We spend an awful lot of time with our mobile phones in our hand. At the same time, we don’t do much to keep our spending in line.
Thankfully, there are a host of free mobile apps to help you get your finances in order, save money, and do it all without putting down your phone.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best I’ve found for the Android platform, which is my operating system of choice.
Coupons And Deal Finders
Groupon. Groupon is the grand-daddy of deal sites, and the mobile app will help you get daily deals on activities, venues and restaurants in more than 500 cities. I’m a big fan of using Groupon when I travel, and have gotten lots of great deals while on vacation.
LivingSocial. LivingSocial is another deal-of-the-day service that seems to have a wider variety of discounts available.
Google Offers. If everyone else is doing it, so is Google. They’ve got a lot of nationwide offers that help when it comes time to shop for gifts.
RetailMeNot. I’ve been a user of this app since it came out. RetailMeNot gives you coupons and discounts from real, live retailers. If there’s a promotion in your area, you’ll get a handy alert. Very useful for when you’re out at the mall.
The Coupons App. This app gives you coupon savings and shopping deals at your favorite stores, restaurants and gas stations. Compare prices using a barcode scanner, get alerts, and more. This is a very cool app.
GasBuddy. Live in your car? Why pay more for gas than necessary? This app will help you track down the best deals no matter where you are.
ShopSavvy. Go to a store, scan the barcode with this app, and it will tell you if you can get a better deal online. Just like that.
Price Check by Amazon. Similar to ShopSavvy, you can scan a barcode and find out if Amazon has a better price. You can also pull up product descriptions and customer reviews.
HotelTonight. You’re in a new place and need a hotel room the same night. Use HotelTonight to get a last-minute discount on unfilled rooms.
Priceline. Bid on a hotel room or a car and get up to 60% off list prices with this app. Why anyone pays retail for a rental car or hotel room is beyond my comprehension.
Kayak. Compare travel sites for a great deal on flights, hotels and car rentals. There are competitors, but I’ve been a Kayak fan for as long as I can remember.
Personal Finance Apps
Mint. This budgeting app, owned by Intuit (the folks behind Quicken and QuickBooks), helps you track income and expenses while staying in sync with your bank and credit card accounts.
Expensify. If you’re a business traveler, Expensify is for you. This app will help you track expenses, scan and save receipts, import bank and credit card data, and even enter mileage traveled and the other time-based expenses.
Manilla. Manilla allows you to manage your daily finances, household bills, travel rewards, magazine subscriptions and healthcare accounts all in one place. You can store your bills and statements, set up alerts to avoid late fees, and more.
Pick Your Tool Freely
The great thing about these apps are that they’re all free. Download them, use what you like, and jettison the rest.
The important part, of course, is to use something to make your life easier. These apps should help.