Smart phone apps to help you save money

January 17, 2012 3:38:17 PM PST
There are more than a million smart phone applications available on the market, so it can be tough to find the ones that work well. Experts have weeded out the worst to find the best money saving apps that will save you money for 2012.

Shelah Crear loves using her smart phone for the apps, but finding one that will save her time and money can be hit or miss.

She said, "For me, even when you go to the market place to try to pick a new app, it becomes overwhelming. Even reading the reviews, sometimes I download stuff and I think, 'This is junk.'"

"There are a lot of different apps that save you time and money," said Super Saver Erin Libranda. "You can put them on the smart phone so when you are out shopping you can get a lot of great deals."

One of Libranda's top picks is an app called Gas Buddy. It uses the GPS location on your smart phone to find the cheapest gas in your area.

Driver David Bond said, "With gas prices as high as they are nowadays, it definitely will be helpful."

The app is updated by its users, so the reliability of the information depends on how frequently it's updated. We found gas prices to be current -- most updated in the morning and some within minutes.

For those who want to be financially organized, experts like an app called Page Once. You can pay bills, see your account balances, track your bills and payments all in one place.

"Definitely save you time and money when you are on the go," Libranda said.

Another smart phone app that has great reviews is called iAllowance. This is for parents looking for an easy way to track their children's allowance, rewards or chores. It also helps kids learn about budgeting.

"You can set up iAllowance to track the finances for all your kids," Libranda explained.

The next money saving app the experts like is called Shop Savvy. It's a price comparing app that instantly gives you options locally or on online by scanning the bar code of any product.

Finally for those who need help staying on budget at the grocery store, an app called Food on the Table creates a list of grocery items you need based on a recipe the app provides.

"That way you don't have to have a printed list," Crear said. "You literally can use your phone and you click on your icon -- it moves off your list. So it saves, so it's super helpful."

All the apps are available for most smart phones, with the exception of iAllowance. That's an Apple app. The apps are free but some of these apps have paid versions that have more bells and whistles.