How many times have you thought to yourself … “I would save more money if I actually had money to save”?
I can’t count how many times I’ve thought this! Yes, I envied those who were putting away $1,000+ a month in savings.
I, like many others, assumed I was destined to be stuck where I was and never being able to save a penny.
Then one day I realized – I didn’t even know how much money I had coming in or going out. Of course I wasn’t going to save any money, I didn’t even know what money I had! After having my aha moment, and creating a spending plan, I figured out that I DID have money to save. (And you do too!) It’s just hiding from you.
Creating a spending plan (budget) is what made me realize that I had money to save. The problem? I still wasn’t quite motivated to save money.
I knew there had to be an app for that … and guess what?! There are TONS of apps to actually help you save money!
WHAT?! Where have they been all my life??
After narrowing it down, I found the 9 best money saving apps. You can be as lazy as you want to be when it comes to money, these apps are going to do all the work for you.
If you’re ready to get on the saving train with me, here’s the list of the 9 best apps I’ve found to make your money save itself. No effort needed. (Besides downloading the app.)
And yes, all apps are FREE. You’re welcome.
(Some apps are affiliate links, and I will be compensated when you sign up)
The ‘Money Making’ Savings Apps
There aren’t enough good things that I can say about Ibotta! I love, love, love it and can not go grocery shopping with it. What’s everyone’s number one expense? FOOD. What’s everyone’s major necessity? FOOD! I know, it kind of sucks that you don’t have a choice but to buy food. And really, buying groceries makes you just want to eat out more because it’s so dang expensive.
I fell in love with Ibotta because I hated couponing. It just waited my time and I felt like I was getting nothing back. Rebates are a little different from coupons and you get instant cash back (and more cash than you would couponing.) Because Ibotta is my favorite, favorite cash back/savings app I did a full post about it that you can go ahead and check out here. It will have all the need-to-knows that you need to know.
Every person who signs up under my Ibotta link becomes a part of my team. In just a few short months, my team has gotten back $1,089.63. Most people on the team have already gotten $100+ back in rebates in just a couple of months. If you’re ready to join 10 million others and download the Ibotta app click this link. By using that link you’ll get an extra $10 dollars back on your first rebate, you’re already halfway there to cashing out!
Ebates is another magical app like Ibotta. The only difference is that it’s just for online shopping! Because I’m still old school and prefer to buy most of my stuff at the store, I don’t use this app as much. However, I do use it to get cash back on our Amazon buys because that’s basically the extent of our online shopping. (So daring, I know.)
Ebates is different in that you get a percentage back from your purchase. Anywhere from 1%-10%. Sometimes I don’t feel like it’s worth it with small purchases, but bigger purchases tend to get me a lot more extra bucks back.
For instance, I had been searching for the best $200 or less vacuum. After researching for what feels like an eternity, I found the vacuum I knew I needed! Because I’m obsessed with going to Target I immediately checked to see if they carried it. To my luck, they did! And it was even in stock. But, Ebates then let me know that if I bought it online (even though I was going to go pick up at my store just a couple of miles away) that I would get 2% cash back. Who’s going to say no to getting cash back?! I was able to happily use my vacuum that day AND get 2% cash back just because I bought online instead of in the store.
Behold, the beauty of Ebates!
To ease your husband’s mind when shopping online, check out Ebates here in all its full glory. You can also get a cash back bonus of $10 after making your first purchase online. What’s up with these places giving you money?! Not that I’m complaining about it …
I don’t typically encourage people to try to make quick cash doing quizzes or watching some random videos for 10 cents. However, if you are looking for some quick cash to make ends meet there is QuickThought.
You can make up to $3 on quizzes and they will also will be pay you for doing random things while out and about like taking pictures for local retailers. Not a bad gig if you’re already going there!
Just be aware that there are multiple apps and places for you to waste your time. Don’t fall for them, they’re almost always a waste of time.
Those aren’t the things that are going to make you rich and get you the money that you need. It’s not necessary to waste a lot of time on QuickThought. But, it can be useful when less than $100 is needed quickly.
To check out the app (and make some quick cash) you can check it out here.
The Money Saving Apps
Sometimes people like to feel like the deserving puppy they are, so you give yourself treats.
“If I eat 1 apple I can have a piece of chocolate.” “If I work for 1 hour I can take a break for 3.” You get the point … I do this ALL.THE.TIME. (especially with food) and somebody brilliantly came up with an app to “reward” yourself with money.
Don’t get too excited – it’s your own money. No one is giving you cash just because you think you deserve it.
After downloading the app you connect your bank account. From there, whenever you feel like you deserve a “tip” (you worked out two days in a row, ate an apple, did some service …) you can give yourself the tip you think you deserve.
You tip in small dollar amounts ($2, $5 and $10) so this isn’t anything big. The money gets transferred from your bank account to your “tip jar” inside the app.
Because of the low dollar amount you tip yourself, I feel this is best used for smaller goals to save. Some type of spa day, or $500-$1,000 dollar vaca fund.
When you’re ready to take it out or have reached your goal you just withdraw the funds and spend it on whatever you desire!
This is an easy app to use for people who are starting out with saving money, or don’t have any good saving habits yet. If you feel like rewarding yourself with your own cash can help you start your emergency fund, then this app is definitely for you!
To start giving yourself that tip you know you earned, check out the app here.
I love apps that don’t have a long log in process. I also love apps where you don’t have to connect your bank account because I get a little nervous when they ask for that type of info. So naturally, I love this app for saving money and think you will too!
With Money Box you set your own savings goals and set up reminders to alert you to manually transfer money into savings. If you don’t want to automate your savings accounts, but need reminders this is your gem.
You also manually add the contribution you’ve made into your savings and it tracks it for you. There’s a lot of manual work you have to do – but for us people wary about giving out our bank information, doing a little work isn’t a big deal.
What I love about this one is the reminders. Sometimes you need a helpful reminder to 1 – remind you to put money into savings; and, 2 – help you track how much you’ve actually saved. Watching the numbers go up gives you the type of motivation that you need to have when saving money.
The one thing I didn’t like about this was the ads that come up occasionally, which can be annoying.
A money app based for kids. Love, love, love this app! It would be even better if I had kids …
This is something that I will definitely be using when we have kids. Even though I haven’t used it personally, I thought I’d include it because it was such a neat idea and I would love for you to try it and let me know what you think 🙂
What’s so neat about it is that it ties in technology with money. Two of any kids’ favorite things. You can add tasks for your kids to do, and determine how much they will get from it. It’s the most beneficial for kids who aren’t motivated by you just telling them.
As I started to get older and wanted to get my own stuff (but not quite old enough to get a job yet) my parents would have me do extra tasks around the house, or for other family members, to make money.
This is a cool way for kids – and parents – to track that. And for them to stop begging you to buy them the new Lego set. Make them Ernit!
Teach your kiddos all about how fun it is earning money (we won’t tell them the real truth about having a job) by checking out the app here.
I’ve included some budgeting apps in here because if you don’t know how much money you have, how do you know how much you can save?
This is the very first budgeting app I ever started using. It’s made by Dave Ramsey and his team, so you know it’s gonna be good!
The concept of the app is the best part. It’s extremely simple and teaches that every dollar has its place. It’s the most helpful for couples/families who are just learning how to control their money.
The app can help you identify where every dollar of yours goes, whether that’s to expenses or savings.
If you are just starting out with saving money, controlling your money and having a budget – this is the app you need to use! Still love it (and Dave Ramsey, of course) and I know you’ll love it just as much as I do. You can get the EveryDollar app here to find out just what you’re missing!
If you haven’t seen the show Life or Debt, you totally need to. I initially heard of Wela when they partnered with Life or Debt and gave all the extremely debt-ridden families access to their app. Because I thought you had to pay to use Wela, I never looked in to it.
A few months later I actually had a representative from Wela reach out to me wanting to do a collaboration. I was super thrilled to get into it and learn a little bit more about how it works. (And let’s not lie, I was also super excited to do a collaboration.)
I really loved Wela and highly encourage those who want to see their expenses and track their savings better online to use it. You do connect your bank account to it and from there it tracks your expenses and savings for you.
The best part is the savings goals you can track. For instance, we had a goal to save up a down payment on a house. After putting in that goal it gave the amount you can spend a day on expenses in order to have enough every month to reach that goal in however months or years you want.
Sadly, I haven’t been able to use Wela (my bank is a local one and not cool enough to be connected to Wela.) The partnership I was growing with Wela has slowly fizzled out and since I can’t even use it, I didn’t want to do a collaboration.
Nonetheless, I still love their concept and ease of use. (As long as you don’t bank local.) I still encourage you to check out the app here to find out if it’s a perfect for you.
Pen and Paper
Okay, okay … I guess this isn’t exactly an app. But, it’s still my favorite way to save money.
I do continually use most of these apps, but I still prefer to track my savings the old-fashioned way. I find it easier to not go crazy if I manually write it down in my financial planner. If you’re like me, that’s totally okay. As long as you’re making progress and saving what you can month-to-month – you’ll be so much further ahead than your parents. Just kidding …. only a little bit.
Whatever way you decide to save your money, just make sure that you’re doing it. Don’t wait until you’re 40 and realize that you didn’t put an effort into retirement and can’t retire for another 30 years – or ever. Not to scare you or anything. Saving money isn’t scary. And making it easier on yourself by using an app or my financial planner is the best thing you can do for your money.
I’d love to know, what your favorite apps are to save money?
P.S. Know someone who would do a lot better at saving money by using these apps? Be sure to share below with friends and family to give them that kick in the pants to start saving!