you find the closest gas station when in a pinch, but more importantly, it maps them out and compares prices. With gas headed toward the summertime high prices, apps such as this one are increasingly integral to staying on a budget. This time around, you’re not only getting the closest station, but you’re getting the best deal in your area. Combine that with myChevrolet app*, which has a function to set your parking meter time and avoid parking tickets, and your car will cost you less.
Food on the Table (iPhone and Android)
Grocery shopping can be the biggest saver or your budget’s worst nightmare. On one hand, you’re saving money by buying in bulk, and not going out to eat; on the other hand, your spending can get wildly out of hand. This app will force you to think ahead, as it’s based off of creating a weekly meal plan. You can see what’s on sale at your supermarket and browse through the app’s meal preferences to create your plan. From there, it’ll create your personalized grocery list. Rather than buying one-off items, buy a cohesive ingredient set for meals. Once at the register, use CardStar, your mobile reward card.
DrinkOwl (iPhone and Android)
No more cabbing it around the city to find a bar with a decent happy hour menu. This app will find all of the drink specials and retail outlets around your current location, separating by beer, liquor, and mixed specials. And, you don’t have to rely solely on the venue’s specials; this app also finds coupons to your fave local joints. PS: Drink Specials is a good app to try, too.
Yowza!! (iPhone and Android)
This is your mobile coupon book, and thus new bestie. This app finds deals and coupons in your area, and once you get to the register, the cashier just scans the barcode directly from your phone. And for your budgeting purposes, it will keep track of how much you’ve saved. One thing that could be pretty annoying is the notification system, which lets you know when the store adds a coupon. Nevertheless, happy couponing!
Mint.com and Debt Payoff Planner (iPhone and Android)
For overall budgeting purposes, it’s important to keep track of your bills and loans, in addition to your grocery, bar, and transportation spending. Mint.com categorizes each of your transactions – across checking and savings accounts and credit cards – to give you a snapshot of how you’re spending. It helps you set a budget, make a plan, and stick to your goals, too. Then, Debt Payoff will help you manage credit card debt, devising a strategy to tell you which card to pay off first and how long it will take to be debt free.
Photo Credit: borman818